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I was promoted to office manager three months ago and a raise did not come with the promotion. I am guessing it was because I had received a raise about a month and a half before I got promoted. I have been doing a great job so far (or at least that's what I have been told) yet, no raise, bonus, or anything. How would I go about asking for a bonus or some sort of compensation?

  • What is your company's policy for bonuses? – superM Apr 29 '13 at 15:38
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    Surely you must have had a meeting to discuss the agreements of your promotion, and in this your salary would have been discussed. Unless you didn't have this meeting, though i can't think of a legitimate reason not to have it – Rhys Apr 29 '13 at 15:39
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    At one office where my husband worked, managers would go to great lengths to avoid letting these conversations fully take place (for instance, they would have another manager call them in for an "emergency" during the meeting). – Amy Blankenship Apr 29 '13 at 15:43
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    Make a case for yourself. You need to turn into a salesperson. Sell yourself. Tray and come up with a list of improvements you've given to the organization in the past 3 months, then based on said improvements, point out that you feel a raise or bonus is justified. – DA. Apr 29 '13 at 15:53
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    I wonder how much one could accomplish in just 3 months... – Onno Apr 29 '13 at 16:02
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How would I go about asking for a bonus or some sort of compensation?

You simply need to go in and talk with your boss. Mention that you believe you have done a great job so far, and ask "I think a bonus or raise is in order here, don't you?" Then, wait for the response.

Some companies believe in a process like Promotion first, Prove you can handle it, Rewards later.

Other companies (and most where I have worked) would typically include a raise with the promotion.

Almost every company where I have worked would have already made this clear when they told you about the promotion.

Perhaps in your boss' mind this was a lateral move, and not actually a promotion. Perhaps they want to see you prove yourself in the new position, then you will get a raise. Perhaps your recent raise was in anticipation of your taking on this new role. Or perhaps something else is going on here.

You will only know the answer, if you ask your boss.

Don't be shy - good luck!

  • Nice answer, Joe. I would add one more company philosophy regarding monetary rewards that says, "Don't give anything until the rube has worked his heart out and is threatening to leave." I'm betting I'm not alone in having witnessed this one :) – Bernard Dy May 3 '13 at 15:25
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First off - what's reasonable for your company?

I don't know, so I'm not assuming. But 3 months into a new position isn't the point at which I would typically expect a bonus. That said, if that's the status quo in your company, or you know of other cases of those around you getting bonuses for which you might also be eligible, then by all means, start raising the issue.

Next Step - Don't be passive

When taking on a new position, don't make assumptions. In the future, when you're given a promotion, ask about both the rewards and the responsibilities. Doing both together shows that you understand that this is a new deal and you're making sure you understand all expectations.

That's a good time to clarify:

  • how does this company do raises? Many may do it on a yearly cycle, so the promotion and your work will be factored in during your yearly review. Others do link salary to promotion and may be able to explain the process.

  • other perks - especially moving from individual contributor to manager can come with rights and responsibilities that are also perks - setting your schedule, better travel options, choosing the color of furniture... you never know. It's worth asking and it's easy to work in with the new responsibilities so that doesn't sound greedy.

Given that you've been working the new position for a bit, you might need to try this retroactively - "hey, I forgot to ask - First, how am I doing? Second - how do raises work here?"

Bonuses

Bonuses happen for all sorts of reasons. Often just being good at a job isn't one of them, though. Reasons for bonuses:

  • Accomplishment of a major milestone

  • Above and beyond service

  • Retention at a time when the company does not want to raise salary

It's good to get a sense of why you might deserve the bonus before going in and asking for one... if bonuses are getting handed around, ask others why and what prompted them to get a sense of how the company uses bonuses and how you might qualify.

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You should have discussed the remuneration opportunities and trajectory at the time of applying for the new job. Not being assertive then is breaking you up now. You shouldn't necessarily have demanded a pay raise off the bat, but maybe you should have arranged for some kind of advancement of your appraisal interview. To me, it might look a bit forward of you to demand a pay raise so soon. After 3 months on the job you're just beginning to show your competence. If I was your boss, I'd postpone the discussion until your next appraisal interview.

In short: You don't ask if you don't want to appear to be a greedy person. You haven't really built up a track record yet, but signs are good that you'll be rewarded when that time of the year comes.

  • Whilst this highlights what the OP may have done wrong, it doesn't attempt to answer what the OP can do to fix it. As such, this isn't a constructive answer. – Rhys Apr 29 '13 at 15:49
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    I've added a bit of hands on advice on what to do at the end. The answer is quite simple: You don't, period. Not if you don't want to peter out right away. – Onno Apr 29 '13 at 15:54

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