/ Asked by Don
I have two questions. First, how often do you promote your employees? I've been in my role (first job out of college) at a large company and I haven't received any salary increase in two years. I spoke with my manager and she said to be patient. I'm thinking of leaving because my starting salary is below market and I can probably find something similar for more pay elsewhere. What I should do?
Answered by Monica, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Hi, and thank you for reaching out regarding your concerns.  I’m glad to hear you’re having a conversation with your manager about your career goals, this is critical, since your manager plays an important role as partner and mentor to facilitate the career path to your success.  Your relationship with your manager therefore should be built with trust and communication.  And with both in place you should be able to ask your manager the questions you are asking here, specifically and directly: For example - How often does our company promote employees?  What is the process for internal promotions?  And, why have I not seen any increases in the past two years? 
An actively engaged manager and mentor should be able to give you direct and action-driven answers, not vague ones, on how exactly both of you could partner up and work with the organizational processes and career opportunities available to help you achieve your goals.  For example:  when there is a lack of promotion opportunity available, the manager may stir you towards advancing your technical skills (e.g. MS Access) to best match the requirements of a future job opportunity at the level you’d like to grow within the organization.  This means that while you’re being patient and waiting for an opportunity to come about, both of you are actively working on a plan to help you attain the necessary skills to prepare you for the requirements of that job you want. 
It seems that you’ve already done your homework and researched what your position pays in the local market, and you’ve found there are opportunities for you to promote to the next level of your career by seeking for such opportunity elsewhere.  Depending on the level of trust you have with your manager, you could also share such information and ask questions on how exactly your current organization would be able to provide you with such opportunities in the near future. 
Certainly, you should request clear information on why you’re not receiving increases.  And whether the reasons are directly related to your own work performance, performance of the team or department; or of the organization in general, be prepared to inquire on how you could be involved in helping yourself and/or others improve in any of those areas.
Once you have clear information that is directly related to your position and goals within the organization and an understanding on the possibilities for advancement within it, I believe it will become easier to make a decision - to stay or go. 
I do wish you the best.
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on Thursday, February 4, 2016
In reality you are asking two questions - one regarding being promoted to another role/title and the second about negotiating salary.  First you need to answer for yourself what is more important to you, title or money?  If the answer is both, then you will really need to consider what your next step is if you cannot get both items accomplished.  

If the answer is title, then you need to look at what is the title/role that you feel you should be promoted to and identify how you are performing in those areas today, how you've gone above and beyond your role to add value, and the other significant accomplishments that you have had - identifying how you are the critical factor in these accomplishments.  Ergo, why no one else would have been as successful attempting the same type of activities.   

If the answer is money, then you should do a cost analysis of your base salary, potential bonuses, and benefits with your current role and compare that within and outside of your company within your same area and industry.  This should give you a good feel as to where your position in range is relative to the current market and what you should reasonably be asking for in terms of salary increase.   
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Great questions! Unfortunately, I don't think there is one standard answer to these questions. You need to first ask yourself what is more important, annual salary increases or a promotion. Some companies guarantee their employee's an annual salary increase as long as the company is performing well and/or the employee performs well. I think it's important to understand your company's policy on this. Is it typical for annual increases to be given? If salary increases are given, how do employee's earn them? You should also seek to understand what you can do to receive a raise.
If a promotion is more important, this is a great conversation to have with your manager. A manager should always be focused on ways he/she can develop their employees. Have a discussion with your manager about your career goals and development areas you want to work on. Ask your manager to work with you on an action plan to reach your goals. Are there specific skills you need to work to develop? Are there special projects you can take on? Keep in mind that you are also in the driver seat for your career. While your manager is meant to serve as a resource and mentor, you are also responsible for driving your own career. I don't think it's abnormal for an employee to stay in the same position for 2-4 years, if that is what he/she wants or if he/she doesn't have a desire to seek advancement opportunities. This question truly comes down to what you want out of your career and understanding what you need to do to get there.
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