Let’s say that it’s time for your annual midyear review and you’re also overdue for a raise. If the economy is upside down and businesses are struggling to keep their doors open left and right, should you still bring up the topic of you getting a pay increase? According to Ask a Manager’s Alison Green the answer is pretty much ‘nope’ with just a few exceptions.
If your employer is amongst the handful of companies unharmed by the coronavirus, and that haven’t made any cuts to their staff, and isn’t facing any financial risk…it might be okay to bring up the topic of a boost to your salary. If your company has been amongst the lucky to have actually increased their workload and given you more to do, then yes, feel free to knock on the boss’ door and get to negotiating. Other than those scenarios, Green says asking for a raise right now makes you come across as pretty tone-deaf (and I say just plain dumb).
Instead of making everyone think you’re entitled, just wait. Put a note on your calendar to revisit the idea around when your organization creates its annual budget or when your 2021 performance review is taking place. Use this time to build up your “why I deserve a raise” file in your desk drawer. Get it to be so thick that your boss’ desk can’t even support its weight when you show it to them during times that aren’t so ‘uncertain.’
I also believe that you holding back these requests during business hardships will create value for yourself. Employers will recognize employees who stick with them through the hardships.