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September 08, 2011

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Nice altruistic way of looking at it. Not a chance I'd say "no, you should keep that 5% instead of giving it to me," but it's a nice theory.

Now, if you're looking at the no pay raise and something in return (say, more time off), then we've got something.

I agree Josh - there would have to be some sort of payoff in return (as I mentioned in the PROS bullets - bonus increase, education reimbursement, etc).

It is my humble opinion that a lot of your PROs are assumptions that may (may!) exist solely in your head. If during your review they give you good ratings and offer you a raise – that show that they appreciate your service and value the work you are doing.

As a side note – I don’t think it comes across as showing loyalty – it actually would make me as your manager question why you are doing that?!?

Good luck!!! Congrats on negotiating a good salary -- keep moving FORWARD with it. Of course this also means you should keep providing high quality service and value to your company.

Leave it alone, the pros do not outweigh the cons.

No do not do this, it would come across as lacking ambition, whether that is true or not.

Yes. You are crazy. Don't do this.

The pros are a list of how you HOPE your actions would be received. A company is a company and I believe that at the end of the day they will do what is in their best interest. And you should do what is in your best interest- continue to preform exceptionally well (thats why you're currently highest paid!), keep your raise, and accept/request raises as your performance merits.

no,no,no,no,no - Do not think for an instant that they are valuing you more or less just because of your salary. Primarily the salary you make doesn't even figure into their day to day thoughts. Only what you produce and how you work with the team matters. If offered a raise take it. If not offered one. Ask for it. The only time you offer to take a pay cut is when the company is actually doing poorly and you cannot find another job/or love the one you have. Then and only then offer to help them out in exchange for more time off. Seriously the days of the company being loyal to the employee are long gone.

That said I am lucky. I work for the best company in the world. But that is just me.

I say it depends on the financial state of the company. If the company is growing or otherwise doing well, keep on keeping on.

If the company's profits are declining and they are looking at ways to cut back, offer up a percentage of your salary (in exchange for something perhaps?). Is there some real fear associated with the comment about being canned?

You may be saving someone else's job or your own by doing this, but I would wait for an appropriate time.

I agree with the others. This is a crazy idea.

It might make your employers suspicious, wondering if you know that you did something wrong that is costing them money, and out of guilt are now trying to reduce your salary without fessing up.

Do not do this.

I would not do this.

A few years from now when you are applying and interviewing for another position in this company, the hiring manager will look at your salary history and see that you got no pay raise this year. He won't have the context that you deserved one but voluntarily turned it down. He will just assume that you did not perform well.

Likewise, if you leave your company for whatever reason, the first thing your new employer is going to want to know is what is your current salary.

Don't do it, man!

Thank you all for your thoughtful feedback and for confirming this is not something I (anyone) should consider!

Its like buying a used car that starts off at a really low blue book price. Even though the car is clean and beautiful and has never been in an accident, you as the dealer will never sell this vehicle.

Do not interfere with your salary prospects.

The Beatles said it best...

Let it be.

You will send a terrible message if you ask for no raise. People will begin to have serious doubts about your future.

It would be fine to ask for merely a modest raise. That would not draw attention and might be appreciated.

Rob

I also vote 'no'.

Maybe your skills and experience are better than you give yourself credit for and theres a good reason you got the bigger paycheck compared to your peers. Maybe your peers are just grossly underpaid and they need to do a better job of negotiating their pay.


My advice is challenge your assumptions and get more information before doing anything. You mentioned that you found out that you are the highest paid person compared to your peer level in your company- how did you get this information and how are you sure it's accurate? How big is the gap? If it's within 15 or 20% that probably is no issue, after all somebody will be the person with the highest level of compensation. Why not you?

How about the people above you, do you have an idea of how they are compensated?

Second point, are you performing and providing more value than your peers? You should be if your first assumption is correct. Whatever you do come raise time, you need to keep focusing on delivering more value to the company, compared to previous performance and compared to your peers.

If you really are 'overpaid' compared to your peers and go in with a zero salary increase declaration, this will do nothing to enhance your job security.

Better you sit on the information that you are highly paid and show what you have delivered along with the road map of what else is in the works, and try to get another raise. If you can demonstrate the value, believe me when I say the company will happily pay you more. If the company cannot pay this because you are at the top of the band for your position, let them explain this to you. And you should try to diplomatically challenge this, because if you are that good you should be growing into the next band / position / level job.

As you earn more, you need to keep demonstrating value. Sometimes your boss or ownership of the company will change and that can be concerning because the new people may not see your value (and think to terminate you because of cost)- and your job is to do the best you can to ensure they do understand the value you bring to the table.

The other way to plan your career is based on seniority and performing with mediocrity- that may be a good strategy in the government or for a non-competitive business, but has a low payoff to risk in a for-profit company.

I am writing from the heart because I am facing a somewhat similar situation, but I need to get more information as well, and challenge my own assumptions.

Good luck!

-Mike

There are only 2 possibilities here:

1. Your reader thinks that he is overpaid or...
2. Your reader thinks that his co-workers are underpaid.

If #1: Ask for a pay cut. That will improve your job security (if that is your goal).

If #2: Do nothing. It's not your problem.

I think the reason the reader feels he is overpaid is because his employer realizes his value to the company even more so than he realizes his own value.

I wouldn't worry about job security; if they go to can you due to high salary, offer to take a pay cut then, not up front. Then they can axe someone else.

I would only do this if there was some outside benefit you wanted such as more vacation, training, flexible schedule, etc. Otherwise I would let them make the first offer. In many negotiating books, it's stated that the first person to make an offer loses, don't be that person.

They know what you make, it's performance time, they are looking at that stuff, trust me.

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