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What to Do if You Can’t Get a Pay Raise

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Pay Raise
You took a chance by submitting a request for a pay raise, unfortunately, it got denied. Not so great, right? Here are the tips on what to actually do now that you can’t get your pay increase?

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Pay Raise

You took a chance by submitting a request for a pay raise -- that’s great!  Unfortunately, it got denied.  Not so great, right?  If you’re in this predicament and you aren’t entirely sure where to turn, or what to do, it’s okay!  It’s definitely a less-than-comfortable spot to be and rejection makes us all feel that squirmy, embarrassed feeling.

Looking for tips on what to actually do now that you can’t get your pay increase?  Here they are!  

Don’t get angry, check the facts

Everyone’s first emotion after being rejected is anger.  It’s human nature!  But, make sure you focus on the facts of the situation.  Not only will that help you manage your emotions, it’ll also keep you focused on what actually matters -- the reason for the rejection.  It could be something obvious: the company’s doing poorly, you need to ask for a raise at a certain time of year, etc.  Perhaps the reason isn’t so cut-and-dry.  Regardless, get the reasons why your request was denied.  You have a right to know!

Deal with your emotions on your own time

Don’t vent to a co-worker or stomp around and glower at your boss because you’re frustrated.  They already know that you’re upset and they may very well be upset, too, if the denial came from higher up!  Deal with your personal emotions on the topic on your own time and keep your head focused on work.  Not only will it help ease the sting, but it’ll also show your boss that you’re not a sore loser.  It may even lead them to fight for your raise the next time you ask, if they have the power to do so!  If they were responsible for turning it down, it’s going to make them feel like they missed out on an opportunity, which is always a great moment for you, since you’ll take the high road.

Try, try, again

Yes, really.  Sure, no one wants to put themselves through that rejection again, but it’s important!  When the next opportunity presents itself to ask for a raise, go for it.  It’ll show your company that you know your worth and that you aren’t afraid of a fight/  That being said, you’ll want to take another look at the reasons why you were denied in the first place.  Understanding when and how to ask for a pay raise is crucial to getting the right answer!

Have a back-up plan

Obviously, you were asking for a raise for a reason.  You’ll want to make sure you've got a back-up plan ready to go.  For some, it might be going back in and asking for a lesser amount than you requested.  Or, it could be something as drastic as potentially job hunting if you are in a really bad spot and are relying on the money increase.  No matter what, getting approved is always 50/50 at best. If you are unsure on how to ask for a pay rise, read this nice article at BKG.


If you can’t get a pay raise, how you deal with it in both the short-term and long-term is going to determine how much of a professional you are.  Before you react, keep all of these tips in mind!

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