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I started working at my company 6 months ago and although I wasn't enthusiastic about the salary, I was promised that I'll get a chance to revisit the matter and renegotiate my salary after the review period, which is 6 months.

Now that the review period is over, I sent the HR director, same person who mentioned the salary review prior, an email inquiring about the matter and they said they had "no plans" discussing a salary raise.

I believe that it's a worrying sign that my employer suddenly refused discussing my salary although they had no problem in the beginning. It's either the company culture or they don't value me as before.

I already started applying to other jobs since I don't want to be in a place that doesn't value me and isn't transparent about salary matters.

My question: Since it's generally not a good sign leaving a job after less than a year, is it an acceptable reason to other companies when I mention that I left because I wasn't granted a promised salary review?

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    Did you get this promise of renegotiation in writing or something? – DarkCygnus Apr 5 at 22:38
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    HR director mentioned during my on-boarding that there will be a salary review after the end of the review period. I emailed her after the review period and she said there were no plans because of budget concerns. – tawsonfield Apr 5 at 22:53
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    "I was promised that..." just another reminder. Words mean absolutely nothing. – Fattie Apr 6 at 15:30
  • is this software related, @tawsonfield ? – Fattie Apr 6 at 15:31
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I've been kind of in the same situation. I accepted a job at a lower salary than I initially wanted because they were going to provide training for a skill I needed for the kind of job I wanted, and if I worked well I would get a raise at my yearly review. Cue one year later, I got zero hours training, spend evenings doing online courses to be able to do my job well. At my annual review, I get lots of praises, nothing negative... and a 4% raise. I was not happy. I learned that the only way to get a raise there (or anything else substantial) was to threaten to quit.

I told the truth at my interviews, without going into details. I didn't want to badmouth my old employer, but if you're treating employees badly I'm not going to cover it up by making up something or take the blame. It's also a way to screen future employers : if you're uncomfortable with what I say, I don't want to work with you either. Here's an idea of what I said at interviews :

We weren't a good fit. I liked the work and the people there, but the way they handle training, evaluations and raises ended being different then what they advertised during the interview process. I decided that it would be best for me and my career to move on to a new company where I could grow and feel valued.

If they asked to elaborate, I politely refused and redirect the conversation on them :

If it's the same to you, I'd prefer not to. I bear no ill will towards my old employer, and do not desire to badmouth them. I just expected something different on some aspects. But I can tell you what I look for in an employer now.

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Don't ever mention any specific bad things from the current company to the company you're interviewing for.

No company wants people who talk about their current employer - even if it's all truth and if they're in the right and their current employer in the wrong.

Why? Because if you talk about your current employer, the new company thinks (and with good reason) that in time you will also talk to someone else about them.

The best way is to give answers that are positive about the new company, without mentioning the old company. Talk about how you feel that your skills and their projects are a perfect fit, or that you heard good stiff about them.

The second choice is to stick to neutral answers... "I'm just looking around to see what's out there".

Never ever talk about the current employer, or any past employer.

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I would not mention you weren't granted a salary review, because it implies to NewCompany that OldCompany thought they might have to pay you X+Y during the interview process, but after six months on the job, OldCompany believes they can pay you X.

::: You interview better than you perform and/or you are most concerned about money.

Instead, you might try to identify something else about the work environment that made you want to move on which doesn't reflect too negatively on either you or OldCompany. Such as being hired to do A, but are being asked to do an increasing amount of B, which you are fine with in small amounts, but your whole job has become about B.

For an "A" of software developer, "B" might be software testing.

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    E.g.: "Water cooler talk says serious budget problems. As a recent hire, I figure I'm at risk. Better to jump than get pushed" – Sherwood Botsford Apr 7 at 17:10
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    @SherwoodBotsford, your suggestion is indeed a possibility OP may pursue. Personally I would not be sure to use it myself because this may lead to undesired alternative interpretations: "candidate may leave my company because of rumors"; "candidate has not enough confidence in their own value"; "candidate has a low level of resilience"; "candidate is disclosing internal situation of their current employer". – Quaestor Lucem Apr 8 at 14:35
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I already started applying to other jobs since I don't want to be in a place that doesn't value me and isn't transparent about salary matters.

You've got legitimate reasons to look elsewhere - you were promised something that never materialized which makes you question your value to your current employer and your future at this job. No need to go into detail about your situation with prospective employers, just stick to the reasoning you've outlined above:

After spending 6 months at my current job I don't feel like I'm being valued which makes me doubt my future at this company.

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Don't worry so much about short stints. I have been working for over 25 years and have had 15 jobs in that time. Never once was I asked why some were shorter than others. My longest 5 years, shortest 10 months. Only had one job I worked more than 3 years. It is just part of current landscape.

It just wasn't a good fit is a fine answer. I see no harm in indicating that salary promises were made that they were subsequently unable to fulfill.

Advice is based on software industry in the United States.

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I started working at my company 6 months ago and although I wasn't enthusiastic about the salary, I was promised that I'll get a chance to revisit the matter and renegotiate my salary after the review period, which is 6 months.

You saw it as a "promise". I bet your employer meant it like this:

We'll evaluate your performance after 6 months, then:

  • If it turns out you're an "exceptional" employee, we will consider giving you a raise right now.

  • If it turns out you're an "acceptable" employee, we will keep you on the regular staff and therefore subject to the regular annual salary review along with all the other employees.

  • If it turns out you're a "poor" employee, we'll either put you on an improvement plan or you're gone.

In many organisations the vast majority of employees fall into the "acceptable" bracket. Perhaps only one or two fall into the "exceptional" bracket, and one or two fall into the "poor" bracket.

Unfortunately this is a symptom of the realities of staff budgeting. It would be great if everyone could be "exceptional", but usually, it just doesn't work like that.

Now the question you need to ask yourself is: "What do you think you bring to your employer that will make them think you are exceptional?"

Oh, and if you do go for a new job, don't rubbish your current employer. It looks bad on you, and it might get back to them and you could find yourself there for some months to come.

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