So, six months ago, I changed jobs for one primary reason - to spend more time with my family. I negotiated a flex arrangement, and set about to work. The good news is, I've been doing good work. The great news is that I've done such a good job, I've been told that I will be promoted to team lead, probably today at the 4:00 meeting.

The bad news is, I'm back to doing a lot of work, and I'm getting the reduced salary for it. From 40 hours, I'm back into the 60 hour a week range.

I really want the team lead role - it's a hole in my resume that at this point in my life I should really fill. As such, I can't really decline the additional work and feel comfortable with that decision.

The question I have then is this: At what point should I say, "Okay, I'm doing a lot more work - I should be getting a lot more money?"

In some ways, I would like to have been asked if I want the promotion, for I would have asked them this question at that point. (You want me to promote me? Thanks! How much of a raise does that come with?) I also don't know when our regular reviews are.

What would be a good amount of time to wait to bring up the fact that my significantly increased responsibilities should be concomitantly increased?

  • Just to be clear, when you say "reduced salary", do you mean you're getting less per hour (because you're working more hours), or is there an actual reduction in your total salary? Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 23:41
  • I took a (substantial) pay cut to take the job six months ago. Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 23:49
  • 3
    Not to state the obvious, but did you consider just doing what you can in 40 hours and leave it at that? Why let them manipulate you into working 60 hours? You simply let them know that with your family situation, you can't be putting in overtime. They don't need to know anything about your particular family situation, which is that you want to spend more time with them.
    – Dunk
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 19:23
  • 3
    In general, unless you are hourly waged, almost always it is a bad idea to negotiate less for less. When the job is defined in terms of responsibility it becomes easily stretchable. your biggest challenge isn't to convince them that More (60) hour should mean more money; but to show that given job actually is 60 hours. Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 4:33
  • 2
    I'm not sure about one point in the question - do you mean you've been doing 60 hours in this job already, or that the team lead job would bring you from 40 to 60 hours?
    – weronika
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 5:31

8 Answers 8


Maybe I'm naive, but it seems obvious that a big promotion to team lead will bring with it a commensurate salary increase.

I'm guessing there'll be some sort of sit-down meeting with you and your boss, possibly HR. If, somehow, nobody mentions any sort of salary change, then by all means bring it up. Tactfully, but definitely bring it up.

It could be something as simple as "Can we discuss a salary adjustment, to go with these increased responsibilities I'll be tending to as team lead?" or "May I ask what you were thinking for a new salary to go with these new responsibilities?" But again, wait until the last minute; it's very, very likely someone in management will bring it up first.

  • 5
    It varies. In my organization, "Team Lead" is a project-specific role, not a job title. So a person could be Team Lead on a project and when it ends, they go back to being a regular developer on a different project (there isn't room for everyone to be a Team Lead). Getting to be Team Lead does not automatically come with a raise or promotion. Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 13:47
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    one employer I had used the term "Team Lead" to designate a peer "leader": no additional pay, but a shift in responsibilities (fewer support cases in his queue in exchange for [theoretically] 'keeping after' and helping-out the rest of the team more)
    – warren
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 13:23

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon. – Napoleon Bonaparte

The good news is that you're doing well in your new job and they're trusting you to handle more. The bad news is that you're not getting a promotion.

Managers know what Napoleon knew – a little recognition will go a long way. In 99% of cases, the employee says, "Hey! Great! I'm getting a promotion! Super!" and goes off to celebrate. When you're told you're doing great and going to get a promotion, ask what the pay is! There's nothing wrong with this; it shows intelligence and aptitude. If you don't ask, you're not going to get a pay increase.

The job title is the ribbon – it's shiny, it implies respect and management, and it costs the company nothing. As a matter of fact, in many cases, it's a cost-cutting measure to give these lateral-promotions to employees since the overtime they were paying now becomes required time under your salary (and if you're not, you soon will be with the added supervisory capacity). Now, not only do you not get paid overtime, it's in your best interests to get the job done without accruing overtime for your team. Here's the carrot and the stick – do it, and they may give you a bonus (which, by the way, if you're managing others you should always suggest); don't do it and you're the one who'll take the fall.

