Ask now or ask later?
March 18, 2008 8:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm expecting a promotion soon. I want to move to a better office. Should I ask to move now, or wait until my review?

I've been at my company for 18 months and have a review coming up. I'm finishing a graduate degree in May and expect to be promoted, either at my review this month or in May/June after I graduate. There's also a chance I might have to wait until September for a promotion.

I currently have an inner office, but there's a better office with an outside window sitting empty down the hall. It's also a quieter office, and I think I would be more productive with less disruption. I am the only person with my title currently working at this company. If/when I am promoted, I'll have a manager title, and all the managers have offices with outside windows.

Should I ask my boss to move offices now, or bundle that request in with all the other negotiations surrounding my expected promotion? My boss and I are on good terms, but he tends to be a bit stingy with his staff. I'm afraid that he might see moving offices as part of my compensation and think that he can get away with giving me a smaller salary adjustment. How should I approach the issue with him?
posted by acridrabbit to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Expecting a promotion is not the same as getting a promotion. I would wait and make it part of your negotiations. Ambition is fine, but presumptuousness may ruffle the wrong feathers.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:36 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

"Hey, so I see that office in the corner's empty, do you think I could move my stuff into it, it's quieter and I think I'd be more productive in there"

Sometimes it's easier to be direct, don't worry about the strings attached, and just go for it. Worst thing that can happen? You don't get the office.
posted by 913 at 8:47 PM on March 18, 2008

If there's any negotiation or contingencies in your promotion, make it the last thing you ask for. But do ask for it.
posted by rhizome at 9:13 PM on March 18, 2008

I read this question as a little presumptuous! Who said you'll get a promotion? You say you expect it, but has anybody actually said you'll get it? Asking for the office "because you'll promote me soon anyway" is about the biggest gaff you can make, especially if the chance of promotion is less than 100% (and assume it always is, until you get the firm offer!)..

I think you've got to either:

a. wait for the office until they OFFER the promotion, and then include it in your bargaining OR

b. ask for the office, but DON'T mention the promotion. I like the sentence 913 mentions and I can't see it making that big a difference to your final salary negotiations (after all, didn't you say it is expected that managers get offices?). Being the only one in your position should help with this, and your not upsetting others in your job that miss out on an outside-wall office.
posted by ranglin at 10:12 PM on March 18, 2008

In my experience, desirable empty offices have a way of filling up quickly. If yours is anything like the companies I've worked for, lots of people already have their eye on it. I've seen empty offices go to not-wildly-deserving people simply based on their seniority but not position (an art director with seniority got one once, but soon after that a creative director was hired who then didn't have an office, which made for an uncomfortable situation but one that the company was stuck with), which just goes to show that people will go after them even if they aren't deserving, so watch out. (As far as I know, there are others in your office more deserving than you. :)

So, depending on the climate/culture of the office and your relationship with the higher-ups, you might want to talk to someone about it now. If that doesn't seem like a good idea based on the climate/culture/relationships, then I guess wait for the review, and if it is favorable and the office is still empty, bring it up then.

And if there are any good reasons why the office would be better for your position (it's closer to the rest of your team, etc) then figure them all out and use them in the discussion.
posted by iguanapolitico at 10:16 PM on March 18, 2008

I agree with iguanapolitico. Go for the office now before someone else grabs it.

And know that those of us stuck in horrible open floor plan buildings envy you like mad for having an office at all, let along a nice one!
posted by happyturtle at 12:33 PM on March 19, 2008

Response by poster: Happyturtle: I know how lucky I am. I spent years in cube farms!

Ranglin: I was told to expect a promotion by my boss when I had my 1-year review, and I know (based on my performance bonus) that my boss has been very pleased with my work since then. My company is very good about promoting people and I have no reason to think that it won't happen within the next 3 months. But thanks for your advice, anyway. I appreciate the perspective.
posted by acridrabbit at 1:55 PM on March 19, 2008

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