Can Anything Bad Happen When You Ask for a Raise?

Why do we get so nervous when it comes to asking for a raise?

The worst thing that can happen is that your boss says no, right? And then you’re no better off than you were before asking.

Except, sometimes, asking for a raise can go south and jeopardize your relationship with your boss. Here’s why it’s sometimes not a good idea to ask for a raise and why your boss may react badly.

The Clueless Asker

When you were hired, you negotiated a salary. (Or at least, you were offered a salary and you accepted it without negotiating.) You agreed that doing X job for $Y was fair. So, when you come back to your boss three months later and ask for a raise, you look rather clueless. If you thought that the job was really not worth $Y, you should have negotiated that before you accepted the job.

To keep reading, click here: Can Anything Bad Happen When You Ask for a Raise?

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7 thoughts on “Can Anything Bad Happen When You Ask for a Raise?

  1. Suzanne, I love your articles–both the content and the perspective are spot on. It really adds to my HR knowledge, which is so helpful.
    I’m curious, do you have an independent proofreader to proof your articles, or is that done by staff at the organizations that publish your work?

    1. Grammarly isn’t picking up errors and I’m not seeing them either. This is normal–I can’t see my own errors. Can you point out the problems, so I can get them fixed?



      1. Sure! That’s my natural inclination, but I don’t like to do it to bloggers out of the blue. If you’re good with it I’ll comment if I see a mistake 🙂

        1. Yeah, just send me an email when you spot one. No one does copy editing anymore. I use Grammarly, but that’s not perfect (as you can tell!).

          Sometimes has formatting errors that don’t show up in previews. Computers!

  2. Most people who wish to get a raise but are too afraid to ask can only think about the things that can go wrong. And just like you pointed out, there are some things that will never turn out well. However, if you talk about the right reasons for getting a raise, it is almost impossible not gain some extra bucks.

  3. This is a good article. Would have been better if it was proofread before it was published. Kind of takes away from the validity of the article when the article has many typos. This is just my opinion.

  4. 2 thoughts I had while reading:

    1. I’ve worked in several small businesses (but high revenue – healthcare and construction) that will only hire a person at a low wage and are not open to more than a small amount of negotiating, but later on, will gladly reevaluate and give large raises (over 10% at a time often) when you show them what you were supposed to be doing + what you were able to accomplish in addition. It’s so hard to know ahead of time if you’re going into a place like that, though. If you are, you’ll come out ahead within even just a year or two if you’re good at your job.

    2. No raise for many years in a row is sometimes because the company actually hopes you’ll move on. Perhaps you’ve outgrown the position and they’d like to get a lower level worker into it, but don’t think you’re valuable enough to promote. Perhaps they think you’re stagnant but don’t want to bother managing you enough to figure out if you’re capable of improving. I’ve seen both of these things and the truth is, the company doesn’t want to fire the person because it doesn’t seem bad enough to warrant that.

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