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Disappointing Salary & Bonus Review? What's Next?

Most banks and financial services companies have now completed their annual salary and bonus reviews. Every year I talk to a range of people who are disappointed with their bonus. If you're unhappy about your review, read on for some points to consider when determining how to overcome the issue.

1. Reflect In

December, I wrote an article on “Key Factors Impacting Your Bonus” ( If you haven’t read it already, I recommend you do. While reflecting, make sure you’re realistic with yourself.

2. Talk to Management

Speak with your manager to gain insight as to how the annual salary increment and bonus were determined. Make sure you're fully prepared for this meeting, your manager may ask you to justify your case and provide examples of what you achieved in 2015.

3. Review The Market

It’s good to talk to a specialised recruiter to gain an understanding of how your salary and annual bonus compares across your industry. Talk to a firm you trust with real expertise in your field to make sure you get accurate market information. This will also allow you to see what potential opportunities are available in the market.

4. What’s The Next Step?

The above will provide you with a lot of information. You then need to determine what’s important to you. While money is a significant factor in most people’s decision-making, there are broader aspects to consider:

  • The company you work for.
  • Your relationship with your manager.
  • The personal brand you may have established with your employer.
  • Career progression.
  • The people you work with.

In most situations your salary increment and annual bonus won’t change after it’s been announced, so you need to weigh up if you’re going to stay or explore other opportunities. Talk to family, your mentor, and other close friends to help you work through this important decision.


Remember every job will have challenging and frustrating aspects to it and "the grass is not always greener." Additionally, the technical, interpersonal, and management skills you provide to your employer is your own business, and you need to be commercial about this and ensure you're compensated at a reasonable market rate.