If you just want a title change, then a raise might be the icing on top. But if you want a big raise with your promotion, you may need to specifically pursue it.
Raises are such an important subject, I’m dedicating an entire chapter to them. In the next chapter, “How to negotiate your next raise”, I’ll walk you through the process of requesting a raise to bring your compensation in line with your market value.
Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least give a general overview of the “raise” component of a promotion here. So this section is really just a description of what is likely to happen if you get promoted and don’t focus on pay at all.
Most companies have some sort of policy in place to handle standard promotions and accompanying raises. Some companies simply have a policy that dictates a certain increase for each pay grade you move up. For example: If you move up one pay grade, you get a 4% raise; if you move up two pay grades, you get a 7% raise.
Some companies might do a more rigorous analysis by looking at your current pay, tenure with the company, time since your last promotion or raise, and other factors. At the end of this process, they’ll pick some number—usually a percentage of your current salary—that represents the raise you’ll get along with your promotion.
Very rarely, a company will promote you by changing your title and job responsibilities without increasing your pay. This might happen if you make a lateral move, which might mean you’re pursuing a new job where you have little experience and will need to be trained. It might happen if the company is struggling financially and simply can’t afford to give raises at the time of your promotion. It might happen because you specifically asked for a promotion, but did not specifically ask for a raise (this would be pretty unusual, but it’s possible).
So how do you find out what your raise will be when you’re promoted? Just ask when you’re requesting your promotion. You’re already requesting your promotion in two ways: first, you’re scheduling a 1-on-1 with your manager to request your promotion; second, you’re following up with a written request via email. Those are both great opportunities to ask about a raise as well.
You literally just need to add a single sentence to your conversation with your manager and to your follow-up email. During your conversation, I suggested you say something like this: “I’ve been thinking about my career path, and I would like to talk with you about being promoted to Senior Business Analyst.” All you need to do is add one more sentence, “I’m also curious what sort of raise might accompany this promotion.” In your follow-up email, just add that sentence to the end of the “introduction and request” section.
That’s it! All you’re doing is letting your manager know you want this promotion and making sure she knows that you anticipate an accompanying raise. That will give your manager an opportunity to let you know what the typical raise might look like or she might tell you that there’s no raise available with the promotion you’re pursuing.
If the accompanying raise isn’t sufficient, you may need to negotiate a bigger raise. I’ll cover that process in more detail in “How to negotiate your next raise”.
If there’s no raise available with the promotion that you’re pursuing, you may need to consider other options by either pursuing a different promotion or looking for opportunities outside of your current company.
I'm Josh Doody, a professional salary negotiation coach who helps High Earners negotiate their job offers. On average, High Earners improve their first-year compensation by $47,273 with my help.
Apply for a free 15-minute intro call to learn how I can help.