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What to do if you don't get the raise

You do everything right, but the answer is still no. All is not lost. Here are a handful of options:

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  • Negotiate for money at a future date. Your raise request might coincide with the company's annual slow period or a temporary cash-flow crunch. Try to arrange a raise pegged to a specific date when the company expects revenues to be strong again, says Martin Latz, author of "Gain the Edge!"

"Say 'If it is a cash-flow issue and you don't have the money now, when you do have the money will you give it to me and make that part of our deal?'" he says.

  • Talk bonus. A raise beyond a certain amount would violate "policy." But if you can show that you've gone beyond your normal job duties, the boss might be more comfortable labeling the increase a performance-based bonus, says Latz.
  • Improve your relationship with your boss. "I would take getting turned down for a raise as a sign that I need to create more of a rapport," says Richard Bolles, author of "What Color Is Your Parachute?" "If the boss doesn't like you, you can forget about any diary that you've ever kept. The boss is waiting for an excuse to push you over the cliff or make you jump, rather than fire you."
  • Consider your options. You haven't gotten the money, and you want to threaten to quit. Bad move. "It always blows up in the employee's face," says Jim Thomas, author of "Negotiate to Win." "Everybody knows the ability to go elsewhere is understood."

    But it's a good time to think about what's best for you. If the company really doesn't have the money to give raises, that's not a good sign. And if the company has money but won't spend it on you, what does that say about your future?

Compiled by Dana Dratch.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: Sept. 14, 2005
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