I am not happy with the raise I received. When I told my boss he said I was lucky to have a job let alone a raise given the recent layoffs at the company. But I deserve my position and shouldn’t just be grateful to have it. I do a great job and have earned a raise — it isn’t charity. What is the best way to revisit this with my boss?

You might try advocating for yourself without sounding arrogant, self-absorbed and tin-eared for starters. Your boss sounds like a management and charm-school dropout too, but that just may have been his reaction to your approach.

You’re right about pay not being charity, and I’m sure that if you have survived the layoffs it is because you work hard and do a good job — but that doesn’t make you immune from losing your position. Many professionals still lose their jobs because of circumstances — effectively, we are all just one person’s decision away from losing our jobs, too. That is a good thing to remember to stay grounded.

Try talking about how much additional work you’ve taken on as a result of the layoffs. Be mindful though of your “replacement costs” — if you’re earning more than it would cost the company to replace you, then you want to demonstrate value in terms of history with the company, institutional knowledge and other intangibles.

Someone who reports to me was promoted to be my boss. He and the company both want me to stay. How can I stay and save face? Don’t I have to leave?

I’m not going to lie, that’s tough for most people to swallow — unless you weren’t interested in the promotion and are happy in your current role. Essentially, the only thing making it difficult for you is your ego, which is totally normal — I get it. But if you can get past that, there is no face to save.

In fact, you can bolster your image and respect by using this to your advantage and showing that you are fully supportive of the company’s decision and your new boss. Those actions may make you that much more valuable to your new boss, too. Besides, acting any other way won’t allow you to keep your job, anyway.

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