What “There’s No More Money” Really Means

no pay increase

You’ve had raises the past two years.  They were three and four percent but it was more money.  This year your boss announced that you won’t be getting an increase.  In fact, she suggests you may be overpaid.  Whoa!  You have just received a warning phrased in Boomer speak.  Your job is in danger.  Your performance has tanked or begun to displease your boss who lacks the courage, or perhaps the language, to speak frankly.  If you are capable, a panic response is appropriate.  Here are some issues to consider.

1.  Your salary is above market.  You could be replaced with someone who’d do the job for less money and with greater enthusiasm.  If you’ve been doing the same job for five or more years this could be the cause.  You’ll need to discuss expectations with your boss and how the job can be redesigned to be more useful to the organization.  If your boss says the job “just isn’t worth what we’re paying” revise your resume today.

2.  You’re reprising yourself.  You’re in neutral and your boss understands and resents your visible lack of energy.  You can appear to re-engage but it requires method acting skills beyond most workers.  Do your best but understand you have fewer than six months to either find a new job or re-engage.  Getting a new job would be less work.

3.  What is the grapevine saying about you?  Has someone given you a pitying glance in the lunch room or told you that “people are worried about you?”  Your boss has suggested that you’re not getting the result — if only by a glance or oral hint — and your co-workers are trying to warn you.  Why don’t they speak in words of one syllable?  They don’t want to be tagged with knowing.  They don’t want to hurt your feelings!

4.  A layoff is coming.  The boss is trying to warn people without telling what she knows — which she’s been charged by her boss not to reveal.  The dead wrong response is to wait for confirmation.  If there are persistent rumors — you hear the same thing from three difference sources — take it seriously.  Revise your resume, rev up your network, get moving.  You might survive.  You have a great track record with the organization — but remember you’re not getting a raise this year.  You’ve been informed.  Did you get it?

Nothing is more damaging to self-esteem than you stay until they sweep you out.  Don’t imagine that if you stay until the end you’ll get more severance.  You may be fired for cause!  Why not ask HR about severance policies and health insurance?  Wouldn’t you rather make a smart decision than just react to whatever happens?  (My experience is that 90% will wait even when they know the news can’t be good.)  Be one of the 10%.

Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies

Get your career on track pronto. Develop a successful strategy to get the job you want. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy now.

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Boomers, Busters and Money

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