How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

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Quanta2998
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How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Quanta2998 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:15 pm

I just got my yearly raise/bonus at work and went in there expecting a promotion and a decent raise(8-10%) since my review was pretty much all positive, I do the most complicated stuff on the team(with mostly people who are a senior position above me that I would have been if I got a promotion this year), do the most work and generally consider myself a top 5 employee on team of 40 or so. Anyway, I ended up getting a 3% raise, no promotion and a pretty decent bonus. While the dollar amounts are pretty good, I'm finding myself in a position where my salary is lower than I'd like it to be and below market averages plus the fact that I'm at a lower level than I'd like to be doesn't make me too happy either. Since I'm a level below most of my teammates, I'm naturally in a lower salary bracket so I can just assume that a good portion of them make more than me and judging by websites like salary.com, glassdoor and job listings for similar positions at other companies that list salaries, I garner than I'm about 10k below my market value(if I left, I'd get a job at a higher position than I currently have since I have the experience and skills to do so). I'm probably near the top of the scale for my current position but near the bottom of the scale for the position I would have been promoted to. With this in mind, any mid year raises will also be limited because I'm already at the top of the scale for the position I'm in so I doubt I'll get a significant bump if any money comes around before next year.

Now, I really like this job and have no plans to leave. This is the first job I got out of college and I've gotten pretty great raises the two years I was eligible for a raise(one year was a wage freeze and one year I started after the increases). I've been here about four years now and my salary has increased 40% since i started which is pretty great and the bonuses have been pretty good too. But since I started at a low salary since I was an inexperience hire, I find myself behind the curve salary wise. Now the problem lies in a comment my boss made on my review that I sometimes don't seem like I appreciate what they do for me. I think this stems from the fact that I'm a pretty level headed dude so when I get raises or bonuses, I'm not super celebratory about it and my boss reads this as indifference since he's a dude that goes by feelings more than anything. I feel like this is the time to raise my salary qualms, the fact that I wasn't too happy with the lack of a promotion when I've been doing the work at the level I would have been promoted to for about two years now. I just don't want to come off like I'm threatening or anything because I really don't plan to leave this job and have no real interest in going to another company to get my 10k raise if I can get closer to market level here. What's the best way to bring this up when I have my review next week in a way that doesn't come off in a way I don't want it to especially since one of my bosses is the type of person who takes things personally and doesn't read situations very well.

awval999
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by awval999 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:21 pm

Quanta2998 wrote:I just don't want to come off like I'm threatening or anything because I really don't plan to leave this job and have no real interest in going to another company to get my 10k raise if I can get closer to market level here. What's the best way to bring this up when I have my review next week in a way that doesn't come off in a way I don't want it to especially since one of my bosses is the type of person who takes things personally and doesn't read situations very well.
If you don't plan to leave, then you are being paid at the correct rate. Supply/demand and all that. The employer obviously values you at the current salary and you obviously value the employer at your current rate.

If you felt that you were not being appropriately paid you would quit. You are not quiting. Therefore, you are being paid at the appropriate rate.

Furthermore, if I was in the position that you described, I would not ask for anything more, because you value your current job at your current salary. I would not want to risk alienating that because in your heart you know you "couldn't call his bluff if he re-raised all in."
Last edited by awval999 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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norookie
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by norookie » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:24 pm

:D Um, in 4 yrs, salary up 40% plus bonuses, at a job you like. Or follow your instincts. :greedy Maybe there's enough demand, look. Good luck!
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Saving$ » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:37 pm

40% in 4 years + bonuses in this economy is terrific.

Send the boss, and whomever else above him that is appropriate, a thank you note for the bonus. Keep it simple and short, but the acknowledgment is good.

