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Old 01-18-2017, 05:56 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
With your follow on posts.... it seems there is something off between you and your bosses that either you do not see or you are not telling... I do not have any idea what, but some of what you say leads me in that direction..


I remember when I was first out of college and working at a big accounting firm... I was a senior and we had to evaluate all of the underlings.... one guy came into my office to ask me what his chances of being promoted were... I was honest with him and I said 'not good'... he thought he was a hard worker (he was OK, but not the best) and should be promoted... but, there was something 'wrong' about his attitude that came across badly... (note, I was not his supervisor)....

Fast forward 15 years and I met him... he is a big time lawyer and a large law firm doing very well.... he took my talk to heart and went and got a law degree and changed his attitude... he was doing MUCH better than I was... but, he was telling everybody in the room how important that talk we had years earlier had changed him...


I would have a heart to heart with your boss... there might be something that you are doing that is turning off upper mgmt.... or, there just is not a place yet to move you too... and you are pushing too much...
A lot of merit here, but I have a different take on the final recommendation regarding heart to heart talk. I've seen too many of these work situations, both me personally and friends/coworkers over the years, where it's just impossible to change upper management's impressions. In my case, it took my resignation to get an overdue offer of a promotion (which I turned down). I think OP needs to put his/her best foot forward publicly, but actively look for other employment.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:29 AM   #22
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Huge jumps in pay normally result from moving to another employer concurrent with a higher level position.
Not in entry-level consulting work, +70% is pretty normal when moving to the next rung.

Judging from the way our friend communicates I have a big hunch he's working in one of those, in which case some mega-corp rules do not apply.

The issue you are displaying is perceived entitlement, and that won't work in a company like this. Be grateful you got the feedback.

Mind you: you may have the right skills to get promoted, but its clear someone has issue enough. Luckily that's easy to correct. People don't mind ambition per se.

You have two options:
  • Drink the kool aid and act like a grateful happy camper that's picking up the feedback and learning. Ask for informal mentoring for example how to get the balance right between healthy ambition and perceived entitlement. Take feedback seriously, and act like you are working on the 'problem'. Specifically: get regular updates on improvement. If you show corrective behavior, make sure your supervisor gets to hear about it.
  • If you can't change perceived behavior, leave. I'd go for the first option though.


In other words: adopt the way of the weasel to get what you want

[Edit] On re-reading your original post: Be aware that "Exceeding expectations" may not exactly mean that. There is such a thing as grade inflation. You might actually be average. Also, Mr. predecessor might a very fast learner. Just realize displaying anger/frustration doesn't get you anywhere, and learn to pick up on the unwritten rules a bit more. Your supervisor is a very busy person and getting you on track for improvement is just one task among very many. He doesn't have time to chitchat with you so you can write down stuff. He wants you to write a plan, show you take feedback seriously, come up with a plan to address negative feedback so he/she can tick the box and hopefully find an excuse to promote you later on. It's your job to find that excuse: make an action plan, and show your making steps. In six months you'll be on your way.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:53 AM   #23
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Well, there seem to be a number of things going on here.

First, what others earn or allegedly earn doesn't much matter... what matters is what you earn and what others who have similar responsibilities, education and experience at your employer and other potential employers earn... that said a 70% difference with the person that you report to is a bit on the high side but it is hard to know whether it is because you are underpaid (which is actionable) or they are overpaid (which is not).

I recall a time when I was disappointed in my raise for the year... I had a brief conversation with my boss that I was disappointed and why, but that I was patient and liked working there so was willing to let my disappointment go and I hoped that they made me square later on. It worked out ok and I got a better than expected raise later on. Most years were about expected, some were disappointing and others were better than expected... it all evened out over time.

You would be best to have a candid talk with them about your disappointment and what they think you need to do to get that promotion... it puts them on notice that it is important to you and as some have mentioned, in many cases promotions are principally title changes with a little bump, but in other organizations they are title changes with a big bump and in others you need to essentially do the bigger job for a while before you get the bump. Also, start looking in case things don't work out... sometime you have to change employers to get that bump in pay. My last change was a 35% bump.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:37 AM   #24
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I remembered this previous thread on this topic: Pay Discrepancies in Corporate America.

At that time, you felt you'd been promised a promotion and were mostly concerned about how much money you could expect when it came; so I can see that not getting the promotion or a large raise is really disappointing. I do think you've gotten a lot of good advice in this thread and in the previous one. Unfortunately, this may be an irreparable situation if you've gotten a reputation, deserved or not, for caring more about "what's in it for me" and "how does this move me ahead" than about your employer's business. It's very hard to change others' perceptions, and you may need a fresh start at a different employer to get past this.

Did you meet with a head hunter you mentioned last summer? What was the outcome of that discussion?

