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Is this really a lateral move?

Jan 2007

Q. I was offered a "promotion" from receptionist/office clerk to administrative assistant/office manager of a new venture in a different office. I inadvertently found out that the person they hired to replace me as receptionist/office clerk started at the same wage as I am currently making. I might add that this move/promotion was a lateral move in that no additional pay or bonuses were involved, even though the position requires much more of me as well as a little further commute to the office and full responsibility for starting up and stocking the new office space. What, if anything, should I do?

A. I'm sure it's frustrating to learn you won't be getting a raise, and that the person who moved into your previous job is earning what you were earning. Yet you said this was a lateral move for you and yet it was a promotion. Perhaps you took on a new role without as much about it as you could have.

Managers sometimes create new roles thinking they require a certain skill set, but as the job evolves the needs and expectations of the role change. It is possible that your supervisor thought the level of experience and responsibility in this position would be the same as in your previous role.

Why don't you document your new tasks and schedule a meeting with your supervisor to review the tasks in your new position. Ask what the expectations are for this position, and show him or her the task list. Ask how the skills you used in your previous role prepared you for your new role, and whether he or she sees the tasks you document at the same level as those in your previous role.

Based on the current job responsibilities, map your job to one in the Salary Wizard or the Personal Salary Report. This way you can talk to your supervisor about the value of your job based on your new responsibilities.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Consultant


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