What to do if you can’t get a pay rise

Some people like the performance review period but the reality is many fear the inevitable semi-annual discussion about personal objectives and the pressure and scrutiny that come with it.


Mostly with our performance reviews comes the question of how to tell the boss for a pay increase and how often to get a pay increase. The answer depends on several factors, which of course include our performance. Now it also has some external factors which cannot be controlled like the financial condition of the company and tight market conditions etc.


But the main thing is that the salary increase we want doesn’t always come down to poor performance on our part. The good news when seeking out with our job agencies salary increment guidance is that there are ideally a few steps that can be taken to turn a negative situation into a positive one.


One thing also comes to mind is how any person faces or does adversity. So how we react when one of our requests is turned down tells a lot. Nobody likes rejection. It is not easy to muster the courage to undertake the task of requesting an increase in the form of your salary increase request letter. It’s worth it to potentially put your self-worth on the line. Doing your best to convince someone that you deserve it and then disagree with your manager is no easy thing to deal with. Once the request is turned down, there is a danger of being bitter, aloof, and indifferent to work – and that doesn’t do anyone any good.


You are a professional and you are asking for a pay hike, so make sure you approach the situation in the face of defeat. Below are some tips that may help if you are not getting a salary increase.


1 Keep the Peace If Your Request Is Denied

It is human nature when your request is rejected. If you’ve undoubtedly defended your case and backed up your argument with facts and personal achievements, it’s natural to feel hurt and angry later when you’re told it’s not good enough. That’s because many people think that it translates to “I’m not good enough at it or not good enough,” but you need to get over that urge.


It’s not going to do you any good if you get heated and enter a shouting match or argue with your manager. Doing all this puts your boss on the defensive and creates the potential for an uncomfortable work environment. Along with this, it serves to mark you as unprofessional and unable to deal with adversity. So you have to remain calm no matter what the situation.


2 Ask why you weren’t given a pay increase

If your boss didn’t ask for a pay increase, the bigger question is why. You have to face it or maybe this could be a really good reason why you were turned down for a raise. So times are still tough and depending on the size of your business, what industry you are in, and current events the “we don’t have this in the budget” excuse may hold water. But then, sometimes it’s you and they’re not.


Maybe you are not meeting your goals or you are succeeding but you are focused on the wrong areas. Whatever the reason, find it out and get it straight through your mouth. So that you can address it and be able to show progress in your next performance review. The important thing is that if you don’t know exactly what’s wrong, you can never fix it.


3 You don’t have to act like a jerk

If your boss refuses and says no, please don’t kick your feet, take all your toys, and go home. But this can be difficult. Many people become problem employees after being dismissed because of some hurt feelings. You were already feeling inferior, so you asked for more money, and again if it was refused.


After this now your morale is in the basement and you stop working hard because what’s the point of this? Now you feel that you are not able to progress, so you start defaming the company at every opportunity. Now you are showing up late or not seeing at all, it spoils the quality of your work, and your new reputation acts as a poison pill.


Don’t worry if your profession doesn’t matter. Keep in mind that great people learn more from things that don’t come their way and find ways to improve.


4 Request an ongoing check-in

You should meet with your boss in the future and discuss the issue of salary increase again. Doing so not only shows your manager that you don’t plan to be a risk-averse employee, but you’re putting disapproval into your rearview. Also already working towards more positive results in future. You just have to make sure you get on your boss’s calendar because you don’t want to fall through the cracks.


5 Can Have A Contingency Plan

Now you have a 50/50 chance of getting the salary you want. So while your positivity needs to be focused, you must also be prepared for the worst-case scenario at that time.


Most people forget that salary isn’t the only type of compensation that can be negotiated during a job interview or performance review. If your request for more money has been declined. How then to start a conversation on the next best thing?


This should include trying to add more vacation, tuition reimbursement, earlier performance reviews, or the ability to work from home, to name a few. It may also be that your company is not financially prepared to pay you more money, so a settlement may be the next best thing.


6 What to do next if your increment request was rejected?

If you have presented your case together and used your best-negotiating skills and still have been refused a salary increase.  It’s natural to feel rejected and angry when this happens, as most people understand that ‘no’ means you’re not good enough at it.  Now, this is the prime time where one has to take the risk of becoming apathetic, bitter, and unattached in work.  You need to know, it can be frustrating and affect the quality of your work, then your chances of salary increase in the future may also be hampered.  The way you handle yourself in a challenging professional situation will have a big impact on your reputation, often in the long term.


7 A proactive response

If you were not given a specific reason during your meeting, you need to follow up.  Find out together why you didn’t get a salary increase, don’t guess it.  You sit down with your manager to talk about it.  This may be due to economic events or business performance not presenting a sufficient budget.  But most of us have heard this excuse in the past, and as disappointing as it is, at least you know your performance isn’t the issue.


You have to understand why the decision was made, what will ultimately help you get what you want faster.  For this, it is also worth seeking advice and taking a different point of view from the outside.  For this a mentor, such as someone who has been in a similar situation before and can advise on the best ways to handle it in your specific circumstances.


8 Focus on your future

Now you need to be at the stage where you are creating a plan to ensure that you receive growth at your next performance review.  You will need to work closely with your manager to focus on key priorities and goals for the new review period and make sure you check in periodically.  You have to make an effort to welcome criticism.  Then use it to develop and work towards achieving that pay increase.


Keep exploring options to benefit yourself in other ways as well.  You can suggest taking some training which can add value to the business as well as your skillset.  You can consult with your manager about opportunities for career development within the organization and the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of projects to strengthen it as you enhance your experience.


9 Moving on to a New Job

Whilst you may have to submit your resignation in a hurry to start looking for a new job, you have to make sure that you have thought about it and are confident that it will be the best decision for your future.


Whenever you resign, you don’t have to focus on the money driving you away.  That’s because it won’t leave the best lasting impression on your ex-employer.  Conduct yourself with grace and move ahead on a positive note.  You know for yourself that you are more likely to be successful in achieving your career and financial goals.


Sometimes we find a bad boss or a company that doesn’t consider its employees important.  If your lift request is denied, you should not have a knee-jerk reaction.  Also if you have accomplished all your goals and you are a consistently good employee who is being kept away from opportunities for advancement and advancement for no good reason.  Then you need to do what is best for you.  For this, your step may be to move towards a new opportunity.



When companies feel cheated because the company has spent in terms of pay increases, they look for other ways to compensate to keep employees happy.  As we discussed in a previous point, if your request for a bonus or more benefits is denied, and the company is unable to let you know, you may consider looking for a new job.  You can find jobs in different sectors by contacting our job consultancy.  Don’t let yourself down, as you try to see the closed door as an opportunity to open a new one.