Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

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Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:27 am

I live and work in Lake County, Illinois - this county has a high cost of living (Chicago area). I would like to know your opinions on my salary.

- I am 28, started at my job right out of college in September 2007 (so 6 years). I have a BA.
- I am in the same position but with much more responsibility than when I first started.
- Footnote: it's the same position but the company made adjustments to people's roles a year ago, this was company wide, my title changed and my seniority went up a notch based on what I do now. My salary did not change.
- I started with a $32k salary and right now it is $46.
- Average salary for my position in the area is $76k based on 1,080 people (national average is $66k)
- Two data sources show my salary as being close to the 10th percentile for the area (or, the starting salaries). One source said the median is in the upper 50s, another said it is the upper 60s.

I work for a Fortune 500. However the economy has had an affect on the business. We have only been getting 2% annual increases (my first year, before the economy affected us, we were getting 6%) and had layoffs in 2009. But we are growing and I personally feel we are doing well but the business is cautious. I have already met with my manager about getting my salary adjusted because quite frankly in my opinion I am getting royally effed. She supports it 100% but is also very cautious about it. She said that usually when people do this they're going to HR saying "I've been offered this at another business and want x salary to stay". She added that HR can also say no to my request and could potentially toss me.

I just want my salary to reflect my responsibilities. This salary made sense two years ago but now I am managing numerous projects on my own and keep getting tasked with more. I do not wish to look around elsewhere as I am, for the most part, happy here. Plus we expect to expand the family soon and I am going to be a SAHM.

Most of you are older and wiser than I. Many of you have climbed the corporate ladder and have more expertise on something like this.

I've put together a presentation with all the facts from hard data sources and sent them to my manager. She thinks it is great and we are going to meet this week to discuss what to do next. I have to come to her with a number but I don't know what that would be. Originally I was just going to ask for $10k more but I'm wondering if I am worth more. But I don't want to get greedy, get laughed at and kicked out.

Thank you for your thoughts.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Quickfoot » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:37 am

If making more money is what's best for your family be prepared to potentially find another job. In my career at a fortune 500 I was promoted 5 times in 7 years for a 3X salary increase but I had to carefully threaten to leave twice to get it, both times I was prepared to walk if I had to. Right after 9/11 they cut my entire team's pay 10% and I wound up making them give me a 30% raise instead of cutting my pay.

I was recently in the same position you were in, really liked the company I worked for but was performing far above scoped level and was being actively recruited on linkedin. I mentioned it to the VP I reported to and he said he had a policy of not countering so I took the other job (17% pay increase) at which point they tried to counter. Moral of the story is you don't know for sure what your employer will do, some companies in order to move up the chain you have to leave and come back, others will promote you in place. If you want the outcome with the highest salary don't hamstring yourself by being unwilling to leave. At the same time take a look around and an honest evaluation of your skills and value; if you are not highly employable your leverage goes down.

If you are going to build the case for a raise make sure you talk about your value to the company, document and demonstrate your growth since being hired and explain why they want to retain you, not what the raise will mean for you (they don't care). Mention you'd highly prefer to stay with the company but if they don't reevaluate your compensation you'll need to start entertaining offers.

At the end of the day no matter how much you like your job there are other jobs you will like just as much, some of which probably pay a lot more :-).
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Calm Man » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:09 pm

In these very large companies there are relatively strict comp policies. Unless there is a promotion in title, your increase will be limited to the standard increase plus sometimes an adjustment. No way something like you are looking for will happen. I would not be disappointed in the 2% a year that you don't think is that much (I agree it's not). Because many companies are giving zero and more will going forward. Should you push this issue, you need to be prepared to get another job and quick as you may get into a very bad spot. In fact, before you really decide what you are worth, I would start looking for a job if any exist in your area and see what the market thinks you are worth, not an internet survey. Good luck.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:33 pm

Calm Man speaks in a logical and rational manner. I would heed his words, if I were you. I totally agree with him 100% - to negotiate, one should make every effort to do so from the position of power. Right now, your company is holding all the cards, you are trying to call their bluff. The best way to present your case is to shop yourself discreetly with outside employers (but be careful not to tip your hand to your boss or HR) - in other words, don't give them a reason to terminate you before you either land a new job or are firmly negotiating with multiple firms. You should do this even if you are planning on being a SAHM, if only to prove to yourself that you are worth more and perhaps you may find yourself with a company that offers family friendly benefits. I understand where you are coming from - I also reside in a HCOL location, the salary increases if any are below COLA and after accounting for health care expenses make it feel like you are losing ground. But as Calm Man stated, you are fortunate if you are receiving them in a private sector role, many are not or have been asked to take paycuts, the public sector is another story unto itself.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby HomerJ » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:12 pm

You'll probably have to leave to get the raise you deserve.