Then wait a bit (unless you are working on written goals soon) and approach the boss with request for his/her advice. Tell them your goal is to be promoted, and ask if they will help you accomplish that by supporting you in getting the necessary experience and skills needed for that. Then listen between the lines because it may be more than skills & experience. Work on whatever they say, and ask for regular meetings (like every other month) where you ask for their assessment of how you are doing and their advice, but don't talk about the promotion. If you follow this, they will know you are serious, and you will learn what needs to be done to get the promotion.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by 2sls » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:40 pm

Please save yourself the stress of figuring out what to say to your boss and just get an outside offer. That is your market value, then you can decide whether it's worth the switch.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by cheesepep » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:43 pm

In my job, the idea is to accept whatever you are given or be shown the door. I would never think to ask my boss for a raise here.

itypefast
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by itypefast » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:04 pm

If you felt that you were not being appropriately paid you would quit. You are not quiting. Therefore, you are being paid at the appropriate rate.
...removed because nobody wants to discuss the topic, only grouse that they don't have what others have...
Last edited by itypefast on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by yobria » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:50 pm

awval999 wrote:
Quanta2998 wrote:I just don't want to come off like I'm threatening or anything because I really don't plan to leave this job and have no real interest in going to another company to get my 10k raise if I can get closer to market level here. What's the best way to bring this up when I have my review next week in a way that doesn't come off in a way I don't want it to especially since one of my bosses is the type of person who takes things personally and doesn't read situations very well.
If you don't plan to leave, then you are being paid at the correct rate. Supply/demand and all that. The employer obviously values you at the current salary and you obviously value the employer at your current rate.
I agree. The labor market is like any other. If you're willing to supply your labor at the current price, you don't deserve a raise. It's like the guy who just bought a Mercedes complaining that they're too expensive. His actions show that they're not.

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momar
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by momar » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:54 pm

Do the other people you work with get 8-10% raises every year?

That is a nice raise to be getting every year, especially the past 4 years. Perhaps your employer recognizes you are underpaid and is giving you big raises to compensate, while at the same time figuring that giving you those big raises will keep you happy and that you'll catch up soon enough.

I would also caution about considering yourself one of the top 5 employees unless you have been specifically told this. It is very easy to overvalue one's own contributions and discount those of others.
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by awval999 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:58 pm

itypefast wrote:
If you felt that you were not being appropriately paid you would quit. You are not quiting. Therefore, you are being paid at the appropriate rate.
This is overly simplistic nonsense masquerading as capitalist philosophy.

I'm in the same boat as the OP. I make 170k per year and got a 2.4% raise this year. Rather than quit or make a big stink about it, I merely expressed my dissatisfaction to my supervisor and the appropriate heads of the group I support. When that didn't get any results, I dropped my hours from 60 to 40 per week. With the time I saved I'm doing side consulting at $125 per hour which has averaged 20 hours per week over the last 10 months.

All this crap about pay your employees just enough so they won't quit is so short sIghted it's ridiculous. I used to be a happy employee putting in 20 hours of unpaid overtime per week. In the 5 years I've worked there I've easily saved the company over $2.5MM in documented cost savings. Since I've discovered there is no reward in this now I put in the minimum to not get fired.
Obviously your employer is shortsided if you are saving millions of dollars a year and risking the possiblity of you quitting or being unmotivated. However, your employer values you enough to continue to pay you the same wage while only working 40hours now even though you were working 60hours. Seems like they do value you highly. Furthermore you have decided to increase your income by consulting, which is impressive and great.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by stoptothink » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:13 pm

itypefast wrote:
If you felt that you were not being appropriately paid you would quit. You are not quiting. Therefore, you are being paid at the appropriate rate.
This is overly simplistic nonsense masquerading as capitalist philosophy.

I'm in the same boat as the OP. I make 170k per year and got a 2.4% raise this year. Rather than quit or make a big stink about it, I merely expressed my dissatisfaction to my supervisor and the appropriate heads of the group I support. When that didn't get any results, I dropped my hours from 60 to 40 per week. With the time I saved I'm doing side consulting at $125 per hour which has averaged 20 hours per week over the last 10 months.

