My friends’ current situation prompted me to fish for a professional help.

My friend is being working 13 years with the current company. Always scores good marks in appraisals. However things are not moved as expected with his promotion and pay rise.

Other colleagues got increment and promotion. My friend's promotion got delayed for two years and finally got approved recently. However, without being discussed and agreed over formal meeting about pay rise and other benefits, he was suddenly relieved form his current position and moved to different position with a ridiculous pay rise (5% increase).

So my question, how to decline offer politely over financial reasons and how much is the salary is expected during promotion (understand it depends on company)?

  • 6
    I don't understand the question. What reason is there for not accepting more money? Trying to decline it isn't going to change the reassignment. And these days a 5% raise is pretty decent so I don't understand what's ridiculous about it.
    – keshlam
    Jan 14 '16 at 9:06
  • Thank you Keshlam,Indeed, 5% pay rise is bit decent in current scenario. Let me brief you why it wasn't dounds a good amount.
    – Sara
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:33
  • He has waited almost 6 Years to get this promotion. He has got outstanding credentials other any other colleagues. His work is unique in the company and evolving with the company needs .
    – Sara
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:43
  • 2
    He may want a better raise. He may deserve a better raise. Declining promotion won't achieve that, and indeed may not be possible short of quitting.
    – keshlam
    Jan 14 '16 at 10:46
  • 1
    Instead of saying "ridiculous pay rise" (as you said in the comment, it isn't really "ridiculous"), maybe you should say instead "the 5% pay rise is not as high as (he) was expecting, considering (his) 13 years of service".
    – Brandin
    Jan 14 '16 at 16:44

I always cringe when I read these kinds of stories. Never ever leave your career progress in your employers hands and accept that nothing is guaranteed until you have the money in the bank.

His promotion wasn't 'delayed' - the company chose not to promote him. In my experience this is often a case of offering someone a carrot that never comes - it's incredible how long someone will 'put the extra effort in' for a mythical promotion or pay rise that may take literally years. He either needs to accept that, or leave to find a higher paying job elsewhere.

More to the point though, a company doesn't 'owe' you promotions and pay rises for simply existing. It's simply not possible for everyone who starts on the shop floor to work up to be the CEO - at some point, no matter how good they are, somebody gets left behind.

Personally, a company gets one chance with me. They tell me to do X with a view to a promotion/bonus/rise and if they don't uphold their end I presume its simply never going to happen.

I don't really see that he has any real way out of this - the best he can hope for is to hold on to his current role, but I can't imagine them suddenly deciding to hand over this promotion with a huge rise.

  • 11
    "it's incredible how long someone will 'put the extra effort in' for a mythical promotion or pay rise that may take literally years" - too true, and once you've been passed over for the first time and kept on plugging away, you might as well tattoo "sucker" on your forehead at some places. Jan 14 '16 at 9:59
  • 1
    When I was a consultant, the motto was "you want a raise? Change of consulting firm". And even like that, it was not guaranteed...
    – gazzz0x2z
    Jan 14 '16 at 11:42
  • 2
    a company doesn't 'owe' you promotions and pay rises - if Workplace had a FAQ, this needs to be near the top. The only thing a company owes its workers is what is in the employment contract/offer letter. Anyone who thinks fairness has anything to do with employment is in for a career plagued by heartbreak.
    – BryanH
    Jan 14 '16 at 20:29
  • +1 good answer, one chance is enough, if an employer didn't give me what I wanted in a reasonable timeframe, I'd start looking for a new job.
    – Kilisi
    Jan 16 '16 at 7:56

So my question, how to decline offer politely over financial reasons and how much is the salary is expected during promotion (understand it depends on company)?

It makes absolutely no sense to decline (politely or otherwise).

If your friend was insulted by the amount of the raise, there are several things he could do rather than just "decline":

  • He could attempt to negotiate. He could go to his boss and say "I was expecting a much larger raise than this." And then he would lay out the case why he deserves more, and how much more he deserves.
  • He could accept the raise, and then start looking for a new job elsewhere

Declining the raise does him absolutely no good.

  • 3
    Something about "cutting off one's nose to spite their face" springs to mind here.
    – BryanH
    Jan 14 '16 at 20:30

There are a few kinds of promotions and raises and they come for different reasons then one may actually think. You need to decide what they are based on career goals and work with management to make it happen when possible. Here are the kinds of promotions I would say exist most commonly:

Promoted Up - You are promoted to a higher position with usually decently higher pay. These types of promotions are because you show the ability to perform at a very high level doing a job that is not your own. If you want this kind of promotion then get with the person who's job you want and help them to perform day to day operations. Noone is going to "promote up" for being good at your job, its about being good at the job your going to get.

Promoted sideways - This encompasses two kinds of changes, title and supervisor. Many times you will be asked to take on additional responsibilities that are related to your existing job but don't greatly change what you do day to day. These jobs are normally stepping stones and you are not taking them to be payed much better (Although they do usually come with some kind of raise) but rather to add them to your resume or be in a better position to be promoted up later. You get these by being very good at your job as well as excellent at interpersonal skills and leadership. You take these simply because being a "Senior Systems Analyst" looks better on paper then "Jr. Systems Analyst", not for the lackluster pay increase.

Promoted slightly in each direction - Many times you will be in a grey area between the other two types. This would be the case of going from a Systems Analyst to a Jr. Systems Administrator. You normally will get a decent pay bump for having an additional worth such as training or certification or an obvious understanding of the subject. You get these by pushing yourself to be better in something your company needs more of.

Companies don't promote to promote. Why would they promote you to something your not ready for? No matter how good you are at your current job a promotion won't benefit them a lick, you need to be great at your future job, know it inside out. Ask the person who has the job what they do, how they do it, and how you can do it too. Ask if you can shadow them, if your work's done your manager will probably be thrilled. Just make sure not to make them feel threatened like your trying to take their job. Tell them you think they are great at it and just want to learn.


As for raises. Its all about employee retention not anything else. Companies give you raises to compete, not for any other reason. Keeping you happy keeps you there and prevents them having to move on. You could be incredible at your job but after you reach a level of worth to the company its the same if you leave or not. You need to increase the value of your job, not your value itself. I could be the best box packer in the world, but I'm still a box packer.

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