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How to communicate with HR and EM when they didn't include for the appraisal/promotion cycle?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community5 months ago

Hey there, for context, I completed my first year as Software Engineer.

I joined the company because I was in dire need without checking the company culture, following which I was not satisfied with the designation. I then started to look out for a job.

I got that offer after 4 months of joining with 33% increase in the salary.

When I told my EM he was willing to talk to the HR and match the salary but then the Head of the department didn't promote my role in the light that others in the team will think and ask why in 4 months I got my role upgraded.

The leadership conveyed that I might get the designation in the 6 months appraisal cycle.
In the appraisal cycle they denied my promotion saying my salary doesn't match the orgs designation and they don't know what to do.

I was not happy with the decision and since I didn't had any offers I kept working for the organisation hoping I will get it in the 1 year cycle.

Now I didn't get the review form for 1 year appraisal cycle. I think they will say in the lines of because your salary was revised at the 4 month you are not eligible for this cycle.

Though I don't feel my designation is the right one. But I have some other responsibilities as well like family, commute etc. I'm losing my motivation.

I need help in crafting effectively to EM and HR so that they consider my role and some appraisal so that they inline my career in the organisation else juniors will have a higher role in front of me.

From today I have also started looking out for other jobs, but I don't want to hurry in making decisions.

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Discussion

(4 comments)
  • 0
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    5 months ago

    Trying to understand what happened here:

    1. You got a job but you were under-leveled
    2. You were promised a 33% pay bump (and possibly title bump as well) after 4 months
    3. People felt like 4 month bump would have bad optics, so they pushed it to 6 months
    4. Now it's been a year, and your compensation/level haven't been fairly adjusted?

    Is this right?

    I'm a bit confused as it seems like you successfully got the pay increase in #2 based on this:

    Now I didn't get the review form for 1 year appraisal cycle. I think they will say in the lines of because your salary was revised at the 4 month you are not eligible for this cycle.

    So is the actual situation that you got a bump 4 months in and you want a further bump but haven't gotten it yet?

  • 1
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer [OP]
    Taro Community
    5 months ago

    Yes, I got a bump 4 months in but my level was not matched, the communication was that we can only increase your level in an appraisal cycle which occurs in 6/12 months.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    5 months ago

    I recommend just talking to your EM first - Pulling in HR is always hairy.

    It's tricky as you have already gone through the review cycle it looks like, but you should still have this crucial conversation with your manager. In your next 1 on 1, ask them about your progress towards the next level. Do the following:

    1. Understand the next target - Figure out what the earliest opportunity is for you to get that next level. It looks like your company does 6-month cycles, so hopefully it's 6 months from now.
    2. Get things in writing - Take notes in your 1 on 1, and ideally create some sort of promotion plan for you to really justify the next level. If there's relevant messages in Slack/Teams/whatever you use, screenshot those.
    3. Never assume anything - Just because someone says something now doesn't mean they'll hold it up or even remember it 6 months from now. I have seen so many engineers ask their manager about promotion, they have a good initial conversation, the engineer never checks in, the EM forgets about it, and come performance review time, the engineer is blindsided with nothing. Check in every 1-2 months to see what the progress is on your promotion, and if there's anything new you have to do to stay on track.

    Adjusting compensation is a big lift (I run a company now, so I know how hard it is), so I am not surprised that getting a pay adjustment already 4 months in is making things difficult.

    This is sort of a variant of a promotion conversation (your goal is to get a higher-level), so I recommend this playlist: [Taro Top 10] Getting Promoted Faster In Tech

    A nuclear option is to wield some sort of leverage (e.g. get a competing offer or threaten to leave) and go into a negotiation scenario: How To Negotiate A Raise At Your Current Job

    Lastly, I do think looking for outside roles as you're currently doing is the right call for many reasons:

    1. If you get offers, you can use that as leverage to get a pay raise if you want to stay at this company
    2. Even if the company means well, a 4 month pay adjustment followed by a 12 month adjustment is a huge lift. I have never seen any person successfully do this, especially with a 33% bump just 4 months in (that's a lot)
    3. I get hints from your initial post that the company is a bit toxic, so there's probably better places out there
  • 3
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    Tech Leadership Coach • Former Head of Engineering
    5 months ago

    Most of the time when you ask for a pay raise based on an outside offer and accept your company's counteroffer, it usually doesn't lead to a good experience afterwards. Getting back to back raises in the same 12 month cycle is also very difficult, especially in larger companies where there's more red tape.

    Agree with Alex here that my gut feel is to explore external roles. Whenever I feel there is a big imbalance between my value internally vs. what the market will pay for, I will go validate that for myself on the market.

    Unfortunately, initial impression are hard to change, where if you got under-leveled, it's hard to change that perception in a short period of time, especially when the main rationale is other offers on the market. I had similar issues when starting out early career as an ambitious high performer. I'm glad I chose to quickly move on when a new opportunity came up.

    I tried a couple times myself to get the role I wanted where I am, but it's usually not worth the time you have to wait out due to how promotion cycles work vs. if you can jump straight into an external role that needs someone at the level you are aiming for.