All this crap about pay your employees just enough so they won't quit is so short sIghted it's ridiculous. I used to be a happy employee putting in 20 hours of unpaid overtime per week. In the 5 years I've worked there I've easily saved the company over $2.5MM in documented cost savings. Since I've discovered there is no reward in this now I put in the minimum to not get fired.
No it isn't, he could find a competing offer or quit, and so could you. 40% raise plus bonuses over 4 years is amazing. I am in a similar situation as well, except I have gotten a 1.5% raise total in the last 4 years and not a single penny in bonuses. I was promised a raise upon completing my MS by a former director, then my PhD, then last year I hit a production mark which had never been reached in the entire program and I received nothing again except a pat on the back, so I am now starting to explore other options. From my experience, it's not a discussion likely to go over very well unless you have another option and can afford to walk.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Whiggish Boffin » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:26 pm

Robert Townsend, the CEO of Avis in the 1960s ("We're #2 -- we try harder.") wrote a book called Up the Organization. Under the a topic Underpaid:
Resign. Go to the personnel department. Fill in the forms. Apply for your old position. Under "Salary Objective" put down what you should be paid.
If your diagnosis is correct, you'll be far and away the best-qualified applicant for your old job and cheap at the new price....
If they don't rehire you because of "regulations", it's time you left the company anyway because they've got the tail on the front of the dog.
I don't know anybody who's actually tried this. I did know a space-sensor expert who was re-hired at a company that had dumped him earlier. The re-hiring manager said, "For such a slacker they said you were, it struck me that they had to hire three people to take over your work." He quoted Morgan Freeman's Hoke from Driving Miss Daisy. "You ever have folks fighting over you? It sure feels good."

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Nathan Drake » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:54 pm

itypefast wrote:
If you felt that you were not being appropriately paid you would quit. You are not quiting. Therefore, you are being paid at the appropriate rate.
This is overly simplistic nonsense masquerading as capitalist philosophy.

I'm in the same boat as the OP. I make 170k per year and got a 2.4% raise this year. Rather than quit or make a big stink about it, I merely expressed my dissatisfaction to my supervisor and the appropriate heads of the group I support. When that didn't get any results, I dropped my hours from 60 to 40 per week. With the time I saved I'm doing side consulting at $125 per hour which has averaged 20 hours per week over the last 10 months.

All this crap about pay your employees just enough so they won't quit is so short sIghted it's ridiculous. I used to be a happy employee putting in 20 hours of unpaid overtime per week. In the 5 years I've worked there I've easily saved the company over $2.5MM in documented cost savings. Since I've discovered there is no reward in this now I put in the minimum to not get fired.

If you quit your day job and did consulting full time, you'd give yourself a 50% raise.

Wish I made your kind of money!

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by campy2010 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:37 am

Your post comes across as a little egotistical and the fact that your boss mentioned that you are unappreciative of the raises you have gotten thus far makes me think that you should tread lightly with your demands. You got a decent raise and a bonus this year. Accept it or move on. When you have your performance review, ask what you need to do in the next year to be promoted. Don't talk about money, only talk about your performance. Hopefully, this conversation will clarify the time line for when you will get that raise you are hoping for.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by java » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:20 am

First, be happy (and proud perhaps) that your salary has been moving up during the last few years.
Make the conversation about being ready and accepting a larger role. Thats what they want to hear.
To the other posters point about your market value, you don't know until you try.
But you need to keep it in perspective. Not sure your total cash comp, but will that $10K gross really make you happy?
When you are making $30K year out of school, you move for $10K.
When you have a position you like and have some tenure and perks and are a trusted employee, how much will the $10K cost you?

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by TRC » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:27 am

norookie wrote::D Um, in 4 yrs, salary up 40% plus bonuses, at a job you like. Or follow your instincts. :greedy Maybe there's enough demand, look. Good luck!
+1

Sounds like they moved your pay up pretty quickly and you're new to the job maket. If the other people are more senior and have more tenure, they should be paid more. You'll understand when you're in their position down the road.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by alanf56 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:52 am

itypefast wrote:
If you felt that you were not being appropriately paid you would quit. You are not quiting. Therefore, you are being paid at the appropriate rate.
This is overly simplistic nonsense masquerading as capitalist philosophy.
+1

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by dickenjb » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:29 am

Bear in mind if you are at the top of your grade's pay range a one level promotion will likely land you well above midpoint in the new pay range. Based on that it doesn't sound to me like you are underpaid if you are already near the top of your pay range. Perhaps your company does not pay well?

