Author Topic: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(  (Read 4896 times)

Lady SA

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extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« on: April 13, 2018, 06:10:31 PM »
I have a dilemma that I need some help with. This is all pretty fresh so my thoughts are still pretty scattered, I'm sorry. I hope you all can follow my writing here...

For the last year, I have taken on additional responsibilities that are well beyond the scope of my entry-level job with the expectation that it would lead to a promotion soon after. I have been totally killing it, btw. A person with my job title usually leads a single team, but I am about to add a 4th team under my wing, and I'm happy and totally able to do this, plus doing all of it saves my company money (because otherwise they would have to hire additional people to do the job I can do myself). My manager is extremely happy with my performance. However, my manager wasn't able to get approval for a promotion this past cycle, in March. (The upper leader in my area was notoriously skeptical of my job family despite the numerous studies that show the benefits to teams, and generally had treated me like an afterthought. However, this leader was let go recently and replaced by a brand new director.) Fine, whatever, I thought. I could wait.

Until I found out that others in my cohort, with a LOT less responsibility than I now have, were just promoted (they are in other sections of the company, not related to my area), leaving me in the awkward and uncomfortable position of being one of only 3 (!) entry level positions for my job family in the entire huge organization. I mean huge, we are a fortune 50 company. Suddenly, being left behind while also demonstrably having much, much more responsibility than others who were recently promoted is incredibly galling, embarrassing, and frustrating. I'm absolutely pissed off out of my mind.

I went to my manager and asked that we pursue a mid-year promotion, this year. He agrees I am already performing consistently at that level and is really happy with what I am doing, but his new superior would have to approve the promotion. He said that he would try his best, but it would be a tough sell because I am not really a "flight risk", so his superior would likely deny it and say I can wait until NEXT YEAR during the normal promotion cycles.

I can hardly believe it. For over a year now, I have happily taken on additional responsibility that is well within this new job level, because I like helping and this job is really fun, but these responsibilities are CLEARLY part of the higher level, not my current entry level.
I feel taken advantage of, because I put all this extra effort and time into doing these things. And without me, things would completely fall apart because I handle coordination, prioritization, keeping my teams focused and satisfied, etc.

I feel like I'm in a bind here -- my manager is totally in my corner and is going to bat for me, but there is a significant chance that our superior will make a decision that means I will miss out on 12 months worth of a significant promotional pay bump. As it is, even if I get what I want, I will have missed out on this bump for 6 months.
This bureaucratic red tape bullshit is giving me anxiety, and the thought of having to exert a significant amount of time and energy into maintaining my higher-level performance without a corresponding pay bump leaves me feeling used, because I'm essentially doing these things for free! That isn't fair.
I feel like a schmuck because I agreed to these duties without first getting the promotion--but I agreed because I was under the impression that I would be a shoe-in for promotion after taking on all this work.

Other than this bullshit, I LOVE my job. The people I work with day-to-day are amazing, my boss is great, the perks are great, I work about 32 hours a week with a lot of flexibility, I get a 5% 401k match, and I actually make a pretty decent salary (~$80k) that I'm not unhappy with. It is just in the context of doing all this "extra" work essentially for free that grates on me, and the involuntary compulsion to compare between entry-level me versus my promoted cohort just is so chafing that I'm about to explode.

Am I crazy to consider an ultimatum? Not a "get me a promotion or I'll leave the company" kind of ultimatum (that's a dick move imo), but a "Unless you get me promoted, I can no longer do these additional duties" ultimatum? The idea of continuing to do all of these things without the corresponding paygrade increase is just... ridiculous and unacceptable to me. I have done it for over a year now, and to think that I will have been performing at this new level for OVER 2 YEARS before I finally get the promotion everyone agrees I deserve is just so completely galling that I can't bring myself to do it. I would totally be ok scaling back up to what I currently do AFTER my job description includes these duties, but I'm pissed that I'm doing them now but not getting paid for it.
However, if I do scale back, things will totally fall apart, and that doesn't feel good. I would feel like I am letting my teams down.

I really don't know how to approach my lovely boss about this, especially because I really DO enjoy doing what I am doing and I don't actually want to stop doing it. And I don't want to put next year's promotion in jeopardy by playing hardball too much, but I am cognizant that I am a woman and fear that I was too complacent last year in not pushing for a promotion now. I also equally worry that since this is so fresh, steam is still coming out of my ears and I'm not seeing this clearly.

Is this path to promotion normal? Do I have to resign myself to waiting for the normal promotional cycle and suck up doing extra work until then (2 YEARS?!?!?)? Is it possible to push for scaling back my responsibilities after I already agreed to them? How would I go about doing that, considering I DO eventually want to get promoted and continue doing exactly what I do today. Sorry if this is so jumbled, I'm just so scattered about this today. Any help or thoughts are appreciated.

NowClear

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 06:32:05 PM »
have you considered looking for other jobs?

is there a specific reason you're hoping to stay, or is it mostly because you otherwise enjoy the work? are the things you enjoy about the work exclusive to this place? have you worked anywhere else?

i have a few thoughts, but this information would be helpful in calibrating a response.

crispy

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 06:52:02 PM »
Actions speak louder than words. Your manager sounds spineless and isn't going to go to bat for you. I would be looking for another job.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 08:27:24 PM by crispy »

mxt0133

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 07:12:39 PM »
I've been in somewhat similar situations and always take the approach of regardless of the title and how much you are paid, if you are learning and growing marketable job skills continue to do it and get better at it.  In the mean time be open to other opportunities along the lines of the saying, "luck favors the prepared mind", or something like that.

In your specific situation, if you really are a non-flight risk and and love your job but resent having more responsibilities than other at your position/level, then I would ask that your responsibilities be lessened to those comparable to your peers.  They already know that you can handle the increased responsibilities so when it comes time to promotion time they can't say that you don't deserve it because you have proved to them that you can handle the additional responsibilities.

Another way to spin it is to to start delegating responsibility to others in your teams as a mentoring exercise.  It is building you skills of talent development and management.  More responsibilities doesn't necessarily mean more work if you can delegate effectively, which reminds me of another saying, "shit flows down not up".

That was my strategy when I knew I was being underpaid but was not ready to move jobs, I started delegating and working less hours.  I worked on my management and talent development with my direct reports.  I was responsible for more but worked less because I just started delegating the work to others.

Their response will be tell you if they are truly trying to take advantage of you.


jax8

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 07:19:14 PM »
"You're not a flight risk" = "We won't play ball with you until you bring in an outside offer."

Your company wants to fill it's ranks with lots of Dwight Schrutes. Hardworking. Dedicated. Grateful for table scraps. And too loyal to even dream of looking for a better opportunity at the competition.

You can be a Dwight, and go back to your desk telling yourself that ONE DAY, corporate is going to reward you, and resolve to work even harder. You could be Jim, and reason that since work isn't THAT bad (after all, it's nice to hang around Pam) you'll stick it out, because you're not quite ready to give up the perks. Or you could be the temp Ryan, who blazed into corporate with his new MBA and the subtle threat that he could go somewhere else but would like to stay here, and negotiate a higher position.

I would leverage all the new work you've been doing on a new resume, and send it out. Look for a company that will offer you the title and pay you're looking for. Then go back to your lovely boss and lay your two week notice on his desk. When he scrambles to pull together a counter offer, smile serenely and say, "No thanks. I'd rather work for a company that rewards hard work, not one that only rewards flight risks. I'm sure you understand."

Or maybe, your resume won't lead to ANY counter offers, and you'll discover that for you experience level, etc., you ARE fairly compensated, and you'll gain a new understanding of your place in the company. It's a less fun road, but ultimately it helps relieve the anger and makes work much more Zen. (I've walked this humbling path. Sadly.)

I wish you luck!

nick663

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 07:30:06 PM »
The only "hard ball" you can play here is getting a job offer from another company.  They don't view you as a flight risk and your boss is not going to bat for you if everyone else in the company got a promotion except for you.  Asking for responsibilities to be taken away will hurt your career as it will be viewed as "not being a team player" or "not willing to take on responsibility."

Is working 32 hours a week normal for others in your position?  What are normal hours for your boss or upper management?

