My Boss Says I Do a Good Job but Will Not Give Me a Raise

Sometimes hard work does not guarantee a raise
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It’s so frustrating to work hard every day and not reap any rewards. The situation becomes worse when your boss tells you that you are doing a great job but it doesn’t show in your paycheck. “What does a person have to do to get a raise?”, you wonder. Pounding your head against the side of your cubicle is not the answer. Instead there may be some questions that you need to ask yourself.

How Good are you Really?

    Hard work is in the eye of the beholder. You may think that you are going above and beyond, but does your boss agree? Doing a good job versus doing an excellent job are two different things and may be the reason you are not getting that raise. Are you taking on new tasks or volunteering to train other workers? Are you seeking out ways to educate yourself to make you a more valuable asset? If you answered no to these questions then you may be doing a good job but you are not doing anything to set yourself apart from other coworkers. Employers value individuals who are assets to the department and to the company.

What’s the Company Policy?

    Although your boss may think that you are one the best employees, she may not be in a position to give you a raise. Many companies limit raises to once per year and only at a certain time of year. If you recently started a position after this date then you will have to wait until the next year to see a boost in pay. Depending on the position that you are in, there may be limits as to how much you can be paid for that position. Many companies have ceilings on the amount of money paid for certain positions. If you have reached the cap for your position, talk to your boss about perhaps taking on a new role with a different pay grade.


    The economy is still recovering and there may simply not be enough money to cover raises. During times of recession many companies freeze pay rates in order to keep costs down. Some companies do this in lieu of layoffs, which are always a bad thing. Your company may have financial issues. Ask around discreetly to see if your company is having some financial troubles. If the company is publicly traded you can always check the stock history for a clearer picture. Many companies let their employees know if there is a wage freeze, but if you start working after the announcement is made then you may not be aware of it.

Did you Ask?

    You show up every day early for work and are the last person to go home. You volunteer for extra assignments, help out coworkers and when the boss needs someone to work overtime you are the first volunteer. If the office had a mascot it would be you. So why are you not getting that raise? Did you ask for one? Sometimes hard workers get overlooked. Bosses get busy and they get used to depending on the reliable employees to do a good job -- but they forget about them when it comes to budgeting for raises. Schedule some time with your boss to sit down and go over the many things that you do, and the reasons that you feel warrant a salary increase.

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