You can ask to see what your pay range is and where the midpoint is. We used to use something called "comp ratio" which was the ratio of the employees salary to the midpoint. People under 85% or so were considered underpaid and as managers we made efforts to bring them up the scale.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:55 am

Don't say anything yet. Put your CV together and start looking at outside employers. Gauge what the market will pay, but be cognizant that when the "crap hit's the fan" usually the first one out the door is the last one who entered". I'm not sure how significant $10K is to you - is it 10% of current salary, is it 20%, is it 30%? I will say this though, if you are being underpaid relative by the market by 25% or more, it's time to consider moving on.

Now, in defense of your employer - these economic times have been no cakewalk, it is a very DIFFICULT enviornment out there unless you are drilling for oil in the Bakkens or in the oil sands. A 3% raise is a very good raise and you continues to make decent bonuses, alot of employers don't pay bonus. Another thing, are you still learning at your current job, if you are that is another quiver in your bow case, if you are not, then it's another reason to look.

Four years out of school with 40% salary compounded increase and bonuses every year - most people would do anything to have your problem.
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Kenkat » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:20 am

I would focus on asking what you need to do to get promoted rather than what you are paid. Your boss is probably limited by company budgets and policies as to what kind of raise you can be given. Often there is a budget by department and that pool of money is distributed across everyone in the department. If the average is 3% and you get 5%, someone else has to get less.

If you have gotten 40% increases over the past four years, it seems to me that they are trying to get your salary in line. What your boss may be trying to say by saying "you don't appreciate all we do for you" is really "I am trying as hard as I can to reward you but there is only so much I can do".

Does your company ever do mid-year promotions? I know that is a strategy I have seen employed. You get your 3% raise, then mid-year you are promoted and given an additional raise for the new position.

I think if you come across to your boss that you really like your job, think you are good at it, and want to move up the chain of command so that you can continue to contribute to the department's and company's goals, it can be a positive conversation and not one just about money.

If this goes nowhere, then I think you owe it to yourself to at least start looking to see what else is out there.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Rodc » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:06 am

I was once told that in a good marriage where both partners did an equal share of the work, both think they are doing 80% of the work.

Life really is like that for the most part. People tend to think about the part they did and count it more heavily than the work their partners did. Added to this is you don't always directly see just what your partners did. Might also be like driving where some huge majority think they are above average.

So, be very careful: your boss who sees more of the picture than you do might tell you that you know, you don't really contribute as much as you think you do.

Getting a bad rep for not being grateful or a team player is not helpful either. So, again, be careful.

Unless you know your coworkers are getting the same percent pay raises you have been getting, you may have recovered from your low starting salary.

One approach you can take that is less risky is to simply go to the person who makes salary decisions and ask what it would take to get a promotion. See if you can work together to lay out a plan so you are both on the same page.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by HongKonger » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:53 am

What. People earn 170k and whinge about not getting a whopping payrise too. Sorry, that makes me want to puke. No-one NEEDS that kind of money.Its indecent.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:03 am

Quanta2998 wrote:I garner than I'm about 10k below my market value
Not worth broaching the subject for a $10k difference. What is that extra per pay check after taxes? I wouldn't broach the subject unless I was a) 30%+ underpaid, and b) ready to leave the company.
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Rodc » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:27 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
Quanta2998 wrote:I garner than I'm about 10k below my market value
Not worth broaching the subject for a $10k difference. What is that extra per pay check after taxes? I wouldn't broach the subject unless I was a) 30%+ underpaid, and b) ready to leave the company.
Might depend on $10K out of what. If making $30K and think market value is $40K that is a lot different from $130K and $140K.

My daughter is fairly new out of college doing social work for a non-profit. A raise of $10K would make a huge difference.