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 10:08:21 PM »
Sorry everyone, I went out rock climbing tonight to let off some steam and just got back. Addressing some replies now.

have you considered looking for other jobs?

is there a specific reason you're hoping to stay, or is it mostly because you otherwise enjoy the work? are the things you enjoy about the work exclusive to this place? have you worked anywhere else?

i have a few thoughts, but this information would be helpful in calibrating a response.
I started at this company straight out of college, and have been very happy with them, so I haven't worked anywhere else. Before the craziness, I never considered looking for another job. This one has pretty much everything I want. I already mentioned that I really, REALLY like the people I work with day to day. My boss goes out of his way to give me the maximum merit raise each year, out of his limited budget, ahead of about 15 other people on his team (none are in my same job family). The company also pays for my bus pass, and I have an extremely flexible work schedule, the 401k match is stellar, I have great work-life balance, I get 3 weeks of vacation starting, but my boss lets me take extra vacation days whenever I want "off the book" as long as I don't abuse it, great health insurance, etc. Our goal is for me to leave the workforce in ~3 years after we have our first child, and even with no raises, we will get to the point it is financially feasible to do so in 2 years -- and this job is enabling us to do that while not taking over my life in the mean time. In fact, I like it so much, that I was considering coming back on a part-time schedule with reduced responsibilities afterwards, even though we wouldn't need the money, but I would have all the leverage to have my cake and eat it too.

But after discovering that I was "left behind" during the normal promotion cycle this year, that just really got my goat and I've found that I don't immediately delete recruiter queries now, but none so far seem as appealing as my current job.

Actions speak louder than words. Your manager sounds spineless and isn't going to go to bat for you. I would be looking for another job.
I'm getting this impression too. To be fair to my boss, he has not been a manager for very long (promoted 1.5 years ago) so I think he sometimes doesn't know how to throw his weight around on behalf of his team. He has really good technical skills, but some of the managerial stuff isn't his strong suit.

I am feeling like maybe I do need to come in with another job offer, but I feel like if I go out looking for another job, I should be ready/willing to leave my current one. I don't know if I really want to go somewhere else yet. I'm not sure if it is attachment to my team mates, or fear/anxiety of the uncertainty and unknown of a new place, learning new office norms, new office politics, etc. Not sure if I want to go through that so soon before I'm planning on bailing, you know?

In your specific situation, if you really are a non-flight risk and and love your job but resent having more responsibilities than other at your position/level, then I would ask that your responsibilities be lessened to those comparable to your peers.  They already know that you can handle the increased responsibilities so when it comes time to promotion time they can't say that you don't deserve it because you have proved to them that you can handle the additional responsibilities.

Another way to spin it is to to start delegating responsibility to others in your teams as a mentoring exercise.  It is building you skills of talent development and management.  More responsibilities doesn't necessarily mean more work if you can delegate effectively, which reminds me of another saying, "shit flows down not up".
Your response was my initial idea; I've already proven myself effective at this higher level, and that doesn't exactly go away. I do worry about not seeming like a team player or invested if I ask to have my responsibilities lessened, but I think my boss would understand my frustration.
I like your idea of delegation. I will try to find things to delegate to others. The problem is, no one on the teams I work with have similar job realms so anything I delegate would be outside of THEIR job, if that makes sense. But there might be one or two things I can lob off on someone else.

"You're not a flight risk" = "We won't play ball with you until you bring in an outside offer."

Your company wants to fill it's ranks with lots of Dwight Schrutes. Hardworking. Dedicated. Grateful for table scraps. And too loyal to even dream of looking for a better opportunity at the competition.

You can be a Dwight, and go back to your desk telling yourself that ONE DAY, corporate is going to reward you, and resolve to work even harder. You could be Jim, and reason that since work isn't THAT bad (after all, it's nice to hang around Pam) you'll stick it out, because you're not quite ready to give up the perks. Or you could be the temp Ryan, who blazed into corporate with his new MBA and the subtle threat that he could go somewhere else but would like to stay here, and negotiate a higher position.

I would leverage all the new work you've been doing on a new resume, and send it out. Look for a company that will offer you the title and pay you're looking for. Then go back to your lovely boss and lay your two week notice on his desk. When he scrambles to pull together a counter offer, smile serenely and say, "No thanks. I'd rather work for a company that rewards hard work, not one that only rewards flight risks. I'm sure you understand."

Or maybe, your resume won't lead to ANY counter offers, and you'll discover that for you experience level, etc., you ARE fairly compensated, and you'll gain a new understanding of your place in the company. It's a less fun road, but ultimately it helps relieve the anger and makes work much more Zen. (I've walked this humbling path. Sadly.)

I wish you luck!
thank you for the advice! I think you are right, I should brush off the resume and see what is out there. It can only help me and give me more information to work with. I would prefer to stay at my company if possible (see awesome perks and benefits above), but maybe a crazy good offer might come up that I can't refuse. Or, like you said, no offer turns up, and I can stay put in my current place, happy to make $80k.

The only "hard ball" you can play here is getting a job offer from another company.  They don't view you as a flight risk and your boss is not going to bat for you if everyone else in the company got a promotion except for you.  Asking for responsibilities to be taken away will hurt your career as it will be viewed as "not being a team player" or "not willing to take on responsibility."

Is working 32 hours a week normal for others in your position?  What are normal hours for your boss or upper management?
Yeah, I'm thinking you are right and I need to be looking out for my own interests because no one else will do it as well as I can. I would also worry about not being viewed as a team player, but maybe because I'm planning on leaving the workforce entirely in 3 years after kids, I don't really care about "developing my career"? Of course, I did mention above that this industry is something I would be interested in continuing pursuing in a casual, part-time capacity, but I'm not looking to build career mountains here. I'm mostly looking for the big paygrade bump that will help in our FI goals, and I'm a competitive person by nature so I HATE seeing others that I started with, that have less responsibility than I do, ahead of me and making more money than I am. *pouts* It should be ME up there too!

So, I work 32 hours because that is how long it takes me to do my job. I'm super efficient. A normal work week is 40 hours, and I am salaried, but as long as I get my work done, my boss encourages me to go home. I generally get into the office at 8:45, and leave at 3:45, and maybe check my emails on the bus ride home. Very occasionally I will be needed in the evening but that is quite rare. I would say it is not "official" that I work 32 hours a week, but that is just my average of actual work time, and has been for the last 3 years, and no one has said anything.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 11:33:09 PM »
Ask your employer for a title bump without a pay increase yet, so you will at least be in line with your peers on that level. Put it on your resume. If they won't even give you a title, say you will perform the duties of your current title. Go hard on an outside job search. When you get a good offer, negotiate enough perks so you would be happy to leave your current employer. Then either get what you want from your current job, or leave.

I once had a boss who went to bat for me. He argued with HR for months and got me a $10k raise, without me even knowing about it. Then he was infuriated at how low it was and got it bumped to a $20k raise. He got me into trainings ahead of people with more seniority. He got me informational interviews with my desired department, effectively promoting me out of his team. Your boss did not go to bat for you.

Like others have said, if you're not willing to leave, then you have no leverage.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 12:44:09 AM by MonkeyJenga »

Villanelle

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2018, 12:31:40 AM »
Id go the route of saying that if you are going to continue to have the title and pay of X, level, that you want your responsibilities reduced to that level, but you are no longer comfortable working outside your pay and title limits.  Your supervisor (or his) may push back and tell you that isn't acceptable, and this is your new job description so you *will* perform it.  But it may be worth a try.

It sounds like you are otherwise comfortable and aren't interested in pursing leaving, so it may come to a point where you just have to accept this, because unless you reconsider that, you are giving up your only real bargaining chip. 

former player

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2018, 02:09:31 AM »
There's quite likely a level of sexism going on here.  (If you are going to be leaving in three years' time anyway, in order to have babies, do management know that?  (If anyone in the organisation knows it, then assume management knows it.))  If this is the first time you have come across sexism in this form, then coming up against the unreasoning illogicality and nastiness of it is quite likely what is causing you to feel so discombobulated.

I'm assuming you don't have a trades union that can go to bat for you?  This is one of the situations in which they can be very useful.  If you are the only one in your category not promoted, and the majority of those who have been promoted are men, then there is a possible discrimination case to pursue. A Fortune 50 company would not welcome adverse attentions from a trades union on a clear case of discrimination.  Raising the issue yourself with HR is less likely to succeed, but if you find the right person in HR it might work.

You could ask your immediate, nice boss to set up a meeting with the nasty decision-making boss which you both attend.  It might not get you the raise but it would get you good information on the dynamics between the two of them and on company policy.

I know you don't want to leave, but if you are proposing to leave in 3 years' time in any case to have babies, you might find that having more than one firm on your pre-baby resume will help in getting back into the workforce.  And it would not be you letting your teams down if you left because you have been discriminated against: it is the company that let them down by not behaving in a way which enabled you to stay.

gooki

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2018, 03:37:18 AM »
1. Get a meeting in place with decision makers and confirm what you need to do to get a promotion by xx date.

