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I'm working at a company I love, doing what I love, and for the most part, I'm extremely content with my situation. Back in January- the 17th, to be specific- I had a performance review with the president of the company. They told me that they and other executives in the company were extremely pleased with my performance, were delighted at how much I was contributing, and were going to give me a raise of "a couple of dollars". (I work hourly.) They also said I would see this sometime in February. I was very surprised but I expressed my gratitude and went on with my day.

I get paid every other Friday, so two pay periods go by with no raise, and it's now Feb 15. I remember them saying sometime in February, so I shot the president a message. This is a very close company where everyone is encouraged and expected to be in touch with each other, so this wasn't out-of-line at all, just FYI. It's just how people do it around here. I said:

I think I remember you saying something about the possibility of a raise during our meeting. I wanted to check on that as I'm budgeting for the near future, just to know what the timeline is on that.

The president replied and said they were working on details and the raise was "coming shortly". Ok cool, no worries, I can wait.

It's March 18th, another two pay periods have gone, and I was hoping to see the raise reflected in my paycheck this morning. It wasn't. What should I do now? I'm financially stable, but I am being underpaid for my industry. (I'm recently graduated, so that's to be expected.) I'm ok with that, I chose this company and I love my job, but a raise would be nice, especially since I was told I was getting one and I would see it last month. I wasn't expecting one any time soon, but now that it's on the table, I am worried that I'm not seeing it.

I want to reach out to the president again but I have no idea what to say, especially since I already asked him about it once.

Any help is greatly appreciated, this situation is really stressing me out!

Details: I work fully remote. I'm not worried about the raise never happening. I know this president well and he and the other executives are extremely honest, I've seen them put honesty before business time and time again. I know the raise will happen eventually, I'm just not sure what I should do right now, if I should reach out again or not, and what I should say if I do.

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    If you aren't worried about the raise never happening then what exactly is it about this situation that is stressing you out?
    – sf02
    Mar 18, 2022 at 13:55
  • Mainly the uncertainty of not knowing what's going on, not knowing whether I should say something or not, etc. I'm possibly worried about the raise not happening, but I don't know how long it normally takes to process a raise. It's possible that waiting a few months is totally normal, I just don't know enough about the corporate world to know Mar 18, 2022 at 14:02
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    It's possible your company has a set schedule for when raises happen. I, too, had my performance review in January, but my company doesn't start paying out the associated raise until our Mar 31 paycheck (the first paycheck also has a nice little bonus, since the raise is retroactive to Jan 1). You should absolutely clarify this with your manager or HR.
    – Seth R
    Mar 18, 2022 at 14:09
  • @SethR Thanks for that perspective, that definitely makes me feel better :) How should I clarify this? I'm worried that since I've already asked about it once, anything I say is going to sound greedy and demanding Mar 18, 2022 at 14:13

2 Answers 2

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I'd just follow up and set expectations similar to the following:

Hello, just wanted to follow up on the raise promised back in February as this still doesn't seem to have come through. Could you confirm this is something I'll see in the next paycheck? Thanks!

That forces them to essentially say "yes, sure" (in which case great) or no, and explain why they're going back on that promise. "We need time to work details through" is not a reasonable excuse unless they can explain what those details are and why they're taking so long. Companies can move very quickly on this when it's in their interest to do so.

If you were promised that you'd see this raise sometime in February, then saying something akin to "hey, I'll surely see this in April, right?" is a perfectly reasonable question. You're not being greedy just for holding someone to something they've promised, especially given it's now overdue.

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  • I like this, thank you :) I worry about the directness of it. I have a lot of social anxiety so I tend to really understate things, so I don't know if this level of directness is appropriate here Mar 18, 2022 at 15:35
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    @josephhansen this is your livelihood. Directness is the only appropriate way to handle it.
    – Seth R
    Mar 18, 2022 at 16:36
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    @josephhansen Directness is appropriate here, and learning to be direct in conversations about pay is a necessary skill to have, however awkward it seems at first. You've been promised a deliverable (increased pay) with a fixed timeline (Feb) and that timeline is now exceeded by over a month. Flip the situation - if you promised them a deliverable (finished project, support ticket, etc.) in a given timeframe, and then 2 months after that deadline you said "yeah, I might get around to that at some point, got some stuff to sort first", how do you think they'd react?!
    – berry120
    Mar 18, 2022 at 16:42
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It is perfectly okay to ask again. But this time, ask if there is a specific date, and mention that you have a concern with your leadership being fully transparent on this point of business. The response (or lack of) will tell you everything you want to know.

  • Scenario 1. You get a response with a specific date. Great.
  • Scenario 2. You get a response similar to the previous ones, with no specific date. There's no mention of your concern about transparency. You should take this response as a sign that the mention of the raise was dishonest.
  • Scenario 3. The leadership latches on to the transparency concern in a negative tone, and makes no mention of the raise. If this happens, just acknowledge the receipt of the feedback, but do not argue further or try to justify why transparency is important. You're working for the wrong organization!

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