Need advice on asking for a raise.

I work in a small store. The type of store is not important, what is important is that I started out at $5.50 an hour. I was later raised to $6 an hour. Now the starting salary for all new workers is $6 an hour and that is what I still make. Also another worker who came to work after me now makes $6.50. This is not skill labor and just about anyone can learn how to do the work. It is my guess that my boss raised this new employee’s salary because the guy works about 40 hours a week, and he does not want him to quit. While I only work about 24 hours because of college.

I also had to ask my boss to cut my hours back. Since he is a nice guy, he did what I asked, but I suspect it is the reason I’m not getting a raise. I fear that if I ask for a raise he will bring up the fact that he cut my hours, or ask me to work more hours, something that I won’t do. School comes first guys.

It could also be that he is just waiting for me to ask for a raise before he gives up any money. I guess he figures it would be my fault that I am not asking, or at least that is what he can tell me if I come to him really upset about the issue.

I need your advice. Clearly I would like to avoid asking for a raise and having him throw the fact that he cut my hours in my face. This is what I intend to do, bitterly, until I can think of something else. What do you think?

If he tells you he’s not happy about cutting your hours, that’s fine. You can say you’re sorry you can’t work more, and that’s that. You should still ask. You don’t need to make a case on your own behalf, just say you notice wages are going up and you think your wage should go up too. If he comes back with arguments, you can gently try to counter them, but you shouldn’t feel attacked or worried if he tells you flat out some reasons he doesn’t want to raise your wage. Worse comes to worst you don’t get it.

You can also ask him if there is anything you can improve in the time you’re there to get a raise next time. He might be in the position that anyone who is actually trying at all will stand out and be valuable to him. Good help is not easy to find for that rate!

Don’t be afraid to speak up on your own behalf. The worst he can say is no.

Well, I hate to say this, but I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. If as you say, anyone can do your job, and the value is to be there full-time, then you’re being paid what your boss feels you’re worth to him.

However, that shouldn’t stop you from asking for a raise. Yes, he may say you need to work more, but then you say no, and you’re right where you started, which isn’t so bad.

More importantly, you should look into other jobs where not anybody can do your job. Perhaps some sort of internship in your chosen field at school?