when an employee pushes for a promotion but isn’t ready

When you have a staff member who’s pushing harder for promotion – or even just for bigger projects or responsibilities – and you’re convinced they’re not ready, how can you manage the situation without demotivating them?

The risk here, of course, is that people in this situation can end up disengaging from their work, or even becoming resentful. They might feel unappreciated and wonder if they have a future on your team. That makes this a key moment that you need to navigate skillfully so that you don’t lose the person or have their productivity plummet.  So, what to do?

First, be honest. The kindest thing that you can do for a staff member in this position – not to mention the most effective from a long-term management perspective – is to be as honest as possible about why you’re not promoting them right now. Sometimes managers are tempted to shade the truth so that it becomes an easier message to deliver, such as saying that another candidate had stronger skills in X or Y, even though X and Y weren’t the real reasons you didn’t promote your staff member. Resist that temptation and do the person the professional courtesy of being as candid as you can be. If the employee is great at what she does currently but doesn’t have the political skills that a higher-level position would require, tell her. If she has great skills but has damaged too many relationships with higher-ups, let her know. Explain it in a kind way, of course, but it’s your job to deliver the message. If you try to hide it, you risk your cover story not ringing true or being uncovered down the road. (For example, if you say that you needed a candidate with more skills in X and then the person you hire rarely ends up using those skills, you’re going to have a disillusioned and unhappy staff member on your hands.)

Second, let the employee know that she’s valued. Often when people are turned down for a promotion, they end up feel unappreciated – that the company doesn’t recognize their strengths and value. Make sure that’s not the case here. Talk in specific terms about the contributions the staff member has made and will continue to make, and what value the person brings.

Most importantly, talk about what a path to promotion in the future would look like. You don’t want to leave the employee feeling like she’s permanently stuck where she is; that’s a recipe for driving people to start looking outside the company. Instead, talk about what would position her more strongly for promotion in the future. Are there classes she should take, skills she should work on developing, relationships she should cultivate, or behaviors she should change? And how can you help with those things? For example, you might offer to give her experience leading more projects or playing a different role with clients, or to coach her around leading meetings, or to let her manage an intern – whatever you can do to help your employee get the kind of experience and skill development that genuinely will make her a more attractive candidate in the future.

(Of course, if the truth is that there really isn’t much of a path to promotion for the person, you want to be honest about that too. It’s better for people to know that than to have false hope, and they’re more likely to end up resentful if they keep thinking a promotion is just around the corner but it never happens.)

I originally published this at Intuit QuickBase’s blog.

{ 68 comments… read them below }

  1. NJ Anon

    I think that in addition to Allison’s suggestions, I would also try giving them smaller projects to start with and see how they do. Coach them if need be and, like it says in the article, be honest and give constructive feedback. This way the employee can see exactly where they need improvement and what steps they can take to make it to the next level.

  2. Amber Rose

    This would have been helpful to a friend of mine a couple years ago. He wasn’t well liked by his employees due to his tendency to respond with “no, that’ll never happen.” And not explain why.

    1. Stranger than fiction

      “I quit as of today”
      “You need to give me notice”
      “No that’ll never happen”

  3. Lisa

    Is the person not ready for you but ready for another company at the level they are asking for? It’s like paying market rate, think of it as 5 years of experience = a director to every other comparable company, but you decide its 10 years to become a director.

  4. AdAgencyChick

    I have to have this conversation a lot in my line of work, because good junior writers are so hard to come by that if they don’t get a new title and a raise every 12-18 months, they’ll simply jump ship to go to another agency that will give them the goods. Then you end up with a bunch of people whose titles are way above what their experience merits, and you have to train someone whose title is “Teapot Team Supervisor” on how to manage because it’s their first time managing another employee. I hate it, and sometimes I just say no to promoting someone even though I know there’s an 80% chance I’ll then lose her to another agency who’s willing to bump her title.

    When I have this convo with employees, I lay out what exactly it is that I think the next title job should be able to do, what they’re missing from that, and what we can do to fill in the gaps. I know it’s very likely they’re going to leave anyway, but at least then they have an idea of what expectations might be like for that job title in general, because I do hate to see an employee who’s good at Job X go on to flounder in Job X+1 because she’s not ready.