Somehow though I don't think this applies to the OP.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by ladders11 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:20 pm

Quanta2998 wrote:This is the first job I got out of college and I've gotten pretty great raises the two years I was eligible for a raise(one year was a wage freeze and one year I started after the increases). I've been here about four years now and my salary has increased 40% since i started which is pretty great and the bonuses have been pretty good too. But since I started at a low salary since I was an inexperience hire, I find myself behind the curve salary wise. Now the problem lies in a comment my boss made on my review that I sometimes don't seem like I appreciate what they do for me.
I think the situation originates with this: first job, low initial salary, age difference. Perhaps they think of you as a smart kid they gave a chance to, a kid they trained, or a kid they brought up in their system. If they have any of these thoughts concurrently while you view yourself as a diligent adult who undertook college to develop skills and earn qualifications, a conflict arises.

I personally think there is near exponential growth in an employee's value to the labor market in the first few years after graduation. It is hard for people to raise their perception of someone so quickly.

A veteran employee comes into a company explaining their experience and what they need to get started doing things their way. An inexperienced employee comes in ready to learn. There is a difference in perception.

It is possible to make a bigger jump by finding another employer who is willing to pay more. You just have to look at your resume and look in the mirror - comparing your present self with the one who just graduated. If there is a big difference and you are not getting your due, the time may have come to see if another environment will offer more re$pect.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by HornedToad » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:25 pm

It seems like you went into the meeting expecting the promotion but I don't see where you had ever talked to your boss about receiving the promotion and what you needed to do to get it/be on track for it etc.

I would bring it up in your next 1:1 meeting (or schedule a mtg for it) to say that you feel like you are doing next level work and would like your boss' advice on what you need to do in order to earn and receive the promotion for next year. Then he can say you need to do X,Y,Z and you can go out and do X,Y and Z.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by alanf56 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:32 pm

HornedToad wrote:I would bring it up in your next 1:1 meeting (or schedule a mtg for it) to say that you feel like you are doing next level work and would like your boss' advice on what you need to do in order to earn and receive the promotion for next year. Then he can say you need to do X,Y,Z and you can go out and do X,Y and Z.
I have seen that game played many times and people ending up with the middle of a doughnut. Sometimes it is just the company or the office politics that lead to promotions or not. I think if you are happy with the work then just make up your mind to keep at it and don't set too high of expectations of things to come. If you aren't happy and you want more then maybe it is time to start looking elsewhere. I just wouldn't play the game of I will do more to get more and end up with nothing. My two cents worth.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by alanf56 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:35 pm

HongKonger wrote:What. People earn 170k and whinge about not getting a whopping payrise too. Sorry, that makes me want to puke. No-one NEEDS that kind of money.Its indecent.
It looks like your boss showed up quanta! :)

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by ladders11 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:36 pm

itypefast wrote: I'm in the same boat as the OP. I make 170k per year and got a 2.4% raise this year. Rather than quit or make a big stink about it, I merely expressed my dissatisfaction to my supervisor and the appropriate heads of the group I support. When that didn't get any results, I dropped my hours from 60 to 40 per week. With the time I saved I'm doing side consulting at $125 per hour which has averaged 20 hours per week over the last 10 months.

All this crap about pay your employees just enough so they won't quit is so short sIghted it's ridiculous. I used to be a happy employee putting in 20 hours of unpaid overtime per week. In the 5 years I've worked there I've easily saved the company over $2.5MM in documented cost savings. Since I've discovered there is no reward in this now I put in the minimum to not get fired.
The other sign of the coin is just to do the work you are paid to do from the outset. Not every company has a good track on the value of each employee - in my experience, none do. It also seems short-sighted to expect a company to realize that you are providing extra value, and then pay for it - at worst, this can be more like a bum washing car windows and then demanding payment. Besides, this must be compared to the next alternative, which would probably be a similar employee doing the same job. Who is to say that the next guy wouldn't have saved $2.5M in expenses, or saved even more? Worked 60 hours, or worked even more?

