Advice on getting a raise

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by nanaandbump, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. nanaandbump

    nanaandbump
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    Hi there,

    I am in a very sticky situation and was hoping to get some advice. I am a specialist that works for a company that was bought by a big corporation about three years ago. We are extremely understaffed, and I am paid drastically below market value. I have been with the company for over 7 years and have asked for a raise and have been denied. I have not been denied for performance reasons, as I am doing the work of 4 different people, and meeting all of my deadlines.

    So my bosses here are the ones who have denied me my raise. They will not go to Corporate to ask for it, yet they say that if it were up to them they would give it to me. Supposedly Corporate just announced a global 10% cut in salaries to every division except for ours. This is why my boss wont ask them to give me a raise, as he is worried about sounding hypocritical. I can understand this, but at the same time I can no longer pay my bills. I work as a specialist, and am aware of only 2 other people in the state that I live that could do my job. Neither of them would work for a penny less than 3 times what I am being paid, and neither of them would put up with doing the work of the 3 other jobs which I am currently doing. My bosses are fully aware of this.

    If I left the company now, it would loose hundreds of thousand of dollars per year, perhaps into the millions. The pay raise I am asking for is a mere 10 grand. This still wouldn't even be half of what I'm worth. Everything I have read has said not to make threats, but I can see no other option. There is no other facility like mine in the state, and I currently do not have the means to move out of state. I have spent the past 7 years working my ass off to get where I am, and don't want to start over in another field. I cannot see a way out of my predicament, and was hoping someone here could give me some advice as to how to navigate corporate politics during rough times.

    Anywho, thanks for for patience, and sorry for the long rant.
     
  2. Kay

    Kay
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    You needn't make threats. What you do is show them your worth in black and white. If they had to pay 4 people for the job you're covering, what would it cost them? Whatever it is I'd bet giving you another $10K would be cheaper than having to hire them. You have already shown your willingness to be a team player and your loyalty.

    Did Corporate really make those cuts everywhere but your dept or are the managers just telling you they did? There's nothing hypocritical about asking for a raise for a man that's doing the work of 4 people and still hitting deadlines! That's BS.

    If you work in a large company you should have access to an HR dept. Your performance reviews are good. You're working above and beyond the call of duty. My feeling is your dept boss just wants to hold on to you as cheaply as he can for as long as he can. No doubt his own bonuses are based upon how low he can keep his dept's costs and to do so he'll want to keep salaries low. If you ask me that's slave labor expecting you to do what you're doing. I detest bosses that take advantage of conscientious workers.

    Put it all in writing: about the money that would be lost if you left, your reasons as to why you deserve an increase, the comparable rates for those in your industry, your good performance reviews and anything else you think justifies your request. Copy it to both your manager and the HR dept and request a formal reply in writing. All you need say is that you're considering your options and future.

    Think long and hard before you send that email/letter about how far you're willing to go to get this and if you can continue to work there if they refuse. I've never indicated I would quit a job when I didn't fully intend to. If you threaten you will then don't, you've weakened any bargaining position you would ever have had in that company by showing you don't follow through.

    Gather together any letters you have of recommendation/thanks as well and include them. And don't forget any awards you've been given internally or what you can do that no-one else can. If you were to resign tomorrow, who would fill your shoes and is it worth $10K to get you to stay? That should be the question they'll ask themselves once they read the letter.

    And companies do pay relocation fees, you know. I bet a competitor would be glad to have you if you were willing to physically move. I would consider keeping an eye out on who's recruiting. If you know who is, and your boss knows you know, that could be enough. Good luck!
     
  3. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum nanaandbump and sorry to hear about your difficult situation.

    Have you spoken to the other two people in your state who specialise in your area? It might be worth having a chat to each one of them and asking them if they know of any vacancies in your area. You'd never know, one of the companies that employ them, just might be looking for someone like you. They may also be aware of other opportunities you don't know about. Obviously this is something that you will have to make a judgement call on and not something you would do, if you were concerned they were going to speak to your boss. Either way, you could do it diplomatically and subtly, e.g. have a general chat with them about recruitment in your industry, rather than stating directly that you are looking for a new job.

    Have you spent some time thinking about the actual job opportunities that would be available to you at this time? Perhaps there are slightly different fields where you could use your specialised skills and knowledge? Perhaps there are some recruitment agencies or head hunters who specialise in your industry or area of expertise.

    Would there be any opportunities for you to contract out your skills on a consultancy basis?

    How difficult would it be for your current employer to find someone else, were you to leave your position?

    To paraphrase Donald Trump, no one wants to live their life treading water - sometimes we have to take a chance and some risk, in order to progress and fulfil our potential.

    Good luck with it all and please do post back with your thoughts.
     
  4. nanaandbump

    nanaandbump
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    Thanks so much everyone,


    That seems like sound advice. I have kept tabs on ways I have improved the company, and I put that down in writing. I have not put any numbers down though. I think one thing that they are using against me is the fact that I am young... I am 20 years younger than the next guy I'm aware of who could do my job.

    I do keep in regular contact with others who work in my field, we are a very small community. There is a lot of other work to be done that could pay more, but nothing that would look good on a resume if that makes sense... I work now for one of the worlds leading companies in my particular field and was hoping to make a career out of it. That being said, new stuff comes up all of the time, and maybe I will chat with them again to hear about new opportunities.

    Thank you all! I am excited I found this website and will probably visit here often.

    P.S. - Pretty much everyone who has made a name for themselves in my field has started with this company, and how now moved on to be freelance guys. They all have warned me about being treated poorly by this company, and for some reason I thought things would be different with me. I would love to go freelance but would need about 200k to get started, and am worried that I wouldn't have a client base to justify it yet... Anywho, maybe I should consider the risk!
     
  5. Fergal

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    Unfortunately there are times, especially early in our careers, when we have to put up with stuff we don't like, in order to gain experience and contacts. It sounds like you have a good understanding of your industry and everything will work out for you eventually.

    Thanks very much, glad to hear it and I hope you do visit and post regularly.
     

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