2. Get a competing job off you are willing to take, and ask your current employer to match it.

3. Refuse to do the extra duties without suitable salary rise.

I’ve done 2, and 3 successfully, mainly because there has never been a promotion path in my field of work.

nick663

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2018, 07:13:31 AM »
So, I work 32 hours because that is how long it takes me to do my job. I'm super efficient. A normal work week is 40 hours, and I am salaried, but as long as I get my work done, my boss encourages me to go home. I generally get into the office at 8:45, and leave at 3:45, and maybe check my emails on the bus ride home. Very occasionally I will be needed in the evening but that is quite rare. I would say it is not "official" that I work 32 hours a week, but that is just my average of actual work time, and has been for the last 3 years, and no one has said anything.
My question was more what others are doing that got the promotion.  In a lot of work environments, perception matters as much if not more than results and if others are working more hours they could be viewed as "hard working" despite getting equal or less done.  Old school mentality but you have to play the game at times.

Bosses can sometimes encourage you to do things that are against your own self interest.  I'd also argue your boss isn't very effective if he/she has not gotten you a promotion that the majority of the company received so I would be skeptical of their advice going forward as what they are doing isn't working too well.


Ask your employer for a title bump without a pay increase yet, so you will at least be in line with your peers on that level.
Most HR departments will not give a large salary bump outside of a title change.  Doing this will likely screw yourself down the line.

lexde

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2018, 08:14:05 AM »
Make yourself a “flight risk” by coming to your manager with another offer. Job hunt, find something better, and bring it back to your boss. If they don’t promote you, then you already have something else lined up. Win/win.

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2018, 11:16:01 AM »
Id go the route of saying that if you are going to continue to have the title and pay of X, level, that you want your responsibilities reduced to that level, but you are no longer comfortable working outside your pay and title limits.  Your supervisor (or his) may push back and tell you that isn't acceptable, and this is your new job description so you *will* perform it.  But it may be worth a try.

It sounds like you are otherwise comfortable and aren't interested in pursing leaving, so it may come to a point where you just have to accept this, because unless you reconsider that, you are giving up your only real bargaining chip.

I like that wording. I think I'm going to push for a temporary reduction in responsibilities to match my current title limits while ALSO looking externally for a different job. Perhaps the squeeze from no longer getting (necessary) work done on 3 out of 4 teams would be enough to light a fire under their asses, but if not, I would hopefully have another offer waiting in the wings. I think that is the smartest move.

To be clear, I'm pretty sure a lot of the problem is stemming from my immediate boss' lack of complete understanding of what my job actually is. He knows what my job family does, and so asks me to do things, but doesn't realize that these duties are at a higher level than I technically am. I put together a document that clearly lays out the differences between my super basic, no frills entry-level duties versus the higher level duties and it is quite a jump and I'm obviously up in that level. I think if I send him this document, along with the examples of how I am currently (and for the past year) performing in the higher level, and then hit him with the "After putting together this document and seeing everything laid out, I am no longer comfortable working outside the limits of my existing pay and title. We will need to discuss temporarily cutting responsibilities down to entry-level until the promotion comes through" might really put him in a bind... and the easiest, cheapest solution is to simply promote me :)

There's quite likely a level of sexism going on here.  (If you are going to be leaving in three years' time anyway, in order to have babies, do management know that?  (If anyone in the organisation knows it, then assume management knows it.))  If this is the first time you have come across sexism in this form, then coming up against the unreasoning illogicality and nastiness of it is quite likely what is causing you to feel so discombobulated.

I'm assuming you don't have a trades union that can go to bat for you?  This is one of the situations in which they can be very useful.  If you are the only one in your category not promoted, and the majority of those who have been promoted are men, then there is a possible discrimination case to pursue. A Fortune 50 company would not welcome adverse attentions from a trades union on a clear case of discrimination.  Raising the issue yourself with HR is less likely to succeed, but if you find the right person in HR it might work.

You could ask your immediate, nice boss to set up a meeting with the nasty decision-making boss which you both attend.  It might not get you the raise but it would get you good information on the dynamics between the two of them and on company policy.

I know you don't want to leave, but if you are proposing to leave in 3 years' time in any case to have babies, you might find that having more than one firm on your pre-baby resume will help in getting back into the workforce.  And it would not be you letting your teams down if you left because you have been discriminated against: it is the company that let them down by not behaving in a way which enabled you to stay.
Thank you for your advice, its very helpful. No, no one at work knows about my schemes to leave. Literally only my DH knows. Not even my parents or inlaws or best friends know our plans to FIRE, they all think we are regular schmucks planning to work until 65. We are pretty private people and are paranoid about counting our chickens before they hatch.

I'll consider asking for a meeting between my manager and his superior. This superior guy is new as of last month and runs the whole division, but hasn't been relocated onsite yet. My manager is a little concerned because this guy is an unknown. He could be a hardass stickler, or he could be chill and willing to work with us easily on this, no one knows. The last superior was a real jerk and we are all glad he is gone.

My original plan for this whole leaving in 3 years went something like this:
I get promoted soon, and continue like this until 2020. At that point we are essentially FI and I can play hardball if I want because we won't need my salary anymore. I request a full 12 month sabbatical after birth, and if they say yes, fine, but no, then I'm leaving entirely. If they let me take the sabbatical, then I would be willing to return at half-time (and leading only a single team, not 4) and half-salary for a few years. This would require them to hire at least one other person to do the rest of the job I currently do. I would tell them about the sabbatical with ~4 months of notice, so they have enough time to find a replacement for both the 12 months and then half-time going forward (or complete replacement if I end up leaving), and I would be willing to help train them in.
I figured that my plan to ask for sabbaticals and half-time would work better at a place I have a proven track-record.

My question was more what others are doing that got the promotion.  In a lot of work environments, perception matters as much if not more than results and if others are working more hours they could be viewed as "hard working" despite getting equal or less done.  Old school mentality but you have to play the game at times.

Bosses can sometimes encourage you to do things that are against your own self interest.  I'd also argue your boss isn't very effective if he/she has not gotten you a promotion that the majority of the company received so I would be skeptical of their advice going forward as what they are doing isn't working too well.
That is a good point. From my point of view, the others that got promotions just had managers who pushed harder for a promotion, and had more receptive leadership. I have the bad luck of having neither of those things.
It is the norm at our company to leave when you are done with work. My manager sometimes leaves at 3pm (not often, but sometimes), others on my team come and go as they please, etc. I'm not super familiar with the exact work schedules of others in my cohort, but if I'm being honest the work we do is really not that difficult and does not take that much time, so I expect that at least a few of them also leave early like I do. I should also mention that when I reference my cohort, I'm not talking like hundreds of people, its only 10 or so of us who are all in the same job family and all started with the same experience/job level at the same time.

I also think you are right, if I take off my rose colored glasses, my boss is great day-to-day, but in the larger scheme of things he isn't pulling out all the stops to take care of me. I don't think it is malice or intentional on his part, I think he is just not super comfortable with those parts of management and doesn't really know how to approach it, and like I said above, it may not be crystal clear to him just how far above my current paygrade I am performing--he may be under the impression that this is generally par for the course and not out of the ordinary.
But that isn't a good excuse, because it is affecting me in a bad way. And I think I have been too complacent and agreeable for the last year which hasn't helped me at all, because he has gotten comfortable and things are humming along great right now. There isn't anything to shake things up and force a change.
I think when I hit him between the eyes with the document that clearly shows just how much difference there is between entry level and my current performance, and the request to temporarily cut my responsibilities down (while also recognizing that I have already consistently proven myself so a promotion should still be no issue come at least next year), a slight panic may ensue. And in the meantime, I'll keep my eyes peeled and send out a few resumes to see if another offer pops up.

Really, even though it would be quite the kick in the teeth and really annoying to see others higher up the chain when I should be there, if I'm honest the galling thing is more putting forth all this effort and delivering value across multiple teams with no tangible reward. Its the feeling of being taken advantage of and then blown off (even if unintentionally). Its this performing outside of my paygrade with no complaints that is really putting me in a (self-inflicted) precarious spot, and I'd be happier as long as my responsibilities clearly match my job description -- whether that means a promotion or staying at entry level, but then at least the expectations are clear and there isn't this confusion or murkiness anymore. Either way sounds like a win-win: either my pay stays the same (and $80k isn't anything to sneeze at) and I get less work, or my work stays the same and I get more money.

