No Pay Raise in 2 Years? [Here’s What to Do]

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Stuck in the same job with no pay raise for two years? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey, nearly one-third of American workers have gone without a pay raise for at least that long. 

It can be frustrating to feel like you’re stuck in a rut, especially when you’re working hard and doing your best.

Sometimes, there could be a genuine reason why this is happening:-maybe, it’s the slow economic recovery, your company is struggling, or your boss simply isn’t aware of your accomplishments. After all, it’s not like you can toot your own horn all the time.

Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that you do have some control over the situation. You can’t make your company give you a raise, but you can take steps to improve your chances of getting one.

So how do you get a pay raise when your company isn’t giving them out?  Here are effective tips on what to do if you’re stuck in the same job with no pay raise for two years.

Is It Normal To Go 2 Years Without A Raise?

The short answer is a resounding “YES”!! 

Unfortunately, it has become more common for employees to go several years without a pay raise. This is likely due to the slow economic recovery following the Great Recession. Many companies are also still struggling to make ends meet and are hesitant to give out raises. 

It’s not unusual to go a year or more without a pay raise. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly one in four workers hadn’t received a raise in the last 24 months. So, if you’re stuck in the same job with no pay raise for two years, you’re definitely not alone.  

But, just because it’s common doesn’t mean you have to accept it. There are things you can do to increase your chances of getting a pay raise.

Read a related post: How Often Should You Get a Raise?

Should You Quit If You Haven’t Had A Raise In 2 Years?

According to a recent survey, nearly 45% of workers who quit their jobs said they left because they felt undervalued. And, of those who left, nearly half said they would have stayed if they had received a pay raise.  

While this is a perfectly understandable reaction, especially if you’ve been in the same job for a long time with no pay raise, it’s important to remember that quitting is a big decision, and it shouldn’t be made lightly. 

So, before you do anything drastic, it’s important to take a step back and assess your situation. Weigh your options, and see what’s best for you and your career.

7 Things To Do When You Haven’t Had a Pay Raise In 2 Years

One of the worst-kept secrets is that most employees are unhappy with their salaries. In fact, statistics by the US Bureau of Labor show that as many as 75% of workers are dissatisfied with their pay

So, if you feel like you’re not being paid what you’re worth, what should you do about it?

Here are 7 things you can do to improve your situation:

1. Find Out If Anyone Else Has Received A Raise Within That Period

Regardless of the reason behind your no-raise situation, it always pays off to do your research and find out what other people in similar positions are making. This will give you a better idea of where you stand and whether or not your situation is unique.

Find out if anyone else in your company or department has received raises. If they have, this is a good sign that there may be room for salary negotiations. 

On the other hand, if you can’t find anyone who’s received a raise, it may be an indication that the company is facing financial difficulties and may not be able to afford to give out raises at the moment. In this case, you may want to wait for the situation to improve.

2. Reflect On Why You May Have Not Received A Raise

Take a step back and assess your own situation. 

There could be a number of reasons why you haven’t received a pay raise in 2 years. So it’s essential to take time to reflect on your situation and figure out the main reason behind it. 

It could be that you’re simply not worth as much to the company as you think you are. If this is the case, it may be time to start looking for a new job. It could even be that the company is indeed doing well but has a strict no-raise policy. 

In some instances, however, it could be possible that your company is going through a tough time financially and is unable to give out raises at the moment. For such a situation, you may want to try and negotiate other benefits such as more vacation days or flexible work hours. 

See: What to Do When You Don’t Get a Raise [5 Actions To Take]

3. Research The Average Annual Raise For Someone In Your Role/Industry

If you want to increase your chances of receiving a pay raise, it’s important to know how much of a raise you should be asking for. The best way to do this is by researching the average annual raise for someone in your role or industry. This will give you a good starting point when it comes to negotiating your salary. 

For example, if you’re a software engineer, the average annual raise is 4%. This means that if you’re currently making $50,000 per year, you should be asking for a raise of $2,000. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the average raise may vary depending on the company you work for and the current economic conditions. Plus, if you’re already being paid more than the average, it’ll be nearly impossible to negotiate such a high raise.

4. Research The Average Pay Someone In Your Role Should Make

Similarly to researching the average annual raise, it’s also good to research the average pay someone in your role should make. This will give you a better idea of how much you should be earning and whether or not you’re being underpaid. 

Knowing the average salary for your role will also come in handy when you need to negotiate a pay raise.  

Let’s say that the average salary for a software engineer is $75,000 per year. If you’re currently making $50,000 per year, this means you’re being underpaid by $25,000. In this case, you may want to try and negotiate a higher pay raise than the average 4%. 

5. Look For Discrepancies Between Your Current Pay/Pay Raise Situation And What You’ve Found In The Previous Two Steps

Now that you have a rough idea of how much you should be earning, it’s time to prepare for your salary negotiation. Compare what you’ve found in the previous two steps with your current pay and pay raise situation. 

If there are any discrepancies,  you should be able to negotiate a higher salary. For example, if you discover that you’re being underpaid by $35,000 per year, this is a big discrepancy and you can use this to your advantage while championing for a raise.   

On the other hand, if you’re already being paid the average salary or even slightly above it, this doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate a pay raise. It may just be that you’ll have to put in more effort to prove your worth to the company.

Read our post on How Much Is Too Much to Ask for a Raise?

6. Speak To Your Boss And Present Your Case

Once you’ve done your research and prepared your case, it’s time to speak to your boss. This can be a daunting task for some, but it’s important to remember that you have nothing to lose. The worst they can say is no. 

When speaking to your boss,  be clear and concise about what you want. Table your case, highlighting the discrepancies you found earlier. If you can point out how much you’re being underpaid or how your current salary is below average, you will be in a much stronger position. 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate and push for what you deserve. After all, you’re the one who’s putting in the hard work.

After you ask your boss for a raise, if you don’t hear back within a week or two, be sure to follow up with your boss.

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away

Your boss might not give you an answer right away, and that’s okay. In some instances, they just need some time to think about it or discuss it with other team members. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to follow up and push for a decision

However, if you still haven’t received an answer after reasonable time has passed, it may be time to start considering other options. If your boss is also unable or unwilling to give you a raise, you can start looking for job opportunities elsewhere. 

There’s no shame in looking for greener pastures, especially if you feel like you’re being underpaid or undervalued at your current company. Sometimes, a change of scenery is all you need to jumpstart your career and start earning the salary you deserve. 

Is It Time to Ask For A Raise?

If you haven’t received a pay raise in two years, you’re probably feeling undervalued. This situation is not only frustrating but also demotivating, especially if you feel like you’re working hard and deserve one. Yes, your company might have a pay freeze, but this doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate a higher salary. 

No matter what situation you’re in, remember that you have the power to negotiate your salary. Use the tips and tricks in this article to help you secure the pay raise you deserve. Good luck!