Nearly every entry-level person who works for a big company has to leave to get the money they deserve.

The first 5-10 years, you become 5x more knowledgable and useful to your company, but they are unable or unwilling to pay you what you would be worth if they hired you off the street with the experience you have accumulated.

So you have to go somewhere else and be hired off the street.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby playtothebeat » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:15 pm

outside of the salary, do you get a bonus that brings you closer to the range you think you should be getting paid? Remember, the stats you're looking at may very well include "all in" compensation, which can be defined in a number of ways (salary, plus any combination of bonus, benefits, etc).

Remember to look at your salary and bonuses like this:
Bonus is based on what you have done.
Salary is based on what you will do.

That's how i would present your case. Say you are now working on X Y Z, and you will do A B C to stay successful. Thus, you believe that the combination of your experience, education, etc lends support for a salary of $__.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:31 pm

Thanks for the excellent advise everyone, I really do appreciate it. Of course it was not what I wanted to hear but I suspected it anyway lol. It is something I've been mulling over for years but my husband said, it's not always about the $, you're happy there and you have a good boss. This is all true. But I will be reporting to someone new soon (some switcharoos going on) and I am not exactly thrilled, but I am not overly upset either. Plus, $20-$30k extra would be nice.

I do not get a bonus and the data did not include benefits or bonuses.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Andyrunner » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:59 pm

I agree with the other comments. I was in your position a few years ago, four years at a company and I was making well below the average wage for my area and the new college grads were getting hired on at higher pay then me (about $5k more). They wern't going to budge enough so the best thing for me was to take the fortune 500 company name and put it on my resume. You better do some outside searching because the big companies are looking for the lowest cost worker, not always the best worker.

Manager might say he/she have 50 college grad resumes on our desk and are willing to do the same amount of work for less money. Who cares if it takes them 12 months to learn the job, they can milk the person for a few years till they feel just like you and jump ship then the cycle starts all over again.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby staythecourse » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:55 pm

What I have learned about the working world is that EVERYONE feels they deserve to be payed more (I don't know anyone who says to their bosses "hey you are overpaying me for my level of work").

In true capitalist spirit the ONLY way to know if you are being underpayed is to talk to a head hunter or look for another job and see what they are offering for your level of work and experience. That way the number is not just a made up number, but a real dollar number by a competitor. Also, the advantage is if they say no you are already started on looking for another job.

My advice to all when looking for a raise is you have to be willing to move jobs if it comes to it. So don't do it unless you are.

Good luck.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Aptenodytes » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:25 pm

I agree with the advice that you need to get a competing offer in order for your current employer to even begin to consider your request seriously. Put the time into seeking out a job in a new company. The worst that can happen is you'll learn that your current pay is actually fair. That would at least give you peace of mind that you aren't being ripped off. The best that can happen is that you either find a better job at higher pay, or your current employer matches the new offer to retain you.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Atilla » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:39 pm

May I suggest you do a search for Ramit Sethi and things he has written about how to get a raise when in the situation you are.

You will find some very helpful (and detailed, practical) advice.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Clearly_Irrational » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:45 pm

If they were going to give you a raise they would have done it when you got your title change. Employers don't like to negotiate salary except at time of hire so if you're worth more than they're paying your best bet is usually to just leave for greener pastures. It doesn't make any sense really, it's mostly a result of short term orientation and a failure to properly account for soft costs but that's the way it is.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Watty » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:55 pm

I am in the same position but with much more responsibility than when I first started.


Regardless of the salary one of the traps to watch out for is that after six years the question becomes "Do you have six years experience or do you have the same years experience six times?" Future employers will want to see progressive responsibility and being in the same position for six plus years might not look good.

In addition to looking outside the company it would also be good to check with your contacts within the company and the internal listings to see if you can find a better position within the company.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:08 pm

That's part of the problem I'm having - my position has changed dramatically since I started, I was really only involved in one project when I started and there was not much responsibility with my role at the time. I now manage 6 sizeable projects on my own (minus budgeting and anything with money, my manager handles that but she has now pretty much passed the torch on the main project I initially was hired on), two of which are directly involved in bringing in millions in revenue. One project is basically a brand new role that everyone from my bosses' boss to our CEO are watching with anticipation. I directly communicate with our entire sales force very frequently. So, big stuff with small pay. :?
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby KyleAAA » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:10 pm

If the average salary is $76k, ask for $76k. That's how much you're worth. Don't ask for only $10k more because you're afraid of getting laughed at. That's the worst thing you could possibly do. Remember, if you sell yourself short NOW you're also selling your future self short because your future salary is largely influenced by your past salary.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:49 pm

mojave wrote:Thanks for the excellent advise everyone, I really do appreciate it. Of course it was not what I wanted to hear but I suspected it anyway lol. It is something I've been mulling over for years but my husband said, it's not always about the $, you're happy there and you have a good boss. This is all true. But I will be reporting to someone new soon (some switcharoos going on) and I am not exactly thrilled, but I am not overly upset either. Plus, $20-$30k extra would be nice.

