Get the FREE Freelancer’s ToolkitGet the free toolkit!

Don’t Expect A Raise- Do Something Else.

One year into my most recent corporate job, I remember reflecting on the year that had passed and all the extra responsibility I had taken on.

A continuous loop starting turning in my head- this doesn’t make sense- I am being paid to do what I did a year ago, and now that I do much more, I deserve more.

And then the stress started flowing. What should I say to my boss, how can I convince him, how much should I ask for?

I read some blogs about the topic, I wrote out a script, I got nervous, I got over it, and I finally asked for a meeting and sat down across the table from my boss.

Before I got the chance to start my “speech” my boss informed me that someone in the company was leaving and that I would be taking on their role on top of the one I already had because the company wasn’t in a place to hire.


Ok, I thought, well at least that DEFINITELY gives me more leverage to ask for a raise.


Sorry Leah, it’s just not possible right now. We can do this amount, but nothing more for the new post.


Two jobs for the price one.

I realized, no matter how great I was at my job and no matter how much my boss loved me, it all came down to money. “We can’t pay you more, so either you accept that and stay, or leave.”

So I started to calculate.

If I stayed on this track- I could expect this amount each year give or take a few % points whether I take on new roles or not. 10 years, 20 years, 30 years- what does that add up to? Not much.

It’s not about the money exactly- it was about feeling appreciated and respected for my work, achievements and responsibilities. And in the corporate world the main way that a boss can show you that is through money.

And the reality was, I was there for the money. Not because I believed in the cause or truly loved what I did. So in this case, the only relevant measurement of success is money.

I don’t want that for my life, and you shouldn’t either.


Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis is the founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project and a web designer/developer for brilliant entrepreneurs. When she’s not hanging out in the FTF Community, you can find her people watching on the streets of NYC. Come say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

+ get the FREE Freelancer’s Toolkit including:
✓ From Last Corporate Day to a Month of 5k
✓ How to Get to Steady
✓ 4 Steps to your First (or next!) Passive Income Stream Workbook
✓ Daily advice, tips & inspiration

Yes, please!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Well said Leah. I had a similiar situation where I was hired as an intern (as a Drupal developer), but learned really fast. I was given a meager salary, but by the end of the year I realized I had much more responsibility and had a pivitol role in the company than what I was being paid. My boss’s excuse was that I “already got 2 raises this year”, yet it was 2 very small raises. I agree with you 100%. This lack of respect for what I was doing for the company is why I left. Thanks for sharing!

  • Having done my time in the corporate world I’ve come to the point where I’m ready to use my experience and do my own thing. I have a family to take care of but I need to do this for myself and them, even though it’s not the most comfortable route. I’m tired of the comfort zone.

Leave a Comment