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A friend of mine was recently promoted from software developer to senior software developer position. However, due to his salary increase was below his expectation, he started to think about looking for another job. My opinion was it would not be wise to leave your position right after the promotion as it might be seen negatively by potential employers.

His salary was initially below the average (comparing to other friends in other companies and same qualifications and experience). While the salary increase was around 14%, he is disappointed that the increase did not mount to 25%, especially that the promotion increase will not entitle him to the annual increase, which was supposed to be 2 months after the promotion (In his opinion, the decision was made to promote him anyway, but the timing was chosen carefully to increase his salary as little as possible).

He did not negotiate the salary increase during the promotion meeting. Even though, I do not think that would make any positive difference, let alone negative one. As he is very reluctant about it, he made his decision to leave. However, the timing of starting looking for new job is what his concern is. His resume states he was promoted few months ago. He does not want to hide the career level he gained. But at the same time, he does not want to look like he is only moving because of his salary, which is almost certainly will be seen as a bad sign by potential employers.

The question is, how does changing job right after promotion is seen by employers. If you are a hiring manager and you have a candidate as such, what would be your impression, what kind of questions would you clarify? On the other side, how can the candidate justify his move without hurting his chances of getting new job.

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    "My opinion was it would not be wise to leave your position right after the promotion as it might be seen negatively by potential employers. " Do you have a basis for your opinion? – Vietnhi Phuvan Jul 17 '15 at 9:09
  • @VietnhiPhuvan No, I just tried to put myself in the hiring manager's shoes. That is why I ask for support or dispute here – Hawk Jul 17 '15 at 9:12
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    Your friend has a right to his own opinion that he is disappointed with the raise he is getting. However, chances are good that prospective employers are going to be looking askance at his perception that his raise should ve 25% and that 14% is skinflint. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jul 17 '15 at 9:15
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    @VietnhiPhuvan I've been at junctures in my career where I would have quit after a 14% raise. Percentages lack context. – Nathan Cooper Jul 17 '15 at 10:44
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    If I were on the hiring side and heard "I stuck it out working for below my market rate knowing the promotion would bring a raise. I was disappointed that the raise did not bring me up to what others in the area are being paid for comparible positions." that would be much better than some insignificant reasons. That said it's not in your friend's best interest to speak in specific percentages or values as this can skew perceptions. – Myles Jul 17 '15 at 16:04
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Think of it this way. If the company loses a big contract and they have to let everybody on that contract go, it will not matter if they just promoted him. They will give him notice and a deadline to find a position inside the company.

If your friend is not happy with his work situation, then getting a recent promotion is not a reason to stay. There are questions on the site about leaving after getting a big bonus, but a raise is not the same thing as a bonus.

Given that that the increase in the hourly rate didn't bring it to the level he seems to need, why would "staying longer" be the reaction for your friend?

Potential employers will see the year of experience on the resume and decide if that qualifies the candidate for a specific job title in their organization. If the position descriptions for software developer and senior software are similar except in years of experience; it will not matter how much time the candidate has in each position. What will matter is the total amount of time developing software.

If the two job titles are not similar it is a different story. If you spent 5 years as a developer, and then 2 months as the CIO; I wouldn't expect that that was enough time to prove you are qualified to be a CIO. Those few weeks only exposed you to a small amount of full scope of the position. If the goal is to be able to apply for a similar position in a new company more time would be needed in the new post.

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    Thank you, your answer highlighted two important factors 1) The companies perception if they want to let someone go 2) The title versus the number of years of experience. I think the latter is very important, especially when promotion to senior developer does not add more responsibilities, and it just makes the current ones official – Hawk Jul 18 '15 at 0:46

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