I just don't believe each job is a golden ticket, where if we work hard, and do extra work, we'll get extra pay and promotions. There is a common delusion that expects rewards, when none were promised.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by AnimalCrackers » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:59 pm

2sls wrote:Please save yourself the stress of figuring out what to say to your boss and just get an outside offer. That is your market value, then you can decide whether it's worth the switch.
Agreed. It's ultimately easier, and more satisfying, to get another offer. Who knows, it may be so good that you won't seriously consider staying put.
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by ClubberLang » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:06 pm

AnimalCrackers wrote:
2sls wrote:Please save yourself the stress of figuring out what to say to your boss and just get an outside offer. That is your market value, then you can decide whether it's worth the switch.
Agreed. It's ultimately easier, and more satisfying, to get another offer. Who knows, it may be so good that you won't seriously consider staying put.
Your employer may counter offer, and then label you as "disloyal", and give you the axe during the next round of lay offs.

TheEternalVortex
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by TheEternalVortex » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:26 pm

You could try just asking your boss. Tell him everything you wrote in this post, and say that based on that you think you are underpaid by $10k. It might fail, but then you'll be in no worse position than before.

Otherwise the only way you'll get a raise is to get a competing offer from somewhere else, but you have to be willing to leave for that to work.

TheEternalVortex
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by TheEternalVortex » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:26 pm

ClubberLang wrote:
AnimalCrackers wrote:
2sls wrote:Please save yourself the stress of figuring out what to say to your boss and just get an outside offer. That is your market value, then you can decide whether it's worth the switch.
Agreed. It's ultimately easier, and more satisfying, to get another offer. Who knows, it may be so good that you won't seriously consider staying put.
Your employer may counter offer, and then label you as "disloyal", and give you the axe during the next round of lay offs.
If your company does that you don't want to work there anyway.

jaytheman
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by jaytheman » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:32 pm

I suspect that you have been treated fairly and the problem is only that you expected a promotion. You need to have discussions with bosses about expectations. Let them know that you like your job, want a promotion and more money but do it in a low-key, moving forward sort of positive discussion. Find out the things that you have to do to make this happen and the time-frame. The squeaky wheel gets the attention.

Remember that your boss maybe has to fight with HR long and hard over increases, and what he does with others in the group this pay-period also affects what can be done with you. The first step is letting them know your care about more. If you like a job don't give up on it or a boss right away, the corporate world moves much slower than most young people like but that is the nature of the beast.

Doing something you like is worth something. I think you will find that it is hard to do things that you don't like and the money gets hard to get in that environment in the long run. Of course, if things don't happen the way you and people plan for it start taking steps but don't give up on people who are good enough to get you a start in these difficult times.

pingo
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by pingo » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:19 pm

First off, I hope you'll take our criticism in a constructive manner. You've put yourself out there, but I don't think anyone's intent here is beat up on you. Certainly that is not my intent. The only perspective I can offer is from personal experience which may be wholly inappropriate, but for what it's worth:
Quanta2998 wrote:I just got my yearly raise/bonus at work and went in there expecting a promotion and a decent raise(8-10%) since my review was pretty much all positive, I do the most complicated stuff on the team(with mostly people who are a senior position above me that I would have been if I got a promotion this year), do the most work and generally consider myself a top 5 employee on team of 40 or so. [**What are the chances all 40 consider themselves in the top 5? Rarely does one think he or she is below average.**] Anyway, I ended up getting a 3% raise, no promotion and a pretty decent bonus. While the dollar amounts are pretty good, I'm finding myself in a position where my salary is lower than I'd like it to be and below market averages plus the fact that I'm at a lower level than I'd like to be doesn't make me too happy either. Since I'm a level below most of my teammates, I'm naturally in a lower salary bracket so I can just assume that a good portion of them make more than me and judging by websites like salary.com, glassdoor and job listings for similar positions at other companies that list salaries, I garner than I'm about 10k below my market value(if I left, I'd get a job at a higher position than I currently have since I have the experience and skills to do so). I'm probably near the top of the scale for my current position but near the bottom of the scale for the position I would have been promoted to. With this in mind, any mid year raises will also be limited because I'm already at the top of the scale for the position I'm in so I doubt I'll get a significant bump if any money comes around before next year.