    1. Krystal

      My OldJob used to do this to me, except it was a carrot they would dangle. So frustrating, because once I did X project, they brought out Y and Z, and then once those were done, they would point out that I didn’t do a good enough job at A, B, and C, which were low-level admin tasks and things like running the dishwasher. (For reference, I had a coworker on my level who was male, and did whatever he could to avoid cleaning tasks, and I refused to be pigeonholed if he wasn’t going to share that burden.)

    2. Jaydee

      I agree with Mike that this is an ideal scenario for grades or levels within a job class. So instead of having Teapot Designer, Lead Teapot Designer, and Teapot Design Manager, you might have Teapot Designer I, Teapot Designer II, Teapot Designer III, Lead Teapot Designer, and Teapot Design Manager. That way there’s room for advancement (more complex projects, niche specializations, etc.) and salary increases as a teapot designer without feeling like the only way up is management (which not everyone wants or is good at).

  5. T

    We have a guy on our team that is always pushing for more money and/or a “senior” title, mostly because he’s been here the longest (which IMHO is only a factor if you’re picking between two identical employees). He’s no superstar but is technically competent. The issue is when he’s not actively working on an issue, he watches videos, sometimes most of the day if it is slow. There are a zillion maintenance things to do as well as improving existing processes, writing documentation or learning new things but he’s busy watching The Walking Dead. This guy is the definition of doing the bare minimum yet thinks he is being held back by our manager. In reality, he’s damn lucky to keep his job.

    1. Allison

      So . . . has anyone told him the truth? Has anyone told him that he needs to stop watching videos and start doing maintenance? Has anyone told him that he’s not being promoted because he only does the bare minimum? Had anyone told him what he needs to do, or improve, in order to be considered for a raise or promotion? Has anyone told him he’s in danger of being fired? Because if no one’s told him this yet, someone needs to have a really honest conversation with him.

      And before you say “No, no one should have to tell him, he should just KNOW it’s a problem,” he probably knows that watching Walking Dead at work is generally frowned upon, but he also knows no one has said anything, and he hasn’t been fired for it so he probably figures he’s either really good at hiding it or people know and don’t care. He’s not a mind reader.

      1. steve g

        you can’t be serious! You would actually give someone who did this a promotion? If this person can’t figure this out, then how is he going to be developing and pushing projects, perhaps with no guidance?

        1. Ad Astra

          I don’t think Allison is suggesting that this guy definitely deserves a promotion, just that he deserves to know why he’s not being considered for one. It’s 100% possible that this guy is a lazy slacker who thinks seniority entitles him to a promotion that he totally doesn’t deserve. But I think it’s also possible that he’s frustrated by the abundance of downtime or a (perhaps perceived) lack of instruction about how to fill his free moments.

          1. Allison

            In re-reading his comment, I’m wondering if he’s baffled that I’d consider promoting someone who *ever* did that, even if he improved with instruction, because someone like that who needs guidance to be a proper employee doesn’t deserve to be promoted.

        2. Allison

          ???

          No?

          I wouldn’t give him a promotion, I’m saying that since he keeps pushing for a promotion, someone should tell him why he’s not getting promoted.

            1. Allison

              Out of curiosity, are you saying that he shouldn’t be promoted right now because of how he’s performing, or are you saying he should never be promoted because of how he’s acting right now? Because I do think it would be unfair to say the company should never give him a promotion or a raise, I just think that it’s unfair to not give him either thing without first telling him what he needs to be doing better if that’s what he wants to see happen.

              1. steve g

                I think it’s case by case, but watching TV instead of doing the “maiintenance” stuff would be a big red flag for me for a while. Perhaps that’s my “bias” coming from busy places where a lot of the work…you generated yourself by doing the maintenance stuff, where you inevitably found problems and thus more work. if someone wasn’t in that frame of mind because work wasn’t getting handed to them on a silver platter, I’m not seeing how/why they’d qualify for more responsibility. They aren’t outgrowing their current role yet

      2. Ad Astra

        If no one ever said anything, it would be easy to conclude that watching Walking Dead during downtime is fine at this company, even if he’s got enough sense to know that it’s frowned upon at other offices.

        1. JessaB

          Exactly, I’ve worked in offices where downtime was “do all the stupid stuff nobody had time for when we were busy,” and I have also worked at companies, where “we need a body in that seat, do whatever the heck you want when it’s slow as long as all the tasks are done.” The second was a job where I was admin to 8 bosses, and there were days when it was run all day and there were days where there was absolutely nothing. This was way pre smart phones. I always had a book in my desk to read. Nobody cared, as long as all the work they piled on was done. Because I had to answer phones for multiple departments, I had to be body in my seat.

