Dear Cindy......No salary adjustments and no bonus - my hands are tied!

Hi Cindy,


I joined a top NYC political consulting/gov’t relations firm back in November. I attempted to negotiate the salary but was denied the pay I asked for. I was able to negotiate my title to ‘Senior’ associate, given my prior experience and knowledge of the industry.


However, they’ve since undergone restructuring, and have changed my title to ’Associate.’ When I brought it up to my HR manager they argued it wasn’t a demotion. They also recently shared with us that due to the COVID crisis there will be no mid-year salary adjustments or bonuses (which was one of the reasons why I settled with the initial salary offer). I feel like my hands are tied and would appreciate any advice you’d be willing to share.


Kind regards,

My hands are tied.



Hello Hands Tied!


Thank you for reaching out.


First - Changing your title without a conversation is wrong on so many levels. Specifically, it speaks to an unorganized leadership structure and a company that either doesn’t value their talent or is just a mess. Did they think you wouldn’t notice? Pro-Tip: Keep your Senior title on your Linkedin profile. It doesn’t matter in the long run.


However, This does not bode well for the future.


Regarding bonuses - You are correct as well. It doesn't sound like there will be much movement on $. You need to make a decision if this is a place you will be able to stay for the long haul. My gut says no. You have a job during the pandemic so continue to do well and keep your job. But I would refresh your resume and begin the new job process soon.


Wishing you strength,

Cindy