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Healthy Promotion Expectations

December 1, 2016

What’s a typical cycle for promotions and raises?

Ashley from Cardinal Health, “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.” See original Q&A

Cigna hiring expert, Maura, added this insight, “It will depend on the compensation philosophy of your company. If you have a merit based system and are paid for performance then you may receive an increase for your performance. I would refer to your Human Resources or Compensation department to review your policy and your performance is tied to rewards. Bonus’s may depend on the position you hold and if you are bonus eligible. Many large organizations do have bonuses and I would refer to compensation and ask those questions during the interview process as well.” See original Q&A

If you believe you should receive a raise every year or a promotion every two years and you don’t receive it, then you’ll have difficulty hanging around any place of employment for too long. Ashley brings up a great point about understanding your company’s policy toward promotions and raises.

The reality is this will have to be a conversation with your HR representative to work through appropriate expectations. Depending upon your individual circumstance you will need to adjust your expectations accordingly. It’s also worth using your network to research what is typical for other companies as well.

What are some things I need to do in order to get a promotion or pay raise?

An expert from AT&T Stephanie, “Some of the answers are going to be exclusive to the company you work for and the industry you are pursuing.  For example, if you are an actuary, promotions are sometimes directly attached to passing industry specific leveling tests.  If you are an architect, you can expect to make more money as you progress through your licensing.  In a position within an industry with a less specific structure, someone looking to move up would want to think about things like am I meeting expectations, am I exceeding expectations, am I far exceeding expectations.  You can only know the answer to these questions by having an open dialog with your leadership about your work and your goals.” See original Q&A

If you’re trying to figure out what you need to do in order to get a promotion or pay raise you will need to do a little homework. Again, a great place to start is with a representative from HR. Additionally, it’s worth talking with your coworkers and supervisor to see how they’ve advanced their career.

Did they receive additional education in the form of a Master’s degree or certificates? Did they moonlight on different projects a few times a year? Or did they make a few lateral moves within the company to create a more rounded resume? Work with the people you have access to on a regular basis to create a set of healthy expectations for how to get the advancement you desire. 

Setting healthy promotion expectations for your career is absolutely vital for success. You don’t want to drive yourself crazy with unrealistic expectations for what success looks like in your career. The more information you can gather from the people in the know the better. Healthy expectations will help drive your success instead of halt it.

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