Situation 47: Financials

In a face-to-face meeting between Boss and Betsy, Boss is wondering why Betsy did not ask for a salary increase since her accountabilities changed significantly. Betsy believes that learning as much as possible is more important for her at this stage than a higher pay check. Boss advises her to develop a responsible behavior around financials.

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A great leader:

  • Takes a holistic view of her rewards and benefits, valuing both financial and non-financial aspects;
  • Sees that having opportunities to learn are equally as important as receiving higher salaries;
  • Ensures that her financial compensation is in line with her responsibilities and commensurate with other people in similar positions;
  • Is able to negotiate the appropriate salary for her role.

How to best handle the situation:

When taking on new responsibilities it is important to consider what this means for you with regards to; your career and ambitions, the new demands this places on you both at work and the impact these have on your personal life, the significance and risks of the decisions you must now take, the learning, growth and development you will gain etc.

Consider the importance you place on each of these factors, weighing up trade-offs you will need to make, for example, working longer hours and having less time for socialising, learning new skills and operating at a different level versus feeling confident and sure of yourself at your current level, dealing with more ambiguity than you are used to.

Determine whether you feel comfortable taking on the new challenges at your current compensation level or if you believe the added responsibilities deserve higher compensation. If you decide that you want more pay, list the reasons that you feel justify your request. Make sure you think in terms of the organisational benefits such as, knowing the organisation and therefore shorter ramp-up time, other employees at this level are rewarded better (do your homework here).

If your priority is to learn as much as you can and demonstrating your abilities at the new level before asking for a pay rise, make this clear when you take on the new role. State that you would like some time (define a period) to learn on the job and assimilate some experience and at the end of that time, if you are performing well you would like to negotiate a pay rise that reflects your responsibilities.

Learning suggestions:

  • Take some time to think about your aspirations – what would you like to achieve in 5, 10, 15 years time? What kind of role do you want to have? In what kind of organization? What financial compensation and benefits are you looking for as you grow in your career? How can you get there?
  • Create a plan to help you achieve your goals. Think about specific objectives and activities you can undertake. What support do you need from other people? What obstacles do you foresee? How will you overcome these?
  • Become savvy about the different compensation packages that are available for people within your profession and your organization. Consider what rewards will make you feel valued for your contribution. If you feel unfairly paid, discuss the situation with HR to understand what you can do to redress your situation.
  • Consider enhancing your negotiation skills by participating in a course that enables you to practise a range of techniques and scenarios. This will help you when the time comes to negotiate a higher salary.


  • Hone your negotiating skills by putting yourself in different situations where you need to secure products, services or people to fulfil your work.

 Femcommunity tips:

We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.

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