Just a few weeks ago, I received my compensation letter for the next year at my company. It’s good to know that I will have a job in this economy, but the letter also indicated that I won’t be receiving an annual increase. It’s hard to know how to feel after a situation like this. One the one hand, I have a job. One the other, not getting a pay increase is essentially a slap in your face. I have more experience now in my current position and my employer is saying that isn’t worth anything. I am sure they would give me a raise if they could afford it, but somehow that doesn’t matter as much when you think about it.
Reasons Why No Pay Increase is Actually a Decrease
While some people would emphasize the fact that I still have a job, not getting a pay increase is actually a decrease. The first reason is psychological. Consumerism Commentary reports that the average pay increase is 2.9%. While that may not sound like a lot, it is 2.9% more than I am receiving. In other words, I am falling behind in competitive salary.
The second reason that receiving no pay increase is actually a decrease is because of the cost of increasing healthcare, as the article above mentions. Having to pay more money in healthcare may be difficult for people getting a marginal pay raise, but it is even more difficult for people like me who are getting no raise.
Similarly, with the inflation costs in general, it is like I am falling behind on a treadmill. The treadmill is speeding up, but I am trying to stay at the same pace. If you think you can survive without increasing your income, you will soon learn of your mistake. Annual pay increases are important.
What to do Now?
After receiving the letter officially stating that I will not get a pay increase, I could choose to mope around and feel sorry for myself, but I refuse to do that. I am determined to increase my income in other ways. I don’t want the first few years of my adult career to consist of falling even further behind the average compensation for my position. While there is nothing I can do to increase my day job income (other than to look for a different job), I am going to do side jobs to boost the money coming in. This will help me in diversifying my income and give me a little extra spending money or money to invest.
Approaching this situation with the right mentality is essential. It can mean the difference between being stuck in a dead-end job and overcoming the challenges placed in front of you. I refuse to take this laying down and I will do everything that I can to boost my income.