If your request for a raise has been denied, and you’re not sure why, it doesn’t mean that you should give up. Here are a few steps you can follow to keep the momentum going after getting “no” for an answer:
1. Get the context and the details.
If you didn’t get a clear reason for the “no” at the initial meeting, be sure to follow up and learn more. Ask open-ended questions such as, “What’s contributing to your decision?” Understanding how the decision makers view the situation will give you a better idea of what went into the decision and may help you get what you want faster.
2. Continue to build your case.
If you approached your original ask for a raise correctly, you had a list of your accomplishments and results you’ve driven for your organization. Additionally, you would have highlighted items that have helped in cross-team efforts. Now you need to get your boss to articulate what specific goals you need to meet or skills you need to master – and a timeline to accomplish them – to get you to the level where they would re-visit giving you a raise.
3. Ask for ongoing check-ins.
To demonstrate that you’re still invested in your job, ask for a meeting in the future to talk to your manager and revisit the issue of a raise. Doing this will show your manager that you’re letting go of the rejection and already working towards a more positive outcome in the future.
4. Know the next best thing you want to ask for.
Once you understand how your boss and other decision makers are seeing the situation, you may discover that your company isn’t in a position financially to give you more money, but you may be able to get the next best thing. You can try to ask for more vacation, tuition reimbursement, an earlier performance review, or the ability to work remotely.
5. Consider a new job.
If you truly feel like you have a bad boss or you’re at a company that doesn’t treat all workers fairly, it might be time to jump ship. Don’t let this decision be a knee-jerk reaction, but if you’ve met your goals, you’re performing consistently and you’re still denied raises and opportunities for advancement, then it might be best to move onto a new opportunity.
— Jingchao Zhao
This story originally appeared on PayScale. Jingcong (“JC”) Zhao was a Senior Content Marketing Manager at PayScale. She enjoys sharing ideas and stories on how compensation professionals, HR leaders and business leaders can build winning organizations. JC spent the last five years in communications, content strategy and demand generation roles in B2B software companies as well as agency settings. Prior to PayScale, she was the Head of Content for Socedo - a company that helps B2B marketers automate lead generation through social media. In her spare time, JC likes to perform improv comedy, engage in Latin dancing, and advise students and young professionals on topics such as creating business plans, marketing and career planning.