Make yourself a “flight risk” by coming to your manager with another offer. Job hunt, find something better, and bring it back to your boss. If they don’t promote you, then you already have something else lined up. Win/win.
Dusting off the resume this weekend :) I'm just annoyed that my manager can't figure out how to do this based on my own merit and I have to jump through ridiculous hoops to get paid what I'm owed. Maybe some other company in the area can competently pay employees properly.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 11:29:53 AM by Lady SA »

lexde

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 11:30:01 AM »
Make yourself a “flight risk” by coming to your manager with another offer. Job hunt, find something better, and bring it back to your boss. If they don’t promote you, then you already have something else lined up. Win/win.
Dusting off the resume this weekend :) I'm just annoyed that my manager can't figure out how to do this based on my own merit and I have to jump through ridiculous hoops to get paid what I'm owed. Maybe some other company in the area can competently pay employees properly.
There could be a million reasons, but the main point is that you're qualified, you're already doing the job, and for whatever reason your direct supervisor is not really putting up a fight for you. They could be on thin ice themselves, or have something going on in their own life, or be unwilling to actually stick their neck out for you past "well she's doing the job, can we pay her more? No? okay. I tried." At this point, they've made it clear they've done for you all they can do, and the fact that they let you know that it wasn't happening because you're not a "flight risk" actually helps, because now you know that you need another job offer lined up before upper management will consider the raise you deserve. So you know what to do now. :-)

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2018, 01:20:06 PM »
This is what I am thinking of sending to my manager. Thoughts? Is this too aggressive, or is this something better to be done not in writing?
Essentially, what I am trying to force here is either my pay stays the same while I get less work, or my work stays the same and I get more money, and I think I'm in the position where I can force it.
To be clear, "senior" level is the next step up from entry. Don't ask me why, I think the terms are weird too. Anyway:

Quote
Hello Manager;
As discussed, please see the attached comparison document showcasing the responsibilities for each level. As you can see, there is a significant difference between entry level responsibilities and senior level responsibilities for the X job family. The same document also indicates that I consistently perform well within the expectations for senior level, and have for the past year. (**side note, in the document I also include examples of each skill I have showcased at the "senior" level**)

I provide significantly more value and handle more responsibilities than my current title and paygrade indicate (to the point that I am technically doing the job of at least 2 X people). I have taken on these higher-level responsibilities and have been performing at the senior level with the expectation that corresponding recognition and compensation would soon follow, but this has not happened.
Because of this, I am unfortunately left in the awkward and uncomfortable position of being one of only 3 (!) entry-level X in the entire organization, while at the same time having demonstrably more responsibility than other team members in my cohort (in other areas of the organization) who were recently promoted this past cycle.

After putting together this document and seeing everything laid out, I am no longer comfortable working so far outside my existing pay and title limits. We will need to discuss temporarily reducing my responsibilities to match the level that I am paid for, until the promotion comes through.

I understand and appreciate you want to promote me as soon as possible. Because I have already consistently proven myself capable in a senior-level capacity, I expect pursuing a promotion in the near future will not be an issue. At that point, it would be acceptable to increase my responsibilities back to senior level.

Thank you for your time,
Lady SA

Mid year promotions would happen in the September time-frame, so I want to start ramping down now to hopefully force a bit of discomfort before then. One wild card in all this is the new superior guy, I may be forcing this ramp-down, ramp-up drama for no reason and he may cheerfully sign off on the promotion in sept with no complaints. Or, he might be a huge hardass. No one knows.

I am concerned about being a huge asshole because recently (within the last 3 months), a team merged under my manager that included a higher-level person in my job family, but that team disbanded leaving that guy stranded and without much to do. I was greedy and I can handle all of the existing teams that were under my manager's umbrella, so my manager went and found that guy a position somewhere else in another division. And now, just a few months later, I'm pulling the rug out and saying I'm not comfortable handling everything until a promotion happens.
Dammit, is this just my people pleasing tendencies rearing its ugly head, or is this truly a dick move so soon after getting rid of a guy who could take up the slack? Someone slap some sense into me.

MayDay

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2018, 02:07:13 PM »
Definitely fine.  Your manager is being a wimp.

Also there is no reason a promotion can't come through now. Just because Sept is typical, doesn't mean anything.

Play hardball.

former player

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2018, 02:46:45 PM »
For "Because of this, I am unfortunately left in the awkward and uncomfortable position of being one of only 3 (!) entry-level X in the entire organization, while at the same time having demonstrably more responsibility than other team members in my cohort (in other areas of the organization) who were recently promoted this past cycle."

I suggest substituting -

"You may not be aware that I am one of only 3 entry-level [X] in [Fortune50Corp].  All the other [number] team members in my cohort were promoted in the last cycle.  As set out above, I have demonstrably more responsibility than those recently promoted members of my cohort, having successfully taken on the leadership of 3 teams, as stated at my last performance assessment, and having recently been asked to take on the leadership of a fourth team."

For "After putting together this document and seeing everything laid out, I am no longer comfortable working so far outside my existing pay and title limits. We will need to discuss temporarily reducing my responsibilities to match the level that I am paid for, until the promotion comes through.

I understand and appreciate you want to promote me as soon as possible. Because I have already consistently proven myself capable in a senior-level capacity, I expect pursuing a promotion in the near future will not be an issue. At that point, it would be acceptable to increase my responsibilities back to senior level."

I suggest substituting -

"I consider that I would be operating outside the current structures and processes of [Fortune 50 Corp] if I continue to work at this higher level without the commensurate pay and job title.  I understand and appreciate you want to promote me as soon as possible.   The record of my output at the senior level is already available as evidence supporting my appointment at the appropriate grade and pay levels. 

If there is to be further delay in regularising my job grade and pay levels to my current role within the organisation I am concerned that it may be necessary to temporarily reconsider the responsibilities which I will be able to fulfill."

clarkfan1979

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2018, 02:53:40 PM »
I would start looking for another job. It's the easiest way to get a raise.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2018, 03:04:18 PM »
Been there. Left. Got a new, higher level job.

jmechanical

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2018, 05:52:04 PM »
I am definitely no expert and this is just my anecdotal personal experience.

It is kind of rare in my experience for rapid promotion within the same company. Most big pay bumps (%10+) come from changing jobs. I suggest not putting so much into your job. It sounds like you have been going too hard and in my opinion there is such a thing when you work for somebody else.

Somebody once gave me the advice that if your company pays you $50k, don't give them $100k worth of work and hope for a raise to $60k. You most likely won't get that big of a pay bump. Instead, only give the company $60k worth of effort. Take that remaining $40k worth of effort and invest in yourself by doing things such as reading books related to your field. Your boss will be just as happy, you'll probably be more knowledgeable about your field, and you won't feel as much resentment towards them when you don't get a big pay bump (you keep mentioning how you want to dial back your responsibilities until you get the promotion).

I also wouldn't read too much into the others getting promoted if you can help it. Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game. It could be sexism because you are a woman. It could also be the others have skills you don't know about or they accomplished more than you can see.

Good luck, this is a shitty situation to be in. I understand why you feel the way you do.

NowClear

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2018, 06:04:37 PM »
LadySA, thanks for the extra information.

I can totally see why you're frustrated. It really, really sucks to feel like you're putting in extra effort and not seeing that come through in rewards. Additionally, I think your manager hasn't done a great job of managing your expectations and career.

A few thoughts for you to consider:

See what else is out there. I know several others have mentioned this, and I know you're planning on dusting off your resume. I don't think you actually need to shift your mindset that in order to look you need to at least be open to considering other options. I do think, however, that by not looking you may not have a full picture of how to evaluate your current pay/title/benefits, and perhaps even skillset. Applying for other jobs gives you a better sense of this information! And that information is power. I was in a similar situation to you: my first job out of college had fantastic people, I felt like I was learning new things constantly--and the benefits were even better than yours (for instance, I got a full 12 percent employer contribution to my 401K, no match necessary, and seven weeks paid vacation!).

I felt extremely well-paid for my age. I had fully convinced myself that I would never, ever find a better job with better benefits. So I was pretty shocked when I did finally look around: within 30 days I had a job offer for a job with a 30 percent pay increase, a 15 percent employer contribution to my 401K and unlimited vacation. I get that I kinda hit the workplace lotto, but I think the bigger story applies: you don't actually know how great your job is unless you have that information available. This applies doubly if you haven't done the job hunt yet as a well-employed person. I found it a totally different experience than coming out of college. (I'll also recommend that you actually look for jobs, as opposed to relying on blind recruiter outreach to determine the market. Some of those recruiters are doing spray-and-pray, and aren't really all that indicative of the jobs you could get or the really valuable jobs, in my experience.)

