Is being offered equity a way for my employer to cheat me out of a salary increase?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Christina787, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Christina787

    Christina787
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    I took a job with a promising start-up about 1 year ago after being in software for 3 years shortly after receiving my B.A. I was hired to assist in software but over the past year have evolved into a leading operations executive. I take on an immense amount of responsibilities, work crazy hours, and above all deliver. However, I am entirely underpaid (started at 55k now making 80k in NYC marketplace)...my counterpart in the company is making about 180k because of impressive credentials although I am noticeably carrying much of her weight. It's gotten to the point where clients even approach me about it. My co-worker has even told me I am "abused."

    For the past few very busy weeks (we are booming right now)....my boss started feeding me lines as he sees me slave away into the evening, such as, "if you stick with us through this you'll be rich...." and "you won't be an employee for long," etc. etc. My other owner told me that he is so impressed with me and never thought he would offer equity to someone else but I'm different. Anyhow...I was finally approached and asked for a meeting to discuss salary and job responsibilities and told he "thinks they want to make me a partner."

    I am at a complete loss as to how to approach this negotiation...at first I was flattered by the idea of being a partner but soon had that gut feeling it is being used as a carrot ( they will probably offer me a vested option that won't start being paid for at least 1 year). I've worked so hard these past few months (averaging 15 hour days + weekends) I've questioned recently if I can do this for another year without a major salary increase.

    How do I make the negotiation more about a significant salary increase without offending? I'd like to receive a balance of the two...any idea on how to approach this?

    THANK YOU!:)
     
  2. PS9

    PS9
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    I wouldn't think they are trying to cheat you out of a salary increase. If the company is growing at a booming rate then that equity is likely worth more than a salary increase. It depends how much equity you're getting, and the valuation of the business, but partners is usually a good percentage so giving you a salary increase is likely the cheaper option for them.

    With that said, if you want just the salary increase I'd say it. If I was the boss and offering equity to someone when they told me they prefer a few dollars more an hour I'm not going to be offended by the idea. I may think you'd be better off taking the equity but I'm not going to complain. - I will however say, personally, I wouldn't consider a combo deal. Giving you the best of both worlds, there's honestly no reason for me to do that sort of deal. You'd get all the upside of a higher salary (immediate increase in money) plus equity (potential future increases). I wouldn't be offended if you brought it up, I'd think "well, she got balls to suggest that", but you wouldn't get both worlds. That's just me though.

    At the end of the day, if you really want/need a salary increase and you can't get it at your current job, then it might be time to go somewhere else. No one is forcing you to stay with a company you think is abusing/cheating you.
     
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  3. scifi

    scifi
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    It's the way you take it...offering equity is a great offer....it respects your hard work and efforts in the company...consider your options for equity and let your employers throw their dice....think long term...don't act on the advice of your friends...
     

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