Now, I really like this job and have no plans to leave. This is the first job I got out of college and I've gotten pretty great raises the two years I was eligible for a raise [**Were these raises above your expectations? If they were great, why does that not factor into the present? Sadly, one should not arrive at the first couple of dates with a dozen roses: afterwards, the same or less becomes an insult. You may now feel it is 11 roses less; your employer may feel it is 1 more. Must it really get that much bigger and better each year?**] (one year was a wage freeze and one year I started after the increases). I've been here about four years now and my salary has increased 40% since i started which is pretty great and the bonuses have been pretty good too. But since I started at a low salary since I was an inexperience hire, I find myself behind the curve salary wise. Now the problem lies in a comment my boss made on my review that I sometimes don't seem like I appreciate what they do for me. [**If you express to your boss what you have expressed here, it will probably confirm the notion that you do not appreciate what they have done for you. Your boss's comment tells you they (believe they) have done a lot for you. Is it true? What is he or she missing? What are you missing? They may be right or wrong, but you may be in error, too. Think about it.**] I think this stems from the fact that I'm a pretty level headed dude so when I get raises or bonuses, I'm not super celebratory about it and my boss reads this as indifference since he's a dude that goes by feelings more than anything. I feel like this is the time to raise my salary qualms, the fact that I wasn't too happy with the lack of a promotion when I've been doing the work at the level I would have been promoted to for about two years now. I just don't want to come off like I'm threatening or anything because I really don't plan to leave this job and have no real interest in going to another company to get my 10k raise if I can get closer to market level here. What's the best way to bring this up when I have my review next week in a way that doesn't come off in a way I don't want it to especially since one of my bosses is the type of person who takes things personally and doesn't read situations very well.
I don't know if I am underpaid, but I do not make enough from one job to cover all our needs. However, my line of work is such a great match with who I am that I cannot give it up--and I believe I am happier for it.
Last edited by pingo on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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gatorking
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by gatorking » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:19 pm

You can try this:
http://privatelist.findyourdreamjob.com ... ds-to-use/
and other advice on this site.

Good luck.

mmmodem
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by mmmodem » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:31 pm

AnimalCrackers wrote:
2sls wrote:Please save yourself the stress of figuring out what to say to your boss and just get an outside offer. That is your market value, then you can decide whether it's worth the switch.
Agreed. It's ultimately easier, and more satisfying, to get another offer. Who knows, it may be so good that you won't seriously consider staying put.
+3
The way I understand it is that your boss has to fight for your raise through HR or higher up. If your boss isn't on your side, it really is a uphill battle. Don't let the other posts here bring you down about the way the economy is and you should feel lucky to have a job. You feel you deserve a higher position and salary. Prove it. Go out there and interview. You might get a better offer or you might be humbled and realize what a great salary you have. Either way, you'll find contentment.

bhead33
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by bhead33 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:05 pm

AnimalCrackers wrote:
2sls wrote:Please save yourself the stress of figuring out what to say to your boss and just get an outside offer. That is your market value, then you can decide whether it's worth the switch.
Agreed. It's ultimately easier, and more satisfying, to get another offer. Who knows, it may be so good that you won't seriously consider staying put.
+1

Having been in a similar situation, I agree with the getting another offer idea.

At the worst, you wont get anything, which will show you that you have it good where you are - or that you need to work on your skills to get that offer.

At the best, you will get a better offer at a better place with better work.

I have been in both situations and have happily and luckily found better places with better offers to take.

I also have seen that counteroffers very rarely work [anecdotal experiences only though], once your level of dissatisfaction is high enough that you are seeking others opinion on it, then its time to move on to a place where you feel happy enough that you dont even think of it.

itypefast
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by itypefast » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:01 pm

HongKonger wrote:What. People earn 170k and whinge about not getting a whopping payrise too. Sorry, that makes me want to puke. No-one NEEDS that kind of money.Its indecent.
...removed because nobody wants to discuss the topic, only grouse that they don't have what others have...
Last edited by itypefast on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

manuvns
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by manuvns » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:01 pm

i think since it is your first job you are getting paid low . it's about time you move on or get higher offer and negotiate it out with your boss . job and salary is all about demand and supply .

beareconomy
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by beareconomy » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:13 pm

There is nothing wrong with asking for fair market value for your job. Sports athletes do it all the time.

stoptothink
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:15 pm

itypefast wrote:
HongKonger wrote:What. People earn 170k and whinge about not getting a whopping payrise too. Sorry, that makes me want to puke. No-one NEEDS that kind of money.Its indecent.
You and I have different perspectives on what is indecent. Personally I find moralizing against and insulting strangers on the Internet indecent.