I do not get a bonus and the data did not include benefits or bonuses.

Let me preface this by saying I just attended a workshop for women on negotiating tactics, so this might color my responses quite darkly. But the first thing that leaps out at me in the hesitation to act, out of fear of "rocking the boat" or "ruining a good thing". This was the number 1 "issue" the workshop said women had to get over before they could be in a position to negotiate, and unfortunately it is a socially reinforced issue, as you can see by what your husband is saying and some of the responses.

Just because you are happy there now doesn't mean you'll be happy there in the future, nor does it mean you can't be happy somewhere else. And you aren't really happy there now, because I bet the low salary is constantly lurking around your subconscious when you are working. You won't truly be happy if you feel you are undervalued. Don't undersell yourself just out of fear of the unknown.

Now, whether the solution is negotiating a pay raise with your current employer or finding a new employer, or perhaps both, I couldn't say. But you owe it to yourself to at least explore the possibilities. You can look for another job discretely on the side to see if you can get more elsewhere. You can also use your research to show that your current company undervalues you. You're already on the right path by preparing a presentation of facts. Facts are one of the key strengths of a negotiation, as is preparation (e.g. anticipate what the other side might argue and prepare facts for a counter-argument). Confidence is another key strength, so try to avoid sapping your confidence with self-doubt.

Good luck with whatever you choose. Also, the workshop did recommend a book called "Ask for It", but I have yet to look into it to see if it is a good book or not. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:54 pm

mojave wrote:That's part of the problem I'm having - my position has changed dramatically since I started, I was really only involved in one project when I started and there was not much responsibility with my role at the time. I now manage 6 sizeable projects on my own (minus budgeting and anything with money, my manager handles that but she has now pretty much passed the torch on the main project I initially was hired on), two of which are directly involved in bringing in millions in revenue. One project is basically a brand new role that everyone from my bosses' boss to our CEO are watching with anticipation. I directly communicate with our entire sales force very frequently. So, big stuff with small pay. :?

One more thing, make sure something to the effect of this paragraph is communicated in your resume. Don't just list position and title with a small sentence or two. Highlight the responsibilities you have and the benefits you have brought to your current employer.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:56 pm

Interesting point of view, thanks! Definitely something to keep in mind and very true. While the other responses do ring true (I don't want to be penniless and that is a huge risk) I do agree with what you said.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Watty » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:11 pm

mojave wrote:That's part of the problem I'm having - my position has changed dramatically since I started, I was really only involved in one project when I started and there was not much responsibility with my role at the time. I now manage 6 sizeable projects on my own (minus budgeting and anything with money, my manager handles that but she has now pretty much passed the torch on the main project I initially was hired on), two of which are directly involved in bringing in millions in revenue. One project is basically a brand new role that everyone from my bosses' boss to our CEO are watching with anticipation. I directly communicate with our entire sales force very frequently. So, big stuff with small pay. :?



It sounds like you need to ask for more of a promotion to a new position(along with the money) and not just a raise.

If that big project will be done in the near future and it goes will then that might be a good time to go for the promotion.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby sambb » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:11 pm

I've gotten a 0% raise for a few years. Despite personally doing better and business doing better. These are Lean times. A raise is not a guarantee.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby kd2008 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:22 pm

OP, you may want to look at this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=108596

It may not apply to your situation exactly. I few things that helped me were patience, documentation, and politeness. Of course, a prerequisite is that you leave the competition in dust.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby dimdum » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:34 pm

Best way to deal with this situation is to ask for higher grade and role. Each company has internal grade level, some call it from level I thru 5, other has titles, other use numbers. You need to jump to next grade, whatever it is. Also each grade has low and high range of salary along with mid level. Typically big companies/HR try to create a parabolic curve, with most employee fit in middle for that grade. When you move to next grade they will try to put you in mid-range. Since you have been getting lower salary in your current grade it might work for you.

Whenever I has gone for salary negotiations, I have tends to explore the market and determine what's I'm worth. That will not only give you approx of market salary but also allows you to explore other company culture, managers etc. Time to update your Linkedin profile and see what's out there.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby 5buffalo » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:26 pm

I was actually just in a similar situation to you. I came to the company in an entry-level job, and over time I took on much more responsibility while my title and pay stayed the same. I went to the bosses and laid out the facts of what I'd been working on, and how that compared to my official job description. I said I wanted a more accurate title and job description, but didn't say anything about wanting a raise.

