‘Give me $150-$180k’: Software engineer turns down promotion after boss refuses to put raise details in contract

Gillian Sisley

In this Reddit post, a software engineer recounts her experience of being offered a promotion at her workplace, and being torn about whether or not she should accept the offer.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author begins by explaining that she was recently offered a promotion at work, but she’s having second thoughts as to whether or not to accept the offer. She explains further:

“I went and got a drink with the guy who has that job now, and the guy who had the job before him. The current guy said he was screwed out of a raise, he took the promotion when it was implied one was coming and it never came. He was making less than I am currently in the role and kept getting his requests for raises rejected. That night, I told my husband about my day, and how I wasn't sure if I should take the promotion. We talked a bit, and he thought I should, just for my resume.”

According to Forbes, it’s important to research the role and the market value of the position, as well as the organization's internal salary structures, in order to effectively negotiate a promotion and a raise with an employer. The Balance Careers also adds that it’s important to be prepared and confident when discussing a promotion and raise with an employer, as well as to be clear about the desired outcome of the negotiation.

With her husband's advice and some research on the job market, the author made the decision not to take the promotion until the salary was more clearly defined:

“I asked my boss what the salary for the promotion would be, and he said that it would be up to HR in the next review cycle. I'd heard that that tends to be the absolute minimum they can get away with - and honestly, that role on the job market was valued at 150-180k so I'd be majorly undervalued. I was starting to think I'd have to be a sucker to take that offer.”

Her husband was upset with her decision, believing that she should take the promotion for the sake of her resume and their financial future. She continues:

“I came home and told my husband I declined the promotion. And he was surprisingly mad about it; he said it was something we should have talked about instead of me just going on my own. And that I knew he didn't agree with me!”

Knowing that the role was valued at $150,000-$180,000, the engineer felt she would be undervalued if she accepted the offer and as such, declined the promotion.

The engineer concludes with:

“It’s an old-school way of thinking to slave away for free on the hope you’ll be rewarded” and that she had already tried that at her first two jobs, only to quit. She shared that “all it does is tells them you’re cheap and gullible.”

What do you think?

Was the author making the right decision to not accept the promotion until the increase in salary was also put in writing?

Or is her husband right in that she should have accepted the promotion, even if only for the sake of being able to put the promotion on her resume?

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