So I'm a programmer somewhere and I've applied for a senior developer position. My questions is mainly:

How do I bring up the idea of a raise to my boss if I don't get the promotion?

I'll explain the circumstances below.

I've been a programmer there for 3 years and last summer, our two other senior developers left. For about a month or two until we hired a new programmer, I was the only one other than my boss. I assumed a large number of responsibilities in that time in addition to my usual ones. Finally, after 1-2 months we hired a new programmer and I helped train him to get used to the system. Luckily, my workload lessened a little bit thanks to the new programmer, but I still have a large workload compared to what I used to have.

Fast forward a few months (thanks for taking FOREVER HR)... and they finally released the job posting for the new developer. Because of my workplace, there can't be a direct promotion, they have to offer it to the public.

Of course I applied for the job opening and let my bosses know that I did.

I feel that I deserve(maybe not the right word) the promotion because I already have been doing those responsibilities already for a few months and if we do hire someone new, I'll probably help train them for a bit too. So I'll have to train the new 'senior' person, and still have (possibly) those increased responsibilities until the new person can be brought up to speed.

Thinking out loud here...

If I already have been doing some of those increased responsibilities for the past few months, and probably will for the next few, wouldn't I deserve a bit of a raise? Shouldn't your current workload and responsibilities reflect your salary?

What do you think the respectful way and time would be to bring this up to my bosses?

  • 2
    Double posted i think
    – Brian
    Feb 11, 2015 at 14:51
  • Generally no you don't deserve a raise if they give the position to someone else. You have temporarily been assigned to some duties. Only a permanent assignment is justification for a raise. If they don't select you they are saying they don't think you can do the work long term and that isn't a good place to be in when asking for a raise. A better strategy is to ask the hiring official what you can do to get selected the next time. That will tell you why they think you are not ready.
    – HLGEM
    Feb 12, 2015 at 20:32
  • I personally don't think this is a duplicate since he has been doing the work but someone else might be getting selected for the promotion. That is a differnt situtation to ask for a raise from.
    – HLGEM
    Feb 12, 2015 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


There are no recipes for all of this. The respectful way to discuss something with your boss is to, well, discuss it respectfully. Some considerations: Is there a standard periodic review cycle? Do people typically get raises on this cycle? If so, you might want to have a very strong reason to ask for a raise off-cycle. Working anyplace for 3 years without a comp improvement either implies a not-so-nice workplace (at least in the US) or that your management is not so happy with your work.

It there is a review cycle, you might, instead, want to open a conversation with your immediate manager about your prospects for the next review cycle. If there is no standard review process, you have a one-on-one with your immediate manager and tell her or him that you feel that you've earned a raise.

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