          Now if nobody told this person that the “stuff that’s annoying but needs to be done,” is a thing everyone does when it’s slow, the person might legitimately believe that “that stuff” is actually assigned to other people (particularly if there are people involved in the task that are lower than them on the org chart.) Because heck, he’s been there that long, nobody has ever said “hey can you catch x, y, and f, for us?” And nobody has complained about him filling that downtime with his own stuff.

          I dunno if I’d promote them cause maybe they should know enough to ASK, but I’d absolutely have that conversation, and really, it should have been had a long time ago.

      3. Stranger than fiction

        Hmm I wonder if he only started doing these things after he got turned down a couple times and he then got complacent. But yeah sounds like a candid talk is long overdue.0

      4. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

        Sometimes guidance will work – but sometimes, it won’t.

        I once attempted to counsel a young man – who had been “on the rise” – but he derailed himself. Well, sort of.

        He was a Jr. Associate Teapot Designer, and for nearly two years functioned at a higher level but management would not promote him.

        Then management pulled a Barney Fife (shot the tires out) — they hired a lady – who had NO Teapot experience, was learning “on the job” but did not know anything about the subject matter – and AT A HIGHER GRADE AND PAY.

        An up-and-coming star with some maturity would say “what the hell is going on?” behind closed doors. And demand that the discrepancy be resolved QUICKLY, or else. Don’t say – “that’s something we can work toward.” Or throw out minor things “takes two spaces in the parking lot”.. type of things to justify what you did to pass him over.

        No, you didn’t pass him over, but you DID create a situation which, is unacceptable for him, and probably others – they saw this — and yourself as a manager.

        But this guy was young and IMmature. And he went into the tank, and six months later they let him go. I tried to counsel him – “work your a$$ off as you did before, but start looking. They can’t afford to lose you here, and if you get another position you’re in a situation where you can demand a lot more. You are not doing this for the company. **** that. You are doing this for YOURSELF… and you will win, either here or someplace else.” And also, reminded him that his open, goof-off behavior presented an obstacle for management – if you had worked hard after the “pass-over” – you could build a case and management might fix things. But they can’t now.

        He waited until they fired him. Career-wise, he never recovered.

  6. Not Myself

    I have someone like this on my team. She’s been here for a long time, and is quite technically competent. Unfortunately, she’s also so busy that she can come off as unhelpful and abrasive to our customers, had a bad relationship with a former manager that tarnished her reputation with the higher-ups, and pushes back against every special task given to her because she has too much to do. Management doesn’t tell her why exactly she’s not up for promotion, but I’d bet money that it’s probably related to those items. She’s really not happy though, since she doesn’t see her effort being rewarded and doesn’t see a path for growth.

    Bosses, it’s so much kinder in the long run to give honest feedback to your employees, especially if they ask for it. Also, please make sure you have enough staff that your employees physically can do what it takes to excel in the role!

    1. Stranger than fiction

      Yes totally, especially your last paragraph. I think some employees get caught up in a vicious cycle where the employee doubles down because they think they’re not being rewarded or recognized for their efforts thus they get bad attitude and meanwhile management is saying they have bad attitude and can’t be promoted…all of which could be prevented if they had just had the transparency with the employee in the first place

      1. Fish Microwaver

        Yes and the point about having enough staff so that employees can excel in a role, rather than madly treading water, is well made.

      2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

        A chicken-and-egg situation.

        “We-can’t-promote-him-because-of-the-bad-attitude-which-we-caused-when-we-passed-him-over-bummer-it’s-too-bad-because-he-can-do-the-job.”

        Translation – we passed him over, gave him no reason, we ticked him off, now he’s a bad performer. Maybe if we had talked with him, but now it’s too late.

    2. nofelix

      If she has too much to do and is still achieving it well, then despite the grumpiness it sounds like she has potential. It’s hardly fair or effective to set someone up to fail by overloading them, and then overlooking them for promotion.

      1. BeenThere

        This. It is a massive cop out to overload someone then deny them promotion because they refused to carry the straw that they knew that it would “break their back” (all the other porjects would suffer)

    3. Vera

      This sounds like me! I just can’t be cheerful, happy, and peppy when I’m already overworked and then you ask me to do EVEN MORE because I’m an overachiever and you know I’m capable of doing the task. Then again, if this is what the promotion would look like, too, then it’s not one I would want anyway.

