Promotion without a pay rise

All too often we hear about people being offered a promotion without a pay rise, here is a recent Q&A from one of our members.

Hi Rapid, I have some good and some bad news. This week work has let me know that they are finally working on my title change as part of a promotion. The problem is they have said there is no pay rise to go with it… They gave me the explanation that I have been doing the role for the past six months etc. and that they are not willing to review it at this time.
What should I do?

Congratulations! Take some time to celebrate the win of actually getting your title changed, don’t underestimate how significant this is. Celebrate the achievement!

Unfortunately, promotions without a salary increase are becoming more and more common.
Now for the tricky part, how do you address the salary injustice.

  • Ask the question “When will we be in a position to discuss my salary in relation to my increasing responsibilities?”

The answer may be in a few months time (after a trial period) or at the normal yearly performance review. If you feel you are grossly underpaid for the new role you can push and ask if a formal review can be done now. Be careful, you don’t want to come across as ungrateful for the new opportunity. Above all else DON’T whinge to everyone else in the office about how annoyed you are at the situation – Only discuss this in private with the people with the power to actually change it.
In the mean time, make sure you keep track of all your KPI’s and take note of examples where you are going above and beyond.

In this situation I always find it important to also focus on what Value the new position title can bring you, for example:

  • Expanded knowledge, exposure to new training, new skill sets
  • A better position on your CV for the next step
  • A great opportunity for professional growth
  • Hopefully a step closer to your career goals

Try to focus on the positive aspects of the new role and get excited about it. Don’t let the one downer bring down what is otherwise a great achievement.

I have personally been in this situation a few times and my best advice is to bring it up at your next performance review (max 3 months time). Prior to the performance review, make sure you Prepare-Prepare-Prepare! Use the Performance Review Report to make sure you get the most out of your review and hopefully land the salary increase you deserve.
Congratulations again on the new title, enjoy celebrating your massive achievement!