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Old 02-17-2016, 11:35 AM   #41
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I have seen this kind of argument before and see it a bit in some posts here...

The company is making bookoos of money and my raise should be much higher than they are giving.

REALLY? Just because the company is making money does not change what your job is worth. If your job is worth $50 to $60K, then you should be paid in that range... if your job is worth $150 to $200K, then that range... what the company makes or loses should not be a discussion of your salary....


Now, it can be for top execs or if there is a bonus plan in place that says they will pay more if they earn more.... but that is not 'salary'....


BTW, I do not see people argue that the company lost money the past year so I should give back some of my salary... sure, some companies have done that, but the employees are kicking and screaming when it happens...

Salary is a pay to you for a job you do... period... Now, some companies value that job more than others, which is why you can get a higher salary at some than others... but, still, pay for your work.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:43 AM   #42
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Learned this very early on in my career... it's annoying to have to do, but if I don't have a closed door talk with my boss about what I perceive my value to be, I won't get what I am worth. The conversations usually go like this:

"I appreciate the positive appraisal. I was curious what the company average raise was this year."
( he then talks about how difficult it is on everyone, blah blah blah, I politely let him finish)
"Well I just wanted to know if there was anything I could have done better. I enjoy working here and I feel I've accomplished a lot. I'd love to continue working here, but I know I'm worth ______"

Almost always this pressure leads to a few percentage points more.

Earlier on in my career my boss told me "this is just how it's done..." as it relates to the 3-5% raises. I countered him with a question "would you mind projecting my salary forward for 20 years with this raise and let me know if it matches what others who are 20 years older than me are currently getting?"

I guess the numbers didn't add up... he doubled my raise that year, and the following year I didn't even need to ask.

It's unfortunate, but as they say... the squeaky wheel
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:44 AM   #43
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The only thing I really disagree with is that this is anything new. It's always been this way.

-ERD50
This is not true. It's no secret that the last 40 years have seen a prodigious erosion of employer loyalty to workers (the employer/employee pact). Only during this time have organizations perfected the strategic use of compensation, benefits, restructurings, reorganizations, position eliminations, etc., with employees always on the losing end. This change accelerated greatly during/after the Reagan years (had little to do with politics, however). Between 1930-1980, the U.S. led the world in many aspects of worker wages, benefits, security and standard of living. That is no more, and will be no more.

In the accumulation years, your human capital is probably your greatest asset. With few exceptions, viewing your employer as disposable as they view you will work to your greatest advantage. Add value and work continually to increase and continuously market that value, but always sell said value only to the highest bidder in the labor marketplace. Again, be loyal to good bosses and people, who will always be your greatest resources. Reward loyalty only to those employers who reward you in kind (compensation/benefits/perks/career development/promotion opportunities), and only for as long as they do so.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:24 PM   #44
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In the accumulation years, your human capital is probably your greatest asset. With few exceptions, viewing your employer as disposable as they view you will work to your greatest advantage. Add value and work continually to increase and continuously market that value, but always sell said value only to the highest bidder in the labor marketplace. Again, be loyal to good bosses and people, who will always be your greatest resources. Reward loyalty only to those employers who reward you in kind (compensation/benefits/perks/career development/promotion opportunities), and only for as long as they do so.
Options - You make too much sense. Obviously, you are a dangerous radical!
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:25 PM   #45
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we had a guy go in to the bosses office (this was 25 years ago) and say "hey, I got an offer from one of our competitors but I don't want to quit"

boss called the competitor right there and they pulled the offer

DOH
I did exactly the same thing around that time, and my boss's reaction was a bit different-- he asked me to wait 24hrs before accepting, and to my surprise he topped it. Around here last word goes to the first offer, and in my case they declined to enter a bidding war. My dad advised against taking a counter, and when I did, he suggested I keep looking because my days are numbered due to disloyalty. Again to my surprise over the next decade I got raises faster than I expected. I stopped looking after an outside offer actually came in below my salary (fancy title and potentially faster growth but taking it meant admitting I was overpaid).

I later found out how sensitive raises are to flight risk, and how HR has a pretty good idea who these are. I'm not convinced flatlining implies age discrimination, I think long tenure puts someone low on the flight risk scale according to the model, plus we're less motivated by raises near the finish line. Instead the occasional large lump sum works for me, and being FI and having expertise in a hot area means making ER noises to get on a retention program. For me this beat taking on a manager's headaches-- or climbing the learning curve someplace new at my age.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:21 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
Learned this very early on in my career... it's annoying to have to do, but if I don't have a closed door talk with my boss about what I perceive my value to be, I won't get what I am worth. The conversations usually go like this:

"I appreciate the positive appraisal. I was curious what the company average raise was this year."
( he then talks about how difficult it is on everyone, blah blah blah, I politely let him finish)
"Well I just wanted to know if there was anything I could have done better. I enjoy working here and I feel I've accomplished a lot. I'd love to continue working here, but I know I'm worth ______"

Almost always this pressure leads to a few percentage points more.

Earlier on in my career my boss told me "this is just how it's done..." as it relates to the 3-5% raises. I countered him with a question "would you mind projecting my salary forward for 20 years with this raise and let me know if it matches what others who are 20 years older than me are currently getting?"

