10 Things to Ask for When a Raise Isn’t an Option

promotion raise

Most employees believe that they deserve a raise for their job performance when they have worked hard for their company. Unfortunately, sometimes no matter how hard you have worked, the company’s financial situation makes a raise impossible. A lot of large and small businesses can be wary of giving employees monetary raises during their yearly reviews, but that doesn’t mean you have to come away empty handed. There are a number of additional perks that you should always ask for when a raise isn’t an option.

Working From Home

Telecommuting has become more popular in the past decade, especially as commute times become longer and longer. If a raise isn’t an option, try asking for permission to telecommute instead. Maybe your boss will allow you to telecommute once or twice a week. If you have a long commute, this might be an excellent perk to try to negotiate.

More Vacation Days

You can also try asking for more vacation days. After all, who doesn’t want more vacation days? Unfortunately, most American companies don’t offer a lot of vacation time, especially if you’re just starting out. So, this could be your chance to ask for more vacation time. Asking for more vacation days gives you an extra perk without your boss having to actually pay you more money. If you are already satisfied with your salary, this is also an excellent perk to ask for in place of a raise. Often it can be more valuable and it doesn’t get taxed.

Job Title Change

If you can’t get a raise, you can always ask for a job title change. For instance, you might ask for an associate title instead of an assistant title. There are many employers who actually offer promotions without a monetary raise these days, so this isn’t such an unusual request to ask for.

Flexible Schedule

Just like telecommuting is a huge new perk a lot of companies provide, many employees are also interested in having flexible schedules. A flexible schedule means changing around the typical 9 to 5 to work better for your specific situation. For example, a flexible schedule means that you might be able to come in at 10 instead of 9 if you have to drop your children off at daycare or that you can leave at 4:00 instead of 5:00 to make it to a night class or a second job. Asking for a flexible schedule is definitely something you should ask for if you’re not given a raise.

Transportation Reimbursement

Some companies offer transportation reimbursement for commuters already. They may offer reimbursement for city public transportation or parking reimbursement for people who drive in to work. If your company doesn’t offer transportation reimbursement and you’re not going to get a raise this year, ask for transportation reimbursement instead. This is definitely a great perk to have because it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Most people don’t realize how expensive paying for commuting or public transportation can be.

Education Reimbursement

You might also want to ask for education reimbursement. This could help you pursue another degree or even night classes for courses you’re interested in taking. There are a lot of companies who offer education reimbursement already, so if yours doesn’t you should consider asking for this perk.

Company Travel Perks

Does your company have a lot of international or domestic conferences or business? Have you not been allowed to go on any of the business trips? Maybe you should ask for company travel perks. While this isn’t exactly comparable to a raise, it might be something new and exciting to look forward to at your job. You might ask to go to a conference or to do some business with a foreign or domestic partner.

Professional Organization Memberships

Many companies have discounts or special admission to professional clubs or organizations. For instance, they might have discounted membership to a premier business organization or they might have free access to certain gyms or clubs that you don’t know about. Like many other things on this list, this is definitely not comparable to a raise, but it might give you options you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Office Upgrade

Additionally, you can also ask for an office upgrade. Maybe there’s an open cubicle near the window or near a certain area you’ve been eyeing. Or maybe there’s an open office that no one is using. An office upgrade can make a big difference in your work environment and personal morale, and it won’t hurt to ask for a new office, especially if there are already ones open.

Computer of Software Upgrades

A lot of companies offer software or computer discounts, but there are also a lot of companies that don’t offer such perks. If you work for a large company, you might ask for a new computer or even special software to be put on your computer. New computers cost quite a bit of money, so this may be a reasonable request if you’re not going to receive a raise. You can also make this work to your advantage if you’re also allowed to use your computer for personal use.

(Photo courtesy of David Blackwell)

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5 Responses to 10 Things to Ask for When a Raise Isn’t an Option

  1. jim says:

    Flexible schedule and work from home!!!!! My spouse did that and is absolutely LOVING it. She’ll take that over a pay raise in a heart beat. She hasn’t had a “raise” in over 7 years and she doesn’t care ’cause she’s happier now than any raise could have made her.

    Nice article! Good info. Thx. Hope it helps a lot of others out there – really that flex schedule is fabulous!

  2. Tech says:

    I second the job title change. I was the first one where I worked to do it, but people followed after.

  3. Worksnaps says:

    Working from home can add up to huge savings that can go to other aspects of one’s life. There is more productivity because the employee does not have to rush out of the office when their shift is over nor do they have to take as many sick days. This leaves them with more time to spend with family. The true cost of commuting for work is more than you would image. Your car alone can lose you a lot of money over years of commuting.

  4. Antonio says:

    At my last review I had received a promotion without a monetary increase. They were unable to give me the raise for the promotion, but they max-ed out the raise I was eligible for in my current pay grade, and allowed me to work from home 4 days a week. If you can not get the full raise you want, try getting a combination of items. 4 days of telework for a 70+ mile one-way commute added over $2000 after tax money back into my budget! Who needs a raise with perks like that? 😉

  5. David Larson says:

    This might be cheating… but the easiest way I know of to get a raise is to hire someone else to get it for you. As a professional salary negotiator, I have helped over 700 people negotiate higher salaries. One of the tricks I advocate is to always conduct your salary negotiation over email. Negotiating salary over email helps level the playing field because it takes away the opportunity for your employer to “read you” in person and potentially call your bluff. Over email you have a better opportunity to carefully choose every word.

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