• Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

Janeane's World

We train teams to work with confidence and competence. Call: 484 381 0532. Email: janeanedavis@janeanesworld.com.

Life After Being Denied a Raise

After being denied a raise, you can be happy. You can move forward and make life at work what you want it to be.

African American woman holding money in front of her face and the words ""Life After Being Denied a Raise"

Recently this magazine has been publishing articles that deal with helping people realize that even after major problems success and good things are still possible. Last week’s article dealt with life after a business failure. Future articles will deal with how to go on after a demotion and public embarrassment. 

This week’s article is about how to deal with life when a request for a raise has been denied. It is my hope that by talking about how to survive after these events we will all be better prepared to deal with the blows when they come. After all, the Good Book advises us to prepare for war in the time of peace. 

Most people in America work for money. A popular definition for work, found on the website dictionary.com is “employment, especially as a means of earning one’s livelihood.” It is commonly understood by most intelligent people that when a person works, she does it in order to receive money. As consumer prices increase and the cost to live rises, if the salary paid for work does not increase, living becomes harder. Additionally, people want to be able to receive increases in pay for improved performance, longevity, and successful completion of tasks. 

Let’s examine a sample scenario. You have had a successful year. You have satisfactorily met most of the goals, challenges, and expectations set for you by your superiors at work. So at your annual review, you advise your supervisor that you would like an increase in compensation, aka a raise.

The supervisor agrees with your assessment of the situation. She tells you that your good work, determination, and dedication are appreciated, but there is going to be no raise. Several reasons are given, pie charts and graphs are offered to support the decision not to give you a raise. You offer arguments to the contrary and support your position with poise and grace. The bottom line however remains the same, you are not getting a raise.  Now what?

Now you have some decisions to make:

1.    Is it time to quit your job

2.    Are you willing to continue to work for the same old pay

3.    Will you going to start searching for a new job that will meet your salary demands

4.    Are you going to sulk around the office and make life miserable for those around you

5.    Are you going to sit back and develop a plan that makes your move from this point forward in a sensible, well thought out manner

If you did proper preparation before requesting the raise, you already started on the proper course of action for the future. That means, that before the annual review meeting you looked at several things:

1.     the salary paid by other companies for a person with your level of experience and expertise in companies of your size

2.     the number of positions available for a person with your level of experience and expertise

3.     the exit strategy if you plan not to remain with the company after the raise is denied

4.     the amount of money you need to have on hand to cover all expenses, fixed and variable while you are out of work if you quit due to the raise issue

5.     what you need to do if you plan to remain at the same job after being denied a raise

Once your request for a raise has been denied, you have to step back, take a deep breath and then work your plan. When you were at home in the planning stages and calm, you made a plan. You figured out what you would do if you did not get a raise. You planned to either stay on the job and accept it or you planned to quit. Since you are a smart woman, your plan did not include you cursing out your boss and storming off. So now, work on your plan.


If you want to read more about succeeding on the job search, check out:

Commit to Taking the Job Search Seriously By Updating Your Resume – It is wonderful to commit to taking the job search seriously by updating your resume. Click here to read more. 

Be Grateful for Your Job Even When it is Time to Go – when it is time to move on, still be grateful for the job you had. Click here to read more.

Also, check out our Confidence Tip of the Day YouTube channel for hundreds of videos on creating the confidence you need to succeed.


Let’s first look at a likely situation if you decided to quit on the spot if you did not get a raise. You will need to talk to the supervisory personnel in a calm rational manner and give two weeks’ notice of your desire to part ways with the company. This is not the time to go crazy and tell off everyone in the place. People change jobs all the time, and the boss you curse out today may show up at your next place of employment as a superior again.

If you decided to quit the job once you found a new one. It is time to follow your plan to thank the supervisor for her time and tell her you would like to go back to work. Then go back to work and continue to do a good job. Continue to do a good job and behave as if you were planning on continuing at the job. There is no reason to let anyone know that you are planning to leave. Continue to be respectful and polite to your co-workers.  Once you find a new job, give the customary two weeks notice and quit without incident.

If you plan to stay at your job even though you were not given the raise you wanted, continue to put forth your best efforts. Smile each day at the start of the workday and keep a positive attitude. The reality of the situation is that in this economy, jobs are sometimes hard to come by and many people are working jobs they do not like because the need for income outweighs the need for total fulfillment at work.

You can survive being denied a raise and come out better on the other side. In order to do so, you need to plan, prepare and proceed. Do not get stuck in the mud of self-pity. Instead, work your plan, move toward the future you want with dignity and grace. So the question for you this Thrilling Thursday is what is your secret for being denied a raise at work?