What It Means When You Didn’t Get That Raise

Everyone wants to make more money. But what happens when things don’t go as planned in your quest for a raise? Before you panic, take a moment to step back and consider all of your options. There are a few steps you can take so you can move forward confidently in your career. Here are a few suggestions to help you reach your future financial goals.

Don’t Panic

Step one is to take a step back. Don’t think your days at the company are numbered or you’re not worthy of a raise. There are a number of factors that lead to any corporate decision, and that applies to this situation as well. Stay calm, don’t make any rash decisions, and move on to the next steps.

Ask for Details

Step two is to ask for as much detail as you can. Don’t feel embarrassed or shy about it. Don’t think you don’t deserve to know. You may find out they simply don’t have the budget or they need to make other adjustments before they can give you a raise. Details will help you know what to do next.


If a raise isn’t in the cards, take time to brainstorm. Do this on your own as well as with your boss. There may be other things they can offer you instead of an increased salary that would be beneficial for your career. For example, maybe you can get more vacation days per year or start working a flexible schedule or remotely.

Set Career Goals

If the raise was denied because of performance problems, now is the time to set career goals to overcome that. Know what you need to do and put a plan of action in place to accomplish those goals in a realistic time frame. Work with your manager to measure these goals over time so you can have a reevaluation to demonstrate your improvement.

Look for Your Next Job

Of course, there may be reasons being passed over for a raise is a sign to move on. If you’ve been overlooked for far too long, your employer may not value you enough. You may be able to find a better salary at another company. Always be sure to research the salary for the position you’re looking for before you apply so you have better leverage for negotiations.

Do You Want a Pay Raise?

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