What do I do if my request for a raise gets turned down?

Frank Romano

Frank Romano, Field Service Engineer, Agilent Technologies, Inc

I would ask my manager what I could do moving forward to improve my chance of getting my raise approved in the future.  I would maintain open communication with my manager throughout the year on a regular basis to see how I am progressing.  I have learned there are many factors regulating compensation such as amounts and frequency of raises per corporate policy.  If I am truly unhappy with my current compensation I would consider other job opportunities either internal or with another company.  Salary is only one part of the total compensation package so I would caution anyone not make any rash decisions they might regret.   

Dana Ferraris

Dana Ferraris, Principal Scientist, Johns Hopkins University

I've never actually been in that situation. Then again, I've never done my job strictly for financial reasons either. I've always thought that the companies that I've worked for have been pretty generous and fair when it came to paying me what I deserved. 

Martin Oderinde

Martin Oderinde, Senior Research Investigator, Bristol Meyers Squibb

You should start looking for other opportunities outside of that organization especially if you have asked twice.

Mary Dery

Mary Dery, Senior Scientist II, Project Manager, BASF

Ask for specifics about accomplishments required to be considered for a raise.  Also, do you have benchmark salary data?  If you have data from professional organizations like ACS, that could be presented to your supervisor or to HR. Consider talking to HR about salary strata and how your position in the state affects your raise amount (sometimes if you are over the 50% mark, they limit your raises). 

This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

ACS Career Consultants are experts and leaders working in the field of chemistry who have volunteered to support other ACS members’ career development through one-on-one career counselling. They can stimulate your thinking, ask important career planning questions to help clarify goals, provide encouragement, teach strategies for making meaningful career decisions, and aid you in your job search. Connect with an ACS Career Consultant today!

Copyright 2019 American Chemical Society (All Rights Reserved)