So Yor Boss Refused to Give You a Raise

Getting rejected for a raise can be a blow to your self-esteem. You may choose to pursue a new role where you feel you might be more valued. But if you decide to stay, here’s how to advocate yourself to get a different answer next time:

💸 Respond diplomatically and honestly. If you feel disappointment, say that. Then express appreciation for your boss’s openness — and start talking about what you can do for a different outcome in the future.

💸 Unearth possible barriers and pressures. Get more details by asking what contributed to their decision, how compensation and performance evaluated, and if there are areas of your role where you could be doing more.

💸 Propose alternatives. If applicable, consider negotiating for flex time or a better WFH arrangement, stock options, a title change, more vacation time, or professional development funds.

💸 Promote yourself authentically. Kick off your one-on-ones with your boss by reviewing recent wins. And look for ways to publicize your impact, like speaking at a companywide meeting with executives present or presenting at an industry conference.

💸 Seek out additional advocates. Consider requesting a catch-up meeting with your manager’s manager, using the opportunity to make them aware of your work and contributions. Build deeper relationships with colleagues who hold influence so that you have more allies advocating for your advancement.

Adapted from “So Your Boss Refused to Give You a Raise,” by Melody Wilding. Art credit: HBR Staff/Tetra Images/Getty Images.

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