What to Do When Your Workload Increases — but There’s No Raise in Sight

In the course of your job, you're likely to find that as your skills increase, your workload follows suit. Taking on more responsibility at work certainly isn't bad thing, as it could pave the way to a promotion or other means of advancing your career. But what happens when you're clearly doing more work than ever on the job, but your wages haven't budged? Here are a few ways to cope with this common yet frustrating situation.

1. Be a little patient

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It's hard to sit back — and sit tight — when you're staying at the office late every night and logging in on weekends in an effort to keep up with your increased workload, only to see the same paycheck land in your bank account week after week. But if you march into your boss's office demanding a raise the second your workload starts getting more intense, you may come off as petty.

Don't take that risk. Instead, bide your time for a month or two. First of all, you never know if your boss is secretly advocating to get you a raise behind closed doors, so don't discount that possibility, especially if you've thus far had a good relationship. But also, if you hold off on making monetary demands, your boss will have a chance to see what sort of impact your added workload is having on the business. And then, if you bring up the topic of a raise several months later, he or she may be more inclined to say yes.

2. Ask for more flexibility

All of the extra work you're doing is no doubt cutting into your personal time. If that's the case, then your boss may be more sympathetic to a request for accommodations rather than actual money.

For example, if you're spending additional hours on the job, you can ask to work from home a few days a week. Not having to commute could help you make up for some of the time you're spending doing those added assignments, but also, it could translate into monthly savings by not having to fuel up your car or pay for the bus as often. Granted, that's not the same thing as an actual raise, but it's better than nothing

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3. Consider taking your talent elsewhere

The upside of seeing your workload increase is developing skills that make for a more impressive resume. If your boss doesn't seem inclined to give you a raise despite the uptick in tasks you've been grappling with, you might consider applying to jobs elsewhere now that you're qualified to do more. This especially makes sense if you actually ask for a raise and are flat-out denied.

It's one thing to take on a little additional work here and there without a boost in compensation. But if your workload has increased substantially, you deserve to be paid for it. Don't hesitate to explore options outside your company if your employer won't budge on money, because you don't deserve to be taken for granted.

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