Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Is 6 Months Too Long to Wait For a Promotion That Is Not Guaranteed?

I've been thinking a lot about my career.

I am performing at the level to be promoted, but the only problem is that promotions aren't until next March. This might not seem too long to a lot of people, but for me it seems like a long time to wait for a pay increase. Also there's no guarantee of a promotion, but I'm pretty sure I would get one, as long as I continue to show my skills on challenging projects.

I have a goal of making $100K in salary before I hit 30. If I get promoted in March, I should definitely meet that goal. The question is should I leave now and get to the $100K salary by getting a new job? Last year I got 3 salary increases in one year while staying in the same job so only getting one this year is a tough adjustment. The three adjustments were for an annual increase, off-cycle increase since I was making less than market, and a promotion increase. Since I'm now performing at the next level, I think I am once again underpaid. Typically there's 2-4 years before getting promoted to the next level, so I wasn't underpaid when I was promoted, but since I've developed to perform at the next level, I do think that I'm underpaid.

Also I'm not sure how the career aligns with my plans to have a family. I work in consulting which requires the ability to travel . . .a lot. . .if put onto a traveling project. Alternately one can be put on a local project. Traveling a lot does not jive with my idea of how I want to raise a family.

I just don't know what to do.


Anonymous said...

I'm an under-30 traveling consultant too, and I know how you feel. A promotion can definitely come with a big salary bump, but staying just for a rumored or hoped-for promotion can be pretty depressing. My advice is, make the case at your annual review (or in March, whichever comes first) that you deserve a raise, independent of whether or not you are promoted. And in the meantime, think about whether there are other reasons to stay or if you're just working for the paycheck. If you're a well-paid consultant on the fast track to promotion, you have some seriously marketable skills that would serve you well in other roles that don't involve travel. You can still hit $100K in salary locally - you just have to be very valuable to whatever organization you join next.

calgirlfinance said...


Thanks for your comment. I'm thinking about making a case that I deserve a raise now and a promotion at our annual review - the effects of the annual review are seen in March. It'll be a bit hard to make a case that I deserve a raise now due to all the vacations that are happening this summer (e.g. it's hard to ask your boss for a raise when he's out of the country). I'm not just here for the paycheck, but for the opportunities too. I love being a consultant, traveling, and I'm hoping to get a specific project that I would have a hard time getting as a employee at a company. I know I can hit $100K locally, but part of me is afraid that I'll be bored. :)

Revanche said...

I remember waiting months for a promotion that was promised and because the promise wasn't in writing, I was on pins and needles the entire time. And then the second promotion still hasn't materialized. Two years between promotions is a bit much when you're working your butt off.

Not exactly helpful ... I'm just less than enthused about the idea of waiting if it's not guaranteed.

DiningonCents said...

I'm a 20-something recent grad starting my first real job in a month. As a successful woman in her field, could you please provide me with some tips for the workplace? I'll be entering into finance so I'm also worried about having to prove myself more than usual with the poor economic performance of the company as of late.

calgirlfinance said...

Revanche, I agree that 2 years is too long to wait for a promotion when you deserve one. I left a previous job when I thought I deserved a promotion and/or pay increase immediately. When they said I had to wait until the end of the year, I intensified my job search and was able to give notice within a month.

Thanks for stopping by. I will write a post shortly on what I think you need to do to be successful in your career as someone starting out.