Think about what you want re: responsibility and growth at your job. I have to say, I don't think asking for less responsibility as a result of not getting a promotion is a great idea UNLESS what you actually want is to have less responsibility and no hope of advancing further. If one of my employees suggested that to me, without an intermediary conversation about their goals and how to accomplish them,  I'd likely interpret this as them having little to no interest in the work itself and wouldn't think about them for future growth opportunities. I might also interpret it as a way to try to manipulate me into doing something that I may not think the employee is ready for. I totally, totally get why you're feeling like you're at this place--and if you feel like you want to suggest this now, I do think that Former Player's edits are DEFINITELY the way to go. But if what you really want is to continue learning new things, growing your career, and preparing yourself for a promotion at this place, I'd suggest having a different conversation with your manager first (you may have already had this conversation as outlined below, but if you haven't had a chance to ask direct questions, I'd encourage you to try it again with that piece, as it's the most critical).

Prepare for a direct, honest conversation with your manager, and possibly his supervisor. Here, again, I think your primary goal is to get information. Your secondary goal is to make it absolutely clear to your manager that you expect to be on the promotion track.

I'd approach this conversation in three parts: convey surprise, again, over what occurred in the last round of promotions; confirm that you want to have a future at this company, but that you also need to grow your career; and ask direct questions to your boss about how to make that second piece happen. In practice, that might look something like this:
  • "Boss, I've been thinking a lot about our last conversation regarding what happened during the last round of promotions. As you know, I have been successfully managing 3 to 4 teams worth of work, while most of my peers that were promoted were only responsible for 1 team. I'm just confused about how the promotion process works." I'd pause there and let him feel the space. You might want to follow up with questions based on what he says; ie if he mentions you not being a flight risk "Boss, you know I love working here. But I also really want to grow and learn as much as possible in my career. Are you saying that I'm not going to be able to do that here unless I demonstrate that I want to leave?"
  • "Just to be clear, Boss, I really do love working at Company. But I also know that I've been working at a level that deserves both recognition and the opportunity to advance. In order to feel like I'll be able to continue to grow my career, I need to know that I'll be seriously considered for a promotion at the next mid-year review."
  • "What exactly do I need to demonstrate between now and September (or whenever the next review is) in order to make that happen?" Here I'd get really specific with questions. It might be things like, "What did the senior leadership team see in Bailey and Thomas that helped spur their promotion? What can I do to be considered in the same light? Do I need more face time with your supervisor? Are there specific areas that I need to work on or relationships I need to build? What would make me a strong candidate?"


I think his response to this conversation here will help you paint your next steps. If he gives you actionable things to do to better your chances (ie, maybe the visibility is a problem, or maybe you need to build relationships with the team that decides on promotions), I'd ask him directly to support you in making the promotion possible at the mid-year review and to commit to both going to bat for you and providing you direct feedback on this along the way. Make a progress check in a regular part of your 1:1s with him. Be clear that you are expecting this to happen as long as you continue to deliver at your high level, plus whatever else you agree to work on.

If, however, he continues to say non-committal things like "you're not a flight risk"--things that are clearly about him covering for not going to bat for you--or if he is dropping hints that it just ain't gonna happen, THEN I think you bring up dropping your responsibilities. You'll know it's not going to happen in this way at this job. You can decide if you want less stress, or if you want to turn your exploratory career search into a real job hunt. But again, at least you'll have the information.

Good good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2018, 07:06:11 PM »
Thanks, @NowClear
My manager and I have had many, many conversations about this. He's pretty crystal clear on where I'm wanting to go and how urgently I want this, and back in Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec he all agreed that I was doing really well and deserved a promotion. Unfortunately, late last year he was under the (mistaken) impression that the expectations for my job family were in flux in HR and there weren't going to be any promotions/movement this year, but he would push for my promotion next year. Where he got this hairbrained rumor from, I have no idea (maybe the shitty old superior?!), but I accepted it blindly. Because I thought others were in the same boat, I wasn't bothered by waiting to be promoted. This was in late Feb.

UNTIL I learned that every other person at my same level was promoted... so apparently this HR thing was a complete non-factor in THEIR promotions (again, these people are in other divisions). The gut wrenching feeling of being taken advantage of, left behind, I was just completely beyond outraged. I couldn't believe it! My manager was really surprised too when I told him about these promotions, like totally befuddled and set back on his heels. He felt pretty bad and told me he would try at the mid-year reviews.

Then on Friday, I sat down with him again, and this is where he expressed some doubt and apprehension about how well the mid-year reviews would go with this new superior, because he said, and I quote, "I guarantee someone is going to ask me, "Is she a flight risk?"" and then he just kind of shrugged helplessly. And at that point, I was just thinking, "are you serious? You completely dropped the ball on getting me a promotion when you agreed I deserved one last year, and now you just can't figure out how to possibly push this through on a merit basis sooner than a WHOLE YEAR FROM NOW?! And I'm just supposed to accept this like I did last time?! Because that screwed me over royally!"

Anyway, I think your outline is a really good one. I sent a version of my note to my manager today (I took out the written reference to reducing my responsibilities, thats just a conversation I want to have in person so I can keep control of the message and gauge his reaction) and this week, I'll meet with him to:

--Ask for concrete steps on how I can help make the mid-year promotion a reality/higher chance of success
--Discuss how the massive difference between my existing job description and the additional duties he has given me have caused a lot of confusion and murkiness with annual reviews. Like, do I rate myself against my job description, or against this additional stuff? And until I put together this document, it wasn't clear just how far above entry level I have been performing (like I said -- HR is stupid and have been dragging their feet on putting out comprehensive guidelines on this so I had to go digging), and I fear that it has impacted my review scores (getting "good" scores, but not outstanding, you know?)
--Pretty sure I'm going to refuse to take on the 4th team (I've already been feeling apprehensive about it before all this went down anyway), but in a nice way. It just won't work for me to take it on without a commensurate increase in paygrade, unfortunately! This team, he has a backup plan in place for, anyway, so it won't be too much of a burden.
--Possibly discuss wrapping up all my in-flight work so I'm not leaving anyone in the lurch, but take an additional team off my plate so I'm only left with 2 to wrangle. I'll need to gauge his reaction, but in general he is pretty sympathetic. But I'm pretty sensitive to getting things added to my plate, without an increase in "plate size" along with it.

I'm also going to actively seek out other opportunities soon. You're right, that recruiters probably aren't the best measure of what is out there. A quick search on indeed and glassdoor found me quite a few job openings in my area, so I'm feeling a bit better about that.

edit - to be clear, when I ask to reduce my responsibilities, I'm only going to ask to ramp down my support of 1 existing team and not take on the additional 4th team. I can do better work when I'm more focused and less spread around, anyway. But still supporting 2 teams is still within senior expectations, so I don't want to drop all the way back to entry-level (honestly, it would just make my day-to-day work harder, not easier lol). I would make sure that any decrease wouldn't put the promotion in jeopardy; but I just want him on notice that I'm not going to take on more work if there isn't a reciprocating investment in my paygrade, too.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 07:11:59 PM by Lady SA »

NowClear

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2018, 07:14:10 PM »
Ugh, this is so very frustrating. Thoughts are with you!

It sounds like you have a really good plan in place and that you're doing everything you possibly can do. Good luck with your conversation! I hope you get the information you need in order to make decisions you feel good about. Either way, you clearly are a star, so I know you'll end up with having options--even if those options are outside your current company.

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2018, 07:39:15 PM »
I did forget to add, on Friday, I showed my manager that document and he asked me to forward it to him so he could add his own comments from his perspective on how I'm nailing all the requirements. So that was a positive, but the whole thing just kind of ended on a deflated note because he isn't very optimistic about the chances come Sept. It apparently rests entirely in the hands of the new superior guy, and my manager isn't sure how receptive he will be.

Right now, things are in full-tilt mode for the next month, but after that I should get some breathing room and will really start focusing on actively interviewing and finding some alternative opportunities. After some perusing, I'm pretty confident I could get something quickly. Then I'll have a trump card to squeeze a proper paygrade increase out of them if needed, or I can jump ship if they keep hemming and hawing. I would be sad to leave, but I'm about at the end of my patience rope with this.

Sayyadina

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2018, 11:15:34 PM »
I'm not sure about the culture in your company, but is there any chance you can talk to your skip level about this? (Your manager's manager).

