Know your worth, and then ask for it | Casey Brown
How to Evaluate a Promotion with No Pay Raise
If you are considering a promotion that does not come with a raise, aim to determine whether the new job will benefit you, or simply give you more work and complications to deal with. Look at the key differences between your current job and the new position, and figure out what kind of workload, hours, and responsibilities will be on your plate. Ask about possible perks like flexible work time, better benefits, and extra vacation days. In addition, see if external training and future raises are possible.
Determining How Your Job Will Change
Isolate the key differences in positions.Ask your employer for a clear breakdown of what the new job would entail on a day-to-day basis. Either take detailed notes as they tell you, or request this information by email and save it. Go through the description and isolate all the aspects that are different from your current job.
- For example, being promoted from an administrative assistant position to an executive assistant position will mean basic office tasks, plus the responsibility of handing an executive’s calls, emails, schedule, and correspondence.
Assess the new workload and hours.Look at the job description of the position your employer wants to promote you to and try to gauge how much work that will leave you with on an everyday basis. For instance, if your employer wishes to promote you to the position of department manager, assess the increase in your workload based on new responsibilities like training new employees, organizing work schedules, and finalizing projects. Ask if overtime will be expected, and how often it will be expected.
- This might be a significant consideration if you have young children or other personal responsibilities.
Think about your dynamic with your colleagues.Rapport with fellow employees is important in maintaining feelings of engagement at work, which leads to better motivation and morale. Consider how you new promotion will affect your dynamic with your colleagues, in turn affecting your day to day environment. Suddenly being put in charge of managing your co-workers' projects, for instance, might be an unsettling experience that isn't worth attempting without a raise (e.g. becoming a department supervisor and overseeing your colleagues' performance reviews.)
Looking at Work/Life Balance
Ask about flexible scheduling.If a promotion does not provide you with a raise, it might allow you to be more flexible with your schedule. Ask if the new position will grant you more flexibility in terms of things like work hours, and working from home. Ask yourself if the improvement in work/life balance is as valuable to you as a pay raise might be.
- Lead with something like, "Will this new position allow me the opportunity to work from home periodically, or work more flexible hours?"
Inquire about additional health care and retirement benefits.In lieu of a pay raise, improved employee benefits might be a worthwhile incentive to consider. Inquire with your employer if increased benefits are a possibility with the new position being offered. For instance, a new, management-level position might come with a handsome premium reimbursement plan for health care.
Seek out more vacation days.If your employer won't offer you a raise with your promotion, they might be willing to negotiate some extra vacation days as an alternative incentive. In the U.S., there is typically a median of 10 days per year for sick and vacation days for full-time employees. Ask your employer if your prospective promotion warrants extra days off.
Assessing How Your Career Will Benefit
Ask about external training.If your promotion does not include a pay raise, examine its potential to further your job skills and career. Ask your employer if they will fund relevant external training (e.g. technical courses) for your new position. Many businesses have separate budgets for training than they do for raises, so this request may be granted as an incentive for your new position.
See if a raise is in the foreseeable future.The lack of an immediate raise should not stop you from looking into how the job will pay off down the line. Ask your employer how your performance in this new position will be compensated over time (e.g. after employee reviews) and if improvement will be rewarded. Be direct, and say something like, “I understand that this promotion will not come with a pay raise, but can you tell me how my growth and improved performance in this new position will be rewarded over the next year or two?”
- Request that your employer provide you with an outline of this information in writing, or ask the question via email to have a record of the conversation.
Discuss the potential promotion directly.To get the bottom line on what a new, unpaid promotion will mean for your career, have a forthright discussion with your employer. Be direct and polite, and ask them what will be in it for you if you accept a promotion with no pay raise. Mention your career goals and initiate a discussion on how the new position could be optimized to suit your aspirations.
- For instance, say, “I’m hoping that you can tell me how this promotion might benefit my career and work life at this company. In the absence of a pay raise, these are considerations that I feel are very important.”
Make a pro/con list.Pro/con lists are a straightforward way of analyzing situations and possible outcomes to make well thought-out decisions. Since some pros are better, and cons are worse, than others, make a weighted pro/con list. Assign positive or negative numbers to each consideration on the list.
Talk to friends and family.For help making a big career decision, ask friends and family for advice. Getting advice from trusted people will offer new perspectives, and allow them to weigh in on a choice that might affect them (e.g. how much time they will get to spend with you if your new position involves longer hours). Bring up the potential promotion at a time when you can talk freely and in-depth, like during a family supper.
Video: Performance Reviews | Performance Evaluations & Appraisal
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