  7. Allison

    When I was working in my first job, I was told that people tend to get promoted quickly, often becoming team leads in their first year or so. Seemed like that promotion was a sign that you were doing well, so naturally, that’s what I was aiming for. So when I’d been there for 6 months and realized a young woman who’d only been there for 3 was already being groomed for that role, I was frustrated, and my manager picked up on that. But rather than explain to me why he wanted to promote her over me, he kept deflecting the question by asking me why I wanted to be a team lead, and then trying to convince me that I shouldn’t want that, that there were other ways to grow within the organization.

    In hindsight, maybe I wasn’t cut out for that kind of leadership promotion, and I kinda get why she was the favorite, but man, I don’t understand why he couldn’t just come out and tell me that he felt she had better leadership potential, or that she was just better at the job than me, or hell, that would have been a great time to tell me the problems with my performance so I could go about fixing them. No, he had to beat around the bush with that stupid smile on his face.

    Ugh, I hate when people don’t say what they mean. It’s super frustrating when I strongly suspect what someone’s trying to communicate, but I can’t tell for sure and they refuse to confirm.

  8. Mike C.

    Also, make sure the process is as transparent as possible.

    I ran into a situation this week where I applied internally for a promoted position. I made it through the resume screen to the interview and was selected by the hiring manager. I found out on a few days ago that I won’t be getting the job because a secondary committee decided I didn’t have enough years of experience to have any position at that grade.

    Yeah, I’m not very happy about this.

      1. Mike C.

        Thanks folks.

        I’m trying to leverage it into some other development opportunities, but I’m still rather shocked that after making it through HR and the hiring managers that there’s still another group that can veto these decisions.

        1. neverjaunty

          Oh that’s crappy. Cynical me wonders if someone on the secondary committee already had their eye on somebody else and used the ‘years of experience’ as an excuse, but I guess it’s more likely that this is just incompetence in codifying the job requirements.

          1. Mike C.

            From what I’ve been hearing, it’s likely the latter. I’m apparently far form the first person this has happened to.

            1. neverjaunty

              That’s so ridiculous. “Sorry, but you didn’t meet our secret requirements that we never told anybody about!”

    1. Not the Droid You are Looking For

      I’m sorry :(

      The recruitment team at my former company was horrible about escalating internal candidates to phone screens, even when they knew they didn’t meet the requirements. I could have understood if it was with the caveat that, “Jim is a rockstar, so even through you say you want X, I am confident he is your guy,” but in reality they just “didn’t want to be the bad guy.”

      We lost several really good people due to this backwards process! Hiring managers were told the “absolutely had to do a phone screen” with candidates who would be auto-disqualified by the higher-ups, rather than the recruitment team being honest with candidates.

  9. Employment Lawyer

    BABY STEPS!!! Give people a chance to prove themselves, preferably in a relatively low-cost way. This has HUGE added benefits.

    After all, all of us have internal biases. And even without those, nobody is perfect about guessing what someone else will/can/won’t/can’t do. If you get in the habit of actually testing, then:

    a) you are less likely to promote the wrong person merely because they “seem competent.”

    Apparent competence can actually be an unconscious bias, such as “they use the same techniques that I’m used to,” or “they like me,” or even “they look like me.”

    b) you are more likely to discover new skilled employees.

    Having someone who is competent but NOT like you makes you stronger, since you’re likely to find new things to do, together.

  10. Student

    It’d be helpful to get some advice from the employee side of this problem.

    If you are asking for greater responsibility and not getting it, but also not getting concrete feedback as to why, what’s a good script to use to try to get specific feedback?

    I had this talk with one of my managers (let’s call him Stan) the other day. He told me that to earn more responsibility, I need to do good work for Fred, George, and Bob. Then they will give me better projects with more responsibility. Fred and George told me that I need to talk to Stan to get greater responsibility. Bob is actively planning to leave the company, and also a jerk who has actively undermined me and lied about giving me greater project responsibility on several occasions, so there’s no way I will take this up with him (Stan is probably unaware of this).

    I’m so demoralized that I thought about quitting on the spot. As it is, I’m going to quietly transfer to a different set of projects. Fred and George throw tons of work at me, so they can’t be entirely unsatisfied with my work. They’re clearly not willing to go to bat for me with Stan, though, and Stan isn’t interested in any of the work I have done.

