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.
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.