The advantages of a pay raise are pretty clear. More money is always a plus, a raise tends to put you in a higher leadership position, and you have more going for you when applying for new jobs.
Despite your effort, and how much you might believe you deserve a raise, there are many reasons why you have not been getting one. Some of these reasons are out of your control and others you can work to fix.
It is important to recognize which category you fall into. Doing so will help you decide whether to improve or to leave for another job. Here are 11 lesser-known reasons that you are not getting a raise that can help you decide what to do next:
You overlook the little details.
You might work extremely hard and be an A player. If you overlook the little details when they matter, though, then others will perceive you as much less competent. These little details, like typos in content or sending something off a few minutes late, weigh in the heads of your higher-ups.
The bright side is that it is an easy fix to pay closer attention to detail. Plus, doing so will reveal how great you really are to those above you.
Your company does not have the money to spare.
You might be working somewhere that does not have more money to put towards your role. This could be for a variety of reasons. Understanding when that is the case, though, is important. It will help you realize that the lack of a raise is not due to your shortcomings. It can also guide the subsequent decision that you make over whether to stay or leave.
You are not effectively communicating your efforts with your boss or coworkers.
You might be accomplishing a lot, but, if those around you do not realize it, then your efforts are largely lost. It is your boss that is judging your performance and making the call about whether to give you more money? It is also your coworkers who view your performance and make decisions about whether to include you in a new project that they might be working on?
Therefore, it is critical to communicate what you are accomplishing to those around you. You should not stick it their faces, but you do need to make sure they know what you are getting done. This will give you fair recognition and will allow those around you to more accurately judge your competency.
Your boss does not like you enough to vouch for you.
A strong relationship with your boss is underrated. You do not need this tight relationship to get a raise, but it certainly helps. If your boss likes you, then there will be a high-leverage person vouching for you. Despite current feelings towards your boss, he/she is the one that will report to others on how you are doing. Therefore, it is important to develop a strong relationship. Doing so can propel your success, sometimes even when it is not deserved.
You are not receptive to feedback.
If you are not receptive to feedback, then it is difficult for you to grow. It is hard to warrant offering more money to somebody that is like that. It is challenging to change habits and tendencies. Being receptive to doing so, though, will signal to your boss that you are going to continue to grow as you gain new responsibilities and leadership roles.
You struggle to deal with ambiguity.
In order to get a raise, you have to stand out. Standing out involves leaving an impact greater than those around you would expect. That means you have to be comfortable dealing with ambiguity and the unknown.
There is no room for creativity if you have to do things in a particular way. With open-ended problems, on the other hand, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and that you deserve a raise.
It comes across like you are not committed.
Each company is different, but you should figure out what it means to demonstrate commitment in your office. You might be working an extra 5 hours at home after you leave work each night. If others do not see that, then they will not realize your dedication. Therefore, make the effort to come across as committed.
This also means attending extra company events and getting involved in your office culture. Doing these things will both build relationships with others to make work more enjoyable, and it will signal that you care a lot about the work your company is doing. When deciding who to give a raise to, it is the most committed people that often come to mind.
You do not dress the part.
As unfortunate as it is, some people make judgments based on how you look. If your boss or others in your office are like this, you need to recognize it. You likely do not need to go to work in a suit every day, but, sometimes, looking well-groomed can go a far way.
You have not demonstrated initiative for personal growth.
Companies love to reward those that they see as an investment. To fall in this bucket, you have to paint the picture that you care about personal growth. It makes giving you a raise and/or promotion more sensible.
There are many ways to demonstrate this initiative. You can work to pick up new skills, you can ask those around you for feedback, and you can continue to improve the work that you do each day.
The work you do can be easily replaced.
As tough as it might be to come to terms with it, if you are easily replaceable, then the company you are working for has no incentive to give you more money. When this is the case, you should think about your current skill set and situation. Do you have skills that you do not have an opportunity to utilize? Are you lacking skills that you wish you had? These questions can help drive your subsequent decision.
You have not asked.
Do not be afraid to ask for a raise! Or, at least, you can ask why you have not received one. Asking will indicate to your boss that you have been thinking about it, and it will give you an opportunity to receive feedback.
The conversation can feel uncomfortable, but, you will be glad to have had it. You could be doing everything else right, and, if your company does not think that you care about a raise, then there is no reason that they should give you one.