I work in a large investment bank as an associate with 2 years experience at this job. I asked for a pay rise after a year of work, when I felt I really needed it:

  1. First year resulted in a "A" grade performance management results;
  2. Line manager told me that they hired me on a "less than market salary" for this position;
  3. Currency value goes down, can't afford things; (Contract does not directly presume annual pay rises in case of inflation, etc.)
  4. Personal reasons.

Management said "OK". Expecting to get a pay rise in a few months, I was disappointed. Top-management could not make any decisions for a long time and nothing happened, they only said to wait a "little more". These was no open dialog about salary rise.

After 11 months, they finally offered me a pay rise - 10-15% less that I expected, saying something like that "Enjoy, you got the biggest promotion in your team, we chased management hard for it."

At this moment i'm already in the mid stage of being recruited to another company. In short: better pay, better opportunities. I'm in.

I feel controversial, as on one side they could not resolve a problem for a long time, and if i stay, that can happen again next year. On the other side, i'm not into conflicts and would like to save good relationships with my direct management.

Should I feel uncomfortable when leaving the company in such a situation?

  • 1
    Does their "we went to bat for you" comment change what your value as an employee is? Do you somehow owe them for not being able to bring your compensation levels to standard simply because they "tried"? – Joel Etherton Oct 30 '15 at 19:04
  • Joel, the overall attitute makes me think that my work is not valued much. I feel awful for asking for the rise over and over and then receiving what I got. – qugu Oct 30 '15 at 19:24
  • "I'm leaving -- I know it's not what you expected, but the other company tried really hard." – mcknz Oct 30 '15 at 22:14
  • Why ask for an opinion "Should I feel uncomfortable whn leaving the company in such a situation?" That is totally irrelevant. You can ask e.g. "How do I respond to criticism", but make sure it is not a broad question, because a 'what to do' question will get you 'off-topic' flags. What is your actual question about actions in time and place? – user8036 Nov 2 '15 at 10:11

Should I feel uncomfortable when leaving the company in such a situation?

No, you shouldn't.

You're doing what seems best to you to further your career, getting a raise does not change that at all. Quite frankly I would find 11 months to get me a raise very disappointing performance on their side.

  • You ask for a raise. Your management does not give you one. Your next step in this situation should be to see if someone else is willing to give you what you want- and your management should be well aware of that. They have nobody to blame but themselves after 11 months :) – Paul Becotte Dec 3 '15 at 3:08

From personal experiences take their explanation with a grain of salt. They already said they hired you below market and chances are they threw a number at you, which matches that of the rest of the team probably, and just told you to accept it just because.

With that said, you shouldn't feel bad for leaving especially if it is a position you want.


Yes, this situation is definitely uncomfortable, but employers tend to be very understanding if you explain your honest situation. You should never feel bad about doing what you feel is best for you, nor will they blame you for leaving. If you tell your employer your reasons for leaving, which are very valid, they will understand. Do not put them in a bad light by saying that it's their fault. Say that you're very grateful for everything they've done for you but you feel that this is best for your own good.

  • Should I tell them that the rise didn't meet my expectations when leaving? (I would still leave for other benefits) – qugu Oct 30 '15 at 19:20
  • "... now will they blame you for leaving." While a reasonable boss probably would not blame you, not everyone is reasonable. – GreenMatt Oct 30 '15 at 20:53
  • @qugu: Unless they ask specifically about that, no, as it would serve no purpose. – GreenMatt Oct 30 '15 at 20:54

But nothing has been resolved. You waited longer than expected for a raise less than you expected. I would feel better if it was the lowest raise of the group - at least then there is an up side.

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