I am a mid-senior level developer that has just been promoted to Lead Developer. I have worked with my current company for a little under two years and have not received a pay rise in that time. I was originally hired as a mid level developer and so have the salary to go along with that.

I have been told unofficially by my manager that in order for me to get a pay rise, even after promotion is to provide a job offer from somewhere else. They will then likely be scared into matching that offer.

This is not the first time I have had this problem, in my previous company I was promoted to Lead with no pay rise and after about 6 months left in order to get an increase (and better quality of life - shorter commute). This meant I had to effectively start again, building trust and relationships in order to get my current promotion.

Its not something I want to go through again, but do need a pay increase.

My question is I would like to progress my career, instead of it keep stalling. Which option would lead to a better career progression.

  1. I start again at another company, as I would likely not get a lead position with no substantial experience in the role.
  2. Do I grin and bare it for 12 months so I get experience and then leave.
  3. I get the offer somewhere else but not take it, hoping my company will be scared enough to give me the increase. Giving me the opportunity to get the experience with the increase.

Open to other suggested options as well.

  • 4
    We don't know your priorities and can't make up your mind for you. You need to weigh the pros and cons yourself. The one thing I will say is that you shouldn't accept a promotion without negotiating salary. In some companies you'd risk your job if you refuse so you need to judge this for yourself. – Lilienthal May 26 '16 at 9:30
  • 1
    @Lilienthal fair point, I will reword the question with my priority more in focus. – DavidT May 26 '16 at 9:32
  • 3 is not actually an option because if you show an offer you are not ready to take, that may backfire should your employer answer with something like 'currently there is no money for a raise, just go'. imo 2 is your best bet and after a year you can go back to 3 and take your chances. – Paolo May 26 '16 at 9:33
  • 2
    Does this promotion come with an official increase in your responsibilities? – Erik May 26 '16 at 9:36
  • 2
    @DavidT The main problem is that you're asking for career advice instead of a question that has a practical answer. Check the help center for info on the kind of questions that are a good fit here. I'd suggest searching for existing questions using a few keywords from your post as well as some of the elements (like using a job offer as leverage) have been covered before. – Lilienthal May 26 '16 at 10:25

A couple things. First, ask yourself if you need the money. If you don't, then there is no urgency, and it's really only about how much you feel the company values you. In that case you should not immediately go job hunting, unless you also have other reasons to do so. Another thing to point out is that becoming lead developer doesn't suddenly mean you work more or harder - if it does you're doing it wrong and should look into delegating some of your work. If you don't like the job as lead developer and think it is an extra burden that must be compensated with extra cash, you may want to consider a different career path, such as a specialist developer or architect.

That said, when you're hoping for a pay raise, the one thing you can do is to clearly state your expectations to the people who can give you a pay raise, and to do so both regularly and well in advance. There's absolutely no need for threats, just clearly state that you expect a raise every so often as a sign that they value your work. If your manager says "they" might get scared into giving you a raise, then your manager is not one "them" who can give you a raise. Find one of those people and talk to them instead.

| improve this answer | |
  • I think this is a quid pro quo situation, due to: I would likely not get a lead position with no substantial experience in the role. – CKM May 26 '16 at 17:31

I'd say this is pretty common. Generally, you are expected to take on a higher level of responsibility and prove that you can handle it and do a decent job before the money follows.

In addition, some workplaces are stingy and have rules about providing raises for anything much more than retention.

2.Do I grin and bare it for 12 months so I get experience and then leave.

That is your best bet. You have the title, hang out for 1-2 years and then move on to a lead developer position somewhere else (don't take the counteroffer). Really spend the time finding a place with better opportunity if you can. But don't expect they won't use the same tactics, promote you with no money to see if you can handle the additional responsibility.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .