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Saturday, December 3, 2022
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EMPLOYEE OFFERED MANAGER ROLE, BUT OFFERED SALARY IS ONLY 6% MORE

I got an offer to take over my manager’s role for only 6% higher than my current salary. They say it’s best and final, but I know my manager made more. I don’t know what to do.

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I work for a very large organization that notoriously pays their employees under market value. A few weeks, my manager transferred to another department and I’ve taken on his work in the interim. The head of our department asked me to apply for my manager’s open position once it was listed – this was a huge opportunity for me and I was so excited to be considered.

My dream job is to work in leadership, help develop and inspire staff, and make strategic decisions that would have a real impact on an organization. I’m currently a Project Manager, and this was a clear stepping stone for me toward my goals. I’ve never had direct reports before, and this opportunity would allow me to oversee 5 direct reports. The experience alone seemed invaluable.

Long story short, I received the offer letter and it’s a 6% pay increase from my current salary. I know for a fact the previous manager was making 20% more than my current salary. I asked if there was any wiggle room and the compensation department said the 6% increase was their best and final offer. They said my offer is low because of my experience (having never managed people before).

My merit increase last year was 5%, and reviews are coming up next month – I explained I’d be making roughly the same amount for much less responsibility if I were to sit still and remain a PM. Their response was my merit increase could be added to my new salary. They responded that if I get a 5% raise again, “then it’s like an 11% salary increase for the new role.”

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I already do the work (I coach and develop the other PMs on the team, it takes up a good chunk of my time) so if I decline, I know I’ll still end up doing the work for the most part (aside from approving time cards and managing their annual reviews).

My questions are:

  1. I feel demoralized but am I being entitled? They aren’t wrong about my lack of experience.
  2. Do I have any options to try to negotiate (though they said it’s best and final) or do I just accept this and suck it up?

I guess I’m looking for any advice in general. I’m worried about how this will impact the trajectory of my career/income. Thank you in advance.

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