The Odds You Will Get a Raise

The Odds You Will Get a Raise

Most employees don’t ask for raises. Why?

Of the 57 percent of people who have never asked for a raise, 38 percent said they got one without having to ask, according to a new survey from

But the rest didn’t have such a good reason. About 28 percent said they were uncomfortable negotiating and 19 percent said they didn’t want to be pushy.

Some of that seems to be a lack of experience. People with lower salaries (and in many cases that means less time in the work force) were less likely to sit down with their managers and ask for a salary bump.

But while Gen Y was more likely to fear being perceived as pushy or less skilled at negotiating, Baby Boomers who hesitated to ask were more likely to fear losing their jobs.

Women are more likely than men to state that they are uncomfortable negotiating salary – 31 percent vs. 23 percent. That gender gap exists even in among C-level executives ( 26 percent vs. 14 percent).

So who is most likely to get what they ask for? Here’s what the survey found:

  • 25 percent of those earning $10K-$20K received the raise they requested, 70 percent of those earning more than $150K received their requested raise.
  •  Workers in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation industry were least likely to receive the raises they asked for.
  • Among MBAs, 48 percent of women received they raise they asked for compared to 63 percent of men.

While you can’t control a company’s budget or a manager’s decision, not asking for a raise, particularly if you are underpaid compared to your peers, is not a smart career strategy.

Increase your odds of getting the raise you ask for by thoroughly preparing for a discussion  with your boss and brushing up on negotiating strategies. If you don’t like the response, talk to your manager about what needs to change so that the next time you ask, the answer is yes. And if you still don’t get what you believe you deserve, it may be time to look for a new job.

You might be wondering: Are You Getting the C-Suite Executive Salary You Deserve?


About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and, among others.