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Promoted but no bump in salary

Dear Office-Politics,

I’m a seasoned EA who joined a small firm a year ago. Because of my experience and background, I’ve stood out to the firm’s management. Yesterday, I was told by the CEO that I will now be supporting him, and his current assistant (who is lacking) will be reassigned. To me, this is a promotion but no additional salary was brought up. Our raise reviews are next month and he said that my review will be handled by my current boss (senior partner). Should I bring up salary with the CEO or should I wait until next month? I probably make more than the other assistant but my salary is in line with salaries in my city. Thanks for your response!


Happy but no cigar

peter garber

Dear Happy but no cigar,

Unfortunately sometimes those in positions to give raises forget just how important raises are to those being promoted.

They forget that it is not only about the money but also the recognition that is attached to receiving a raise. It appears from what you indicated in your letter that the CEO is asking that your last year’s performance be reviewed by your current boss. This makes sense seeing that your current boss is most familiar with your performance during the past year. It is not clear if he was thinking about if you should be getting a raise or not for this new position.

I think you should ask him about it but like someone once told me, “approach has everything to do with it”.

Although I wouldn’t recommend mentioning this to the CEO, the timing of your annual raise is important in determining your new salary. If you get the promotional increase before your annual raise percentage is calculated or after will make a difference. Bringing this point up now rather than later may translate into a higher annual salary.

One word of caution however, the CEO may have realized this and that is why he deferred your annual raise discussion until next month with no mention of a promotional raise right away. If you get any push back from the CEO I wouldn’t recommend pursuing this issue or the timing of any raise you might receive. The opportunity you are being presented is worth more than the raise. It has the potential of translating into other opportunities that will include greater compensation in the future. You don’t want to “win the battle only to lose the war”.

In summary I recommend that you ask about but don’t push the issue of the raise at this time. Don’t make any ultimatums or threats of leaving if you don’t get the raise sooner or later. Take the new position, do a great job and the money will follow. Good luck, Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.


Peter Garber, Author

Peter R. Garber has worked as an HR professional for over 25 years and is the author of many business books including: Winning the Rat Race at Work and 100 Ways to Get on the Wrong Side of your Boss.

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