I changed jobs a little over one and a half years ago because I wanted a more technical role (I'm a junior SW developer now, before I was a developer using a low-code platform). I even took a few percent cut out of my total compensation to make the switch and I enjoy my current job more.

Our company gives raises every half year - December and May. I didn't get a raise during first wave of raises (May 2018) because of my performance, which I managed to fix and my managers have been satisfied with me for over a year now. Unfortunately, the company got into financial issues and didn't give any raises last December and only gave raises to a few exceptions this May. I was one of the exceptions, but I believe I'm still earning below market rate. My boss wanted to give me double the raise I received, but our big boss denied his initial suggestion. I told my boss that I expected a bigger raise and he said I still can talk to our big boss, which I'm not comfortable with. It's also not clear when will company's financial situations improve, so I might see a limited or no raise again in December. I'm also afraid I'm less likely to be promoted in this environment.

Actual problem/question

So I've been seriously thinking about switching jobs with money being the primary motivator. My problem is that I'm not sure how to approach this correctly. Should I talk to my boss and make it very clear that I'm not satisfied? Is it a good idea to mention this when interviewing or should I completely focus on other reasons why I'd like to make the change?


4 Answers 4


If you believe you're earning below market rate (or even if you don't, but you're not satisfied with your pay anyway) then apply for jobs and get an offer for what you think you're worth.

Then accept that offer, and resign from your current position. Stay professional as you leave - you never know when you'll work with someone again or need a reference.

Your boss has already tried to get you a raise that you'd be happy with, and the company has said it will not give you one. So if it's important to you then find another company that will.

Do not mention money as a motivator in interviews - talk about new challenges and professional growth instead. When they ask you for your salary range then give one where you'd be happy with the lower bound and ecstatic with the upper one.

  • 1
    If you like your current place, you can use your offer and ask your employer if they can match it. If they can't tell them you're turning in your two weeks. It's very important you have a offer letter that you signed and your new employer signed.
    – Dan
    Jun 10, 2019 at 17:23
  • 28
    @Dan usually not a good precedent to set asking your current employer to match an offer. If you're already being paid under market rate, and they do match up to market rate, you've all but guaranteed you won't receive anything better at the current position. Leaving for a better offer, by contrast, opens you up for further salary growth.
    – economy
    Jun 10, 2019 at 18:39
  • @economy that really depends on the company and situation, speaking from personal experience.
    – user34687
    Jun 11, 2019 at 4:12
  • 1
    Accepting a counter-offer means you are now leaving on their terms (they'll plan to replace you). That is much worse than leaving on your terms when you find a better offer. If you really want to "wrap up" projects, negotiate hourly contract work, not a full-time counter-offer.
    – Nelson
    Jun 11, 2019 at 10:09

Should I take to my boss and make it very clear that I'm not satisfied?

Yes, why would you not. Especially if you're planning on leaving regardless.

Is it a good idea to mention this when interviewing

I would refrain from making it the primary reason when asked. It doesn't look good to employers, although not always bad it's best to stay safe and not risk it.

What I would do is let your boss know the situation. Then start applying for jobs, and whilst the process of potentially getting a raise you can be getting ready for the worst. If your boss gives you a non-satisfactory raise or worse (not at all) then you can quit.

With the financial situation, it's likely best that you start looking now regardless so you can have a bit more security when it comes to your job, you don't know if the finances will ever become better or continue to take a turn for the worst.


It sounds like you're not satisfied with this company's ability to stay in business and pay people fairly. It sounds like you've given them good value.

And it sounds like you have made your manager aware of your need for a better salary, and that negotiation to get one has not succeeded.

That means you have already done your duty to this company.

Is there some special reason to believe that negotiating more will succeed (something you didn't mention in your question)? If so, give it a try.

If not, take the high road. Say no more about this to anyone in your company. Get another job that meets your salary requirement better. Then resign from this job. Don't use the better offer as a negotiating point with your current job unless two things:

  • You're a skilled negotiator. (Many junior people have not yet gained those skills.)
  • You're willing to stay with the present company for a few years if you win the negotiation.

People do change jobs at this stage of your career. In my view the best way to do it is gracefully, without considering counteroffers.

Keep this in mind: the counteroffer thing is a GAME for your employer, but it is LIVELIHOOD for you. You have more to lose than they do. So be very careful.

  • Why is it important to stay at the current position for a few years if they match the offer? There's no reason I can see why that would be the case.
    – economy
    Jun 10, 2019 at 18:42
  • I don't claim the employee must stay from loyalty or anything like that. But the offer-counteroffer dance is a pain in the neck and burns the employee's social capital. It's not worth the hassle unless the employee really likes the company.
    – O. Jones
    Jun 10, 2019 at 19:15
  • If it's a hassle and not worth doing (I agree with that, btw), then the answer should just advise not doing it. You've added qualifications to when it's appropriate to negotiate that don't make any sense.
    – economy
    Jun 10, 2019 at 19:26

I would be very, very careful mentioning anything like this to your boss. If they notice that you've asked about a raise, then suddenly taking time off (to interview, though they don't have to know that), they may put two and two together, deduce you're taking the time off to interview and start acting hostile towards you (same happened to me, company deduced I was interviewing and threatened to fire me on the spot).

  • It's very unlikely that I would be fired on the spot, but I want minimize burning any bridges.
    – Simon
    Jun 11, 2019 at 7:35

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