I figured, once I got the new title, I could use that as leverage to ask for a raise by the time our next evaluation came around. Happily for me, they saw through the plan and gave me the raise along with the title. It wasn't double my salary or anything, but it was a nice boost.

If your responsibilities have really changed that much, it might pay off to get your new role officially recognized, and then after that push for more money. This way even if the money doesn't materialize and you walk away, you've got that fancy new title on your resume which will show your growth and value.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby HomerJ » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:48 pm

Andyrunner wrote:You better do some outside searching because the big companies are looking for the lowest cost worker, not always the best worker.


I haven't found this to be true... It's weird, but companies are perfectly willing to pay good money for the best worker when they hire from the outside... But they figure they can just milk their best internal workers with the same skills for a couple of years with low pay until they finally give up and go elsewhere... I can't imagine that's truly cost-effective.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby HomerJ » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:52 pm

mojave wrote:While the other responses do ring true (I don't want to be penniless and that is a huge risk)


What risk? Best time to look for a job is when you have a job... The other company can tell that you don't really NEED their position... If they don't sell you on their company, you can just say no and continue working where you are...
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby HomerJ » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:53 pm

5buffalo wrote:If your responsibilities have really changed that much, it might pay off to get your new role officially recognized, and then after that push for more money. This way even if the money doesn't materialize and you walk away, you've got that fancy new title on your resume which will show your growth and value.


Good post.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby ClevrChico » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:33 pm

As others have said, be prepared to look for another job. I was in a similar situation, and after years found a better job.

New job is going great, and they pay fairly for performance. New job is paying 45% more than old job!
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Calm Man » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:06 pm

Wait. Time out. Full stop. I gave some advice early in the thread and had some supporters. I just reread the original post.
Wait. Full stop. Do not pass go.
In rereading the post, I notice the plans to be a stay at home mom. Although site members familiar with my views know that I abhor the idea of anybody becoming a stay at home parent for many reasons (one being the difficulty in rejoining the job market when needed or desired and even if getting a job, restarting at a lower level), if you are to succeed in the quest to get a raise you will need some advocate or other of some type. Let me tell you that if I exerted an ounce of energy to help somebody get anything out of the ordinary and then they quit to become a stay at home parent they would enter a very permanent memory slot for me and others who were involved in the effort.

Imagine the following full disclosure: HR< I would like a raise because of a bunch of compelling reasons. Oh good, you agree. Does it matter if I tell you that one year from now I will be leaving the company to be a stay at home mom? Answer: I have a meeting to go to. See you later.

OMG, I have one more thing now. Please do not misconstrue this as elitist or derogatory. You indicate that you started the job right after college. That's good. And that the salary was in the 30s or 40s and now maybe should be in the 50s or so. Unless you had an extraordinary degree, it would seem that you likely are a fine worker but one who does not have critical skills that are not easily replaced by thousands of people. (If I am wrong I am sorry and have misinterpreted it.) Highly skilled or desirous people generally have significantly higher salaries and in Fortune 500 companies receive significant bonuses and stock options. You are in a high cost of living area. In my area, the greater NYC area, people who earn in the 40s and 50s and work in companies generally are admins of some type or other or maybe analysts. There is nothing wrong with that but people of this job category have no leverage of any type. I am just being brutally honest. Good luck to you.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby HornedToad » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:04 am

Calm Man wrote:Wait. Time out. Full stop. I gave some advice early in the thread and had some supporters. I just reread the original post.
Wait. Full stop. Do not pass go.
In rereading the post, I notice the plans to be a stay at home mom.

Imagine the following full disclosure: HR< I would like a raise because of a bunch of compelling reasons. Oh good, you agree. Does it matter if I tell you that one year from now I will be leaving the company to be a stay at home mom? Answer: I have a meeting to go to. See you later.



I agree with this. Normally I'd say go full fledge forward with negotiating a raise or looking at other job offers to get what you are worth. I've gone through it twice for both a special increase and the in-family promotion and it can be a fair amount of work. It's especially not good if you are looking at immediately switching jobs or will be a SAHM. So the question is are you going to be a SAHM in 1-2 years or more like 3-5 years? Depending on that might change your approach. Also, do you want to do part time and does this company enable that? Be prepared for the long haul for this where it might take 6-12 months to get the promotion/raise if you do even get it.

