Promoted Without an Accompanying Pay Raise

Angela writes:
I recently read your article on Getting the
Raise you Deserve
. I thought I would ask your opinion on the situation I am in. I was recently
hired at a rather large dry-cleaning company. This company has bought several small chains and
is in the process of merging them all under one name and starting a re-branding. I was hired on
as an administrative assistant for $10 an hour while I am working on my marketing degree.
Just recently the company’s marketing director was let go and I was informed I was now the
marketing director. I streamlined all of her tracking methods and innovated new strategies to bring
customers into the current stores. This is in addition to creating a logo for the new re-branding
maintaining the client email database and all the mailings collaborating with the designer for the
new website creating new forms from scratch designing letterhead brochures and door
hangers and much more.
My boss is very impressed with my work and responds by giving me more marketing responsibilities
which I don’t mind as it’s my passion and what I love to do. However I feel that this work I’m doing
is worth much more than $10. With the work I am doing in my location the hourly rate for the tenth
percentile is $16.51 an hour ($34330 annually). The median is $35.46 an hour ($73760 annually).
I was thinking asking for a raise to $15 an hour or comparable salary but the mere act of asking for
a 50 percent pay increase before my three-month preliminary time is up feels wrong. At the same time
I don’t want them to think they can take advantage of me.
Any advice you can give is very much appreciated.

The Career Doctor responds:
Wow. What an amazing opportunity for you — and it just shows how luck plays such a
role sometimes in career advancement.
You are obviously a very sharp and gifted job-seeker AND marketer. To jump into the fire
and achieve the rebranding and customer growth is amazing. And then to realize that if
you are going to ask for a raise you want to have research that backs up your salary
increase request.
Should you request a pay increase? Of course. You should have really done so when you
were given the marketing position but you also have more ammunition to ask for even
more now so it’s ok.
Make a list of all your marketing accomplishments including as many specific savings and
sales numbers as possible – even if just for a one-month period. Add to this list your salary research. Then request a meeting. At the meeting you can propose one or two possibilities.
One would be an immediate change in your pay to reflect your job status; the other would
be to request a smaller pay bump now with a guaranteed review in three months and a
good-faith commitment to raise your salary again then if your success continues.
Check out this section of Quintessential Careers for other salary-related issues:
Salary Negotiation and Job
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