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Old 02-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #21
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For me, good luck getting me to work harder. Also, any new projects, my est
That's not what I was getting at when I suggested "what do I have to do to exceed expectations?" I suggested it to see how stupid an answer the SVP gives you. Chances are he/she will be stunned by the question and not give you an answer that includes a measurable goal.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:50 PM   #22
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Industry = my brother is a computer programmer (non management) in banking and received a bonus in that range the last few years. I'm in healthcare, corporate position/mid management, and normal bonus in that range. A few years ago in a consulting position 20 - 25k bonus was the normal for sr. mgr. Perhaps I've been spoiled.

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snip
Yes, I, too, now must use the term "exceed expectations" to describe excellent performance. I am not sure why the word "excel" seems to have gone out of favor these days It's just the flavor of the month!

As for your second comment, about pensions and such: I am not quite sure I follow. Just commenting on a different planet for me as I started reading the forum. My first job provides me a small pension when I turn 55, but my last 3 jobs, no pension. It is plain to see that we all need to get what we can; opportunity costs do not care who you work for. I should have been clearer, myself, and simply asked, "In what industry are $15-20K bonuses the norm?"

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Old 02-19-2011, 06:03 PM   #23
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The SVP has no clue what I do nor does he have any concept of the scope of my projects. Sad huh?

When I read him an example of a project on my self eval that was given to him weeks ago..... highlight: turned around project, previous Project Mgr spent 6 months and project was sitting at 10 - 15% complete and then I completed the project within 6 weeks. I asked the SVP, did the other person get "does not meet"? Next time, I'll milk it for 3 - 4 months. (probably not, just my rant)

My future goals will be measureable and simple to attain.

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That's not what I was getting at when I suggested "what do I have to do to exceed expectations?" I suggested it to see how stupid an answer the SVP gives you. Chances are he/she will be stunned by the question and not give you an answer that includes a measurable goal.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:07 PM   #24
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Received the same bonus in 2010 as 2009 but no raise. None of the employees received a raise.

Our company feels that employees are overpaid for what they do. The company has been stagnant for a while with no prospect of growing as the owners are getting ready to retire (privately owned). Owners are more interested in spending more time travelling than focusing on business (which I think is the right thing to do at the age of 61 and 63). Unfotunately, it also means that there is no opportunity for advancement for younger workers. Owners constantly mentioning how bad the economy is and how awful the unemployment situation is in CA (an indirect way of saying how lucky the employees are). Not sure how long the freeze in salary will be, the profitability of the company is not improving.

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Old 02-20-2011, 08:15 AM   #25
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Sheesh. What a crappy attitude on the owners' part. "We've got ours, you be grateful for the scraps." Employee morale must be horrible! I hope they sell to new owners with fire in the belly, or if that doesn't happen, that all the employees are able to find new jobs.

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R
Our company feels that employees are overpaid for what they do. The company has been stagnant for a while with no prospect of growing as the owners are getting ready to retire (privately owned). Owners constantly mentioning how bad the economy is and how awful the unemployment situation is in CA (an indirect way of saying how lucky the employees are).
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:29 AM   #26
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Interesting to learn. A mid-level manager in my business would be tickled to get $3-5K, and "meets expectations"/"fully successful" = bonus of $0.00, so we are used to that. I can see it would be very unpleasant, when you are used to getting a bigger bump and all of a sudden it dries up.

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Industry = my brother is a computer programmer (non management) in banking and received a bonus in that range the last few years. I'm in healthcare, corporate position/mid management, and normal bonus in that range. A few years ago in a consulting position 20 - 25k bonus was the normal for sr. mgr. Perhaps I've been spoiled.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #27
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I'm sorry you are having such difficulties. It brings back why I hated working at the end of my carreer. Hard to give advice as each situation is so different. All I can say is try to keep a positive attitude and perform as well as you can in the circumstances. Getting even, or reducing effort is
probably self defeating. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:37 AM   #28
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I got the shaft this year and fully expect to repeat same next year if I stay where I am. Since I am planning on biling out within 3 years, I am deeply conflicted about whether to go elsewhere. In the meantime, the job has turned into a giant crap sundae with suddenly tons of stress, crazy deadlines, etc. Instant toxcicty in what had been a nice little goldfish bowl for me to lazily swim about. So money aside (and it did steam me to get the shaft), I can't stay where I am and run out the clock. I was beng felt out for another position internally and on Friday I finally returned the expression of interest. I have to find out more, but my take on the internal move is that it would result in more travel (mostly to a really nice location that I travel to for pleasure on my own dime), but would be with a cast of characters I know, like and respect doing work that would be interesting and possibly more applicable to an ESR type job/business. If this does not work out, likely I start throwing my resume out there and look to leave the organization entirely.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:01 AM   #29
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FI in 3 years, RE in 8. OK, that is really a short time, yet, it could be a long 3/8 years. That seems to be your first option. Your second two could change the FIRE decision. For me, if the job is not onerous, and yours does not appear to be, I would stay where I am, try and educate the VP what I do, and hope for the best. In three years I would be FI, and then if you feel you are underpaid and under appreciated, look to your other options. There is nothing that changes your outlook on work than being FI. I would not risk that now for because I was miffed.

