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Time to move on?

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Question: I recently joined a company at a very low starting salary simply because a lot of people said there was going to be a separation between the partners who run the company and that would greatly affect our paychecks, and it had a great working environment.

A year and a half down the line, I see neither happening, although I must say the working environment is very good and it is a nice place to be. But I can see a lot of people slowly deciding to move on to greener pastures, and the company is either ignorant of the reason they are losing these people or chooses to be blind.

The management has recognized my contribution and is very supportive and aware of my hard work. I have been promised a lot of growth and a great future as the company grows. But, although the growth is a fact, I can't see much in terms of salary changes, given their history. My questions are:

1.      Is it worth having a talk with my manager, to revise my salary significantly?

2.      Should I waiting for the changes to take place?

3.      Should I just move on?

To make things worse, a few months ago, another person was hired in the same position as mine but at a much higher salary, although that person's performance is not at all at par with the company's standards or the claims on their CV. (This is based on a probationary review.) Having had my annual appraisal around now, I expected an increment to at least level off our salaries, if not take me a level higher. It has, in fact, been just a 20% increase!

I really need some expert advice here, as I am at a crossroads!  -- Anonymous


Do you like working there? If yes, do your homework and research salaries in your area for similar job positions and industry standards. When discussing your pay with your manager, compare it to the market, not your co-worker. It is less likely to seem like sour grapes. If they don't reach an agreement, will you stay?

The changes haven't happened in a year and a half ... something else could have changed. If you don't like working there or who you are working with, money won't make the difference. Then I'd start looking elsewhere.

Have any of the people who left tried to negotiate a raise and been turned down and that is why they left?

Did they have exit interviews and expressed their dissatisfaction in regard to salary?

If either of these can be answered yes and still there are no changes, my answers to your questions are:

1. No. Management doesn’t care and most likely will say that a 20% increase is over the average and they won’t go to a higher percentage. Employers will say that “you knew the salary coming in.” Negotiate a starting salary before taking a position or if starting low, for an increase within 6 months or a year and stay away from a percentage raise. Employers don’t like to see raises for huge percentages, it’s a mind game.

2. No. Don’t wait, there will be no change

3. Yes. Get your resume updated and make it your job on Sunday afternoon to respond to ads in the paper, contact head hunters, employment agencies, and network, network, network.

As far as lying (or exaggerating) on a CV or resume, unfortunately that is not unusual; but doing the same on an application is cause for dismissal and most applications note that. These exaggerations always come out, but too often management doesn’t want to admit they were hoodwinked and they expect the good workers to cover for the slackers.

Yes, see my comment on the previous question regarding raises. To ad to it "yes" I did watch the paper and there was a job with less responsibilities than I have now and the pay was much higher. I told them I am even asking for that much per hour and this would have been working for the state with benefits. I don't have benefits here because I decided I didn't need them but in return I get 25% of my pay put into a retirement acct.

Do your reseach. Some websites are www.salary.com and www.salaryexpert.com. You can use other sources of friends that are in the workplace and they be able to info on the salaries of people in your position.

1st - Please realize that 20% is a significant increase. Most companies these days are giving 5% increases and telling you that is a good raise. 2nd - It never hurts to go to your manager and have a conversation. Be prepared with all the reasons you deserve the increase - Argue your case. Your manager may not be the person who makes the decision so you need to give good reasons that can be taken up the ladder. 3rd - Waiting for change can be hard. You have to ask yourself if you are willing to wait. The changes may not be coming as quickly as originally anticipated by your company. 4th - You seem to like to work environment , so take that into consideration when weighing your options. Money isn't everything and a good work environment can be hard to find. Good luck!

