You’ve seen a real-world example of how to ask for a raise, and Shawn’s story worked out really well. But they won’t always say yes when you ask for a raise. So let’s walk through the three typical outcomes you’ll get when you ask for a raise.
1. You get your raise
This is obviously the outcome you were hoping for. You built a strong case, asked for your raise, and got what you asked for.
It can be tempting to sit back and relax, happy with your new salary, and you should celebrate a little bit. But then it’s important to start looking ahead to your next raise or promotion and start building your case.
Set your next goal so you know what you’re trying to achieve, and build a roadmap to help you get there.
2. You’ll get your raise later on
This isn’t ideal, but it’s not bad either. You were hoping for a raise now, but you’ll have to wait a bit. There are two important things you need in this situation:
1. What do you need to do specifically to earn the raise you requested? Your manager should be able to help you identify the areas where you can improve so that you can work to make those improvements.
2. When will you revisit this conversation to make your raise official if you accomplish everything you need to accomplish? This is extremely important because it will help you and your manager set a plan and a timeline to reevaluate this discussion.
“What do I need to do to earn this raise, and when can we make it happen once I accomplish those things?” That’s a good question to ask when your raise request can’t be accommodated just yet.
3. They say no
Sometimes, there’s just no raise available. In the short-term, this is frustrating news. But in the long-term, this is good to know because the truth is that there wasn’t a raise available for you before, and you just didn’t know it. Now you know, so you can plan your next steps.
First, find out why a raise isn’t available to you. Are you underperforming, or is the company simply unable to budget any money for raises in general? If you’re underperforming, ask your manager where you can improve. Even if you can’t improve enough to earn a raise at your current company, you may learn valuable things that you can work on as you move forward with your career. If the company simply can’t afford to pay anyone more money, then at least you know your performance isn’t holding you back.
Either way, stop and consider how important a raise is to you. Is it important enough to change companies or even careers? This is a very personal decision that will be influenced by many factors like how much you like your company and your team, how important salary is to you, and whether you’re comfortable taking on the risk of changing jobs.
Take all the information you can gather, consider your options, and start planning your next steps.
All three of these outcomes are useful
Not all of these outcomes are ideal, but they are all useful for your career. This is how you make progress.
Continue to revisit this process every year or so. By proactively pursuing raises, you’ll be positioned to take advantage of each new opportunity and you’ll earn far more money throughout your career.