If you were expecting a raise and didn’t get one this fiscal year, well, that sucks. Was it something you did? Are you just not good enough? Maybe and maybe. But there are quite a few factors that go into whether or not you get a raise. Any or all of these may be a factor in whether or not you make more bank this year — so talk to your boss (if you haven’t already) to find out why you didn’t get a raise and how you can gun for one next time.
1. You didn’t ask. Your boss and human resources departments aren’t mind readers, and they’d rather save their money than spend it. As a result, if you never ask for a raise, they may not realize you expected one — so they may have tightened their purse strings for that reason, not because you didn’t work hard enough. Always, always ask. The worst they can say is no.
2. You asked for way too much money. If everyone else at the office gets 1 to 2 percent raises every year (other than if they also got a promotion) and you ask for 5 percent, you may not get one at all — especially if you are or seem closed off to negotiations, and if your boss thinks you’re out of touch with company culture or budget, that can hurt your chances for making more money.
3. You didn’t make your case. When you have your review or a meeting to discuss a potential raise, bring evidence of why you deserve one. Have a list of achievements: Did you make a huge sale? Did you save a major client from leaving? Did you increase traffic? Let them know! Remind them! A good way to do this is to keep a log all year of your biggest hits, that way when it’s review time, you don’t have to scour through old emails and memos to find your successes.
4. You overestimated your success. If your boss claims you didn’t perform well enough to warrant a raise, talk to your colleagues. Did they get similar feedback? Also ask your boss how you can improve. Then follow through!
5. You threw in the towel too soon. A lot of times there’s a negotiation process when trying to get a raise. If you took the “no” and didn’t pursue it further or follow up, you can’t be too upset that you didn’t get one. These email templates can help you follow up with your boss to turn a “no” into a simple “not yet, but soon” and from there into a “yes.”
6. There wasn’t enough money in the budget. Sometimes it really isn’t anything you did or didn’t do, but rather your company’s overall performance and revenue that determines how much cash you take home. In that case, you may be able to negotiate other perks — think extra vacation days, flex hours, remote days, or summer Fridays.