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    When You Ask for a Raise and Don’t Get It

    Sometimes we think of companies as enemies. Never looking out for us. That's not necessarily true. Companies are simply entities with interests a little different from ours.

    It can be disappointing when you when you ask for a raise and don’t get it. When your ask for a raise is denied, don’t take it as a failure. Don’t think it’s something personal against you either. Many times your boss or manager would love to give you the raise, but because of the circumstances, he or she could be incapable of doing so.

    The truth is: you need to get your interests close to the company’s interests. If you can significantly cooperate in the achievement of those benefits, superiors won’t resist giving you a raise. It may not be right away, but it will come.

    To make the case for asking for a raise, you need to get your interests close to the company's interests Click To Tweet

    An important aspect is knowing the reasons that led the denial. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss why they rejected your request. If they provide good reasons, then you’ll have a clue on how to create the appropriate conditions for next time.

    What did you learn from the process?

    Hey, if you didn’t achieve the salary increase you were looking for this time, it doesn’t mean that you did not “win” anything at the meeting. Think on the positive side.

    • You gathered enough courage to assume the frustration of feeling underpaid.
    • You made a deep reflection on your situation and your motivations and managed to expose it to your boss and made him listen to you.

    That alone is already an achievement.

    From now on, your boss will see you in a different way. Plus, it gives them the opportunity to share what the expectations are about your work and your position in the organization. Be smart enough and take this as an opportunity to ask your boss what he or she thinks you should improve on. In your manager’s opinion, what is the model employee profile?

    Don’t be afraid to ask!

    Ask your boss to help you improve your performance. How can you be a more productive employee for the company? What do you need to do to progress in your position? Your manager will appreciate your initiative and your desire to improve in a very positive way.

    All this will be a good start for the next time you go and request a raise. Keep reading, since RaiseGuide.com covers what you should keep in mind during your next meeting so that you feel even better prepared.

    How to successfully negotiate your salary this time

    When you’ve spent time as an employee in a company and you’ve gained experience in your position, a raise could seem the next logical step. But disclosing this issue to your superiors can be unpleasant. And it can be even more unpleasant if you were already denied. Most people don’t know how to proceed.

    What’s the best time for a new meeting?

    When working for a company, you’ll be able to renegotiate what your “starting salary” was at different times. Remember, seniority in the company and years of experience matter. If in the last months you assumed more responsibility, then it’s even more possible that you could get a salary increase without failing this time.

    Another good time and cause for this type of request is a promotion. That’s because you’re getting different responsibilities and at new levels. Typically, the manager already assumes that the employee will not carry out his new (and probably harder) task for the same salary. Typically conversations about salary happen before the resolution of the new employment contract. They just may not happen in the same conversation when you’re told you’re promoted.

    Correctly estimate possible salary range

    It’s worth devoting enough time to investigate your salary range. There are so many websites out there where average salaries are disclosed in different locations and fields. We like to use Glassdoor for salary ranges. Ideally this time, gather all the company info you can and be fully informed for your new interview to better know the company’s position among its competitors and its investment in its employees.

    There are websites that collect all type of information about entities along with analysis of their benefits and salaries. This is the information that will be very useful for you in your preparation phase for your next raise discussion.

    Don’t aim too low or too high

    When a very low amount of raise is mentioned in meeting with your manager, you risk future potential. You put at risk the possibility of receiving a higher salary in the future. That’s because the company thinks you’re willing to accept a lower pay and be happy.

    You will never be told you asked too low though. Instead, a manager may use the words, “I think we can make that pay work”. That means that you came well under the estimated pay on their end.

    The other side is at least as negative. When you go too high or when a salary expectation is too high, the manager knows it and will be very clear. You have to know and be aware that there are others in your position. Or, at least there are other candidates out there. If your boss has seen someone with similar characteristics as yours and is willing to earn less, maybe the manager will opt for him or her.

    Avoid discussing salary issues too soon and often

    Although self-confidence always benefits someone, employees who are only focusing on earning a higher salary often have a deterrent effect on the personnel department. Your boss shouldn’t have the impression that you only do the job for a paycheck. There’s a reason we work for a job. There’s something we should like about it, or are good at, beyond simply making the paycheck. So don’t ask too often. More than once a year after your manager says yes to a pay raise is too much.

    Objectively argue

    If you ask for a raise, it won’t be approved just because it was kindly requested. You’ll have to prepare your reasons and present them well. The best way to do this is by showing your value.

    If you need to take notes, take them. Write down your achievements. Track them in a notebook or in the notes app on your phone. This will keep your achievements and gained experience top of mind, making it easier to justify when asking for a raise. Seniority in the company, again, can also be seen as a solid statement. A raise is a way to reward your loyalty.

    However, avoid mentioning personal reasons, like debt. Don’t try to inspire sympathy. It’s not going to matter to your superiors.

    When asking for a raise, don't mention personal reasons. It's not going to matter to your superiors. Click To Tweet

    Also, don’t make your ask about your other co-workers. Simply don’t use them as an excuse just because you saw someone else was given a raise. If that was the case, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be approved for you. Your performance and contribution to the success of the company will always be and should always be your best argument.

    Don’t threaten to quit

    During this kind of discussion, some people could feel as if they’re under pressure or against the ropes. They can react poorly. Sometimes they threaten to leave the company. But this “ace in the sleeve” causes the opposite effect. It shows aggressiveness, which is a very bad sight in a negotiation. Not only that but it shows little loyalty too. Why should your boss approve your asking for a raise when you’re just demonstrating you’d quit your job at the slightest opportunity?

    Plus, if you followed the RaiseGuide.com advice, you would start by emphasizing you want to stay with the company. How bad does it look that you would then immediately quit?

    Submit a counteroffer

    In most cases, if you’re given a raise, accept it. However, if you feel there is a little more room to go further, counter the raise. It could be that you were denied a raise, but you could ask for more vacation days. Or, if you work mostly on a computer, a work from home day a few days a month.

    Experienced negotiators first show their lowest offer. With a counteroffer submitted by you, means automatically that your superior is willing to negotiate.

    Be willing to reach an agreement

    Sometimes open mindedness is more important than confidence. In a negotiation, there are two parties involved. We don’t recommend you be against giving into everything.

    Flexibility can be demonstrated by accepting other types of options. It doesn’t only have to be a higher paycheck. For example, maybe there are other perks you could get. Extra vacation days or flexible hours can also become the subject of a salary negotiation.

    Apply rhetorical tricks

    Negotiation experts usually recommend some applicable tactics before or during the meeting. A subtle linguistic detail with great effects is requesting a “salary adjustment” instead of using the word “raise”. See the difference? This change in phrasing is subconsciously more pleasant to say and hear. It’s less “offensive” and sounds fair. Besides that, avoid mentioning rounded figures. Exact figures present the feeling of having been calculated or research. Even if they weren’t.

    Another rhetorical trick: When someone has ever helped you before, they are more willing to do it again. This is the so-called Benjamin Franklin effect. If your boss has assisted you before with some favor or in any other way, you could take advantage of this since future negotiations may be easier.

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