Posted August 13, 2013 by

7 Things to Do After You Get Turned Down for a Raise

Aaron Gouveia

Aaron Gouveia, Salary.com contributing writer

If the true measure of a person is how he/she acts in the face of adversity, then how you react when you get turned down for a raise request speaks volumes.

Look, no one likes rejection. It’s not easy mustering up the courage to advocate for yourself, ask for more money, and potentially put your self-worth on the line. Doing your utmost to convince someone you’re worth it and then having your manager disagree isn’t an easy thing with which to cope. Once you’ve been turned down, you now run the risk of becoming bitter, detached, and disinterested at work – and that serves nobody.

If you’re asking for a raise it’s because you’re a professional, so make sure you act that way even in defeat. Here are some tips that can help you along the way.

7. Stay Calm

It’s human nature to be livid when you get rejected. You’ve no doubt pleaded your case and backed up your argument with facts and personal accomplishments, so it’s only natural to be hurt and angry when you’re told it’s not good enough, because many people think that translates into “I’m not good enough.”

But you’ve got to overcome that urge.

Getting heated and entering into a screaming match or argument with your manager isn’t going to do anyone any good. It puts your boss on the defensive and creates the potential for an uncomfortable work environment, while also painting you as unprofessional and incapable of dealing with adversity. So stay calm and soldier on no matter what.

6. Ask Why

Your boss said no, but the big question is why.

Let’s face it, there might be a really good reason you were turned down for a raise. Times are still pretty tough and depending on the size of your business, which industry you’re in, and current events the “we just don’t have it in the budget” excuse could hold water. But then again, sometimes it’s you and not them.

Perhaps you’re not meeting your goals or you’re succeeding but focusing in the wrong areas. Whatever the reason, figure it out and get it straight from the horse’s mouth so you can address it and show progress at your next performance review.

If you don’t know exactly what’s wrong, you’ll never be able to fix it.

5. Don’t Become a Jerk

I know it’s tough, but if your boss says no please don’t stomp your feet, take all your toys, and go home.

Too many people become problem employees after they’ve been rejected because of hurt feelings. You already felt underappreciated which is why you they asked for more money, and then you were denied that. Now morale is in the basement and you stop working hard because hey, what’s the point? You feel like you can’t get ahead so you start badmouthing the company every chance you get. Now you’re showing up late (or not at all), the quality of your work is suffering, and your new reputation is that of a poison pill.

No matter your profession, the greats learn from the things that don’t go their way and find a way to improve.  Continue reading . . .

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