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April 30, 2013


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As someone newly on the ownership side now... remember that you were hired for certain tasks and what that is worth (and can be budgeted) was determined when you took the position. Unless profits are rising or you are covering new tasks others don't have to be hired for, there's no starting point for a raise even if you 'deserve' it. Its a whole lot easier to ride the wave of a winner.

If overall profits are rising AND you're a reason (through good work), or expenses are lower AND you're a reason (through more/harder work), a significant piece of that additional profit can easily be shared.

Its the same on the ownership side. Its when clients are being more profitable AND you are a reason that you can successfully ask for more.

A stagnant company/client can only lead to stagnant pay. A suffering company/client can only lead to pain, no matter how good your work is or their intent. Take their status seriously.

Writing engineering analysis software is a task where there are usually several approaches that can be taken to solve a problem and produce the product needed.

Sometimes you hear that a guy in your group has taken an approach that just isn't working, he's not making progress, and digging a deeper hole for himself every day. You could be "Mr. Nice Guy" and hold his hand and go through it with him in detail and show him where he's going wrong but sometimes I would see an opportunity where I could advance my own career by going to our boss and asking if I could pursue the much needed task using a completely different approach. On one particular occasion I was given the OK to pursue the problem using my much simpler and more straightforward approach. It wasn't long before I had a product that worked perfectly, was very easy to use, saved our department a great many manhours, and was greatly appreciated by the engineers that used it. For me, this resulted in a promotion, a nice raise, and a Cost Savings Award. Later in life after I had retired I found that the "Keep It Simple, Stupid" or KISS approach also works best when managing one's investments.

Why haven't you gotten a pay raise?

Answer: You work for the Federal Government as a civilian employee. While the Military, US Postal workers, many state and municipal employees, and most teachers have received pay raises over the past three years - federal civilian employees have not had their pay increased by one penny.

Of course everyone should work hard and not do the things on that list. But even then it doesn't just guarantee a raise and sometimes it really isn't just *your* fault. Sometimes its not the employees fault. Sometimes the reason you aren't getting a raise is the fault of the employer, the manager, the economy at large, the nature of your occupation, etc.

Not that I disagree with the article, it makes a lot of good points. But just reading through that list it seems awfully one sided and almost reads as if employees are automatically to blame for not getting raises.

I am fortunate to work for a consulting company where pay gets tied to your value. There is no "ceiling" - the more work I can produce in a given time, the more my company can charge clients for my time. The more time I work, the more money my company makes - a fair amount of which is passed on to me in bonuses. The more experience and expertise I develop, the better I am at my job. I am also fortunate to work in a company that is very diligent about recognizing and rewarding hard work and achievement. I would definitely have trouble working in a position that didn't have room for growth.

I love the weekly update email idea. I'll have to give that one a try.

Your insights are good but I don't think it all depends on the employee. There are many things that affects why an employee are not getting a raise. Recession is usually the first reason. Some companies are not able to give a raise because they can't afford it. I think nowadays, people are working hard because it is really hard to earn money so there's a little chance that not getting a raise depends on the employee only.

Strange, my post that I submitted earlier no longer shows. FMF, did you lock down posts due to the increase in spam posts?

Noah -

No, I didn't. But with what has been happening lately, missing comments does not surprise me. Look back in the morning - they may reappear! :(

Here's my post that was lost in the ether :)

If you are a superstar and your employer won't give you a raise (and you deserve one), it is your problem and you should not complain. You have 2 options:

1. Do nothing, stay at the job and complain about how you can't get a raise for any multitude of reasons
2. Go to a place like and punch in your location, skills, and job title and figure out what you are worth. Tell your boss you would like X dollars to match the scale. If he won't match it, tell him you will start actively searching for a new job. If you are truly worth that much, it should not be hard to find a replacement job making what you are worth. (Notice I did not say what you want.)

Your options will be limited if you have a profession that is low in demand. Again, that is your choice.

With the erratic behavior of the Typeset software I have got in the habit of copying my finished post to a buffer. I also refresh the screen after I have posted my comment and hopefully it will be there. Yesterday was so bad, that I gave up and returned later, finally splitting my post into several smaller ones wich seems to help.

My earlier comment got eaten too- I am giving up commenting for some time since this happened half a dozen times already.


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