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I am a software developer working at a technology company. Several months ago I talked to my manager about promoting me to the next level (i.e. from associate level developer to intermediate level). He instantly agreed that I deserved it based on my performance and claimed that the higher ups agreed as well. However, he said it would take a while to take effect.

Each month that went by, I continued to ask if there was progress, to which the answer was it will take a little bit. Fast forward to this week and I was on our companies HR website when I noticed that the job title by my name had changed to the promotion title; there has been no communication to me that this change has taken effect, no emails, conversations, nothing.

I went to the salary history and noticed that it had increased this week, however I was disappointed to see that the 'raise' was quite low - barely 3%. For reference, we get yearly merit increases and this year I also got 3% for that (which as most know is pretty much a cost of living raise to keep up with inflation). Although no raise amount was discussed (particularly because I had just been told it would take time before the promotion would happen), I had expected a raise from a promotion to be significantly more than the typical merit increases. Especially when considering I see job ads for similar positions all the time with salaries of 25-35% more than I currently make - which makes sense going from one job level to another.

I have a bi-weekly one-on-one scheduled with my manager for next week and I 'assume' we would talk about the promotion then...and if not, I'm wondering if I should bring it up since I haven't been formally told about it by anyone. My question is, should I bring up the fact that I am disappointed with the raise amount? Or should I simply be happy with the fact I got anything even though it is significantly less than the market rate for that position?

Basically, I find it hard to believe that's the offer they would make if they were trying to hire for the position from outside the company.

marked as duplicate by gnat, gazzz0x2z, Dmitry Grigoryev, Mister Positive, IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 6 '18 at 16:59

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  • have your duties and responsibilities actually changed>? – Kilisi Aug 2 '18 at 23:23
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    Not significantly, however the duties and responsibilities I already had been performing were vastly different than the initial job description when I started, which is part of the reason the promotion was so easily agreed to. For instance, I was the development lead on many projects despite being listed as an associate level developer, and am a subject matter expert on many of our systems. I have also begun to train new hires that were recently added. – Developer Guy Aug 2 '18 at 23:39
  • @gnat I would say this is a different situation. I just got a promotion and raise, but want to know if bringing up my disappointment with the raise amount is a good move or not. – Developer Guy Aug 3 '18 at 15:21
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Unfortunately the reality is (in my experience), in some companies, they will pay you as low as they can get away with.

In many cases if you want a pay rise above the usual 3-5% yearly increases you'll need to go to one of those other jobs that pay %25-35 more. If you're lucky your current boss might counter and give you a similar payrise if they don't want to lose you but not always.

You're working for a business and no one makes money by giving it away. Obviously they've seen you're work and are happy with it and so they gave you the title, if they didn't compensate you as well they are probably "one of those" companies that prefer upper management bonuses over taking care of their workers.

tl;dr If you're not appreciated and compensated what you deserve find a company that will appreciate you.

  • Thanks this is good insight. Would you say it is worth bringing up to my manager that I am disappointed with it? Or would that look bad? – Developer Guy Aug 3 '18 at 15:19
  • Part of me thinks that since I haven't been formally told about it that the raise amount may be a placeholder and the actual amount will be larger when my manager tells me; but maybe that's just wishful thinking. – Developer Guy Aug 3 '18 at 15:26
  • @DeveloperGuy it depends on your rapport with your boss. If you feel you're overly friendly with him go for it, anything less than that would require extreme tact and extreme caution. He might not be the direct decision maker and you might offend him. Or he might think this is all your worth and again you'd be insulting his intelligence. Its tricky grounds. – solarflare Aug 5 '18 at 23:52
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I have a bi-weekly one-on-one scheduled with my manager for next week and I 'assume' we would talk about the promotion then...and if not, I'm wondering if I should bring it up since I haven't been formally told about it by anyone. My question is, should I bring up the fact that I am disappointed with the raise amount?

Yes, if the promotion isn't brought up by your manager, you should bring it up yourself.

Listen first. Hear what your manager has to say about your promotion and likely about your raise. Be open to whatever is said.

If you still feel you are unsatisfied with the answer, then yes - express that you had hoped and expected more. Try not to be accusatory or confrontational. Try not to express an ultimatum. Listen to the response as to why you got the raise you got.

Some companies tend to promote first, then give a raise later. Some promotions only come with small raises. Some companies place a different value on a position than other companies do. Every company is different.

If at the end of the day you feel you are underpaid significantly, then find a new job, give your notice and leave.

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