Good luck.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby phillip » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:50 am

Calm Man wrote:Wait. Time out. Full stop. I gave some advice early in the thread and had some supporters. I just reread the original post.
Wait. Full stop. Do not pass go.
In rereading the post, I notice the plans to be a stay at home mom. Although site members familiar with my views know that I abhor the idea of anybody becoming a stay at home parent for many reasons (one being the difficulty in rejoining the job market when needed or desired and even if getting a job, restarting at a lower level), if you are to succeed in the quest to get a raise you will need some advocate or other of some type. Let me tell you that if I exerted an ounce of energy to help somebody get anything out of the ordinary and then they quit to become a stay at home parent they would enter a very permanent memory slot for me and others who were involved in the effort.


@CalmMan: Your perspective on the OPs desire to be a SAHM is archaic. In fact, it disgusts me.

OP's desire to become a stay-at-home parent should have absolutely zero influence on her colleagues or on the company's compensation decision. In fact, taking a potential scenario like that into account is discriminatory.

OP simply wants to be compensated commensurate with the contribution she makes to the company.

OP: I admire your courage to lean in. Good luck.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby ieee488 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:33 am

phillip wrote:@CalmMan: Your perspective on the OPs desire to be a SAHM is archaic. In fact, it disgusts me.

OP's desire to become a stay-at-home parent should have absolutely zero influence on her colleagues or on the company's compensation decision. In fact, taking a potential scenario like that into account is discriminatory.

OP simply wants to be compensated commensurate with the contribution she makes to the company.

OP: I admire your courage to lean in. Good luck.


Archaic????

That it may be more difficult to re-enter the job market? In this horrible economy?

I'd call it realistic.

Your disgust is rather overboard.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby investingdad » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:52 am

Funny, but the numbers the OP shared are incredibly similar to mine at that age.

When I graduated with my ChemE degree in 1995, my first job was earning 33K a year. I spent about 4 years there and was making about 41K at the time. I had picked up a good bit of technical experience and responsibility. Unlike the OP, I was working for a very small company where the top management had a small equity stake.

When I did some research on salary for chemical engineers, I found that I too was making in the bottome percentiles. That, coupled with the haphazard approach that management took to yearly reviews and raises, was very frustrating. When a fellow engineer found files on the share drives that outlined the amazing bonuses management was paying themselves while telling the rest of us there was little room for increases and our year end 'bonus' was a $15 gift certificate for a Holiday Turkey from Butterball (yes, seriously) I decided to approach my manager with data and ask for a raise.

Like the OP, he seemed very supportive and I was encouraged. That was the naivete of my youth and inexperience. I was passed along to the general manager and was basically told 'no'. As an insult, I was granted a $200 increase. So, my eyes were opened and I realized that it was time to allow some other newly minted engineer to come along and take my position.

I started looking for a different job that afternoon. I turned in my letter of resignation a few months later, having negotiated with my new employer a salary in the low 50s. Keep in mind, this would have been around 2000 or so. My manager apparently was offended because after consulting with HR, he advised me that I should pack up my office (this was a few hours after I turned in my letter of resignation) and that I would be done that afternoon. I had been smart enough to confirm HR policy on two weeks notice and vacation due to me before resigning and my manager reluctantly agreed that I was entitled to this. The whole thing was really unprofessional.

OK, my point is...from what you describe, you're not going to get the increase you want unless you go outside and negotiate with a new employer. All my large salary increases have come from changing employers. I'm now at a point where I'm happy with what I'm earning and I enjoy my job and like my employer. The commute distance is great.

Here's a secret....if you SAVE and INVEST as hard as you can in your 20s and 30s you will find as your portfolio grows and compounds in your late 30s that the NEED to increase your salary starts to diminish.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Oilburner » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:17 am

Well, you have gotten an average raise of 7.1% per year, which given the economic climate over the past six years is almost unheard of. You mention 2% annual raises, but the beginning and ending salaries you list equate to an average of 7.1% per year, or about 44% over the six years. (But this should be irrelevant to what your new "position" should entail.) Is there any company policies in place that dictate salary ranges for various positions?

Breaching the subject with your manager is a sensitive area that I don't have a lot of experience with. My thought has always been that whatever your ultimate decision is in regards to asking for a raise (after considering the input you get from the Forum) and the response you get from your manager (if you ask for a raise), if you are not happy with the outcome, you may want to look for a new job. My decent salary increases have always come from switching employers.

One word of wisdom if you do this, if your present employer counter offers, do not accept it. Never accept counter offers. There was a thread on this here and that was the general consensus (and a rule I live by).
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby yosef » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:38 am

HomerJ wrote:You'll probably have to leave to get the raise you deserve.

Nearly every entry-level person who works for a big company has to leave to get the money they deserve.

The first 5-10 years, you become 5x more knowledgable and useful to your company, but they are unable or unwilling to pay you what you would be worth if they hired you off the street with the experience you have accumulated.

So you have to go somewhere else and be hired off the street.


