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I joined the mid-sized IT (500-1000 employees) company located in Stockholm, Sweden over a year ago. When the yearly salary reviews happened earlier this year I was missed (because supposedly there is a rule that you need to work at least 9 months to be eligible for a salary review, and I only had 8 months) and my salary is still at the level from mid-2018. The next salary review is scheduled for Q2 of 2020 and I don't want to wait that long for a raise (or at the very least adjustment related to the inflation in Sweden).

There is no mention about the salary reviews in my contract nor was I informed about this during the recruitment process.

Living and working here for almost 4 years now, I understand that yearly salary-reviews are extremely common and very often the only way to receive a raise.

I like my manager, my team and we have quite healthy atmosphere and relations in the office.

Would formally asking for a raise be very much out of line or in a bad taste? Could doing it somehow damage my relations with the manager or higher-management?

  • Perhaps you didn't had a salary review, but did you had a performance review? Any evidence or things you have to back you up when asking for a raise? – DarkCygnus Nov 12 '19 at 20:32
  • What makes you say yearly salary reviews are very often the only way to receive a raise in Sweden? Have you tried asking for a raise before? Have you spoken to people who have? Most people might say the same about wherever they're living if they haven't tried asking (or if they only have a tiny amount of anecdotal evidence that asking doesn't work). – NotThatGuy Nov 12 '19 at 20:34
  • Are you getting paid less than you're worth? If you get a raise now, can you also get one in Q2? Have you accomplished enough in the 8 months to justify a raise? – NotThatGuy Nov 12 '19 at 20:48
  • Compulsory related reading: How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid? – NotThatGuy Nov 12 '19 at 20:49
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    A cultural thing that I read about Sweden is that most people are extreme planners. This may backfire on you because you have violated their "plan". I would be cautious how you approach this, and there should be a solid reason other than "I don't want". – Pete B. Nov 13 '19 at 12:41
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Is it appropriate to ask for a raise in Sweden?

It never hurts to ask. Just make sure that you have tangible evidence to show how you are providing more value to your company than before. The worst that could happen is that the company tells you that you have to wait for the next salary review. It should not damage any relations as you are

  • simply asking ( not demanding )
  • barely missed the last salary review and you were never informed about the dates

Good luck

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You can always ask them, as already stated by others it will not hurt. Does the company have a collective agreement ("kollektivavtal") with a union? If so I think you will get the higher salary for the months that have already passed as well.

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I like my manager, my team and we have quite healthy atmosphere and relations in office.

And that's the trap. Because asking about something for yourself may upset them. And they (managers/people responsible for salary) know this and will (conciously or not) use that against you (after all one of their goals is to pay less). Besides what is more important: that everyone likes you or that you earn more? This is not a rhetorical question, you actually have to think and decide for yourself.

You either stand up for yourself and some people don't like you or you don't and everyone likes you. This is culture independent. Successful people in any country have enemies.

So as I see it: you should not ask about what is or isn't appropriate (who decides that anyway?) but about what you want. Ask for raise, embrace consequences. Just do it.

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