I have worked at a very large, bureaucratic MNC for the past two years, and about five months ago, I got the raise and promotion I had been campaigning for in the ~6 months leading up to it. About a month after my promotion, my mentor up to that point gave his notice, and left on good terms. He and I worked very closely on an extremely legacy product that is not well known outside or even inside the company.

Since my mentor left, I have inherited a lot of the “overhead” type work he was doing, in addition to the more technical work I was. Right now, we have two others I have been actively training in this legacy product, but due to some personal goals of their own and other requirements, I wouldn’t say either of them has the knowledge base I currently posses.

Question: since my mentor left, I feel I have taken on a lot of work. Given that he was with the company for nearly a decade, I know he was making much more than I am now at the time of his departure. I feel that I should be reasonably compensated for the additional work and level of work I have taken on, but in such a large company, I am not sure that even if my manager wanted to, he could get another medium-sized promotion or raise for me so quickly after the last one. I know that the bi-annual period for raises is coming up. How can I effectively make my case for a promotion without appearing ungrateful or having to “play hard ball?”

  • why have you inherited the work? Or if it's part of your role, why do you want more pay for it? If it's not part of your role, why are you doing it?
    – Kilisi
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 5:00
  • @Kilisi I’ve inherited a lot of quasi-managerial roles and been put in charge of projects that would previously have gone to my mentor, natural line of succession. In my broadly-written job description, all of this is probably in my scope. I feel I deserve a raise because the quantity (number of hours worked) and level (complexity/number of people I need to talk to) of the work have both increased. I also know someone else was being paid a lot more to do less of the same work, though that’s not really a justification. Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 5:06
  • You didn't know you'd be getting this work and what hours would be involved? I'm asking because this would have been a primary concern for me when getting promoted....defining my role and knowing responsibilities etc,. As you say, it's much more difficult to ask for a raise after the fact.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 6:22
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    Possible duplicate of How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid?
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 6:53
  • @JoeStrazzere at least on my part, that was seen as a “catch up” promotion for the work I had been doing the year previous Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


How can I effectively make my case for a promotion without appearing ungrateful or having to “play hard ball?”

You can't, you had a chance to negotiate and you didn't take it. So any attempt after the fact will appear hard ball at best and potentially much worse since it implies that you didn't know what you were doing in the first instance, or at least didn't put much thought into it. Not a great look either way for a recent promotion.

The best way to promote yourself is to discharge your tasks professionally and efficiently. Let your skills push for you. You may get a raise that way without rocking any boats.

  • Was this previous opportunity during my mentor’s notice period? Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 9:46
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    it was whenever you got the promotion. You don't have to accept a promotion, I've turned down more than one.... any change in role is a chance for negotiation.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 9:48
  • Point taken. The previous promotion was a pay band bump I did negotiate based on the work I was doing at the time. Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 9:57

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