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March 28, 2007


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This post is right on the money. I have one employee that keeps asking for a raise, even though he is doing an average job and is making market rate for his position.

Asking for a raise is critical for maximizing your lifetime income potential. The important thing to realize is that any raise you get will compound later in your career, since pay increases are often based on a percentage of your current salary. That is: future pay increases will be higher too if they are based on a higher intitial salary.

How timely, I just opened my laptop intending to look for information about asking for a promotion (any tips?) and your post was staring right at me in my feed reader! I agree 100%.

I always have received very good raises & excellent performance reviews while my average or below average performing co-workers complain our raises are an insult. I know a few who have met to try and negotiate a better raise but to no avail. People have disclosed their raise percentage to me in their venting and they have no clue my raises average 3X what they claim to have received (if they are accurate).

Our company has a min-max range for raises based on performance ratings and they are getting the high end of under performing. I've mentioned to them they can estimate their raise by looking at our corporate policies and they say "I don't want to bother". So they aren't even aware that if they bring up their rating just one level they will get a much nicer raise. Too many people have no desire to put any effort into anything anymore. They rather take their mediocre pay and waste there work time online. I sit back and listen, avoid disclosing any of my personal information, and let their below par work increase my salary because there is more in the budget for me.

It's amazing how many people think they "deserve" a raise when they really don't. Your boss does not care about your kids, your mortgage or your debt. You need to perform and know your companies policies.

I have a somewhat unique situation and I'm not quite sure how to handle it so advice would be appreciated.

I've been working at a company 6 months (graduated 7 months ago with a master's and bachelor's in engineering). When I received the initial offer from the company, I did a poor job of negotiating. The offer was above the competing offer I had and was in an area with lower cost of living and convenient to where my wife worked. I didn't want to lie about the other offer so I tried to play them off the other company without claiming my other offer was higher. I was in a weak negotiating position and of course they held firm and I accepted their initial offer. I know now I should have counter-offered without mentioning the competition and that way I wouldn't have lied or been in the weak position. My mistake and I don't have any issue with the way the company handled this.

After accepting the offer, I received another offer that was more than 10% higher than what I am making now. Since I had already accepted the existing offer, I did not feel it would be ethical to renegotiate. I also found out that another engineer with virtually identical experience hired on at the same time at about 10% more than what I make. Within two weeks of starting my job, I was receiving phone calls from other companies in my industry. During this time, I've also found out that other companies in the area pay 10-20% more for similiar engineering jobs to what I am doing now.

I've been lauded quite a few times by management for my work ethic and the quality of work I produce relative to my peers. I now know pretty accurately what my market value is and feel like I've been at least an above average employee, if not a great one. What I'm not sure about is how to handle this disparity. I haven't quite finished my entry-level training here (although I'm on track to finish it months ahead of previous new hires) so it'd be hard for me to justify a promotion right now. As best I can figure, I'll be due for a promotion sometime this summer. I don't want to look for work elsewhere or use that point as a negotiating tactic, partly because I haven't been here long and I don't want a reputation for job-hopping. With all of that background, here are my questions:

1. Should I wait for my promotion to bring this up? Based on other information I have, the raise that comes with a promotion would still probably leave me paid below the market rate. Given that they'll probably tell me what my raise is at the time they announce my promotion, do I tell them the raise isn't large enough?
2. Should I bring this up now? I realize having been on the job only a few months, many managers would consider it premature to ask for a raise.
3. We also have a yearly cost-of-living raise. Would it be appropriate to address this then?

Other thoughts?

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