Where I work, it's expected to have regular meetings with your skip, mine is a director, and we have monthly 1:1s (before my last promotion, I had bi-weekly meetings with my skip).

Since you have demonstrable, measureable results, and it appears your manager is new and unclear on his responsibilities towards you, I don't think it's unreasonable to talk to your skip directly to ask for advice, or even get their take on your chances at mid-year. If you're thinking of leaving anyway, it can't hurt.

*this is all under the caveat that this is normal where I work (and I'm the sort to email my VP when I have opinions about decisions he makes), and I realize you may have a completely different reaction to this advice

Tuskalusa

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2018, 11:55:34 PM »
Agree with the others that say you’re not getting movement here because you’re not seen as a flight risk. Your employer is not evaluating their salary/promotion plans based on your efficient work. They are happy to take advantage of your skills without a promotion or meaningful increase. Your boss doesn’t seem either willing or able to go to bat for you.

I think you might want to ask yourself if you want to continue a career at a company that doesn’t seem to be recognizing what you have to offer. It sounds like you would be an asset to many companies, so why not see if you can get a job somewhere where your skills would be more valued? Maybe try and see if you can get that promotion on the outside.

It’s been my experience that employers have the upper hand when employees don’t feel like they have a lot of other options. Maybe see about creating other options for yourself. Then when you find a new opportunity, your employer will have the chance to try and keep you. Then you’ve turned the tables, and you can select the best choice for you. 

Good luck!  Keep us posted. :)

Jon Bon

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2018, 05:24:38 AM »
"You don't get what you're worth, you get what you negotiate"

So go forth and negotiate!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2018, 08:59:26 AM »
I empathize with you - I've been in your shoes as well.

I would not ask for reduced responsibilities unless you are fully prepared to leave the company.  In my experience, this NEVER went well.  I've been told on more than one occasion that one can't get promoted unless they are already performing at the level they want to be promoted to (e.g., give us "free" labor for a while and then we'll get around to rewarding you).  Asking for reduced responsibilities was seen as very, very petty.

Is there a level above Senior, and if so, are you performing at that level already?   It might be a better strategy to try to get promoted to 2 levels above where you are now at the normal promotion time next year.

My mom once negotiated a 4-step promotion and 25% pay raise once she realized that her actual responsibilities better matched a level much, much higher than her job title.  She did this by calling her boss as she sat in the parking lot preparing to go into an interview at another company, along the lines of "I don't want to leave the company.  I like what I do, but if you can't recognize the value I offer, I'm going to have to leave anyway."  She was on a critical project, and they jumped through all kinds of hoops to get her the raise and title change (and she also insisted that one of her colleagues get the same).

In my personal 20 years of experience, once you've been overlooked like this, and if you've shown you are already doing the work at the higher level, you're screwed as long as you have the same management.  You either suck it up and live with being underpaid, or you leave for a job in another company or in another division of yours. 

Rather than ask for reduced responsibilities, I'd ask for a meeting between you, your manager, and the new director on how to fix this.

MayDay

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2018, 09:11:59 AM »
It might be a bit risky,but I would be tempted to go to your manager today and say: "you mentioned last week that Grandboss would ask if I am a flight risk. I wanted to let you know ow with full transparency that I am. I wasn't until I was passed over for promotion, but I am now. I plan to start looking for a new position if I'm not promoted by May 15th".

There is absolutely no reason you should wait until fall to be promoted. Any BS they tell you about it being hardto promote out of cycle is just that- BS.

You are in a great position to play hardball. Your manager Isa wimp.

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2018, 12:55:34 PM »
Asking for reduced responsibilities was seen as very, very petty.

Rather than ask for reduced responsibilities, I'd ask for a meeting between you, your manager, and the new director on how to fix this.

I like this. I think I'll ask for this and see how THAT discussion goes. I would at least have all 3 of us on the same page and I'll have more information on how receptive this guy will be. If he sees the problem and is willing to fix it, awesome. If he's skeptical or blows us off, only then would I pull out the nuclear card and go back to my immediate manager privately and see how I can diplomatically slowly ramp down some/all my support of these additional teams until the promotion comes through.

I definitely want to approach that in a non-threatening way, because I strive to always have a theme of "how can I help you?" in my interactions with my manager (which may be why I have been getting all this responsibility in the first place, because I'm essentially volunteering for it! doh!), and I don't want to be brash and say something that totally backfires on me, like you mention... its a fine line to walk, between trying to not seem petty, but also putting up boundaries that having me handle these responsibilities with no reward for a whole extra year is not gonna fly. In the last month I've gone from completely unbothered by waiting for the promotion, to feeling like I was forgotten/singled out while simultaneously giving me more and more responsibility is just... no. NO.

Something like "I want to help you and these teams be successful, but I also need us to respect the some of the limitations of my existing paygrade. I'd like to work with you to come up with a plan that takes into account your priorities and needs, while also ensuring any changes would not affect my track for promotion (considering I have already consistently proven myself capable in a senior-level capacity). So, with that in mind, what TWO teams do you most need me to work with (out of the 4)?"

Otherwise, I have also decided that even if the promotion doesn't work out this mid-year cycle, if my manager can somehow give me a measurable pay increase to make up for all of these responsibilities, then at least I'm getting paid to do these things, even if it isn't in my title (I don't care so much to get the title, I just want to be paid fairly for my workload and figured promotion is the best way to get that). Then I would be less outraged at waiting until next year. I still would not be happy because its his fault I didn't get it in the first place and all those other people are up there, (and it has affected my ability to get things done, as people do sometimes judge me on my lower title and blow me off like I'm a freaking intern), but I could live with that temporarily as long as I saw the bigger paycheck every 2 weeks. At this point, as long as I don't blow it, I'm basically guaranteed a promotion by at least 1 year from now... but considering that all those other people were promoted ahead of me last month, that wait is almost intolerable and really, really grating. I know I shouldn't compare, but its the perfect opportunity to -- all hired out of college with no experience at the exact same start date, all brought into the same job family with the same amount of experience on the same day (we were a training class at the company), and I'm given 3 teams while they still have their original one. And yet here we are, with me still back here and them higher. BUT I am a mustachian and they are not, so even though I'm being underpaid, I am still in a good place. I have good savings, I have a roof over my head, etc. But still. The nasty ungrateful thoughts still sneak in. >:(

But I'm definitely resolved to go find another opportunity, because all of this yanking me back and forth has been exhausting and now, even if I do get promoted/paid more, I may still feel resentful because I had to pull teeth to get it, which makes me feel like I'm not as valued as people tell me I am. If "things would literally fall apart without you" isn't enough to pay me what I deserve, I'm slowly getting to the point of saying fuck it.

netskyblue

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2018, 01:07:54 PM »
@Lady SA I want to know what line of work you're in that is "easy" and 80k at entry level, lol!

Where I'm from 25-30k is an entry level job, and often worked pretty darn hard.

robartsd

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2018, 01:52:24 PM »
Get a friend to call your boss as if they are checking references. This is part recon to get an idea of how your boss would handle an actual call from a potential new employer (so you can answer the may we contact your current employer question with some confidence) and part to start getting the idea that you might be a "flight risk" into your boss's head.

mm1970

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2018, 02:18:05 PM »
Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.  My companies policies have always been "pay for performance" meaning, you have to perform at that level and show you can do it before you get paid.  So yes, I also had 2 years of performing at a higher level without the promotion.

Unfortunately, I got a string of new bosses over the space of a year, and each was working on the promotion, before they moved on.  On the last (final) boss, when I brought up the promotion, I got a "non-answer".  First "Why does the title matter?"  "Because my salary is directly related to my title and I'm at the top of the pay scale."  "Well, this shouldn't be an issue."

Okay, bye.  I did go find a new job and leave.  Not that it makes me feel any better, but about a year later they admitted to a former coworker that they made a mistake in letting me go.


What should you do?

Become a flight risk.  The problem with getting new bosses is that they don't know you are a flight risk.  I also look at it as you are getting great opportunity to learn - but without the title, you may find it difficult to move on.  Still, as a female in a male-dominated field, every. single. year. that someone else got a raise or promotion and I didn't (or more commonly, they quit and we hired new people at market rate) has resulted in my pay being approx $30k below market.  Don't be me!