This. Still, if you really like where you are it might be worth asking for the raise. I would go out and dip my toe in the job market first though. Go on some interviews and see if you feel good about actually landing a new position that pays what you think you should be getting. Then ask for the raise. If they do it great, if not you find something else and walk.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:48 am

"Well, you have gotten an average raise of 7.1% per year, which given the economic climate over the past six years is almost unheard of. You mention 2% annual raises, but the beginning and ending salaries you list equate to an average of 7.1% per year, or about 44% over the six years. (But this should be irrelevant to what your new "position" should entail.) Is there any company policies in place that dictate salary ranges for various positions?"

Yes, about 3 years ago I discussed my salary with my boss and got a I think $5k raise. I was making in the mid to upper $30s at the time.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:51 am

In regards to the SAHM thing - I do agree that being a full out SAHM is not the best career move. That being said, and to keep myself sane, I probably will at some point do something part time. I disagree that my decision to be a SAHM will impact me negatively with employers - for one it really isn't their business that I will be doing that until the time comes. And also yes it is discrimination to have that impact your treatment of an employee so the employer has no bearing on that.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby investingdad » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:05 am

mojave wrote:In regards to the SAHM thing - I do agree that being a full out SAHM is not the best career move. That being said, and to keep myself sane, I probably will at some point do something part time. I disagree that my decision to be a SAHM will impact me negatively with employers - for one it really isn't their business that I will be doing that until the time comes. And also yes it is discrimination to have that impact your treatment of an employee so the employer has no bearing on that.


I understand what you're saying, but let's put aside the discrimination argument for a moment and play a thought experiment.


You have started your own business. It's doing well but you've made a lot of sacrifice to get where you are. You have just a few people working for you, all lower level stuff. You are ready to grow your biz to the next level but you need help. You start to interview people. You explain that you want to bring in somebody for the long haul, a partner. You will be investing a lot of energy to get them to where you need them but you believe the rewards are very real for both of you if you get the right hire. You explain the time commitments and they are both emphatic that they're ready to partner with you.

Ok so far?

You've got it down to two candidates. They're outstanding and you can't decide which one to hire. You talk to your family and associates and they trust you'll make the right decision.

Then you find out via Facebook that one of them FINALLY got pregnant after years of trying with her husband. She's THRILLED but a little worried about how she'll find the time to do it all. She did not share this in her interview with you.


So....who do you hire? Remember, your biz, your livlihood, is on the line.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:23 am

That's a risk you take by being a business owner. My opinion. As a business owner with employees, sometimes things happen and you need to be able to bounce back. It sucks but if you're (a general "you") going to run a successful business you need to be flexible. Is the owner entitled to be mad or annoyed? Sure, but at the same time the owner needs to be understanding of the situation. Perhaps little Sally was unplanned. People get unexpectedly ill. Etc etc. With what I do, the chances of me getting into a spot of a good position with the expectation I'll be very long term is unlikely. Even so, when returing to the work force I would probably look elsewhere anyway by that time.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby investingdad » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:25 am

My point is simply this...bias exists whether people choose to acknowledge it or not. If you believe the SAHM issue is not a factor, you're being naive.

And you didn't answer my question....
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:30 am

I have no problem with answering the question - I would pick the other one.

In this situation of course there would be bias. That's why you don't have your boss as a friend on Facebook lol
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby investingdad » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:36 am

mojave wrote:I have no problem with answering the question - I would pick the other one.

In this situation of course there would be bias. That's why you don't have your boss as a friend on Facebook lol



Right. So just keep in mind that there may be bias against you in the future for the same reason. You need to be cognizant of it and manage it to stay out in front of it. And your statement about being a SAHM not being an issue with an employer seems to be counter to this. It can and will affect your career if you don't figure out how to manage it before it happens.

But back to what I posted, be prepared to have an exit plan. My experience is that these requests go nowhere unless you're a true rising star in the company. If you have to wonder if you are, you're not.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby mojave » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:38 am

One thing I just thought of about the SAHM thing and the second biggest reason why I (we) want to do it.

I read a report and Illinois (surprise!!) is one of the top 10 most expensive states for child care. This report states the average annual for Illinois child care is $12k - but there are roughly 5 counties that are outrageously expensive (Chicago area) out of ~100 and the rest are mostly rural. From what I've researched, in my county childcare can be up to $20k+ a year. So add daycare plus gas expenses and wear and tear (commute 30 mi each way currently), the few days a week where I buy lunch, work clothes, etc etc etc...I don't see the value, especially when I personally feel that where possible mom should be home.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Calm Man » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:00 pm

phillip wrote:
Calm Man wrote:Wait. Time out. Full stop. I gave some advice early in the thread and had some supporters. I just reread the original post.
Wait. Full stop. Do not pass go.
In rereading the post, I notice the plans to be a stay at home mom. Although site members familiar with my views know that I abhor the idea of anybody becoming a stay at home parent for many reasons (one being the difficulty in rejoining the job market when needed or desired and even if getting a job, restarting at a lower level), if you are to succeed in the quest to get a raise you will need some advocate or other of some type. Let me tell you that if I exerted an ounce of energy to help somebody get anything out of the ordinary and then they quit to become a stay at home parent they would enter a very permanent memory slot for me and others who were involved in the effort.