Nobody needs that kind of money, huh? What about someone responsible for supporting an extended family? What about someone with a child with severe autism that requires around the clock care?

It's sad your judgmental nature feels the need to insult people for making more money than you.
How exactly does that change the fact that your response to getting(what you thought) was not large enough a raise was very unappreciative to your employer? If you are that insulted, you could easily quit instead of whining about it. I paid all the fees and purchased all the equipment for the sports(soccer, track, and volleyball) that both my step-sisters played this past year, and just set aside a lump sum to cover most of the elder one's freshman year of college because my mother and her husband(the father of my step-sisters) can not; I suppose my employer owes me a raise.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by hicabob » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:15 pm

itypefast wrote:
HongKonger wrote:What. People earn 170k and whinge about not getting a whopping payrise too. Sorry, that makes me want to puke. No-one NEEDS that kind of money.Its indecent.
You and I have different perspectives on what is indecent. Personally I find moralizing against and insulting strangers on the Internet indecent.

Nobody needs that kind of money, huh? What about someone responsible for supporting an extended family? What about someone with a child with severe autism that requires around the clock care?

It's sad your judgmental nature feels the need to insult people for making more money than you.

Agreed - in the SF Bay Area , NYC or Boston among other places - 170k is decent but nothing out of the ordinary for a high level engineer which I assume the 170k person is.
It would be low end for an MD and midrange for a lawyer and we all know engineers are smarter and work harder .... :twisted:

stoptothink
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:16 pm

beareconomy wrote:There is nothing wrong with asking for fair market value for your job. Sports athletes do it all the time.
No offense to the OP, but I get the feeling that his skill-set is not as unique and in-demand as a world class athlete. Totally different ball game.

itypefast
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by itypefast » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:08 pm

...removed because nobody wants to discuss the topic, only grouse that they don't have what others have...
Last edited by itypefast on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

stoptothink
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:10 pm

itypefast wrote:Speaking of whining, seems to be a lot of insults flying around against anyone that reports they make more than $50k per year here.

Amazing how grown people can't see when they're behaving like petty jealous children.

Hey stoptothink - I made over $280,000 between the full time job I was "whining" about and the consulting job I took in the last 10 months of 2011. I'm sorry that you've never come close to that so feel it necessary to insult me on the Internet.
Where did I insult you? And you whined, twice.

itypefast
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by itypefast » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:12 pm

stoptothink wrote:No offense to the OP, but I get the feeling that his skill-set is not as unique and in-demand as a world class athlete. Totally different ball game.
...removed because nobody wants to discuss the topic, only grouse that they don't have what others have...
Last edited by itypefast on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:27 pm

itypefast wrote:
stoptothink wrote:No offense to the OP, but I get the feeling that his skill-set is not as unique and in-demand as a world class athlete. Totally different ball game.
Your contribution to this discussion is that the OP is not a world class athlete?

Thank God I don't work with people like you. Someone makes $1 more per year than you? They should kiss the world's feet at their good fortune at earning so much without deserving it!

I would be ashamed to have such a loser mentality.
Wow :shock: .

brogrammer
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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by brogrammer » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:44 pm

It is interesting that your boss's comment ("you don't appreciate what we do for you") reflects your reality ("I feel under-appreciated" [as evidenced by my salary and title.]) Is it possible that your boss thinks that he has treated you exceptionally well and above-average, and will not react well to your demands for more?

I would consider another job. It's inconvenient and a little risky; your new boss could turn out to be a jerk, and you have rebuild your credibility with your new coworkers. But it sounds like your boss's personality is one where asking for an additional raise could do irrevocable damage to your working relationship.

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Re: How to best broach the I'm underpaid subject at work.

Post by Imperabo » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:00 pm

Deleted
Last edited by Imperabo on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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