Simply as the question asks. I have been working at the same company for just over a year and I made a request for a salary increase, this is because my pay isn't covering my bills any more. It was denied. Would it be unprofessional or unreasonable to now start looking for work elsewhere?

To clarify, yes I am extremely passive, yes I know this. I just don't want to give an impression to present, or future employers that I float between jobs on a regular basis.

  • 11
    If you asked for a pay raise citing the reason that your bills had gone up, that may be part of why it was denied. You ask for a pay increase by showing your value to the business not by saying you need more money.
    – HLGEM
    Jan 25 '13 at 14:49
  • If you look for a new job, you may not want to say that this is the reason ... it can open you up to questions like "Why did they turn down your request, weren't you doing a good job?"
    – GreenMatt
    Jan 25 '13 at 18:01
  • 5
    A professional is always looking for a better job. That's how you get ahead.
    – DA.
    Jan 25 '13 at 20:34
  • @HLGEM the best thing I read today actually. It will stick in my mind for years now. Thanks.
    – Jack Twain
    May 29 '15 at 20:46
  • @HLGEM it doesn't sound like it's OP's case, but, in some countries (e.g. Australia), pay is connected rather tightly to inflation rates; In that case, if you don't get a raise every year, it's a company's way of telling you to find another job before they find a way to fire you. Jun 16 '17 at 0:59

There is no specific timing that is unprofessional - you can always look for other work.

Yes, it may be awkward to look for new work just after accepting a new job/salary increase/promotion/whatever, but in this case, having been denied a salary increase, there is nothing that should stop you.

The fact is, dissatisfaction in a job is the primary reason for leaving it - having been denied a salary increase is definitely grounds for dissatisfaction and frankly, if you do leave for a better paying job soon, they should have seen it coming.

Now, in terms of how future prospective employers will see this - that entirely depends on the rest of your CV/Resume. A single job like this will not, by itself, raise any alarm bells. The whole document would tell the story - if you have many such jobs, then there could be an impact. It also depends on your industry and what is considered usual - 10 years ago, programmers could jump jobs every year without any negative impact, for example. Things are somewhat different in this industry these days (recessions do that), but many people will move jobs every two-three years.


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