Joe Mullings, career expert and CEO of The Mullings Group, said asking for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) has not been a standard workplace behavior among those in the professional ranks. However, this standard has gone out the door since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most demographics may ask for a pay increase, those hit hardest by COLA changes are new graduates and entrants into the job market. These individuals have less in savings and are paying an outsized percentage of their salaries for rent, resulting in an environment where new hires are under considerable personal financial strain. In turn, this may impact their work performance or force them to look for a higher-paying job.