I guess the numbers didn't add up... he doubled my raise that year, and the following year I didn't even need to ask.

It's unfortunate, but as they say... the squeaky wheel
I love the part in red above; it's how negotiations should be done.

You can do this, but you'd better be prepared to back it up. Quite frankly, the last thing an employer is interested in is how much you think you're worth. What you should always be demonstrating throughout your career, to your current employer and the next, is how much value you add to the organization. Specifically, employers are interested in how you make/have made things cheaper, better, or faster. If your resume doesn't spell out with numbers how you have done any or all (ideally) of these three things, you're just another applicant (or employee).

During the last 3 months before performance reviews in particular, you should be completing projects, demonstrating your accomplishments, and make d*mn sure your boss (and other key stakeholders) know about it (without appearing too self-serving, of course).

During negotiations, always (a) ask for the salary range; and (b) ask for an amount 10% above that. Doubling one's salary is unheard of, and I had access to it all in my career (employers have budgets, unless they're a small, unorganized business, and even then doubling a salary almost never happens). If the employer you're negotiating with doesn't go for the 10%, ask for extra weeks of vacation, or take the salary and ask for a review with possible increase after 6 months, or a car allowance, or whatever. Never take their first offer. Ask politely, naively, curiously, but always ask. OTOH, employers don't like squeeky wheels, they like people who add value and who know how to demonstrate it.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:53 PM   #47
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I can appreciate the value add comments. I've always felt that if I was going to ask for "more' I better be able to prove my value.


I think I screwed up when I didn't fight harder when I was hired. My year-long view is to show-up, do good work, add value that saves the company either time, money or both and then make sure that value is noticed by the right people. I will be candid with my manager before my next review about the value I've added and the positive effects it had. Then if that amounts to a denial or less than satisfactory results I will attack the promotion angle, pointing out that the other folks I work alongside and their titles are not aligned with the work I actually do. This to me is a clear difference in terms of my peers, I focus on more technical skills where the few others with the same title focus on more "soft-skills".


If again, the results are less than satisfactory...plan-c will be in the back pocket which will include an offer letter I am ready to accept.


I've worked for employers who don't get it, bosses who don't get it and I've worked with those who do get it. it seems the bosses that I've had the strongest personal relationship tend to fight a bit more for my well-being.
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Nominal Vs Real Raise - You Need to Normalize your raise by Inflation
Old 02-17-2016, 03:11 PM   #48
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Nominal Vs Real Raise - You Need to Normalize your raise by Inflation

Nobody seems to have mentioned that inflation has been falling. So even though nominal raises are getting smaller your "real" raise may not be falling.


Would you prefer a 10 percent raise with 10 percent inflation. Or a 2.5 percent raise with less than 1 percent inflation ? The nominal value isn't as important as the real value

Take a look at this chart of CPI-inflation Consumer Price Index Data from 1913 to 2016 | US Inflation Calculator

Look at the numbers in the second to last column:
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:37 PM   #49
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Would you prefer a 10 percent raise with 10 percent inflation. Or a 2.5 percent raise with less than 1 percent inflation ? The nominal value isn't as important as the real value
Sadly, there are many people who are much happier with the former rather than the latter.

The same goes for saving interest rates.

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Old 02-17-2016, 04:10 PM   #50
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I actually have all my raises in a spreadsheet, so it was easy to pull up. My company raises take effect on Jan 1 every year. I've never been "promoted", which is still kind of odd to me. My title has gone from assistant civil engineer, to staff engineer, to senior engineer, and now Associate Civil Engineer. But no one ever told me 'Congratulations, you are now a ___', I was only able to see my title changes by looking at my HR profile and noticing that they had changed. But I'm not complaining, they've been taking care of me with compensation.


(salary) (bonus + salary)
2016 8.9%
2015 3.4% 6.8%
2014 17.3% 14.3%
2013 6.8% 18.0%
2012 3.3% 12.4%
2011 2.3% 3.8%
2010 1.0% 6.3%
2009 3.8% 0.7%
2008 7.7% 9.8%
2007 27.5% 24.3%
2006 6.3% 13.8%
2005 6.9% 9.7%
2004 4.9% 8.4%
2003 6.6% 10.5%

(sorry for the formatting, I just copy and pasted)
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:26 PM   #51
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OP, you should also be focusing on total comp (i.e. pay plus bonus), not just a raise in base pay
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:23 PM   #52
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In some (technical) industries there is another way to get those top raises without giving up your life but it's risky. That is, you have become "the smartest guy in the room". The one guy that always knows the answer, the guy that is never wrong. The problem is that this can be precarious. The company is sold, there is a major reorg, or you stop being right. Can be fun while it lasts, according to a couple of people I observed with this status. Come in late, leave early, get big raises, get the interesting questions. But the end can come quickly.
My wife went that route.

She never worked more than 40 hrs/wk but knew her stuff inside and out and didn't command a great salary. For the past few years of her career she was able to get 10%+ raises and 7-10% bonuses because she performed well and knew her stuff. They couldn't afford to lose her so also gave her 5-12 week sabbaticals during her last 2 years, and eventually let her work from home for the last six months at slightly more than half time but for full time pay.

