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4 Reasons You'll Never Get a Raise

4 Reasons You'll Never Get a Raise

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer

If you’re hoping to earn more money this year, you need to do more than hope. It can take a lot of work to earn a raise, and it’s difficult to guarantee success.

You’ll never get a raise if you don’t take some basic steps. If any of the following sound like you, it’s probably time to get to work.

You Don’t Know the Going Rate

If you don’t do your homework during salary negotiations, it’s unlikely your employer will give you top dollar just to be nice. You need to know what people in similar position are earning and where you fit into the mix.

“Compensation is a funny thing in that you can’t just ask your cubicle neighbor,” says Katie Bardaro, lead economist and analytics manager at

PayScale runs an online compensation survey where people provide information about their job and in return get a compensation report that outlines how their pay compares to others in the same location, same job, same type of employer and so on. Bardaro recommends anonymous services such as PayScale, which can give you quick and easy information to help you understand if you’re eligible for a raise.

You Don’t Know Your Value

It’s vital you understand the kind of value the labor market puts on (see point No. 1 above), but also what you offer your employer specifically, Bardaro says. She recommends you consider these types of questions:
  • Are you an integral part of the team?
  • If you left, would important projects fall apart?
  • Do you have a lot of internal knowledge that is hard to learn?
  • Would replacing you with someone who has the same skill set and knowledge be very costly in terms of time and effort?

You Can’t Justify It

You must be able to demonstrate what the company -- and your boss -- will gain by giving you a raise, says consultant Barry Maher. Also, simply talking about why you need a raise instead of using a list of accomplishments to demonstrate why you’ve earned it won’t get you more money.

And if you have any doubts that you deserve a raise, you’re not going to be able to persuade others you do. “If you can’t convince yourself, you’ll never convince your boss,” Maher says.

You Never Ask

Instead, “you wait for your boss or the company to offer you a raise, without ever raising (no pun intended) the issue yourself,” Maher says. If you don’t have a contract that addresses raises and you don’t ask for one when you feel you can justify it, it’s unlikely that your employer will just make an offer.

“Of course, business being business, you’re not always going to get the raise you want,” Maher says. “When that happens, politely and respectfully ask your boss if you can sit down together and determine what specifically you need to do in order to earn the raise in the future. Try to work out deliverables that are as specific as possible and try to pin down a time frame.

“Take notes, let your boss see that you’re taking notes, and if possible work up something in writing you can both agree to. Ask for his or her help in achieving those deliverables. Then report your progress regularly. Once you’ve met those specific goals, it will be very difficult for your boss not to grant your raise or at the very least fight for it.”

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