@CalmMan: Your perspective on the OPs desire to be a SAHM is archaic. In fact, it disgusts me.

OP's desire to become a stay-at-home parent should have absolutely zero influence on her colleagues or on the company's compensation decision. In fact, taking a potential scenario like that into account is discriminatory.

OP simply wants to be compensated commensurate with the contribution she makes to the company.

OP: I admire your courage to lean in. Good luck.


Edited: added this paragraph.Thank you others for your support. I am going to give Phillip the benefit of the doubt upone reflection as having reacted emotionally as I assume the use of the terms disgusting and archaic (with reference to it being hard to return to the workforce) are not reasonable.

Phillip,
You shouldn't be disgusted when somebody presents something that is not in line with your thinking. It is not teh SAHM that I was talking about, it was a stay at home parent of either gender. The same advice would be if somebody said they would be shortly leaving for any reason. It is not discriminatory to consider whether an employee will stay on in deliberations about a raise and promotion. If I knew you were going to retire in 2 days I would not promote you tomorrow. Would you promote me? Or if you told me you were moving away next week, should I promote you and give you a raise in 2 days? Please, be fair when evaluating comments.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Calm Man » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:09 pm

investingdad wrote:My point is simply this...bias exists whether people choose to acknowledge it or not. If you believe the SAHM issue is not a factor, you're being naive.

And you didn't answer my question....


Investingdad, not worth fighting this anymore. OP is a very nice person who simply hopes and thinks that things will go as she sees them. She thinks the employers will see the world as she does and things that others think matter do not. She fortunately is young and will hopefully learn when things do not go her way. I also reviewed the salary numbers. She has received substantial compensation increases over the years, exceeding 5 or even 6% to my calculations. That aspect of expectation and deserving is also common in younger people and tends to moderate with experience.

OP, please try to not only absorb the information you like and fight the information you do not like. Otherwise there is no point in posting at a site like this where we all are well meaning and have nothing to gain by providing answers and spend a lot of time doing it. I post rarely nowadays and keep posting on this thread because I ahve a daughter a year younger than you and would say all of the same things to her. Good luck to you.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Calm Man » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:18 pm

mojave wrote:One thing I just thought of about the SAHM thing and the second biggest reason why I (we) want to do it.

I read a report and Illinois (surprise!!) is one of the top 10 most expensive states for child care. This report states the average annual for Illinois child care is $12k - but there are roughly 5 counties that are outrageously expensive (Chicago area) out of ~100 and the rest are mostly rural. From what I've researched, in my county childcare can be up to $20k+ a year. So add daycare plus gas expenses and wear and tear (commute 30 mi each way currently), the few days a week where I buy lunch, work clothes, etc etc etc...I don't see the value, especially when I personally feel that where possible mom should be home.


Mojave, as a father of a young woman and very interested in this thread, I do not agree that the MOTHER should be home when in doubt. It could be the father too or preferably neither. (Let us say that I will not even enter into the possibility of divorce or death of your spouse which tends to leave young people who quit work to raise kids in a lifetime of lower socioeconomic conditions unless they have wealthy parents or an incredible skill that is difficult to find.) Focusing on the net gain from employment after accounting for child care, etc is short sighted. This is because the 3 or 4 or 5 years spend out of the workforce leads to a PERMANENT reduction in compensation when reentry occurs because you start backward by a certain amount, often large. And unlessyou are in something like nursing or teaching at a time of demand (currently teachers out of work are hurting for new jobs) if it is 5 years or more, there is little hope for any reasonable reentry unless you have some incredible skill set or talent. I see that you are a project manager type which is important but there are many people who can do or be trained to do this work. I am not putting this down, just noting that I have hired MANY project managers over the years and there are many good ones without any specific degree post college required.

I promise (to you, myself and the board, all of whom I have burdened with too many comments) that I now will withdraw from further comments on this thread but I indeed hope you accept my advice as coming from the right place even if you don't agree with it or want to hear it. Good luck to you again.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby englishgirl » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:21 pm

I think OP said in the initial post that the plan to become a SAHM was a reason that she did NOT want to jump ship to another employer right now. Reading between the lines, I interpreted that she felt it was unfair to do this to a new employer. Which seems fair. And it's fair for her to mention that to us, as that's a consideration in how she approaches asking for a raise now.

