Public praise from your boss is great, but let’s be honest, nothing says you’re crushing it at your job quite like a pay raise. Raise before praise, that’s what we like to say.
Unfortunately, not everyone who deserves a pay raise gets one—and the reasons why might not be what you expect. To avoid getting dinged in the wallet, check out some of the most common explanations why employees don’t earn raises. If any of these behaviors sound familiar, it’s time to make some changes.
You’re uncomfortable asking for a raise
Even if you know how to ask for a raise, you actually have to do the asking in order to get results. Sounds obvious, but many employees make the mistake of just not asking for a raise. Almost two thirds (37%) of workers have never asked for a raise, a recent PayScale survey found. If you don’t ask, “you’re likely not to get one because your employer will assume you’re satisfied with your salary.”
Even if your boss is super-appreciative of your efforts, “very few employers are going to come to you and say, Hey, I want to give you a raise!
Speak up—and explicitly state that you’re asking for a pay bump. You have to articulate that you’re requesting a salary increase, not just a promotion.
Related Article: 6 ways to become irreplaceable at work
You don’t know the going rate
In order for a company to be competitive when it comes to talent, it needs to pay its employees well. If you’re underpaid, well, that’s a good enough reason to start looking around for a new job, which should technically spur your current company to offer you more money.
So before asking your boss for a raise, do some salary comparison and assess how much you’re worth next to other professionals in your field who are on equal footing. To find out what other people with your skills and experience are making, you can contact recruiters and do research online.
Once you’ve gathered this salary information, you can use it as a bargaining chip when you sit down with your boss.
Your timing is bad
Many of the employees who do, in fact, ask for raises have poor timing. People often ask for raises at performance reviews, but that’s generally too late. “By that point, most companies have already decided where they’re going to allocate their budget.”
There are three times when you should consider asking for a raise: B
- When you’ve done something spectacular. A big achievement can justify a pay bump. For instance, you saved your company from losing its number-one client, or you introduced a new accounting system that cut the organization’s operating costs by 10%—these kinds of achievements demonstrate you’re a key employee.
- When the company is doing well. You have more negotiating power when there’s more money in the budget—which there often is after a big earnings report is released. Vice versa, if your company is going through a decline, or has recently made a large investment for potential growth, now isn’t the right time to ask for more money.
- When your boss gives you more responsibility. If you’re taking on significantly more work, you should be compensated for it.
You can’t articulate your value
Simply expressing that you want a raise won’t earn you a pay bump. You have to demonstrate what the company gains by having you on board.
Moreover, “you can’t assume that your boss is keeping track of your progress. “You need to keep a record of your contributions and show it to your manager.” Because money talks, highlight things you’ve done that have improved your company’s profitability or productivity (think numbers) and talk about the contributions that you’ll make going forward.
Make some power moves
Asking your boss for more money can be intimidating, but it’s necessary if you want to keep your career moving at a healthy pace. That said, sometimes, no matter how solid your argument for a raise is, a company simply won’t be able to pay up. In that case, it’s time to make plans.
Could you use some help looking for a better-paying job? Join XY Careers for free today. As a member, you can upload up your resume. Recruiters search XY Careers every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you.