How long is it ok to go without a raise in a job you otherwise like? I have been at the same pay rate for two years–if I don’t get offered a raise this year, should I make a fuss? The money I make is fine, I don’t need more, but I worry it’s embarrassing not to be given a raise for so long–I want to continue doing cool projects and learning different areas of the department, and I’m worried they won’t see me as moving forward if I’m not pushing for more $$. I’m definitely better at the job and can do a lot more than two years ago.

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1 reply
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    When you get hired, you get a salary to do a given job. Just because you get better at that job doesn’t mean you’re worth more to the company. The company had already determined what the company should pay for getting the work done that you get done. And, since the company hired you when you weren’t as good at the job, the company doesn’t value that you are better at the job.

    So the idea that you should get a raise because you have been there doing the job is not going to get you very far.

    Instead, think about personal growth. If you are curious and growing, you will not be happy in a job you’ve been doing two years. Your learning curve is getting flat. You should either ask for a lot more responsiblity at work, so that you can grow (and then, eventually, you’ll get a raise) or you should leave to go do something at another company where you would learn more.

    The most important thing in managing your career is not your salary but your learning curve. The good news is that people who keep a high learning curve year after year also generally get raises year after year.


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