What Does It Mean if You Didn’t Get a Raise?


It’s the reward for a job well done, day after day. It’s the pay-off for the long hours and sacrifice. It’s the way companies say “thank you” to their most dedicated and valuable employees.

We’re talking about raises. But what does it mean if you don’t get one? That you’re not dedicated or valuable or worthy of thanks?

Getting passed over for a raise is like having your texts ghosted by a new romance. It comes with loads of confusion and doubt. But, worse than a personal snub, it affects your paycheck as well.

There are ways to interpret the silence, however. Here are some common reasons why you might not have received the raise you expected … and how to avoid the pitfalls in the future:

You Need to Ask

Companies aren’t in the business of giving you more money. If they can get you at a discount, they will. For that reason, you have to look out for your own financial well-being. Don’t expect a raise unless you’ve asked for one.

Your Company Doesn’t Have the Money

Unfortunately, your employer can’t give you money they don’t have. A company that’s losing money or surviving on a thin margin might not have the spare resources to pay you what you’re worth. If that’s the case, you might have to consider looking for opportunities at a company better placed to recognize your worth.

Your Timing Was Off

It might not be a matter of resources. It may be a matter of procedure. If your company has a strict review process or a set budgeting timeframe, you may only get narrow windows in which your bosses can consider a raise request.

Make sure you know the rules your company plays by. Then, you can time your request for maximum effectiveness.

Your Performance Needs Improvement

You can blame timing and budgets and even your own lack of aggressiveness. But in the end, the best way to get a raise is to deserve one.

Make sure your output is outstanding. Find out what metrics the company uses to judge its employees and focus on excelling in those areas. Meanwhile, compare your results with your co-workers and with industry averages. Then, when it’s time to ask for a raise, you’ll have a strong argument.

You Need to Raise Your Profile

Quietly excelling might need be enough. Your bosses have to know you’re excelling. You don’t want to become the office braggart, but make sure you’re getting the credit you deserve for the successes you achieve. That will prime the pump when it comes time for raise considerations.

You’ve Hit Your Ceiling

Sometimes, an opportunity plays itself out. No matter how good you are, or how well you present your case, every position has an upper limit to its compensation. You can’t expect ongoing raises year after year if you stay in the same position. At a certain point, you have to move to a higher-paying situation.

This involves playing a long game. You need to improve your skills continuously and perpetually remain on the lookout for advancement opportunities.

Taking your career to the next level can require professional help. A top-flight staffing firm, like DHR, can position you for long-term growth in both salary and job satisfaction. Contact DHR today to find out more.


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