You are right that management is taking advantage of the current economic situation. However, don't we all do the same thing? If you are in a position to demand more for your talents don't you? When labor is tight, workers take advantage of the situation and demand more. Stores ran sales at Christmas because the economy was slow and we took advantage of them. That is the nature of the system. The worm will turn.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:30 AM   #30
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Owners/employers have such a bad attitude and think they can get away with it. For most part they can for now in most industries, but it'll turn soon. Good luck in your situation.

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Originally Posted by Disappointed View Post
Received the same bonus in 2010 as 2009 but no raise. None of the employees received a raise.

Our company feels that employees are overpaid for what they do. The company has been stagnant for a while with no prospect of growing as the owners are getting ready to retire (privately owned). Owners are more interested in spending more time travelling than focusing on business (which I think is the right thing to do at the age of 61 and 63). Unfotunately, it also means that there is no opportunity for advancement for younger workers. Owners constantly mentioning how bad the economy is and how awful the unemployment situation is in CA (an indirect way of saying how lucky the employees are). Not sure how long the freeze in salary will be, the profitability of the company is not improving.

mP
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #31
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I took a job change a few years ago and haircut in bonus potential for less travel and more time with my toddlers. I don't regret it at all, but this year it'll be a bigger haircut. I'll adjust, I'm glad I never counted on it for my FI spreadsheet.

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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Interesting to learn. A mid-level manager in my business would be tickled to get $3-5K, and "meets expectations"/"fully successful" = bonus of $0.00, so we are used to that. I can see it would be very unpleasant, when you are used to getting a bigger bump and all of a sudden it dries up.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:39 AM   #32
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Thanks Danmar. It goes against my grain to be lazy, but I hear you on the self defeating aspect. I probably won't take any conference calls on vacations this year. I've been silly in the past.

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I'm sorry you are having such difficulties. It brings back why I hated working at the end of my carreer. Hard to give advice as each situation is so different. All I can say is try to keep a positive attitude and perform as well as you can in the circumstances. Getting even, or reducing effort is
probably self defeating. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:45 AM   #33
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Sorry to hear about the shaft Brewer.

I hear you on the conflict, take it slow and reflect what your carrot is to stay or go. Good luck on the internal move.

I'm going on a passive search with several recruiters and see what they turn up. I'm willing to skip more $$ if my next 8 or so years are better from job interest, happiness, etc. standpoint. Honestly if I made the same but treated better with a little more respect of understanding my value I could stay a very long time.

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I got the shaft this year and fully expect to repeat same next year if I stay where I am. Since I am planning on biling out within 3 years, I am deeply conflicted about whether to go elsewhere. In the meantime, the job has turned into a giant crap sundae with suddenly tons of stress, crazy deadlines, etc. Instant toxcicty in what had been a nice little goldfish bowl for me to lazily swim about. So money aside (and it did steam me to get the shaft), I can't stay where I am and run out the clock. I was beng felt out for another position internally and on Friday I finally returned the expression of interest. I have to find out more, but my take on the internal move is that it would result in more travel (mostly to a really nice location that I travel to for pleasure on my own dime), but would be with a cast of characters I know, like and respect doing work that would be interesting and possibly more applicable to an ESR type job/business. If this does not work out, likely I start throwing my resume out there and look to leave the organization entirely.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:48 AM   #34
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Rustic - Thanks for the feedback on options 1 & 2.

I agree with you that we all try to take advantage of a good sale and I guess I'm on sale for now.

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FI in 3 years, RE in 8. OK, that is really a short time, yet, it could be a long 3/8 years. That seems to be your first option. Your second two could change the FIRE decision. For me, if the job is not onerous, and yours does not appear to be, I would stay where I am, try and educate the VP what I do, and hope for the best. In three years I would be FI, and then if you feel you are underpaid and under appreciated, look to your other options. There is nothing that changes your outlook on work than being FI. I would not risk that now for because I was miffed.

You are right that management is taking advantage of the current economic situation. However, don't we all do the same thing? If you are in a position to demand more for your talents don't you? When labor is tight, workers take advantage of the situation and demand more. Stores ran sales at Christmas because the economy was slow and we took advantage of them. That is the nature of the system. The worm will turn.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #35
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I'm going on a passive search with several recruiters and see what they turn up. I'm willing to skip more $$ if my next 8 or so years are better from job interest, happiness, etc. standpoint. Honestly if I made the same but treated better with a little more respect of understanding my value I could stay a very long time.
After working for a variety of employers, I have to say that I think chasing being treated better by an employer is a fool's errand. Find something tolerable, make sure you make money and add to your skills, and be prepared to split when the inevitable happens.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:19 PM   #36
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When someone works hard and goes the extra mile for a year, because they know they will be rewarded for it - and then they aren't - yeah, that sucks. Especially if others received it and you didn't. We used to operate that way, but it changed about 5 years ago.