You say that your happy in your job, it's a great place to work, you are praised for your performance, and given a 20% increase. Am I the only one missing the problem here? Unless you are one of the partners, or owners of this company, I don't see where anything more than a 20% increase (without promotion) is reasonable. 20% is significant regardless of the pay. Don't be discouraged by another person's pay. That is never healthy, and will only cause you to faulter in what is really important which is focusing on the job at hand, performing the best you can, and earning every dollar that you currently make. From the sounds of the company you work for, it's a great place to work...and you are rewarded for your performance. Do you know if the new person may have more past experience, or education that you didn't have coming in new? Was theirs a hard to fill position, in which maybe they played their cards right on pay negotiation from the jump. Reevaluate your outlook on the situation, leaving the other employee's pay out of the equation. If they weren't there making more, would there even be an issue? If you still have concerns, then you should definetly address the concerns to management. Maybe not necessarily "i want more money now", but the bigger picture. How will these changes affect me in the future? How will they affect my growth? How will they affect my future increases? Then once you have the bigger picture, you will know how to tackle your current pay issue. If it is still an issue after relooking at the situation.

Its been a year and a half well, my company went through a merger that took 3 years so dont assume that things won't happen with your company. I do think you should speak to your manager about your salary. Kenda suggested looking at salary.com. Its an excellent site and it will show you the average for your position at your size company in your city. I caution you about mentioning the new employee's salary especially since this should be confidential. Also, do you know this person's background? Maybe she had more experience or education. I don't think its a good idea to mention the new employee's salary at all especially since you are not privilege to all the details of her accepting the position. I don't know many companies who would give a person a 20% increase unless there a valid reason unfortunately, saying 'I should make as much as the new person' wont go over well. I think you can probably prove your case by just researching your info.

Wow, 20%! As a government employee I can tell you that even with exceptional reviews the increases over the past several years have not been anywhere near%. Even when I made a transfer within a division my increase was less than that. But you need to realize that 20% is a good raise. It should be a positive thing to talk with you manager about it. You need to know what you're going to say before you go into their office, but sometimes those conversations (if done well and with a positive attitude) can be positive events, even if you don't get a better raise right away. It's always good to be confident of yourself and your abilities and let your thoughts and feelings be known when appropriate (and to the right people; don't go whining around the office about it).

After you have met with your boss, decide if you truly think you want to be there. It sounds like you like the work. If you do, are you willing to wait however long you think it will take to get the increases you feel you deserve. Consider also (realistically) if you were to leave, would you easily find another position elsewhere that would hire you at a salary worthwhile the change? One more thing; life flies by. Even if you're really young, think about things like retirement plans and any other benefits that should be considered. Money isn't the only reason we work. And if you have a working environment that you don't mind going to each morning, give that some weight also. I hope it works out for you.

My goodness, a 20% raise! I got 2% for my last raise (part of a collective bargaining agreement)and I had an excellent performance review. If the company has made significant growth and you can document your contributions to their growth, you might consider meeting with your manager to discuss what you need to do to get to the next level. (Do not say anything about the other employee. Salary info is confidential and you could be dismissed for discussing it.)In the meatime, even if you love your job, you should at least explore other opportunities. Your experience in making your company grow might translate into another type of position with a salary commensurate with your skills.

I am a Human Resource Professional of about 10 years now,and a 20% raise is virtually unheard of. You say you like the environment, you enjoy the work, you are praised for your contribution, you get an unheard of increase percentage. I'm sorry, I don't see the problem.

Comparing yourself to peers will always bring you nothing but misery. Are you sure the peer is actually making that much more than you are? Or is it perhaps the peer trying to inflate themselves? Remember rumors, true or not, spread like wildfire.

Most companies currently give an average of 3-4 percent increases annually and no more in between. Not without taking on much more responsibilty, changing jobs, or earning a degree or certification of some sort. And even then it's no where near 20%.

Take a good hard look at the cold cruel world before you jump ship. You may very well regret it all things considered.

Thank you everyone. I would like to point out that my being privy to the salary package of my collegue is only due to the fact that I am in charge of payroll. It is a difficult situation being aware of it like that and knowing of the disparity, but it is not THE deciding factor when I think of an increment. I recently took on SEVERAL challenging tasks which were not on my Job description, therefore I am sure I deserve a better increment, especially since a lot of staff recently got good revisions.

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