A Raise During a Pandemic? Consider These Strategies


Since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, the worker will need to carefully evaluate whether they should ask for a raise. Don’t assume because you’re still employed, and the company is doing well enough to give you a raise. Many companies borrow from Peter to pay Paul, who also may be on borrowed time.

Optics aren’t everything when you’re assessing your needs. By no means I’m saying these are the rules as there are always exceptions. 

Most people fear being told “no.” Use the possibility of the “no” as motivation and intelligence, but not as an obstacle. This article will help you shape your case for the raise you need for the upcoming months and years. The more you think critically with your strategy, you will increase your chances and try to learn to present different sides of needing a raise to your boss:

  • You will increase your chances and try to learn to present different sides of needing a raise to your boss. Think as your boss would about your value and performance.
  • Position your approach as a “how” as to a “why” or “why not.” Yes, it’s easier to know the reasons you didn’t get it, but you need to know with certainty “how.” 
  • With either “yes” or “no,” you want to keep the dialogue open for future raises. 

Consider these factors if you are considering a raise in this economic climate or any downturn:
1. If you’re underperforming at your current job
2. If performance expectations have changed dramatically, especially if standards for raises aren’t clear.
Keep this in mind: You don’t want to come across as tone-deaf by asking for a raise. You must tread lightly and understand what these issues mean. Consider waiting for more evident opportunities to ask.

Timing matters when asking for a raise.

A company or industry experiencing growth is an excellent time to ask if performance is not an issue. Good financial health signs are announced by managers, company newsletters, annual reports, and sometimes the media. The timing could bring the desired result if you ask for a raise when these announcements are celebrated.

When shouldn’t you ask at this time?

1. Hiring freezes or layoffs
2. No data to show you exceed expectations (the burden of proof is on you)
3. A negative performance review

How not to ask for a raise:

1. Demanding a raise is always inappropriate. Your approach is paramount for the chance that the request will be successful.
2. Show clear reasons for your expected raise, but try to be flexible.
3. Look for the win-win. Both parties must gain more significant value in the end.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced uncertainty on businesses and how they will operate now and in the future. Even if the company is thriving now, it may be concerned about conducting business in the future.

No often means “not now.”

The “no” is intel, as Kwame Christian told me in the past, and an opportunity for you to come up with a plan with your boss. By putting this plan in writing and agreeing to return it to the table to review will not only add value to the relationship but increase your chances for a raise.

Over time, it may take several discussions to get a raise how you approach a raise and timing in asking for builds a bridge to the future or damage what’s left of the relationship between you and your boss.

Consider Negotiating Other Perks

 Money is not the only negotiable to receive during the pandemic when finances are an issue. Some people have created remote positions, saving them hundreds of dollars in travel, babysitting, and even food. The idea of getting creative in the long term has the potential to create more value for you than money itself. Is it possible to obtain more personal time off? How about stock options? 

Don’t Give Up

If you’re focused on getting a raise only, you may burn a bridge to future raises.  

The communication bridge will create more opportunities for dialogue and value for now and the future. However, a demanding demeanor states an unwillingness to collaborate and will stifle current and future opportunities. 

If you’re turned down for a raise, it’s best to use it as a way to build a stronger relationship with your boss and be patient. Getting turned down even when you’ve done everything right may mean, “not now.” A positive outlook and continued enthusiasm for performing despite circumstances will be viewed positively and create more opportunities.

About Mark Anthony Dyson

I am the “The Voice of Job Seekers!” I offer compassionate career and job search advice as I hack and re-imagine the job search process. You need to be “the prescription to an employer’s job description.” You must be solution-oriented and work in positions in companies where you are the remedy. Your job search must be a lifestyle, and your career must be in front of you constantly. You can no longer shed your aspirations at the change seasons. There are strengths you have that need constant use and development.

Be sure you sign up to download my E-Book, “421 Modern Job Search Tips 2021!”

You can find my career advice and work in media outlets such as Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Glassdoor, and many other outlets.




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