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7 Common Mistakes Keeping You From a Raise

As you progress throughout your career, it’s normal to want a pay increase every now and then. If you’ve been working at a company for several years without a raise, you might be wondering if you’re doing something wrong.

There are many things that can affect your chances of getting a raise. While a pay increase is ultimately up to your employer, there are some aspects that you can control. Here are seven common mistakes keeping you from a raise and what you can do to avoid them.

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  1. Lack of Effort and Interest

When you go to work every day, it’s easy to get bored with your routine. Over time, many people become unmotivated to perform well in their jobs. Even though it’s difficult to maintain motivation and performance over time, it’s essential that you work through this challenge to do your best.

Other people, especially your superiors, are bound to notice if you routinely display a lack of interest. Do your best to analyze your behavior and identify what behaviors you’re exhibiting that could make your employers think you’ve lost interest in your job.

  1. Insufficient Time Management 

Some people struggle more than others to manage their time, and many managers will be understanding if you’re late every once in a while. But if you’ve made a habit of running late, this can change the way your boss and coworkers see you as an employee.

If you find yourself always running a few minutes late or missing important meetings and announcements, change this behavior before you ask for a raise.

  1. Comparing Yourself to Others

If you ask for a pay raise, it is not wise to compare yourself with others, especially your colleagues. Conditions are not always the same, and even if you think you know the quality of others’ work, you most likely don’t have access to everything.

Focus only on your achievements and your work when asking for a raise. If you need to provide someone else as an example as to why you deserve a pay increase, your boss may see your argument as weak or ineffective.

  1. Little Growth and Improvement

If have become stagnant and have not displayed any sign of improvement or growth, you should expect your salary to do the same. Putting in effort to learn new things or make significant improvements on your work, reports, or assignments will signal to your boss that you are committed to your job. Your employer is much more likely to invest more money into you if they think their investment will pay off in the long run.

  1. Poor Attitude

If you know you are performing well in your job, your attitude could be the reason for your stagnant pay rate. It’s difficult for others to work with you if they feel your attitude is negative.

If this behavior continues over time, your negative attitude could cause a toxic work environment. Productive employees who are constantly negative can work against their productivity by bringing down the morale and motivation of the team as a whole. Assess what kind of attitude you have at work, and if you’re not sure, consider consulting a colleague or friend to ask for their opinion.

  1. Poor Financial Standing

The recent pandemic has brought financial instability to almost all business sectors. Company finances have suffered, and some have even been forced to let go of their employees or close completely. Sometimes, the financial standing of a company can not accommodate increasing the salaries of employees. If you think this may be the case, consider asking a higher-up if the budget is tight. Though there’s not much you can do to solve this, it can help you identify why your pay rate has remained stagnant.

  1. Your Current Compensation is High 

Another factor that may hinder you from getting a raise is that your salary is already near the top of the market rate. Even though you may feel you deserve a pay increase, the company may not be able to offer you a higher salary without increasing the salary of everyone above you. Consider speaking to a coworker or superior you trust to see how your salary compares to your colleagues. If yours is much higher than someone else’s in a similar role, this may be the reason you haven’t been offered a pay increase.

What options do you have if you change your behavior and still don’t get a raise? 

It is not the end of your world if you do not get the raise you think you deserve. There will always be room for improvement, and sometimes, the reason for your pay increase is out of your control. If your employer indicates that a future raise is possible, do your best to avoid the above behaviors to ensure that when you’re eligible for a pay increase, your employer has no doubt that you deserve it.

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