Haven't Been Getting Raises? Here Are a Few Reasons Why.

No matter where you are financially, it’s always nice to get a pay bump. If you didn’t get a raise this year, you may be wondering what happened. It could be a communication gap with your manager, maybe you’re falling short in your work performance, or it may even be a symptom of a larger problem that has little to do with you.

Take a good look at your personal performance over the past year. Did you exceed expectations? In some cases you may not even be aware of what IS expected of you. Be sure to find out what your boss’s expectations are for your performance. Having clear guidelines can help you plan your goals for the coming year. Did your boss know that you did a good job? While you may think your boss may have an eagle eye, it turns out even the most competent managers can forget accomplishments made by others throughout the year. Speaking of having a conversation with your boss, did you ask for a raise this year? Sometimes it pays to be explicit in your expectations, and just ask for what you want, even more money.

Look up your attendance record. If you can’t be dedicated enough to the job to actually show up and be on time, there’s no justification for your boss to give you a raise. You need to show that you are performing to the best of your ability, and that you’re reliable. Being late or absent frequently shows your boss and your colleagues that you are irresponsible, and not a team player. You will be passed up for unique opportunities because your colleagues will not want to rely on you to complete important tasks. If you don’t deliver your best work on time, and work well with your colleagues in the process, you can forget about a raise.

Finally, there may be external reasons that have nothing to do with you. Your company may not have the extra cash on hand to offer raises. If your boss says she has too many budget constraints to offer you a raise, you can try to negotiate for other things you might want like extra vacation time or a commuter stipend. Another external reason may be that your company doesn’t do annual performance reviews. Which means, unless you ask for a meeting to talk about your performance, you’ll miss out on the corresponding annual raise. Some companies are transitioning into merit based raises that are given out in real-time. You may not get a raise until you successfully finish a project or demonstrate skills beyond your current pay grade. Be sure to ask your boss if this is the case, that way you’ll know what you need to do to earn a pay bump.

Meanwhile, American incomes in the last 20 years or so, have not increased very much at all. According to a CNN article on the middle class, the average income for the American tax payer hasn’t changed much since 1988! If you’re thinking “Hey, it’s time for a raise!” you’re not alone. These factors plus the growing amount of international competition for jobs and the rising unemployment rate in the country has made it difficult to see real increases in wages over the last couple of decades. That’s why more people are turning to personal loans to help bridge the gap for some people who need money due to unforeseen circumstances.

If you’re thinking it’s time to ask for a raise, you’re in luck. We’ll be publishing a post next week on some tips on the best way to ask for a pay increase. So stay tuned!