I've got senior title at engineering field at my current (startup) company, where I've worked for almost one and half year. And then I promised by managers that my salary will be increased after 3 months, because such kind of processes will start in 3 months. After 2 months my company's biggest client chose not to renew our contract and my company started experiencing financial difficulties though hiring and staff replacements are continuing. After 3 months passed I remind my managers about my promised salary and told them that if I would not get my promised salary I have to quit as I took out a loan based on my projected salary. I mentioned that it's really a critical requirement for me. They told me that will speak to CEO and will get back very soon. Now almost three weeks have passed without answer.

I'd like to ask, is it normal behaviour that they're remaining silent? Because in my opinion, even if they don't have a definitive answer they could keep me in the loop, right? Should I break the silence and ask for an update directly? I like my job and tasks I'm working on, so I'd rather stay on.

  • 8
    In general you should avoid bringing your personal financial situation into a salary negotiation as your choice of lifestyle is not your employer's responsibility. If the promised raise was significant and you got a loan based on your expected salaray I could see bringing it up (once) though.Now could you explain if it's true that you need a higher salary to make ends meet or was that just a negotiating tactic? Either way I agree with JB King that given the company's financial struggles you should start searching for a job. Finally, could you add a location tag (country/continent/region)?
    – Lilienthal
    Aug 14, 2015 at 18:32
  • @Lilienthal I agree that it's not correct to bring personal reasons during negotiations. But yes, I took the loan based on their promise, which I mentioned during negotiations.
    – someUser
    Aug 14, 2015 at 18:39
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    Taking a loan based on money not yet in hand is always a gamble. I think that's the real mistake here.
    – keshlam
    Aug 14, 2015 at 21:31
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    @TheMuffinMan I wouldn't either but then I also wouldn't risk such a loan. It's not unreasonable for the OP to act on the information that he'd be getting a promotion. OP could bring it up not as a ploy to invoke pity on part of the employer but to give a clear indicator that salary is absolutely a deal-breaker for him.
    – Lilienthal
    Aug 17, 2015 at 18:51
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    I'll give you the update instead: You didn't get the raise. Proceed accordingly. Aug 18, 2015 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


I'd likely suggest applying to other places and being prepared to move onto another position as a course of action here.

I can imagine some companies staying quiet if there is a low probability of giving you that raise in which case it would be normal. What kind of law are you expecting for "they must tell you" to be effective here? The likely right you have here is that you can choose to quit though depending on where you are there may be laws about such a change. While asking direct questions is one idea, what are you prepared to do if they don't answer or say, "I don't know?"

When the big client contract stopped, did you consider asking at that point if the raise would still happen? I could imagine they have trust in you sticking to your job at the current salary. While you may want more transparency, there can also be the question of what should force this to some extent as if the company is having serious financial issues, there could be the idea that the company doesn't have the money to give you a raise. You can't get blood from a stone and while you can ask questions, be prepared for stonewalling and vague answers as unless you are in a really small company, I doubt they would want you to look at the company books to understand the challenge they have in giving you a raise of X% here. I'd likely consider what exit strategy do you have in mind as if you try to bluff with a, "Tell me or I'm leaving," they may well tell you good-bye and call it on you.

  • but what about trust and transparency?Isn't in part of these notions? In most of cases there is no low for such things, but companies are trying to keep some rules.
    – someUser
    Aug 15, 2015 at 5:07
  • yes, I asked and no answer. Company has financial issues, but I think the % which they promised me is not that much, because as I mentioned, we still hire/fire people in different departments, even we hire senior engineer..I have a feeling, the thing here is priority...
    – someUser
    Aug 17, 2015 at 6:46

Soo, here was the plan of the management:

Wait until employee will try to quit. When employee says that he is quitting, they offer 2 kind of promotions: 1. New title(first they offer this one). 2. At the end if one doesn't agree with first solution and company really needs him/her, than they give money he asked. Also, possible to negotiate amount again.

But this could be very stupid, and become lose-win or lose-lose solution, as maybe the guy already decided to join to another company.

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