Companies have an incentive not to pay you appropriately. The profit comes from keeping production costs low. Therefore, underpaying labor is a way to help ensure you're maximizing profits. This is why you should never trust that your employer pays you fairly.
At my last company I worked as a marketing executive. The team included a senior marketing executive and me. As time went on, I began to take on more responsibilities to the point that I was doing more than the senior in the team (which they admitted).
I spoke to my manager about what I needed to do to get to a senior position. She gave me goals and a timeline. I hit those targets, and she would move the goalposts. She did this two more times.
All the while, I was using my skills to reduce costs and improve the projects I was working on. Specifically, I started to design everything myself instead of using an expensive design agency, saving the company £45,000 per year. I finally set another meeting with my manager to discuss a promotion; I showed her how I'd increased the profit margins of all my projects and all the extra work I'd been doing.
Her response was, 'just because you do extra work doesn't entitle you to a promotion.' I sat there shocked while she said, 'but don't worry; you'll get there,' and ended the meeting. She had led me on about a promotion for two years.
Here is where I started my malicious compliance. I stopped doing anything outside my job description, which included all the design work. Everything went to an agency, and the whole team relied on my design work, but when I told them why I was stopping, they were also quite happy to start using the expensive agency.
It wasn't until our next quarterly meeting that my manager noticed our profits per project had harshly dropped. When she questioned why we were spending so much, I said, 'as the design is out of my remit, we had to use an agency.' She was livid, as she had to present the stats to the CEO that week, who yelled at her in front of the directors.
She tried to give me an official warning for sabotaging the team, but a talk with HR cleared that away when they realized it wasn't part of my role. She then told me I had to sign a new contract with an updated job description, which I declined.
Eventually, she asked me what it would take to get me to continue running my projects as I used to, and I mentioned the job title and salary increase. She begrudgingly accepted.
I was worried about her being hostile, but the lady was made redundant. I stayed for two years before finally moving to a much better place this year. And today, her LinkedIn continues to show that she's unemployed.
The internet hates a lying boss.
Sometimes I think these 'What can I do to get promoted' conversations need to be had with one's boss and the boss's boss. I've heard far too many horror stories about bosses who refuse to promote a great employee because then the great employee won't be there to make that boss look good anymore.
A senior marketing executive? Not telling the absolute unvarnished truth?!
Except for the bit about dangling the carrot for another two years (plus an actual job description), this is nearly word for word about my experience at my previous job. I also took on the duties of my colleague, who was checking out on his way to retirement, still a few years away. However, I did get the title but had to dig in deep for compensation. After fighting it over, I got about 6% above what I'd been making, which was already severely below the going market rate. All I asked was for them to close the gap.
Unlike you, I continued the design work, which has now helped me in my new position. We have access to external agencies, but I prefer to do what I can in-house to avoid the inevitable ping-pong communication game to get the exact layouts and graphics I need.
After playing this cat-and-mouse game with management, trying to pin down an actual list of duties from 'HR' for years, I got another job that paid nearly double what I was making. The look on my manager's face when I gave my notice still gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
Post on your old boss' LinkedIn post that just because they had a job doesn't entitle you to one.