Even if you put in the work, there's no guarantee you'll be get a raise. Here's how to plan your next move after bad news.
If you didn’t get what you asked for, you should ask your manager to help you formulate a plan to achieve your goal. “I’m disappointed that we couldn’t adjust my salary to $75,000. Can we please talk about what I need to do, specifically, to earn that raise? And can we talk about a timetable for when it might be feasible?”
Your manager may be able to work with you to put a plan and timeline in place so that you know exactly what you can do to earn your raise. This is also a good outcome as it provides clarity and gives you a clear path to follow.
Sometimes you won’t get what you asked for, and your manager won’t be able to offer a plan to achieve your goals. That’s disappointing, but it’s also an informative outcome: You now know that the salary you feel you deserve isn’t attainable at your current company or in your current job.
If your request for a salary increase isn’t granted, and your manager can’t help you formulate a plan to earn it, you should take some time to do some soul searching. It’s possible you’re simply not as prepared to request the salary as you thought you were. Listen carefully to your manager’s feedback and consider whether you jumped the gun. You may have overestimated the value of certain projects or skills at your particular company.
After some soul searching, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for better opportunities where you can grow and be compensated as you feel you should be. You may be undervalued or other-valued in your current position at your current company.
What do I mean by “other-valued”? It’s possible you’re extremely good at what you do and you have accomplished a lot in your current role, but your specific company or industry simply doesn’t value your skillset. Maybe you’re really, really good at client-facing customer service, but your company is outsourcing that function to another company or working to automate customer service as much as possible. Or maybe you’re very strong in a certain technology that your company just doesn’t use very much.
Either way—if you’re undervalued or other-valued at your current job—it may be time to start searching elsewhere for better opportunities.
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I'm Josh Doody, a professional salary negotiation coach who helps Senior Software Engineers and Engineering Managers negotiate job offers from big tech companies. On average, Software Engineers and Engineering Managers improve their first-year compensation by $47,273 with my help.
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