Sterling Effort

Don’t ask, don’t get

May 30, 2011 by Jay in Income with 3 Comments

From time to time I have come across several people who have been employed by a company for several years and yet have not progressed through the ranks much, if at all. I have always found this strange as in my previous job I was constantly looking for ways to improve my salary and I have since been thinking what the reasons are for this lack of self promotion. My thoughts are as follows.

There is nowhere to go in your current job
A problem I found with the company I worked for previously was that it was a family run business – about 40 people strong and the chairman’s two sons occupied the MD and Sales Manager positions. The problem for me here was that to be making serious cash I had to at least be aiming for these positions. Something which would never have happened due to having the “wrong surname” as many people at my workplace had said in conversation. This was one of the many factors which came into consideration when deciding to become self employed.

Can’t be bothered
Are some people just lazy? Or content where they are? I don’t want to insult people here – I guess as long as they are happy where they are that’s all that matters. Maybe people are aware that they could better their position in employment and further their career/salary and yet have no desire to do so. (Maybe due to increased stress, overall quality of life etc.)

Don’t ask don’t get
People don’t seem to ask for a pay rise often. Again this puzzles me because it’s something I would do on a regular basis with my previous employer. I’m not talking every other week, but any time I felt I was carrying out all of the duties listed on my job description yet taking on extra tasks at the same time I would ask for a pay rise, if I felt I had earnt it. It has become clear to me that this way of thinking is not shared by all and some people will point blank refuse to ask for a bump to their wage packet. Why is this? Could it be that some people are scared by their bosses? Scared about losing their jobs?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the following points:

  • Do you know people who are too scared to ask for a pay rise?
  • Have you asked for a pay rise before?
  • How did you go about asking for it?
  • Why do you think people are so reluctant to do so?
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  1. Time to Turn Off the TV - Personal Finance Round-Up | Money CrashersJune 5, 2011 at 9:08 pmReply

    [...] TV do you watch on a daily basis?Any time spent on these articles won’t be wasted, so dig in:Don’t Ask, Don’t Get It’s beyond difficult for many people to simply ask for things they want. There are [...]

  2. Harri @ TotallyMoneyJune 20, 2011 at 11:21 amReply

    I think a lot of people are scared of pricing themselves out of the market or appearing ‘greedy’, especially at a time where the jobs market is hardly in the employee’s favour. Playing hard ball is tough and I think it takes some serious confidence.

    Interestingly, the Huffington Post looked into pay negotiation earlier this month and added a gender dimension to the debate. The pay gap between male and female graduates was attributed to the fact that female grads were much less likely to negotiate their salary.

  3. AshJune 20, 2011 at 11:21 pmReply

    That’s a great point, Harri. I think a lot of it does come down to fear about the perception of others. Personally, I like to think of negotiations as follows.

    If you win, you win. If you lose, the other party knows you get things done and will respect that.

    As long as you’re not disrespecting anyone, there is absolutely no shame in asking for what you think you’re worth. If I attempt to negotiate a position and I’m met with disdain, that tells me that they’re not worth my time anyway, and that leads nicely on to your point about confidence. If we’re not confident with our skills, we either have a confidence problem or a skills problem and either of those will kill our earning potential.

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