What Good is a Promotion Without a Raise?

By Cheryl Palmer

As companies are trying to squeeze more and more out of their employees, you may find yourself in a situation where you are asked to take on higher-level responsibilities without a pay increase. In other words, a promotion with no raise. This can put you in a ticklish situation. You may want to take on the additional responsibilities and get promoted, but you may not want to do it with no salary increase.

Here are some options that you should consider:

Take the Promotion and Build Your Résumé
Even though it may seem a little hollow to receive a promotion without the accompanying increase in pay, you should keep in mind that this situation can build your résumé. It will be easier for you to find a comparable position with the pay increase if your résumé shows that you have already been working at the higher level.

Ask Management to Revisit the Issue of a Raise Within a Certain Timeframe Based on Your Performance
It is reasonable to ask management if they would consider taking a second look at the issue of a pay increase within six months to a year. During that time, you should do everything in your power to demonstrate your value to the organization in this position. Make sure that you document all your successes so that you can share these at the time of your performance review.

If You Do Not Receive a Raise After a Certain Period of Time, You Can Take Those Skills Elsewhere
If your company does not value your contribution and is not willing to compensate you accordingly, you can find another position with the additional skills that you have gained.

Make Sure Your Title is Reflective of Your Promotion
Even if you don't have the salary, you should at least have the title that shows that you have been promoted. This is important on a couple of different levels. First, you want to have respect within your company, and having the title is important in terms of receiving respect. Second, if you do decide to move on with the skills that you have learned, you want your company to be able to verify a title that is reflective of your actual duties.

Refuse the Promotion Without the Raise
This can be tricky. Although you are certainly within your rights to refuse the promotion, this can have a negative impact on how you are viewed within the organization. You may be overlooked for any promotions in the future, and management may conclude that you are not a team player. 

About the Author

Cheryl Palmer is a career expert, professional speaker, and the president of Call to Career. Learn more about Cheryl at www.linkedin.com/in/cherylpalmer. She can be contacted at Cheryl.Palmer@calltocareer.com or by visiting www.calltocareer.com. Her blog is available at www.calltocareer.com/category/blog. To receive the free report, “Top 10 Mistakes that Executives Make,” visit www.calltocareer.com.

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