Right now, you're working 1.5x the hours and not receiving any more pay for it. If they're not going to pay you more, leverage the job title lateral-promotion to find a new job.


I would discuss the money before accepting the position. Accepting the position should be your decision.

I would also spend some time examining your premise of "it's a hole in my resume that at this point in my life I should really fill".
I would hope for reasons such as: Do you have a passion for the position? Do you want to effect change? Do you want to improve broken systems? Do you want more pay? Any and all of these can be valid reasons.
Also, management and team lead positions do not have to mean huge hours. That may be the culture, but there are always exceptions to the rule, and you can be one of them.


I think the key word here is "promotion". If you are getting a promotion then I believe part of the promoting should be in the salary or package you get. Companies in general will try to get as much out of you as possible for the least amount of remuneration as possible (of course that is a mass exaggeration but I don't think it's far off the mark)

IMHO Promotion === Promotion in responsibilities + promotion in expectations === promotion in remuneration package

It can be awkward bringing this up, so be sure to bring this up before accepting the role. Once you accept, you are doing the work and so whatever value the company holds for that role you should be receiving in your pocket.

Perhaps send an email to the boss along the lines of.

Hi ...,

I would like to discuss further the role of team leader role within the company. Some of the topics I would like to go over include:

  • What exactly does this role cover. In what capacity will my responsibilities increase.
  • With this new role expectation is there any remuneration benefit to go with the extra responsibility and expectations. If not immediate will there be any review along these lines in the future.
  • I really enjoyed my work, life balance in my previous role. Do you expect this to be effected by a team leader position in regards to your expectations on how it should be filled.

Thanks and I look forward to talking with you some more on this great opportunity....

Or something along these lines.

  • 5
    You exact tone will vary with the relationship you have with your manager, but those last two bullet points are way too timidly phrased in my opinion. "Is there any?" reads like you're asking for a favor that can be easily refused. Your expectations and needs should be clear from the way you ask the question -- "With this increased responsibility, how will my remuneration increase? What's the time frame for that?" "My work-life balance is an extremely important part of this job. What can we do to ensure that isn't negatively affected by my new responsibilities?"
    – user3511
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 18:03
  • @JoshCaswell yep good point. it's all a fine balance between getting the right tone to ensure the outcome is along the lines of what you hope to achieve
    – dreza
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 19:16

I would do so immediately. If possible before the promotion is announced.

I would let them know that while you desire the role you took this position at less pay because it would require less of a commitment. Since the new role will have requirements of extra commitment I would expect a significant increase in salary.

If you wait and do the work for a while at your current rate you actually lose leverage in negotiating a new rate.


I prefer to wait to ask for an increase until I've actually demonstrated that I can handle the new responsibilities. I find that it makes for a much more compelling case when I start the conversation to justify a pay increase. It also shows your bosses that you're not "just in it for the money" (regardless of whether or not you actually are...)

  • 5
    Bad idea, the best time to get the increase is when the responsibilities are increased - you have leverage then, why would they do it later when you have been doing the work for less money?
    – HLGEM
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 20:08
  • I think that you have significantly less leverage now than later. After a couple of months, you can point to your accomplishments and general success as justification for a potentially more significant increase.
    – Jacob G
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 20:15
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    I agree with the fact that a company may not want to give you the raise immediately, however I would not accept the position without a stated, guaranteed increase. Something like: "I am being promoted to probationary supervisor. If after 30 days I have demonstrated my ability to perform this job I will be promoted to full supervisor, with an increase in salary to $X"
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 22:28

I would speak up immediately. You do not have to time raise requests around performance reviews, if you feel you deserve a raise, speak up. Don't wait for your boss to remember to offer you more salary. However, make sure that you can make a strong case by documenting your success and the value you add to the company. Use specific examples that are measurable to show where you added value.


What would be a good amount of time to wait to bring up the fact that my significantly increased responsibilities should be concomitantly increased?

A good amount of time is equal to zero. It should be clear whether the promotion leads to an increased salary, and if yes, to what amount. If nobody mention it during the review, then you should immediately raise the question up.

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