    1. misspiggy

      I’ve found it useful to ask how I can contribute more to the priorities of the team/ individuals, rather than asking for more responsibilities, which can be seen as threatening to senior people if they are insecure.

      1. misspiggy

        But also, Stan sounds like he isn’t prioritising you, so building up all the experience and networks you can to make a move may end up being more rewarding.

    2. nofelix

      “They’re clearly not willing to go to bat for me with Stan” – Have you asked them this directly? Firstly talk to them to get them emotionally invested in your story, find ways to talk about your struggle that they may empathise with. Perhaps start by just asking them over coffee what challenges they encountered on their way to their position. Then finally, ask if they can mention to Stan that you are already doing good work for them.

  11. Not an IT Guy

    If only my former manager read this post…I was getting increasingly frustrated that after two years I was receiving no additional tasks or responsibilities. The manager basically told me something akin to “keep your mouth shut and know your place”. Well this further demoralized me more to the point where the manager removed me from his department claiming that I’d be much happier doing something else.

  12. Preaction

    We had that happen to a valuable resource just last month: For 18 months he was told that he’d get the role he wanted “as soon as a spot opened up”. Two months ago, a spot opened up, and he was not given it. Only then was he told the real reason: He did not have the amount of particular experience they required for the role.

    So, instead of taking 18 months becoming more experienced, or just leaving immediately to grow his career, he stagnated in a position he disliked because he was promised if he just waited, he’d be moved to a position he wanted.

    He left last week.

    1. Windchime

      We had this happen to a guy at OldJob. He was at the top of his game technically, and was promised promotions into management several times over the course of several years. Every time an appropriate position would open up, he would be passed over. Finally, he gave his notice and then all the sudden there was ramped-up promotion talk. But it was too late. He is now a manager here at NewJob, along with better pay and room to grow. OldJob has had five different replacements in his old position and none of them has lasted longer than a couple of months due to the crushing workload and responsibility.

      1. Charityb

        That’s the danger of being an unusually skilled employee; it’s tempting for managers to keep you in one place because they know that they are unlikely to find someone who can wear as many hats as you do who would be willing to work in those same conditions (in terms of pay, advancement opportunities, etc.)

        A good manager will look for opportunities that would help the employee grow and benefit the firm (what are the odds that OldJob really *couldn’t* use this guy anywhere else? It’s possible, of course, but I wonder…)

        It happens in every environment though.

        1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

          Yes, a manager doesn’t always think about the good of the company or organization – or the employee who wants to move up.

          He’s thinking about himself. Not realizing that he’s hurting the company. And possibly creating a toxic atmosphere. And when it gets to “R-Day” – resignation day – HR’s hands are tied – they knew this was going to happen BUT – they have to save face / protect the manager / chain of command blah-blah-blah…

          Sometimes a counter offer will work – but as a manager, the bridges may have been burned. The employee may have “fired the company” and as we all know, when you’ve made that decision, it’s almost always final!

    2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

      Curious to know if the person who won the position had the experience they were looking for. Now – they have TWO positions to fill.

      The new one – where they have to bring the person up to speed, and the slot that the passed-over guy is vacating.

      Is ANYONE better off in this scenario? Even the guy-in-waiting probably didn’t want to leave – but he was forced out the door.

  13. Court

    So what happens when it’s a work friend of yours up for the promotion and you don’t think she’s ready for it? I’m trying to stay out of it for the most part because I trust the hiring manager to see what I do as well, but I don’t know if I should say anything as her friend. She’s been a little hostile toward other internal applicants and she identifies as an emotional person, both of which makes me less inclined to say anything. The problem is she hasn’t even told me she’s up for the promotion because she thinks (so I found out from another coworker) that I’ll try to help get her promoted (I wouldn’t). Do I just leave it?

    1. fposte

      I certainly wouldn’t say anything to her–she hasn’t asked you, and I don’t see how it would change the outcome (she’s not likely to refuse the promotion just because you’ve told her you don’t think she’s ready).

      It sounds like you feel the hiring manager has a pretty good read on your friend’s performance, but if you didn’t feel that, and if you knew about specific work deficits likely to be a poor performer in the new position, then it’d be good to share that information. (Deficits in friendship are another matter.)

