Does a college degree always lead to a pay increase?

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Your Office Coach

Question: "I feel that I have been misled by my manager. When I was taking college courses, she told me she would work on getting my pay increased after I received my degree.Now that I’ve graduated, she says our company apparently does not give raises based on degrees.  She also says that our vice president feels I don’t deserve a raise because of tardiness and because I missed some meetings with him.I recently started an MBA program, but I’m not sure management appreciates my efforts to advance my career. What do you think?" —  Educated and Underpaid

Marie’s Answer: I think you need to step back and look at this situation more objectively. Here are some points to consider:

•    Although your manager may have spoken too soon and implied too much, she actually did “work on” getting you a raise. She just ran into some unexpected obstacles. 

•    Your boss’s big mistake was talking about a salary upgrade before she knew if it was possible. Managers should never utter the words “pay increase” until they’re certain they can deliver. 

•    The company’s practice of not linking raises to the attainment of degrees is fairly common.  It’s certainly not a personal slight. Any pay increase will simply have to be based on job-related factors. 

•    Your biggest problem is the vice president’s negative opinion of you. Since there will be no raise unless he approves, you need to rehabilitate your reputation with him. That means correcting your chronic tardiness and faithfully attending his meetings. 

Now that you’ve started a graduate program, be sure that your dedication to your job remains as strong as your commitment to your education. Otherwise, the pay increases may be few and far between.

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