Personally, I had four conversations — three with my boss and one with HR, and it was last left that my boss would be talking with HR.
Seeing as it has been 3 months since that last conversation I'm afraid with the extent of this situation that I'm entering into the nag classification. What should I do now?
— Andrea, Seattle
Thanks for writing in. Your situation sounds frustrating, and I can understand how you would feel concerned about bringing up a raise for the fifth time.
You don't mention how you made your case for a raise, or what the response has been — have your boss and HR have been generally supportive but distracted, or perhaps indifferent or even unsupportive?
Let's assume you have a strong case to make for yourself. This means you're a high performer and you've let them know in no uncertain terms that you are asking for a raise. Hopefully you've even have done some benchmarking to make sure you're asking for the market rate.
Ask yourself this: at this point, if they gave you the raise — no questions asked — would you be satisfied?
If you would be, it's worth having a respectful but explicit conversation about your needs. If you're at all uncertain that they are crystal clear on your specific request, I would encourage you to try one more time and be as explicit as possible: based on your track record of performance, you're looking for a raise of X% in Y timeframe.
If you're already so frustrated that you can't imagine having that conversation, don't waste your time agonizing over what to say, and put your energy into finding a role that's a better fit.
— Alexandra Dickinson
CEO + founder
Ask Alex is our monthly advice series. CEO + Founder Alexandra Dickinson answers your most burning negotiation questions. Subscribe to our email list for more advice and content. We'd also love to hear from you! Submit your questions to email@example.com.