      1. Court

        Yeah, that’s a good point. I just don’t think she’d be able to handle the workload but that’s something that will come out as the hiring manager reviews her past evaluations anyway. Probably better to let the hiring manager handle it than it is to get involved and hurt her for no reason.

    2. INFJ

      Who would you talk to (the friend or the manager) and what do you hope to gain? I’ve been solicited for advice from a manager about internal candidates on 2 different occasions before and both times my concerns were ignored. And then the information I gave was used against me. (“I know you don’t get along with so and so.” What? All I said was that she rushes through her work and makes a lot of mistakes.) That place was horribly mismanaged, though.

      I would just leave it.

      1. Court

        Good questions. I was going back and forth between talking right to the friend or talking to the manager, but I don’t know that doing either would change anything. Ultimately, her past performance is going to speak for itself.

        And that’s crazy that your old workplace turned stuff around like that, but my old boss tended to do the same so I can definitely relate.

  14. Not Karen

    Thank you for the information, AAM! Just goes to show another example of how LastJob didn’t do promotions properly. They kept telling me “you’re not quite ready yet” but wouldn’t give me any examples of why or what I needed to do to become “ready.”

    1. INFJ

      Ugh. That’s frustrating. At LastJob, I got the bait and switch. “To get a promotion we need to see X and Y.” After doing X and Y: “You’ll get promoted once it’s in the budget. A year later: “To get a promotion we need to see A and Z.”

  15. Always Anon

    My previous employer kept giving me excellent performance reviews and never had a bad word to say about my performance even though I always asked for areas that I could be working on. After three years without a promotion I started to push a little harder to find out why I was stagnating. All I heard was ‘keep doing what you’re doing…’ which doesn’t tell me anything. Finally, I applied for a position at a higher level and my director told me I was making myself look bad and that the first five years of experience at this company in a slightly different role didn’t really count. I went from looking at myself as having six years of experience to essentially one year of experience.

    I left. When I turned in my notice he had the nerve to tell me that I left them in a tough spot because I was the only one who could do what I was doing (it wasn’t anything amazing, just something that I studied for a few months that nobody else needed to).

    It worked out well for me, I got a job that I never imagined I’d be qualified for.

  16. 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

    Actually I had this happen today. I was talking with someone about their interest in being a supervisor. From a technical standpoint she might be ready in a year or two but I was concerned about her ability to be objective in personnel matters. I’ve known her a long time and we’re friends. While we talked I gave her two situations where in the past I had to terminate two very sympathetic employees for performance issues. They had tried hard but weren’t able to do the job adequately and were coming to the end of their probationary periods. They were both likeable and both had major problems off the job, medical insurance issues, spouse in the hospital, foreclosure with kids etc.. I asked her, not whether she could terminate them, but whether she could move on emotionally after having done it. She put some thought into it and isn’t at all sure that she could. We’re going to talk again in a few months.

    1. 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

      I should add that I didn’t use any identifying information and she wasn’t in the same division that we were.

      1. Charityb

        For some reason your username reminds me of a unique identifying number in some kind of database or computer system.

  17. Kira

    Great read, I just had this conversation with my boss a couple months ago. A position was open that proved hard to fill, and eventually I asked if I would be considered a viable candidate. My boss clearly and excellently said no, we really want someone with more years of experience in the role … especially since I’ll be able to learn from them and grow myself. She then went on to say I’m doing great, she’d love to see me in that role in a couple of years, and it’s repeatedly come up since then how we can develop my experience to be a strong fit for the role next time it opens up.

  18. Omar B

    I interviewed for a PM position a few weeks back (I didn’t think I had enough experience for it but I did have the skillset). My current salary is $60k w/ 5% annual bonus.. well the new company just made me an offer for $80k but stated thatbecause of my lack of experience, it will be an Associate PM position. Even though it is a lesser title, it is still a 30% increase in salary.

    Do I have any leverage to negotiate with this big of a salary increase? I tried asking for an annual bonus while the HR lady presented the offer over the phone but she seemed to say it was a big increase and this level position doesn’t really have a bonus tied to it. Now that I have the offer in writing, should I still push for a 5% annual bonus?

    Also, the PTO presented to me is 2 weeks vaca with 1 week sick time.. Should I push for another vaca week?

    I just don’t want to appear ungrateful or difficult to work with since they gave me such a good offer..even though they didn’t give me the title I interviewed for!

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