What if I don't get a pay rise?

You may well feel hard done by, but unfortunately there may be nothing for it but to bite your lip and suck it up, because unless you already have another job to go to, resigning on the spot isn’t recommended. And sulking on the job is only going to make things worse.

On the bright side, you are now in a much better position than you were to move your career on. Having done your research to prove what you are worth, you probably now have very useful contacts and information about the job market.

If you decide to persevere where you are, get some constructive feedback from your manager. Find out why you were turned down – it might be that you need to make improvements in certain areas to qualify for a pay increase, and you may be able to agree steps with your manager to work towards them.

If you’re ready to move on, keep your eye out for other work. Being a 'proactive' job search – write letters to companies you would like to work for. Even if they are not recruiting at the moment, employers are always interested in hearing from capable people, and may have temporary or short-term vacancies which might be attractive and turn into something more long-term. 

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.