What Should You Do If You Get a Promotion But No Raise?

The sound isn’t pleasant, yet there are some things you should take home with you. There are several things to do if you are offered a promotion without a raise. At the same time, you should be aware that promotions are generally very good for your career, whether they come with a raise or not, because they are specifically beneficial to your career in the long term, and they can also demonstrate how valuable you are to the company.

Before we get into what to do if you get promoted without a pay raise, consider what occurs when you do get promoted.

When you are promoted, you will be able to apply for senior positions in other organizations, you will be able to broaden your abilities and expertise (due to increased responsibilities), and you will be more visible at the firm.

When you get promoted, you will naturally be given greater responsibility, which means you will be able to work on more exciting tasks or perhaps supervise other people or projects.

Why Do Companies Offer Promotions Without Pay Increases?

Being offered a promotion without a pay boost can feel insulting. However, this does not have to be the case. Some of the reasons why a company may offer a promotion without a pay raise are as follows:

  • It’s an indication that you’re doing well: A promotion is sometimes used by a company to let you know you’re doing a good job.
  • You’ve already taken on the responsibilities that come with the title: You may have taken up the tasks of the new title on your own. In other words, the title has changed, but the work has not.
  • The company isn’t buoyant enough: you might be doing a terrific job, but the firm as a whole may be struggling. So, in some circumstances, your company may want to give you a raise but is unable to do so.
  • Internal policies: It’s possible that your salary is already at the top of the salary range for both your current and proposed new titles. In some cases, companies have strict guidelines in place regarding the timing of raises. Of course, it’s also possible that the company is run poorly or that your supervisor isn’t a passionate supporter of you.

What Should You Do If You’re Offered a Promotion But Not a Raise?

Don’t Rush!

Are you shocked, or even offended, by a promotion without a pay raise? While there is no need to share all of your feelings with your manager or the HR representative who offered you the promotion, you should feel free to inquire about the company’s reasoning. That way, you’ll be able to learn why the offer is being made.

Remember, you don’t have to make a decision right now. You can take your time, just like you would with a job offer. When you are offered a promotion, it is a good idea to begin by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity.

Then you can inquire, “When do you require a response?” You might also say that you’ll need X number of days to think over the offer and discuss it with your family.

Check the compensation of others.

You should look at the salary ranges for the job title in general—that is, what people with this job title normally make in your industry. You can also look at wage research websites like Glassdoor and PayScale to learn more.

Investigate how people with this title are compensated at your specific organization. This can be difficult because most people don’t want to give their personal salary information, and it’s embarrassing to ask.

Even having a broad grasp of the normal salary for this role—both at your organization and elsewhere—can help you make a compelling case for why you deserve both a raise and a title change.

Decide on the Next move

Your next moves will be determined by your specific situation and if you believe the company’s offer of promotion without a raise is justified. Among the possible alternatives are:

  • Accept the offer, but request a wage review at a later date: Have an open chat with your management and express your desire for your compensation to be revisited later. Set a timetable for when this salary evaluation will take place if possible.
  • Set goals and objectives: It can also be beneficial to set particular targets or milestones that will result in a raise. You don’t want to rely on recollection here, so get the details down on paper.
  • Negotiate: Arrive at the negotiation meeting prepared with facts on how others in your sector in similar roles are compensated. It can be advantageous if you are willing to accept remuneration other than a wage, such as more flexible hours, more paid time off, greater training, additional support from other team members, and so on.
  • Accept the offer as is: In some circumstances, this may be the best option. After all, the title change may be beneficial to your career in the long run, and you may believe that the company’s reasons for not offering you a raise are valid.
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