Why am I not good enough to get the raise I want?

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Amy Bracht

Coach | Change Agent | Dream Manager

Chances are, if you have been in the corporate world while, you have asked for a promotion or raise. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, because you are asking someone else to place a value on your work. If you do not receive the raise, it can bring up many old feelings about our worth, our career path, even who we are as people. 

If you have ever asked yourself “why am I not good enough to get the raise I want,” here are three tips to remember to ease your mind.


Remember: Raises involve factors outside of your control. Do not internalize the external. 


Companies have varying philosophies about how they promote and give raises to employees. Chances are that the reason you are not getting the raise you want has nothing to do with you or your performance. Ask your manager about the process your company uses to grant raises. You may find out that it is strict, with many process hoops to jump through. You might find out that raises are budget-based, and if the raise pool isn’t funded, no one gets raises. You may also hear that your company does not have a set process at all and how they are granted is a moving target. 

None of these reasons have anything to do with you. So do not take it personally when it’s not.  Instead, seek clarity with your manager about how to present your work in the best light. 


Remember: Your feedback.


When you start thinking you aren’t getting what you want, it is easy to think you are doing a terrible job and that’s why you received a no.  

You must be doing poorly, because otherwise you would be getting what you want.
But as you read above, the reason might not have anything to do with your work.
With that in mind, remember what you’ve already been told about your performance. Chances are, you are doing well, or you wouldn’t have thought it was a good idea to ask for a raise in the first place! 
Go back to your feedback from your manager and other leaders to get back to neutral about how you are doing.

When you’ve done that and grounded yourself in the good you are doing, go to your manager or other partners you work with frequently.  Validate your current state and ask for constructive feedback. Receive it with an open mind. This will help you to come back to a stable state and make a plan going forward that isn’t driven by emotion.


Remember: You decide your value. No one else.


It is very easy to get into a cycle where you are seeking validation for who you are externally. You may look to others to see if your behavior is okay or restrict yourself from something you want because it isn’t “what you should do”.  You may feel great about an accomplishment, but if someone in your life doesn’t see it is a big deal, you begin to downplay it.  You find yourself asking others what you should do in a situation or taking advice from others which doesn’t serve you.

All of these behaviors are signs of seeking external validation.  And if you get into that habit of looking to others first before being satisfied with yourself, you’ll end up with unmet expectations and disappointments. You are with you every day, in every situation, all the time. You must be responsible for your own thoughts and actions.  

If seeking validation from others about who you are or your worth is an issue for you, seek out people who care about you and ask them what they appreciate about you the most. Make a list of those things and add your own. Repeat that list to yourself over and over until you know, truly, how valuable a person you are by just being you. 


If you are questioning your worth since not receiving a raise, take these tips to heart.
Then if you decide to seek out other career opportunities, you’ll be confident to find the job which meets your needs and values your worth.

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