Now we have a target bonus that is a set % of our salary - based on our labor grade. As long as our annual reveiw sets us within the meet or exceeds range, we receive our bonus. You have to work pretty hard to not get your bonus.... Of course, the target % is also adjusted yearly based on other factors, such as company profit etc - but it is adjusted the same for everyone across the company.

As far as differentiating the high performers, that is done based on your rating and raises. I can think of 2 years where I thought I got the short-end of the stick, due to a new supervisor coming in. I got the same bonus, but my raise was not where I felt it should have been. But my philosophy was always to give it one year. If the new boss didn't see and appreciate my value, then it would be time to look elsewhere. I have never had to so far.

I would offer you the same advice I offer myself and my employees whenever they express displeasure in salary, etc:

If you can go somewhere else and 1) be just as happy or happier and 2) make more money....why wouldn't you? If you can't, then maybe it is not as bad as you think.

The key to this is to be sure to define "what makes you happy". Is it hours worked? Commute? Work atmosphere? Authority? Whatever it is - be sure you will have it where you are going, because if you don't, you will just be making more money....but at the expense of happiness. More money will not always make you happier. It's a tough balance sometimes.

Good luck whichever way you go!
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:18 PM   #37
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The following is my take after a career in private industry. YMMV and you should not take the advice from an anonymous poster on the INTERNET. It might be some food for thought however.


If you are in private industry the following might make sense and probably does not apply for a public job or health care:

In private industry for the most part there are two career paths for professionals:
1. Promote into management and where the handcuff until you can retire
2. Try to stay at staff level and build a career. This is not likely to happen due to management changes, buyouts, business failures, coworker issues, etc, etc.
3. Save early and often and always be building your network of contacts and skills to launch your own business as soon as possible are when FI to tide you over to RE. In other words use the j*b to build you life and give them what they deserve for your pay and no more as it will likely not be rewarded. Save the extra work for promoting yourself out of there as soon as possible. Even if your job is good now it will become a J*P at mega Cr*p one day and if you have prepared then you can leave in a fashion of your liking.

#3 worked very well for me over three years ago and if this fits your mind set, abilities, etc, and you have your family buy in then it might be something to consider but plan and plan some more.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:48 PM   #38
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The last few years at my company have been very strange - horrible national economy and I am in the rustbelt where it is even worse. What's weird is I have never done so well with bonus and company stock. My pay doubled last year from stock grants that vested and bonus and will come close this year to doubling my base again. My neighbors and family are all struggling and I have never done so well.

Sorry to hear so many people working hard and not getting bonus money.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:52 PM   #39
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My job has turned to crap, but it is due to the owner's own financial problems. He is cutting our benefits every which way. He is desperately trying to hang on to the corporate Jet that purchased when times were good.

I only work 4 mornings a week partially due to his cutting back. I like being semiretired now so I don't really care too much what is happening in the office.

I put in an honest days work and will retire in a few years so the job is good enough.

Expecting another employer to be a better place would be like barking at the moon.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #40
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Thanks for the advice. I do ask myself the question "am I happy?" I won't make a move just because of the bonus situation and I've turned down higher paying j*bs before. Many factors to consider before changing.

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Originally Posted by KM View Post
When someone works hard and goes the extra mile for a year, because they know they will be rewarded for it - and then they aren't - yeah, that sucks. Especially if others received it and you didn't. We used to operate that way, but it changed about 5 years ago.

Now we have a target bonus that is a set % of our salary - based on our labor grade. As long as our annual reveiw sets us within the meet or exceeds range, we receive our bonus. You have to work pretty hard to not get your bonus.... Of course, the target % is also adjusted yearly based on other factors, such as company profit etc - but it is adjusted the same for everyone across the company.

As far as differentiating the high performers, that is done based on your rating and raises. I can think of 2 years where I thought I got the short-end of the stick, due to a new supervisor coming in. I got the same bonus, but my raise was not where I felt it should have been. But my philosophy was always to give it one year. If the new boss didn't see and appreciate my value, then it would be time to look elsewhere. I have never had to so far.

I would offer you the same advice I offer myself and my employees whenever they express displeasure in salary, etc:

If you can go somewhere else and 1) be just as happy or happier and 2) make more money....why wouldn't you? If you can't, then maybe it is not as bad as you think.

The key to this is to be sure to define "what makes you happy". Is it hours worked? Commute? Work atmosphere? Authority? Whatever it is - be sure you will have it where you are going, because if you don't, you will just be making more money....but at the expense of happiness. More money will not always make you happier. It's a tough balance sometimes.

Good luck whichever way you go!
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