What To Do When You Don't Get The Raise
Money

What To Do When You Don't Get The Raise

by Lisa Crocco
January 18, 2016

YOU'VE BEEN AT YOUR JOB FOR A DECENT AMOUNT OF TIME, STAYED LATE, ARRIVED EARLY MANY DAYS, AND FEEL CONFIDENT THAT YOU WORK HARD ENOUGH TO DESERVE A RAISE. 

You’re not new at this—you know asking for a raise is tricky and uncomfortable—so you craft a foolproof plan to get that dough. 

Well-prepared, you walk into the meeting radiating confidence, eloquently explain why you deserve a raise to your manager, and wait patiently for confirmation. And that’s when you hear it—a big, fat “No.” 

Nursing your pride back at your desk, you inevitably contemplate quitting but also know that’s not an immediate reality. Instead you make a list of steps to take to recover from this little incident and work toward the Big Ask again in the future.

The first and most difficult thing to do is not take it personally. 

STEP 1: BOUNCE BACK

The first and most difficult thing to do is not take it personally. Maybe you weren’t able to get a raise because the company simply cannot afford it or because other people are eligible for raises before you. 

When the initial shell shock subsides, follow up with your manager to ask for specific reasons why you were turned down. This will help realign your priorities and give you clear guidance on how you can improve for next time. 

BTW, the worst thing you can do is throw a hissy-fit or act bitter towards your manager. Be mature, continue focusing on your work, and maintain a professional and comfortable repertoire going forward. Prove you still value your job and hold yourself to the same standards despite disappointment.

STEP 2: PUSH YOURSELF EVEN HARDER

Improving yourself is a positive thing. We should always strive for self-improvement in our professional and personal lives. {Click to Tweet} If you asked your manager for a list of areas you should improve upon (which we highly recommend), ensure that you work to improve each area in some way. Think more critically and offer more feedback at meetings, help others more around the office, share your innovative ideas with the team, take the lead on difficult projects, etc. Your manager will enjoy your proactive approach. 

STEP 3: KEEP TRACK OF PROGRESS AND SUCCESS

This is a crucial step in the path to recovery when your big plans have gone awry. Track everything you do. How many new clients have you gained? How many impressions are you earning on the social media accounts you manage? By what percentage did your number of your sales increase? Did you receive praise or recognition from your clients or team members? Keep all these items, including positive emails from clients or coworkers, in a folder on your computer so you can print them out before your next review. Impressive numbers and positive feedback serve as solid proof of your hard work. They’ll back your argument when you get up the nerve to ask for a raise again.

Track everything you do. Impressive numbers and positive feedback serve as solid proof of your hard work. 

When you do present your hard-won evidence, make sure it's in a professionally appropriate manner and doesn't come off as self-aggrandizing. Present the facts in a straightforward, non-theatric way and treat your evidence as cold, hard facts and numbers. 

STEP 4: REGROUP WITH YOUR MANAGER IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS

You may want to consider talking with a mentor or coworker-confidante before you go back to your manager to ask for another raise. Ask that trusted person for their opinion, show them your proof of growth, and pitch why you deserve a raise, for practice. They can provide you with honest feedback on whether you’re ready to present your case to your manager again. 

If your mentor tells you that you may want to hold off for a couple more months, you should schedule a meeting with your manager anyways, not to ask for a raise, but to ask them if there are any lingering areas for improvement. Hey, your manager may even surprise you by saying that you've improved so much they think you’re ready for that raise. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

One more note to always keep in mind when thinking about raises: thinking you deserve a raise is completely different than earning a raise. Stay humble, regroup, and go get that dough, sister! 

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Do you have a story about asking for a raise, successful or otherwise? Tell us in the comments below.