When Promotion Comes Without a Pay raise – What To Do

  | 4 min read
when promotion comes without payraise

You have worked hard, excelled in all your tasks and goals and your boss has noticed. The promotion you have been anticipating is very close. Your boss drops the good news that you have been promoted to a more senior position. There’s a catch though, this promotion comes without a pay raise. You are in a dilemma. Should you turn down the promotion offer?

A poll conducted by BrighterMonday shows that most people would not accept a promotion that comes without a pay raise.

promotion without pay raise

While the popular decision is understandable, it is important to consider a few factors before giving a negative answer. For instance, how will your answer affect your current relationship with your boss? Will he or she view you in the same way as before? Obviously, the situation creates tension, with your boss hoping you accept and you wanting deserved compensation for the additional services.

Other factors you should consider before turning down a promotion without a Pay raise are;

What tasks have been added to your plate?

negotiate promotion

A change in title mostly comes with additional tasks like supervising a team. In very few instance will you find a change in a title just because the management feels the previous name did not capture the full extent of the role’s scope. Before giving any feedback, seek to understand exactly what changes are coming with the new title. Is it a few additional tasks or will the new move completely revolutionize what you were doing?

If the new title will need quite the readjusting on your end, you need to raise it with your boss that it is only fair that arrangements be made to review your salary. Even if an immediate salary increase is not possible, negotiate for additional benefits.

What Additional Benefits are Coming with the New Role?

After you boss tells you that the company budget does not allow for any salary review at the moment, do not just throw in the towel yet. Ask if you can get additional benefits and list those in your company’s list that you currently don’t enjoy like additional vacation time, flexi-hours, transport or house allowance etc. This gives you an opportunity to learn a new skill as you plan on your next move. You might even realize that there is not much difference between what you are earning and the value of that title in the market. If that is the case, then you still got the upper hand by getting more benefits.

Can You Get a Salary Review in 3 or 6 Months?

negotiate for salary

Once you get the information from your boss that your title is changing and that you are not getting an immediate salary raise. Ask for a meeting, then outline how the new role will change everything for you in terms of your capacity and additional effort required. You can then suggest that they put you on 3 months or 6 months probation after which there will be an appraisal of how you performed with a salary review.

What Impact Does the New Title Have on Your Career?

don't miss out on opportunities

The fact that you have a new title means that even your job search efforts and standing in the market changes. You can now begin looking for jobs within your current scope or even higher in companies that will likely pay better. All you need to do is have enough patience to gain the experience needed. Learn the new skills needed quickly then begin your stealth job search.

At the end of the day,

get a win win solution

The lack of alignment between tasks and pay isn’t always tenable for anyone. The employer stands to lose when an employee uses the new title to get better pay elsewhere, and the employee risks giving themselves more and not getting the pay they deserve.

Every situation is unique. Think about your career and where you want to be. If the new title makes you get there faster, accept the promotion. If the new title has very little to offer, then by all means, turn it down.

Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.