BLUF - My Boss recently gave notice and I have found out I am getting most of her responsibilities but I suspect will not get any raise.  Is there any way to bring this up?


Here's the situation:  I work for a major financial institution in the Fortune 100 that is a household name.  My boss currently has 12 directs.  One of them (not me) has another 15 directs under her, and the other 11 are individual contributors (including me).  My boss gave notice that she is leaving for another company.  My bosses boss sat down me, the my current boss, and my peer who has the 15 directs to tell us that everything is "frozen" due to the market and since there will be a "markup" if they hire from outside they are not going to hire from outside.  Instead my peer will take her 15 directs and report directly to my current bosses boss, and the remaining 10 individual contributors and report to him as well.

I had already felt underpaid relative to the market, and now with these increased responsibilities feel more so.  Is there any way to bring this up with him without appearing greedy -- I very much want the position as well.  A tricky factor is that my current boss and have the same job-band for the company (it is huge company), so I'm not sure if HR won't view it as a promotion.  Lastly, there are people who have been in the group reporting to me who quite possibly make more than I do because they have been there longer.  Should that be a factor, or can it be a factor? 


Thanks for the help.

jhack's picture

Why do you consider this a promotion?  You had no directs before.  You will have no directs in the new organization (I think; you are vague on that point).  Advice below, but first some comments...

Even assuming the 10 report to you, you need to be careful.  First, it doesn't matter if a direct is paid more than you.  That's irrelevant.  A movie star gets paid more than the director.  The question is, what are you worth to the company?  What other people are worth is not important. 

Don't know about "job bands" either.  It is unlikely to help you make a case. It might help your new boss make the case to HR, but it won't help you make the case for yourself. 

Almost everyone thinks they''re underpaid.  The only proof is an offer from another company.  Nothing else is evidence of underpayment.  Doesn't matter if your buddy from college is making 30K more than you.  You are a unique product, and your only value is what others will pay YOU. 

Here's what you do:  sit down with your new boss, and set clear goals for you and your team.  Set timelines.  "By Jan 30, we will have increased revenue by 20%."  Clear, measurable, and time-bound.  There's a cast about that: .  It might be good to have goal-setting that aligns nicely with the annual review process. 

At some point (depending on your relationship with your new boss (Boss one on ones)) you can let your boss that you have ambitions to be a successful manager.  That you would like him to work with you on this.  Later still, you can let him know that you are hoping to have your compensation aligned with your new levels of responsibility and performance. 

Then when the annual review comes around, you can make your case.  Until you've proven your worth, it's going to be a difficult discussion. 

There are other threads on this topic:  is one. 

John Hack




mfculbert's picture

Give your best at work. If you have a relationship with your new boss you should definitely ask the question. It is a rough time to get major increases in salary. I would also have you review "Contacting Recruiters" and start to keep your eyes open. 

jhack's picture

this article showed up in my feed.  Many companies are using the raise-less promotion:

John Hack

tplummer's picture

You can ask for a raise. But of course it has to be done right, at the right time, etc. Can you "prove" you're underpaid? And I don't mean I'm doing more without more money. I think just about everyone can say that these days of increasing productivity and reduced staffing. So, you have to prepare and have a good reason why you deserve the money. Can you get market surveys from your industry showing people with your experience and level are paid more than you make now? Does your company provide any composite salary data? For instance, my company tells us what the "average" salary is for the position. That doesn't factor in years of experience, review ratings, education, etc. But it's a starting point. Do you have your Masters but most of your peers only have a Bachelors? Are you doing things on your own time to improve your performance or value to the company such as professional certifications? Can you show that you have 3 major projects but your peers only have 1 or 2? If you go armed with real data and not just a feeling, then you have a better chance.

Also I find that many managers know who is under paid. And the certainly know who deserves a raise. So if they know you're under paid, and they know you deserve a raise, and you show them the data for what they already know, maybe they'll go to bat for you and try to get you one. But that's a lot of variables to consider. And it seriously could be that your company just isn't giving out raises right now.