THE BLOG

16 Reasons Why You Haven't Gotten a Raise or Promotion

06/11/2014 08:56 am ET | Updated Aug 11, 2014

You've been a loyal employee. You put in the extra hours and you kissed the bosses rear, so why haven't you gotten a raise yet? Here are 16 reasons why:

You're Still The New Guy/Gal
How soon are you looking for a raise and how long have you been at your current company? If you're answer is less than 3 years you've probably lost your mind. Most employer's no longer give annual raises and the ones that do, do this automatically without you having to ask. Assuming you deserve a raise, it's typically not appropriate to expect one sooner than 3 - 5 years on the job. The exception to the rule is if you came into your position grossly underpaid. If so, you need to research the average salary for your position using a service such as salary.com or glassdoor.com. If you're being grossly underpaid you're being taken advantage of, which is a valid reason to ask for a raise shortly after being hired.

You're Not a Leader
Do you tend to stand in the shadows only to be seen when you are called upon? This is not good. People who lead get raises, because there's value in strong leadership. A non-leader is easily replaceable, hence the reason why non-leaders do not get raises and promotions.

Your Skills Are Obsolete
Are you still propping up your skills you learned in college 20 years ago? Sorry, but those skills are likely invalid now.

Your Responsibilities Remain The Same
If your responsibilities haven't increased why should your income or title increase? Be honest with yourself and step inside the shoes of human resources. If you haven't taken on an increased workload then you're likely ineligible for a raise or a promotion. The days of getting raises just because you sat in your chair "x" amount of years are over. Employers could care less. You're just a number to them.

You're Not Playing Politics
As I mention in my book, What Next: The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, you have to play politics. This doesn't mean stepping on others to get ahead. However, you must look around the office, notice who's advancing and de-construct their path to success, then rinse and repeat.

The Timeline is Out of Your Control
As previously mentioned, if a company offers raises or promotions, nowadays this is scheduled annually. So it's possible that you simply haven't allowed this timeline that is outside of your control to take place.

You're Too Outspoken
No one likes a loud-mouth. Maybe you speak out too much, leading others on your team or in management to dislike you. You may be performing your job well so they keep you around, but if you're an annoying, loud-mouth, know-it-all, they'll never give you a raise or a promotion.

You're Not Outspoken Enough
A report by the Wall Street Journal indicates that more confident and in some cases more outspoken people get ahead faster. This is absolutely true. This is why most managers are "bossholes." They got to the top by being a jerk. This works because the people above them see this as a sign of power and authority to better control the people beneath them. I think this is sick and disgusting and do not suggest this tactic to advance your career. However, the saying is sometimes true, "nice guys finish last."

You're Not Solutions-Oriented
No one cares that you have an MBA or that you're a great project manager. What employers want are people who are solutions-oriented. If you think you can get by just because you get your work done on-time and complete your tasks properly, think again. It is also important to understand this from the perspective of job security. If you're simply performing a list of tasks everyday, your employer will eventually find someone cheaper to replace you. What you need to focus on is providing solutions. This is valuable and it's something that very few others can provide, thereby making you indispensable.

No Advocacy
How's your relationship with your manager? If you and your manager aren't on the same wave-length, it's possible they're not advocating for you to the higher up's. This is likely the golden-ticket to your raise or promotion. You can work on this by providing more value to your position.

Your Company Truly Can't Afford It
Do you work for a small business? Is your company constantly discussing budget cuts? Are you seeing people laid off left and right? It's possible that your company truly can't afford to give you a promotion or a raise. If so, it's time for you to look for a new job.

You're Not Appreciated
Maybe you've done everything right. You attended all of the company picnics, you played politics, you provide value, etc. It's possible that the management at your company just doesn't appreciate you and never will. That being the case, look for a new job with a company that will appreciate you and all that you do.

You're Going To Get Canned
Raise? Promotion? It's possible you may not even have a job for very much longer. Maybe your company is planning on firing you soon, or maybe they're planning on massive lay-off's.

Your Results are Lackluster
Janet Jackson said it best, "what have you done for me lately?" That's what your boss thinks every single day. Who cares about the big win you got last week. This is a new week. In this day and age wins are only relished temporarily. Or maybe you haven't had any wins in a long time or ever. Be honest with yourself. What have you done lately?

You Didn't Ask
Many people live in the delusion that they're still living in 1998 when we had a surplus economy and employers cared more about their employees and we're willing to back it up with raises and promotions. Those days are gone. If you want a raise or a promotion, you will likely need to ask. When you ask, you better be prepared to come with facts and figures. Simply asking is juvenile. You will need to have a slideshow or some other presentation prepared to illustrate why you deserve a raise and/or promotion.

You Don't Deserve It
Maybe you simply don't deserve it. This is where you need to really get honest with yourself and take a look at everything previously discussed. Are you valuable? Have you been with your company for a minimum of 3 - 5 years? Can your company afford it? Are you playing politics? Raises and promotions are no longer given. They're earned.

Michael Price is an entrepreneur and author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World. An advocate of ideas for radical change, he has received critical acclaim for his lessons in education, career, entrepreneurship, and personal finance.