Disclaimer: The following does not constitute legal and/or financial advice. I am not a financial advisor. These are personal experiences and lessons gathered. Use at your own discretion.
Of the workers who have not asked for a raise from their current employer, PayScale found that men and women reported different reasons for not asking. Men were more likely to say that they haven’t asked because they received a raise before seeking one or because they are happy with their salary. Women were more likely than men (9 percentage points) to say they’re uncomfortable with negotiating salary.*
I don't recall ever formally asking for a raise but, thankfully, received a few thus far in my career. I always took the approach that raises are earned, not requested. Sometimes employees can end up looking desperate when they ask. And desperate employees make employers uneasy - Will they leave soon? Can I count on them in the future? Will they stick around for this big project? Etc.
If an employer sees the value I bring and is convinced of my dedication, good attitude, competency, etc., they will take the first step in offering a raise. Now, I realize this is not always the case and not everyone thinks this way. If you work at a company that does not give raises or is underperforming and they can't give raises, you may want to consider making a change.
There may be times in life when your financial situation is tight and you feel compelled to ask for help. Often, employers can be there to provide some breathing room. But we need to be careful not to fall in the category of employees who think that their employer perpetually owes them something. This is a trap for self-pity and fuels an attitude of hostility towards people who have done you no harm and ignorance towards personal responsibility.
Asking an employer for more money is uncomfortable for some people. They don't know where to begin. There will always be emotions involved when discussing pay but the best employees have learned to control their emotions and take a mature, objective and responsible approach. Or...they put themselves in a place where they never have to ask.
Here's Why I've Never Asked For A Raise:
1) Good employers know it's in their best interest to reward employees who perform
There are two sides here - the employee performing and the employer rewarding. But it starts with the you, the employee. Don't expect your employer to make the first move. That's the common error I see often in the workplace. The employee asks, or demands, that the employer provide a long list of benefits, top pay, and more, without ever proving his/her worth. Do your part and, in an organization that is healthy, they will do their part.
Observe this subtle but critical difference in employee attitude and perspective:
Employee A - "I do my job well, I go above and beyond, I'm here every day...my employer better pay me what I deserve."
Employee B - "I do my job well, I go above and beyond, I'm here every day...I have no reason to believe my employer won't pay me fairly."
See the difference? Which one are you?
Employers realize that good workers are hard to find. They'll do what they need to in order to keep them.
Having previously worked in HR and staffing for over 10 years, I can attest that rarely do you find that individual who possesses both the intangible and tangible skills that the company is looking for. When they do, they'll do what they can to keep that individual engaged.
2) When it comes to pay, I make my wants/needs known in other subtle ways
This may sound sly or sneaky but it's not. Instead of formally and/or verbally asking for a raise, try some of the methods below. This is a short list I've gathered from personal experience and research:
These are just a few ideas. Try them yourself, if you haven't already. Feel free to email me with some of your own.
3) I do my best to live on less than I make
This is all on me and has nothing to do with my employer.
Let's think this through --- If I have a job, it generally means that I've accepted the pay that was offered for that job. No one forced me to do it. This means that I did my homework ahead of time and figured that I can live on this pay. I did the numbers. If something changed in the meantime and I find myself in a bind financially, I need to ask what has changed in my life that has impacted my finances and/or spending habits.
Signs you're living beyond your means:
I know it may sound strange, but you need to ask yourself: Can I live on this (current) pay the rest of my life? Put aside the normal and necessary changes that come about in life with the passing of time - children getting older and going to college or needing a car, house repairs/renovations, health expenses, and so on. If you find yourself at a loss financially, it may mean that you lost control of your finances. Carefully review where things may have gone wrong - Have I been spending too much on X or Y?
Living on less than you make is not your employers responsibility. They don't dictate how you use your money once it hits your account. Oh, and by the way, neither does the government. Put the blame in it's proper place. This is the first step to correcting the problem.
*PayScale Raise Anatomy, 2018
Biblical, on-the-go, tips for thriving at work. Written by Danny Kovacs, from first-hand wins & losses. This is the digital space where I share free resources and learning moments throughout the week/month.