7 Reasons You Didn’t Get That Pay Rise

In any job, there comes a time where you start to want a little bit more money from your employer in exchange for all of your hard work.

It’s not just about recognition; it’s also an opportunity to save more, to stop stinging on cheap wine, and a great way to combat the ever-increasing cost of living.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen. Here are seven reasons you didn’t get a pay rise this year.

1. You didn’t ask for one

It’s amazing how many employees miss out on more money because they didn’t summon up the courage to sit their boss down and actually ask for a raise.

And while it can be a tough, even uncomfortable conversation to have, it’s incredibly important to face those fears and have it; research shows avoiding the conversation can cost as much as a million bucks over the course of a career.

So book it in, come prepared to talk about your achievements and how you can develop the business in the future, and make sure to lock in next steps.

2. You asked for one… Poorly

The flip side of not asking for a pay rise is asking for one in the wrong way.

For example, no employer really cares if your rent went up or you’re behind on the car repayments.

Firstly, it’s not their problem. Secondly and more importantly, it has absolutely no bearing on how well you’ve performed on the job.

Making a pay conversation about personal issues, cajoling for cash, or breaking down in the meeting room are tactics that reek of desperation and are great ways to ensure you won’t get a raise.


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3. You were inconsistent

Bad impressions are hard to shake, which means inconsistent performers are much more likely to miss out on a pay jump when their review conversation rolls around.

Remember that time in January that you decided to give yourself a bit of a “working holiday” because you thought business was quiet and nobody was paying any attention?

They were.

The people who are rewarded are the ones who perform week-in week-out, and everyone from the fat cat boss down to the mail guy knows they’re committed.

4. You didn’t go above and beyond

So you did your job and did it well. That’s what an employer pays you to do.

Why should they dish out any more of their money when you’re not developing as an employee and adding value to the company?

In a pay review, it’s important to be able to point to times where you’ve gone over and above your job description; for example a successful side project that you helped deliver, or a process that you improved which saved the business money.

5. You weren’t committed

Employers are well aware that the good ol’ days where people worked for one company for forty years and then retired are long gone.

So if you’ve given your employer reason to doubt your commitment to the company over the last 12 months, then chances are they won’t be showering you with extra money.

Think about things from the manager’s perspective: when they look at you, do they see a future leader, or someone who won’t be around six months down the track?


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6. You didn’t communicate achievements

For better or worse, doing incredible work doesn’t always translate to getting a great reward.

If people aren’t aware how much effort you put in to making ‘that’ project a success, or the idea that led to incredible sales in the December quarter was actually yours, they’re not likely to reward you.

It might sound slimy, but successful (and well-paid) employees are masters of communicating their achievements and building a personal brand.

7. The business is going broke

No matter how well you’ve performed personally, if the business is going down the toilet your manager will probably just laugh you out of the room.

Of course, a constructive conversation about how you can turn your area or even the business around could still lead to something, but sometimes it’s worth reading the writing on the wall.

Image: Daniel Lee, via Flickr