4. Take the “no” graciously. To get back to the initial question: If your office is making budget cuts or citing the sequester or paying too much for its direct-mail program, there might be no room to spare in the budget. No matter how effective the argument, the answer about your raise may be “sorry, but no.”
Be gracious about it. Tell them you value working there and want to continue to be an asset. Ask when you can revisit the topic — budgets can change in as few as six months. And finally, see if there is something else you can get instead: perhaps it’s that senior legislative assistant title or a few more vacation days. Something tangible can go a long way toward feeling valued even without dollar signs attached.
Got a question, concern or complaint about navigating life on Capitol Hill? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit online at roll.cl/12tvZqI. All submissions are treated anonymously.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.