I had a meeting with my supervisor that I am on a "list" for January promotions. I meet all the qualifications, and do my work as if I already have this title. Other people I work with are sometimes surprised to learn that I do not yet hold that senior title.

I don't mind waiting 5 months for a title. It's just a title. The pay and RSUs, however, I'd rather not wait for. I have a few interviews lined up in the next few weeks for this senior position at other companies.

I want to tell my supervisor, "I don't mind waiting around for HR's promotion schedule, but it's silly to be underpaid now for the work I do." but I'm not sure the best way to ask.

If they can't give me the pay raise now, I should have competing offers on the table within a few weeks.

Is this a shortsighted approach? Are there any specific things I can say to my supervisor to convince him to give me this pay raise now even if HR doesn't want titles to be conferred until January?


Is this a shortsighted approach?

It does seem rather shortsighted to me.

You were told that you qualify for a promotion in January, and you turned that into an expectation that you should get a raise now. I'm not sure why you expected that.

(It's also not clear what "qualify for a promotion" or "qualify for the promotion now" means in this context. Perhaps you have a union contract that specifies when you reach certain milestones you must be promoted immediately. Barring such a contract, it would be unusual for there to be some formal definition of "qualify" followed by an immediate promotion and raise. Perhaps in your company it's different, in which case you could talk to HR.)

From the phrasing in your question, it sounds like the norm for promotions at your company is "January", so it isn't like you are being singled out as far as I can tell.

Would you have felt better about the company if you were told about "the list" until January?

Are there any specific things I can say to my supervisor to convince him to give me this pay raise now even if HR doesn't want titles to be conferred until January?

Perhaps your threat of "should have competing offers on the table within a few weeks" would do the trick. If, however, your supervisor is just following standard company policy, that might not work.

Everyone gets to decide what sufficiently upsets them such that they want to leave. In this case, based solely on what you have said, it appears to me that you are being shortsighted. Presumably there are other things you like about the company, since you have remained there until now. My advice would be to stick around, work hard, and get your promotion and raise in January.

  • 1. I qualify for the promotion now, not in January. 2. If I was told about this in January, I would be discouraged by the lack of transparency in the company. – user25299 Jul 18 '14 at 19:17
  • "Closed as unclear what I'm asking", yet you answered the question. The dissonance of creating a good answer, yet calling my question unclear, is maddening. – user25299 Jul 31 '14 at 0:22

I would not wait, especially if you have a competitive offer and are willing to join another company. A promise is not a guarantee. Things change.

If you take the interviews and get an offer you could always take it to your current employer. Be open and honest. If you are as valuable to them as you seem they will be silly to not match at least the pay, if not the title immediately.

  • Promises in business are broken all the time. Many times not by intention, rather at the time the promise was made it was realistic, then something happened. Or often enough the person who made the promise is ultimately overridden by someone with more authority. – Eric J Fisher Jul 18 '14 at 18:25
  • In a past experience, the person who guided me to the position I am in, has left the company. – user25299 Jul 18 '14 at 18:25

I would ask your supervisor if there is any way that you can get an increase in pay before you get the promotion, even if it's not the full amount. Don't expect him to say yes, especially since it might be out of his control.

If you can't get the pay raise now, then you need to ask yourself if you are willing to leave the company because of it. Yes, you can get an offer from another company to bring to your supervisor and hopefully get a counteroffer. However, don't do this unless you are actually willing to leave if he says no. If he turns you down and you stick around anyway, you'll damage your relationship and be viewed as if you are ready to leave at any moment.

So think about how much this 5 months of pay increase is worth to you. If not getting it is a deal-breaker, then definitely look for other offers. If you don't actually plan to leave and just want a bargaining chip - don't risk it. Five months is not a long time to wait in the long run.

  • It amounts to about $7k in 5 months that I'm looking for. That's the opportunity cost of keeping my head down and sticking it out. I'll think about if that's worth it. – user25299 Jul 18 '14 at 18:28

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