5 Crazy Things Employees Would Rather Do Than Ask for a Raise

  • By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch
  • August 17, 2015

Is it easier to walk into the dentist’s office than the corner office?

Not all American workers are walking the walk or talking the talk when it comes to asking their boss for a raise. Although 89 percent of U.S. workers believe they overwhelmingly deserve a raise after working hard all year, only 54 percent of them plan to ask for one this year, according to a survey of 1,000 adults by staffing firm Robert Half. And if they did ask for a raise and yet didn’t receive one? Nearly one-third of workers say they would rather wait for their next performance review than push the issue.

get a raise
Getty Images/Fuse

Here are five things workers say they would rather do than ask for a raise:

1. Clean the house
One-third of respondents would rather go home and lose themselves in dust-busting, soapy water and Clorex wipes. This, of course, is a mistake. “Self-confidence is the foundation of a successful career,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. Still, they may save themselves quite a lot of money by doing their own cleaning: hourly costs for a professional housecleaner range from $25 an hour to $35 an hour, according to online marketplace AngiesList.com.

2. Look for another job
Another 13 percent would rather look for a new job in lieu of asking their boss for a raise. Even if they did get a raise, research shows that moving to a new company is the most likely way to see a big jump in your pay. The longer you stay in one job, the more difficult it is to convince your superiors to give you more responsibility and get a bigger jump in your salary, especially as you get older, says Steve Langerud, workplace consultant and principal of Steve Langerud & Associates in Grinnell, Iowa.

3. Have a root canal
Some 7 percent of those surveyed said they would rather have a root canal than ask their boss for more money. Clearly, this doesn’t make sense on any level, experts say. “You’d be surprised how many people struggle with that issue and just how well things can go if one learns how to be more assertive,” says Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

4. Get an IRS audit
Being audited by the Internal Revenue Service is preferable for 6 percent of respondents, although it’s theoretically an easier process for full-time employees than it is for small-business owners or freelancers. That may be just as well: The average U.S. adult scored just 51 percent on 10 multiple-choice personal finance questions about federal income tax returns as they relate to retirement, college savings and health care, based on a recent survey of 1,000 adults given by personal finance site NerdWallet.

5. Speak in public
More workers say they are more confident about speaking in public (66 percent) than negotiating salary at a new job (61 percent) or even asking for a raise at a current job (56 percent). Which is surprising, since more Americans are afraid of public speaking (25 percent) than of heights, snakes/bugs, blood or needles, claustrophobia, strangers, flying, ghosts or clowns, according to a 2014 study by researchers at Chapman University, a private college in Orange, California. (The researchers differentiate “fears” from “concerns” of more real issues such as financial strife.)

This article originally appeared on MarketWatch.com and is reprinted by permission from Marketwatch.com, ©2015 Dow Jones & Co. Inc. All rights reserved.

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