Also, I had a long stretch of no raise with more and more responsibility, and I did say fuck it.  I did my job but the bare minimum.  For a few years. Was kind of nice to jet out to pick up the kids for swim lessons or soccer practice when needed.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 02:25:16 PM by mm1970 »

Sibley

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2018, 02:52:54 PM »
Obligatory really good website for work stuff: AskAManager.org

Good luck OP, sounds like you've got a plan.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2018, 02:58:28 PM »
Oh God are you me?

Spent ~2 years working at increased responsibility. I got exceptional merit increases (exceptional being 4%, the max that was allowed). Repeatedly passed over for promotions, was belittled and asked "why does title matter so much to you?" by my manager.

I even did the same thing you did, I went line by line through the "Senior" job description with bullet points of demonstrated examples of meeting or exceeding those requirements and went through them both with my direct manager and HR.

A bunch of lip service and non-answers. They eventually offered an intern (!) a position one level higher than my title and for comparable pay to mine

That was the last straw for me. I hesitated for so long because my old company was paying for my MBA ("bronze" handcuffs) so I'd owe them a lot of money if I just bounced in the middle of it. Like you, I bet they figured I wasn't a flight risk.

So I made myself one.

Within a MONTH I had a ~10% raise AND I negotiated a significant signing bonus that covered my unvested tuition. I probably could've found something even more lucrative if I were patient but I was so fed up I wanted out ASAP (Almost quit on the spot when I heard about the intern thing).

When I told my manager I was leaving within 30 minutes I was at breakfast with the director asking me to stay, he said "Title, salary, we can fix all that with a stroke of a pen." The gall.

I explained that he knew about my conversations with my manager and HR for months, it shouldn't have had to come to this, but now it's too late.

Good luck to you OP, I know how you feel and I look forward to your update.


Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2018, 03:12:40 PM »
@Lady SA I want to know what line of work you're in that is "easy" and 80k at entry level, lol!

Where I'm from 25-30k is an entry level job, and often worked pretty darn hard.

lol! I know, I feel kind of ridiculous complaining about this. To be fair, the job is actually pretty complex and involves a lot of people skills and cat herding, but I'm just really good at my job. I'm not trying to be a brag, but I'm just really good at keeping track of a million things and gently nudging things to stay on track, which means things run much more efficiently and my teams are more productive.
I work in the software engineering industry as a team coach and coordinator/project manager, essentially.

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2018, 03:21:39 PM »
Oh God are you me?

Spent ~2 years working at increased responsibility. I got exceptional merit increases (exceptional being 4%, the max that was allowed). Repeatedly passed over for promotions, was belittled and asked "why does title matter so much to you?" by my manager.

I even did the same thing you did, I went line by line through the "Senior" job description with bullet points of demonstrated examples of meeting or exceeding those requirements and went through them both with my direct manager and HR.

A bunch of lip service and non-answers. They eventually offered an intern (!) a position one level higher than my title and for comparable pay to mine

That was the last straw for me. I hesitated for so long because my old company was paying for my MBA ("bronze" handcuffs) so I'd owe them a lot of money if I just bounced in the middle of it. Like you, I bet they figured I wasn't a flight risk.

So I made myself one.

Within a MONTH I had a ~10% raise AND I negotiated a significant signing bonus that covered my unvested tuition. I probably could've found something even more lucrative if I were patient but I was so fed up I wanted out ASAP (Almost quit on the spot when I heard about the intern thing).

When I told my manager I was leaving within 30 minutes I was at breakfast with the director asking me to stay, he said "Title, salary, we can fix all that with a stroke of a pen." The gall.

I explained that he knew about my conversations with my manager and HR for months, it shouldn't have had to come to this, but now it's too late.

Good luck to you OP, I know how you feel and I look forward to your update.

Well, is it bad that this makes me feel a tiny bit better to know it isn't just me that's been completely ignored and passed over! My god your situation is like a million times worse than mine, I don't think I would have been able to hold back from quitting on the spot after the intern got promoted over you!!

Yeah, your story just really solidified it for me. Fuck this, I'm finding another opportunity and rubbing it in their faces. Screw this.

Plus, I just grabbed a few minutes with my manager and asked to have a discussion on how to fix this situation between me, the new superior, and him in order to come up with a suitable plan to fix this discrepancy.
He hemmed and hawed and said that this new superior is really not super interested in our little pocket of the area and he wants to keep it that way, and didn't want to draw attention to us by telling him dates and stuff that I've working toward right now... he'll apparently "deal with it" in Sept. I kept it really cool, smiled, thanked him, and now I'm back at my desk thinking "fuck you. You're more interested in covering your ass than sticking your neck out to help me like you said you were. If my problem isn't a big enough problem for you to deal with, then I'll go make it some other company's problem and you can deal with the consequences."

I'm gonna go home now and cool off. Jeezus. I'm just shaking my head in disbelief. wtf. this can't be normal.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 03:27:57 PM by Lady SA »

Phoenix_Fire

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2018, 03:42:07 PM »
It sounds like your current manager is the type that likes to keep their head down and not rock the boat.  They coast under the radar and don't ever stick their heads up for anything.  They can be great in the day to day stuff like yours is.  Getting to go home early and take extra days off are awesome!  But when it comes to fighting for you to get a promotion you can't count on them.  When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

I do agree that your best bet is to start looking for a new job.  I honestly think if you want to get promoted, you are going to have to leave.  I don't think your current manager would fight to get them to match it, unless he realizes that in this case his life is going to be better if he can keep you than if he loses you.  His fear of confrontation though makes me think that won't happen. 

When you do get a new offer for someplace else, you need to weigh the benefits of your current job versus the new offer.  The biggest one is going to be that time flexibility.   If you are only working 32 hours a week with an $80k salary, that's $48 an hour.  You would need a job that pays you $100k for 40 hours a week to match it.  If you're not worried about the hours worked and are OK with more hours in return for getting to FIRE sooner, then that might not matter as much.  However, if have grown accustomed to working limited hours, going back up to 40, 45 if you count an hour lunch, might be a harsh wake-up call.

Only you will know if it is worth swallowing your pride and staying if you don't get an offer you like.  I would recommend doing the math and seeing what the impact on your FIRE date is if you were to make $100k (or more).  Since it sounds like you only have 3 more years, it might not have as much impact as you think.  Would being at the office for 8-13 more hours a week be worth it?  Can you adjust your mentality to just ride it out and keep your head down for 3 more years, a la your boss?  What would you lose if you had to be at work an hour earlier each day and got off 1.5 hours later?

Cool off, update your resume, and find out what options are out there.  You might find your dream job, you might find out that what you currently have is great, but either way, knowledge is power.  Good luck, and do what will ultimately make you happiest overall!

Beach_Bound

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2018, 03:54:52 PM »
I'm getting frustrated just reading this! OP, your boss may be a pleasant person and have strong technical skills, but he's a crappy manager. He'd rather fly under the radar than go to bat for his team. If he truly believed that no promotions would be granted this year, then when he learned he was mistaken, he should have immediately gone to his boss and/or HR to get you your promotion off-cycle. Waiting for a specific review period is a convenience for him, not a necessity. I'm positive that if you walk in tomorrow with a competing offer, your company would find a way to offer you a promotion.

You boss may expect questions from his boss about whether you're a flight risk, but his job is to deal with that and keep good people on his team. He should not be passing his fear of that question along to you! A good manager would say something like "OP is a strong performer who has added a lot of value to [Company]. If we don't recognize her contributions with this promotion, I believe she would look elsewhere. Based on her current responsibilities, we'd have to replace her with two people at the senior level." Instead, he "shrugged helplessly"?? Really???

If you love your company, could you apply to similar positions in other divisions? Applying externally is also a good move, but I get the reluctance to leave an excellent company culture. Your document summarizing your responsibilities sounds like the perfect informal internal resume. In the words of the Ask a Manager blog, your boss sucks and isn't going to change. And he sounds far too passive to oppose any action that you take.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2018, 08:04:25 PM »
wtf. this can't be normal.

Unfortunately, it is.  I was in a similar position - doing the work 1-2 grades above my grade level, boss and grand-boss both agreed.  I had a history of 12 years of performance appraisals in the top 10% (highest rating) and I led the team that won the most prestigious award in our ~20,000 person unit at Megacorp.  What did I get for it?  Back-to-back 2% raises that got me all the way up to about 6% below the average pay for my grade level while I was provably doing work 1-2 grade levels above.  After talking and talking for 2 years I finally took another position for a promotion and a very substantial raise.  That job didn't pan out, but I'm now in one of the best jobs I've ever had - adjacent to my old boss, incidentally - and at the higher pay grade and salary. 

