Expert calls this the worst possible move.

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Q: After every performance review, my manager tells me I deserve a better raise. He says that the company had another bad year and his own raise was also very small. Because he believes our whole group is doing a good job, he always splits our small increase budget equally.

The last time I got this run-around, I finally had enough. Because the cost of living has risen faster than my salary, I am actually moving backwards financially. I informed my boss that if the company didn’t want to pay me appropriately, I saw no reason to continue working as hard as I had in the past. What do you think about this?

A: Let me see if I have this straight. Business is bad, and the pay increase budget is limited. Your boss received a meager raise himself and is trying to treat a group of good performers equitably. While I certainly feel your financial pain, I can’t see what the issue is here.

Everyone wants their compensation to increase, but the unfortunate reality is that this doesn’t always happen. Just ask almost anyone who suffered through the last recession. So if you are concerned about rising costs and stagnant income, the only way to change that equation is to reduce expenses or find a better-paying job

The worst possible move, however, is to retaliate for lower pay by threatening to do less work. If you follow through on this warning, your increases may get even smaller. And if business continues to decline, your salary could ultimately drop to zero.