You’ve done your homework, written out your case for a raise and presented it to your boss, only to be met with a resounding “No.” Where do you go from here? Well, you can take the rejection and curl up in your cube or hide in your locker, or you could do something about it.
Be flexible. If money is tight, you should consider asking for additional paid time off, stock options, or tuition reimbursement. These are alternative benefits that don’t require permanent salary commitments.
Be persistent. Ask your boss what you have to do to be considered for a raise. It might be nothing, or it might be something substantial. Now that your request is on the radar, you can keep the topic front and center by committing to a deadline. Tell your supervisor that you want to revisit the request in six months. This puts pressure on you to perform but shows initiative on your part. By scheduling regular one-on-one progress meetings with your boss, you may have the raise sooner than you planned.
Get promoted. Your company may have hiring and salary freezes in place, but that doesn’t rule out promoting people. Rather than a raise, you might be considered for a promotion, especially if people are leaving your company. Set your sights on the promotion instead of a raise and the financial windfall could be significantly better a few months down the line. If you think of yourself as promotion-worthy, the same rules apply – prove you’re a top performer by documenting your value to the company.
Everyone wants to be properly compensated for the job they do. If your company is operating in the red and there have been significant layoffs, now is probably not the best time to ask for a raise. But if you have a plan in place, you’ll be way ahead of your co-workers when the economy turns around.
Check out part four of this series to find out how not to ask for a raise.
Did your persistence pay off? Did you get the promotion you wanted? Share your successes with us.