We have veered off into a discussion of whether her plan is worthwhile or not. That wasn't the original intent of the question.

I also think the key takeaway for the OP is to stay quiet to the current employer about whatever plans you may have to leave. Plans do not always work out, and you do not want to be passed over for promotion, or worse, fired, because you indicated a desire to leave soon. And then not be able to conceive quickly, or have your husband lose his job, or something.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby investingdad » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:09 pm

Just so I'm clear...Mojave, I'm completely on board with any mom that decides she wants to stay home rather than be out in the workforce. But there are professional consequences to doing that. Like anything in life, if you're prepared for the reality of the situation you're better off than most.

We have two kids and my wife decided after taking FLMA time, she was going to back to work. A personal choice of hers that I was prepared to support had she chose not to re-enter the workforce. At one time, she was on a director track. Since we started a family, she has NOT taken certain opportunities because they meant more time away from our kids. Other women she knows chose to stay on the upper mgmt track. Those women are earning as much as we are together (which is not insignificant).

She has told me, in hindsight, she is pleased with her decision and values the home time the less aggressive career path has afforded her.

I go back, again, to what I said earlier....SAVE and INVEST while young and into your 30s and the monetary need to climb the ladder, take higher paying jobs with less home time, etc are diminished as your portfolio benefits from the early start you gave it.

Good luck with your decision.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby Mudpuppy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:31 pm

mojave wrote:"Well, you have gotten an average raise of 7.1% per year, which given the economic climate over the past six years is almost unheard of. You mention 2% annual raises, but the beginning and ending salaries you list equate to an average of 7.1% per year, or about 44% over the six years. (But this should be irrelevant to what your new "position" should entail.) Is there any company policies in place that dictate salary ranges for various positions?"

Yes, about 3 years ago I discussed my salary with my boss and got a I think $5k raise. I was making in the mid to upper $30s at the time.

I'm going to mostly ignore the whole SAHM thing, other than to say that as a woman, I'm rather sick of bosses looking at my uterus as if it's about to explode and devastate the workplace, when a male employee might also leave the position for a variety of reasons, including paternal leave.

Instead, I want to focus on the bolded part. This is a rather crucial piece of information that was missing from the original post. A relatively recent raise will hang over any raise negotiations you enter into with your current employer at this point in time. Did you ask for more than 5k last time and only get 5k? Did you leave the amount up to your boss (always a bad choice) and 5k was what was offered? While it is a good sign that they gave you a raise during the economic situation 3 years ago, there is also going to be the possibility that your boss (or the rest of the chain of command) will wonder why that raise was not sufficient. You will need to focus specifically on how your job duties have increased since the last raise as part of your data collection and preparation.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby phillip » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:58 pm

Calm Man wrote:
Edited: added this paragraph.Thank you others for your support. I am going to give Phillip the benefit of the doubt upone reflection as having reacted emotionally as I assume the use of the terms disgusting and archaic (with reference to it being hard to return to the workforce) are not reasonable.

Phillip,
You shouldn't be disgusted when somebody presents something that is not in line with your thinking. It is not teh SAHM that I was talking about, it was a stay at home parent of either gender. The same advice would be if somebody said they would be shortly leaving for any reason. It is not discriminatory to consider whether an employee will stay on in deliberations about a raise and promotion. If I knew you were going to retire in 2 days I would not promote you tomorrow. Would you promote me? Or if you told me you were moving away next week, should I promote you and give you a raise in 2 days? Please, be fair when evaluating comments.


@Calm Man: I do not refer to returning to the workforce following a stay-at-home stead. Rather, I refer to your perspective on equitable compensation. Let me paraphrase it: "Don't expect me or anyone like me to support your effort to attain equitable compensation commensurate with your contribution if you have any thought of leaving the workforce at some unknown time in the future to raise your children." Thant, Calm Man, is a dictionary definition of discrimination.

And please don't patronize me.
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Re: Asking for a (potentially significant) raise

Postby KyleAAA » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:12 pm

phillip wrote:
@Calm Man: I do not refer to returning to the workforce following a stay-at-home stead. Rather, I refer to your perspective on equitable compensation. Let me paraphrase it: "Don't expect me or anyone like me to support your effort to attain equitable compensation commensurate with your contribution if you have any thought of leaving the workforce at some unknown time in the future to raise your children." Thant, Calm Man, is a dictionary definition of discrimination.

And please don't patronize me.


To be fair, I'm PRETTY sure based on the original comment that's NOT what he was saying AT ALL.
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