The 1 Thing You Shouldn’t Ask Your Boss For Right Now

The 1 Thing You Shouldn’t Ask Your Boss For Right Now

Source: This article was originally published on CNBC.
Written by: Megan Leonhardt, CNBC Make It

Although the coronavirus pandemic has introduced many new challenges for workers, about 3 out of 4 employees say they’ve actually managed to maintain or improve their productivity, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report.

With that in mind, it may seem like a good time to ask for a raise. However, that’s one of the worst things you can ask your boss right now.


That’s because there’s probably not room in the budget for employee raises right now. As a business owner with 25 employees, I am watching my bottom line very closely these days — and I’m not alone. The pandemic has turned our economics upside down. And so, like most business owners and company executives right now, I am watching costs with a constant mix of dread and uncertainty.

It’s not that you don’t deserve to be compensated for your effort. If you are thinking to yourself, I am not being paid what I deserve, I don’t doubt you’re right. Many people are working harder than ever right now.

In fact, working remotely may mean that you’re never truly away from your desk and are putting in more hours. You may also be taking on additional tasks these days because of layoffs. Sadly, a lot of companies let people go back in March and April, and some are still letting people go. That means more work for the people still there.

However, the timing just isn’t right to push for a raise. 

If you do ask for a raise right now, you probably won’t be let go. But you will take a hit to the goodwill you are accumulating during this time. And that’s not a small thing, because I predict that goodwill will be rewarded when this whole thing is over. That’s what I plan to do.

We want to pay our teams more, but we can’t right now. We will when we can. Just don’t ask us now.

There is one caveat to this advice. You can ask for a raise if you have another legit job offer that you are ready, willing and able to accept. In that case, go for it. You have nothing to lose.

But otherwise, just hang in there. This is a terrible time for employees and bosses alike. It’s a fragile time. Keep your goodwill dry — it will be worth something when the battle is over.

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at [email protected].