Every year the risk audit would identify her as a key man risk (she walks, bad stuff happens and no one is there to replace her). Ineffective work bureaucracies being what they are, they didn't really fix this gaping hole in knowledge until bringing in a new guy to be her understudy last year.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:39 PM   #53
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The only thing I really disagree with is that this is anything new. It's always been this way.

-ERD50
This is not true. It's no secret that the last 40 years have seen a prodigious erosion of employer loyalty to workers (the employer/employee pact). Only during this time have organizations perfected the strategic use of compensation, benefits, restructurings, reorganizations, position eliminations, etc., with employees always on the losing end. This change accelerated greatly during/after the Reagan years (had little to do with politics, however). Between 1930-1980, the U.S. led the world in many aspects of worker wages, benefits, security and standard of living. That is no more, and will be no more.
...
I'll suggest that you are applying some selective history.

When tech jobs were in demand, people with the right skills were job-hopping or 30% raises. Depending on the supply/demand, the right worker has the leverage, and other times, the employers have the leverage. It isn't a one way street.

Some companies (past and present), feel it is in their best interests to have a stable workforce. They generally provide better overall compensation (not always money alone, it can take many forms) than other employers. What looks like 'loyalty' is just paying for the product they want (a stable workforce). If they could get it for less, I'm sure they would.

There is also the very real impact of the 'flat world' - many 1st world workers are now competing with 2nd/3rd world workers. That depresses wages here, but that has taken a form in other times as well. Did we keep our agricultural work force in place after tractors and other efficiency advances came along? No, I don't think things have fundamentally changed.

-ERD50
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:01 PM   #54
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If you stay in the same job in the same MC, then 2-3 is your future, period, less in 10 years when you'll be capped out. Maybe some years you'll get lucky and get 5%, if you happen to get the cool project.

In my MC, I took advantage of the "M" part: it was big enough that I chose to move around a lot. For the first 10 years that meant every 1 - 2 years, for the last 15 more like every 3. And every 3rd move was upwards, the rest laterals. Made me an easier sell too, with so much knowledge of different departments after a few jumps. So then when I did go for promotions, I knew my resume made me a stronger candidate.
A lot of times a lateral resulted in a few extra dollars just because they could. My last move 3 years ago gave me a 5% base bump even though it was the exact same band/code, just in a different team. Didn't even know it was on the table until I'd started in the new job.

So, if you are staying with your MC but want to get more salary without promotions, look at moving sideways. At least helps the time go faster, and if you do leave to go somewhere new, again, resume is better.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:01 PM   #55
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Just because the company is making money does not change what your job is worth. If your job is worth $50 to $60K, then you should be paid in that range... if your job is worth $150 to $200K, then that range... what the company makes or loses should not be a discussion of your salary....
I think this is true, but its more than that. Market demand determines how much you will be paid for something. A few years back my assistant was annoyed with her tiny raise, and I was too. She does a good job and could certainly use the extra money. I knew the Mega was making plenty of money and called and asked HR what the deal was. They explained that the labor market was such that Mega didn't have to give raises- because nobody else is. In other words, they knew she couldn't get more money elsewhere, so why should they pay her more if they don't have to. If Mega increases expenses (that's what labor cost is) then Mega has to increase prices, making them less competitive etc.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:05 PM   #56
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When tech jobs were in demand, people with the right skills were job-hopping or 30% raises. Depending on the supply/demand, the right worker has the leverage, and other times, the employers have the leverage. It isn't a one way street.

-ERD50

Yes- exactly
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:25 PM   #57
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Just want to throw out one more story on this subject....

What happens when times go bad?


When I first started to work, I worked in the mail room of a major engineering company... the engineers got away with murder on their demands... there was one time a coworker and I had to drive 3 hours to pick up this guys car that he left at a refinery.... he had locked his keys in the car and hitched a ride with someone else... since it was a company pool car, we had to go get it...

One of my coworkers also would have to drive to the airport to move a car from one terminal to another because the engineer was flying into a different one than he flew out!!!


Now, guess who were the first to be let go when a project had a budget cut.... yep, you can price yourself out when things go south which can be out of your control....
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:55 PM   #58
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We are all pretty much equally capable and contribute equally
That's a strange distribution you've got there at that megacorp, I've never seen anything like that if the group size was larger than one.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:28 PM   #59
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I don't understand the repeating theme of salary "flattening" out at midcareer. Salary
Is attached to responsibilities and adding value, if you keep taking your bosses job, you will get mire money. If not, create a new business.

There isn't some magical pay ceiling (racism, sexism, etc aside)


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Old 02-17-2016, 11:32 PM   #60
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And don't count on that pension. I'd be willing to bet that it will be frozen or done away with long before your reach retirement age. I expect my DGD will need to go to a museum (or Congress) to see a pension.
Not as long as politicians set salaries and pensions in government work, and employees join unions and vote together. Quite possibly no one in America will get a pension except government workers, and all of them will.

Ha
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