Background: I’m in a situation where I have been “tapped” on the shoulder to interview for an internal position. I would be going from an individual contributor to a manager with about 10 global employees (US, Europe, Asia). The job posting was tailored to my strengths. 

Issue: The people doing this role for other parts of the organization are in the next higher band than I am currently in. However, posting has this position in the same band I am in already.   
Additionally, I took my last promotion, then there was a salary freeze. So I never got a raise. Now I’m in a position where I will most likely get this position, but any raise I get will be on top of my current salary, not the salary I should have been at had there not been a salary freeze. To compound the situation, I understand that my company does not give significant raises when promoting unless going to the executive level. So my best case is a 10% raise when it should be more like a 17-20% raise.
I want to do this new job, but I want to be compensated appropriately. Any tips on negotiating salary? I recently listened to the “salary requirement” podcast, and think I need to do some work to find out what the range is for the position, but I work in a niche field and there is not a lot of data. I could go to HR, but I’m feeling a little nervous about approaching them. Any suggestions are more than welcome.

lindge's picture
Training Badge

I would suggest having a think about what is the key thing you're looking for. It could be one of many things - e.g. is it to increase salary, is it to increase visibility, it is opportunity for learning, is it grabbing an exciting new opportunity that increases career progresssion etc. etc.

By understanding exactly what you're looking for, it will help you identify what your priorities are. For instance, what would happen if you only got the 10% but satisfied with something else you were seeking, would you then turn an offer down (were an offer to follow)?

Other things perhaps to also consider:

- whether the position comes with year-end bonuses or and equity scheme etc. - often in promotions, bonus levels increase or equity schemes kick in, thereby perhaps offsetting a 10% salary differential.

- what's the opportunities for career progression through this role? If it came to it, would it be worth turning down a position for a 10% gap, when that position could lead to other opportunities down the line that would more than offset that gap?

So my suggestion is:

1. Prepare for and go along to the interview(s) and do well (put the salary freeze from your last position out of your mind for the interviews, to avoid any negativity during the process)

2. If you get an offer (and remember that while you're been 'tapped on the shoulder' you don't have an offer yet), by that point you'll know more about the role responsibilities, compensation & career potential, to enable you to come to conclusion about what you're willing to accept or not.

usedetx's picture

Thank you for the advice.

ManagerDave's picture

Do you really want the job? If yes, go for it with all of the enthusiasm you've got and worry about the compensation AFTER you have an offer. I think you're approaching this opportunity backwards.

You have the opportunity to transition from individual contributor to a manager within the company in this economy, during a salary freeze, and you're worried about salary? If they put the position in that salary band, they did it for a reason and I doubt you'll reverse it. Also, it won't be perceived that you really want the job, but that you only want money, and this may negatively affect your ability to get an offer.

What are the alternatives? Stay in your current position with no raise, attempt to get a better IC position elsewhere (maybe with typical raises), attempt to get a manager position elsewhere (very difficult), or take the promotion with less pay.

Don't lose the forest for the trees. This sounds like a good opportunity for you to grow when a lot of people are being laid off and it will benefit you in the long-term. 5 or 10 thousand bucks in the next few years is not something you should be worried about. Worry about how you can nail the interviews and beat the abundance of competition.


mmann's picture
Licensee Badge

Furthermore, you'll have some time in a manager role before the economy improves and the work force shrinks.  In the coming years you can expect tremendous churn as people leave companies that treated them, and their co-workers, poorly during this recession.  Baby Boomers that have put off their retirement due to the poor economy have already started to retire in greater numbers as the DOW teeters at 5 figures.  If your present employer doesn't amend the salary by the time the churn begins, you'll have plenty of opportunities to bring your management skills and accomplishments elsewhere.