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
    You might get more/better response by posting this in the "The Workplace". – Raze Feb 11 '15 at 1:10

Great questions. Here's my take, I look forward to other opinions.

  1. First, congrats on taking the initiative and being your own best advocate. Wish I'd see more of that.
  2. Make sure your boss knows on an ongoing basis (and be explicit, tell him!) that you are doing great work, picking up the slack, and have ALL the skills and experience necessary to take on the open senior position.
  3. Schedule a meeting with your boss, make it a formal request. He's no dummy, he'll know what's up. "Bob, I'd like to meet with you for 15 minutes to discuss the programming team and my contributions. When's a good time?"
  4. Prep for the meeting. Dress professionally for the meeting (if dress code is casual, kick it up a tiny notch). Write down your talking points in advance. You don't need to bring your notes unless you want to, but write them down as practice. You want to demonstrate (with examples) how much value you are bringing to the company and how you are directly related to their current successes. Discuss your current salary, the going rate for such skills, the fact that you have all this experience and in-house knowledge, etc.
  5. Ask for the raise. State the amount. "I'm worth so much to the company and have grown into many additional responsibilities. In return, I'd like a raise of $xx." You want fair compensation for excellent work, nothing more, nothing less.

You'll either get the raise, get the promotion, get both, or get nothing. 3 out of the 4 scenarios are a win for you.

If you get nothing or they give you the runaround, "it's not in the budget", "maybe at your next review", etc, you'll have some decisions to make. Leave the meeting on a positive note even if rejected. Continue to do a great job, but consider what your next steps will be. It's always a good idea to keep your resume up to date.

If you get shot down, start coming to work dressed up a bit nicer than usual. Take your lunch breaks for the full hour and come back on time with a spring in your step. They'll think you're going on job interviews, maybe some panic will set in and you'll get your raise. In all cases, continue to do great work for them and they'll see the value in keeping you happy.

  • Great answer. I like the 3/4 win option, and the dress well for the meeting. Great points through and through – Brian Feb 11 '15 at 14:50