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by Alice Berg | December 31, 2019


Were you excited about a promised a raise and didn’t get it? Knowing that you will be given a salary hike, but then that time comes and goes with no word from your employer can be demoralizing and frustrating—more so if you have continually met or exceeded expectations with your performance. Not getting a pay raise is so serious that 45 percent of people who quit their jobs wanted more money.

But leaving the company without addressing the matter might be a decision you come to regret later. So, before you quit your job, here are a few steps you can take:

Address the Matter with Your Manager.

If you were promised a raise and didn’t get it, the best immediate course of action is to approach your manager. Even if it was a verbal promise of pay raise, you have enough grounds to talk to your manager about it. Request a meeting with them so that you may air your concerns. There may be a logical explanation for the raise delay. For instance, management might have moved the time for raises a little further. All the same, if a reason isn’t immediately communicated to you, the only way for you to know is to ask.

Speak Your Mind, but Keep Things Professional.

Understandably, you are frustrated about missing out on a salary increment, and you deserve better. Still, don’t throw a tantrum or whine about it to colleagues or your manager. If you go down that path, you risk ruining your chances of ever getting promoted or awarded a bonus. Instead, keep yourself calm and collected. Stay professional in all your interactions, especially when discussing the matter with your manager. This attitude will show them that you’re mature and can handle yourself even in the most challenging times.

Propose Other Ways You Be Compensated.

You’ve sat down with your manager, and you realize that getting a raise soon is not in their books, at least not any time soon. What can you do now? There might be something else you have always wanted that you may negotiate. Though most employees may not know it, there are several other things you can negotiate apart from salary.

Before you suggest an alternative, tell your manager that you understand the management’s reasons for halting salary raises. Then proceed to inquire whether there is something else that they might be willing to consider. These might be more vacation days, flexible working days, training, etc.

Give It Time, and Bring Up the Topic Again.

If you love your job but didn’t get a salary increment, the most sensible thing you should do is to prove that you deserve a raise. Keep putting in the work and even take on new projects—anything that helps you go the extra mile. Track your triumphs for a couple of months, and then go back to your manager and ask for a raise re-consideration.

Here are a few tips on how to ask for a bonus that was promised again:

  • Know what you will say ahead of the meeting.
  • Write down some points for your case (why you think you deserve the raise).
  • Mention your commitment and love for the job.
  • If they agree, request for a confirmation in writing.

Adjust Your Expectations or Look for a New Employer

If you are still not getting higher remuneration months later, and your employer isn’t willing to consider alternatives, it might be time to think about yourself and what you want for your career. You can start job seeking secretly and only inform your manager once you are sure of your next prospects. Be professional and continue performing well even when you are job searching, as you do not know how much time it will take you.

Whether it is re-negotiating down the line, negotiating for non-salary perks, or adjusting your expectations, having a plan and staying professional will put you in the best position to achieve your desired salary outcome.