I wish you luck.  The only suggestions I'll make are that no job is permanent, and never burn any bridges.  I strongly recommend looking elsewhere for another job.  Interview, and while not throwing it in your manager's face I wouldn't necessarily hide it either.  If/when you leave, do everything you can to keep it totally professional.  Leave with the attitude that you may hate the new job (but again, it's not permanent!) and might decide to go back to your current job.  Or in 10 years you may find yourself working with your former boss and/or co-workers.  A little charity in dealing with the idiots you're currently working with might pay huge dividends in the future. 

Slee_stack

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2018, 11:44:01 AM »
Hey OP, I'm willing to do a straight up job swap with you.  You can have my salary, title, direct reports, everything.

Semi kidding aside, a 'promotion' is mostly a bullshit event anyway.  My title and position is meaningless.  I was 'promoted' last year and got less of a raise than not being promoted the year prior.

I did however get an increase in my 'expected hours put in', no reduction in my old duties, and a whole bunch of new tasks thrown on top.  Completely unfeasible and unsustainable.  In reality, I ended up with a 'demotion' in terms of compensation and effort put in.  And a whole lot more stress.  What the fuck?  The whole 'be careful what you wish for' perhaps?

Yeah, I already did most of the stuff prior too.  It didn't stop 'new expectations' from suddenly materializing because 'hey...promotion...!'

I'm at the point of walking and I've already had multiple serious discussions with my manager at my displeasure.  I hope I will have the fortitude to follow through.

If you truly think a better job awaits, definitely go get it.  Be ready to walk and you may be offered the add'l money, status, or whatever it is you want.  Just be prepared to accept that the grass on the other side may not be quite as green as you hoped.  The grass in your own yard might also turn a little browner too!

As far as golden boys and girls....they will always be there and chances are there will always be a few more golden than you.  It is what it is.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 11:47:13 AM by Slee_stack »

mm1970

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2018, 05:49:38 PM »
@Lady SA I want to know what line of work you're in that is "easy" and 80k at entry level, lol!

Where I'm from 25-30k is an entry level job, and often worked pretty darn hard.

lol! I know, I feel kind of ridiculous complaining about this. To be fair, the job is actually pretty complex and involves a lot of people skills and cat herding, but I'm just really good at my job. I'm not trying to be a brag, but I'm just really good at keeping track of a million things and gently nudging things to stay on track, which means things run much more efficiently and my teams are more productive.
I work in the software engineering industry as a team coach and coordinator/project manager, essentially.

Quote
So I made myself one.

Within a MONTH I had a ~10% raise AND I negotiated a significant signing bonus that covered my unvested tuition. I probably could've found something even more lucrative if I were patient but I was so fed up I wanted out ASAP (Almost quit on the spot when I heard about the intern thing).

When I told my manager I was leaving within 30 minutes I was at breakfast with the director asking me to stay, he said "Title, salary, we can fix all that with a stroke of a pen." The gall.

I explained that he knew about my conversations with my manager and HR for months, it shouldn't have had to come to this, but now it's too late.

Good luck to you OP, I know how you feel and I look forward to your update.

This is great!  You make yourself a flight risk!

Back to the top quote from the OP, those skills are highly in demand.  Time to move along.

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2018, 02:20:02 PM »
Just a quick update:
I was shaking like a leaf, but I mustered up the courage to tell my manager today:

Quote
"I am qualified, and I want a paygrade increase NOW, not in September and certainly not next year. I will not be taking on any additional workload until this happens. Otherwise, I'm going to have to start looking at other options."
Then I stared at him silently to make it really awkward as a power move, and I didn't elaborate any further, just left it at that.

He started babbling to fill the awkward silence, and told me that the other day he talked to our superior about it, and they both agreed to go talk to our senior director. And my manager will check with our superior (his boss) again tomorrow. He didn't push back on the timeline that I insisted on.
His answer was suitably vague (of course, I don't expect anything less from this guy at this point lol) and I'm not entirely sure what it meant, but I think I struck the fear of god into him and he seemed to take it very seriously. I'm hopeful I will have some sort of update/know more tomorrow or friday.

But I'm also not getting complacent about this. I'm hopeful that there will be some sort of resolution soon. But I'm still going to go interview at some other places just because I feel like the pay bump isn't going to be very impressive. One thing at a time... I'll get my existing company to move on the pay grade/title increase now, and simultaneously I'll be looking at other companies to see if I can use that as leverage to get paid as much as possible.

So I figure I first get the promotion plus whatever automatic pay increase I get with that, and then later get the counter offer to ensure my pay is market rate. And if my current company doesn't get the paygrade increase done soon, same thing, I'll get another offer and see if they want to counter offer with something better to keep me.

I'm feeling much more in control and confident about this. I turned my linkedin into "interested in opportunities" and I've gotten a large surge of contacts since. One from yesterday looks promising, but DH and I would have to get a second car to support two car commutes (we would work in opposite directions). I'm wrapping up some major items in the next few weeks and then I will start the hunt in earnest, and by then I should also know whether my current company will be total dunces or not.

CalBal

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2018, 02:45:23 PM »
Holy cow! Well whatever happens, congratulations on being bold!! :)

FireHiker

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2018, 04:17:19 PM »
Best of luck; good for you for being assertive!

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2018, 02:04:58 PM »
Another positive update --

I talked to my boss today to get an update. Turns out his boss is pitching my promotion to our director TODAY (yikes!) and we will know more tomorrow or the next day. There are still a few levels that the pitch has to go through, so who knows how that will shake out.
But he then added that "No matter what happens with this promotion thing, I'll make sure that financially, you're paid fairly."

I got that burst of 30 seconds of courage/assertiveness, and it paid off! It helped that I was still so mad, and the "mad" gave me a lot more courage than I would normally.  And the fact that they scrambled to pitch this so soon showed that I have a bit more leverage at my current company/area than I thought, which is pretty nice to know :)

Essentially, either I will get a pay bump + promotion within the month, or ~the same pay bump within the next month and then a guaranteed title bump next year (which I honestly don't care that much about, I mostly just want to be *paid* fairly for all the additional things I do. The title is completely secondary just because I'm a bit competitive lol).

I'm pretty happy with this solution, but I'm also still polishing the resume and planning on sending it out to a few places just to see what's out there and to make sure whatever pay bump they do give me brings me up to market rate. I want that leverage in my back pocket because this experience taught me to be a little more proactive in advocating for myself and not going on autopilot, letting my higher-ups make decisions that aren't in my best interest and blindly trusting them.

Baby steps in the right direction!!

Tuskalusa

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2018, 03:01:13 PM »
Great news!  Keep us posted!

Lady SA

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2018, 02:47:15 PM »
It is done!
I am officially promoted to my correct level as of Monday. I also get a 15% raise! This bumps me up to the $93-5k range, which I'm pretty darn happy with.

I interviewed for a position at another company a week ago and was on the shortlist of candidates, but its suddenly been radio silence for the last few days so I'm writing them off. The interview process is a LOT different when I already have a job--a lot less stress! I went in feeling pretty confident, but the place was really not a great fit and I knew it as soon as I walked in the door, so I'm not heartbroken. It would have been nice to get a big offer from them and use it to bump my salary at my current company, though!

Later this year I may go try interviewing again, but I really like the work that I'm a part of at my current company, so interviewing would mostly be to get a competing offer and get my company to try to match it. I'm a lot more confident after this last interview that I could get something solid. I also got most of my interview-jitters out on this last interview and now I know better what to expect next time. I'm definitely keeping my eyes peeled for positions that I would have a good shot at, with that in mind.

Anyone have any tips for this next phase of getting my company to match a competing offer? I hear advice all the time that you shouldn't take a company matching offer for various reasons. However, I figure because I'm planning on bailing so soon, that it really wouldn't matter if I got labelled as disloyal or something. Are there any considerations I should be aware of?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 02:54:31 PM by Lady SA »

ginger

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Re: extra responsibilities but no promotion :(
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2018, 03:57:18 PM »
Major congrats on the promotion and salary increase - it's ridiculous that it was such a hassle, and I hope you're celebrating your victory!

I just want to reiterate someone's suggestion to check out Ask a Manager - it's a really great career advice blog that's been around for over a decade now, with daily Dear Abby style conundrums and loads of other advice. One thing that Alison cautions against (and with which I agree, given my own experiences in both job-seeking and hiring) is that you should be very careful interviewing with the express purpose of negotiating a counter offer. More here (and in the archives; it's worth ruminating on):

http://www.askamanager.org/2012/03/why-you-shouldnt-take-a-counteroffer.html