Also, have you ever read askamanager.org? You might get some additional good advice if you post in Friday's open thread there.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:44 AM   #25
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Thanks for all the responses, everybody. I appreciate the insight but unfortunately feel very confused as to what path to take given the varying responses.

I think for now, my plan is to sit tight and see how my 2017 goals discussion goes with my manager. Given that the firm thinks I am being too aggressive, do you think it makes sense to not bring up at all my disappointment with no pay / title change?

I think I should either sit tight for another year and see where things go, or actively look. I do think there is room for growth at my current firm, but I am not sure why I am not seeing $ growth even though I am seeing increased work loads.

Lastly, and maybe I should have mentioned these two things earlier, but across the board they announced that there will not be any pay raises at all this year, although there were a few prootions.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:45 AM   #26
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I'm not sure it makes sense to try and find a new job...say, I land a 25% pay increase, but in 2018, I could attain that pay increase with more growth to spare for future years at my current firm, whereas at another firm, I may hit a wall sooner.

In the whole scheme of my net worth and (mostly) job satisfaction at my current job, I need to decide if it make sense to swallow my pride and stubbornness and just deal with it for another year and see how things go, or not b*tch about it and actually do something about it (job search).
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:50 AM   #27
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Lastly, and maybe I should have mentioned these two things earlier, but across the board they announced that there will not be any pay raises at all this year, although there were a few prootions.
Yeah, you should have mentioned that! If you still see yourself as entitled to a raise, you have an ego problem. My advice would be to keep your thoughts to yourself and work really diligently to help your company get back on track. By all means investigate other opportunities. Proceed with humility.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:58 AM   #28
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.... or not b*tch about it and actually do something about it (job search and CRUSH my 2017 goals).
FIFY

I recall having a discussion with a boss early in my career and saying that I wasn't sure if where I was was where I would be for the rest of my career... the boss (the senior managing partner in the firm) said something along the lines of that's ok but you would still be best served to do the best job that you can while you are here... I took those words to heart...was promoted about 6 months later and about 6 months after than resigned and move onward. It was good advice.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:16 AM   #29
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I'm going to +1 what Meadbh said and add in my own perceptions of what I see here so far.

First, it seems you feel like you were promised a promotion, but you also seem to say you weren't actually promised a promotion. Taking the position of someone who was promoted quickly does not imply or promise any such similar path for you. It seems like you went into the job feeling entitled to what happened for the last guy who had it, which you are not entitled to unless specifically told that is what will happen. As it doesn't seem anyone told you that you'll be promoted to position XYZ after ABC number of months, the entitlement seems to be in your head.

Second, if your pay is not equitable to the industry norm for someone in your position with your background, then you have a case for believing you are underpaid. The pay of someone in a position over you has no real relevance to whether or not you are being adequately compensated. If, based on research of pay for similar experience in your position across your industry and location (www.BLS.gov is a good start for that data), you believe you are being underpaid then you can either accept that for the "hope" that things will change where you currently are, or you can look to get adequately compensated for your work elsewhere.

Third, if no one in the company is being given a raise, then the interpretation of the company's financial situation and priorities you presented earlier is mistaken. They either cannot afford to pay their people better due to reasons you do not currently know/understand, or they do not want to pay their employees better. Either situation is a red flag in my book.

Lastly, until you have another offer in hand, I would recommend you do your job to the best of your ability and avoid any conversation (with anyone at any level) regarding compensation at work unless the subject is brought up by your boss (in which case I'd be humble and express that you understand no one is getting any raises this year etc etc). The sole exception would be any routine discussion that would happen during an employee review with your boss, and then you only discuss desired increase in compensation in relation to your performance and responsibilities.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:24 AM   #30
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Don't forget to groom a guy (or gal) for your job during the year.

One way to not get promoted is to not have a replacement trained beforehand.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:26 AM   #31
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A lot of merit here, but I have a different take on the final recommendation regarding heart to heart talk. I've seen too many of these work situations, both me personally and friends/coworkers over the years, where it's just impossible to change upper management's impressions. In my case, it took my resignation to get an overdue offer of a promotion (which I turned down). I think OP needs to put his/her best foot forward publicly, but actively look for other employment.
I do not think OP is in the position yet of not being promoted.... but I have seen that also...

Way back when, there was a guy who did a good job at his position... but any kind of finance job that opened up he applied.... well, he got his reputation and nobody would hire him... heck, HR would say 'at least talk to him'.... he needed to move on in order to move up...

I also had an assistant who was really great at her job... but she wanted to move up the the next level... she had been at her level for 15 years... after working for me about a year or two she asked about being promoted... I had zero ability to do anything, but I knew the upper mgmt that did... I told her there was no chance of her getting a promotion at the current mega... so, she started to look outside and got a promotion...
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:42 PM   #32
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Lastly, and maybe I should have mentioned these two things earlier, but across the board they announced that there will not be any pay raises at all this year, although there were a few prootions.
Yeah, that's kind of a big exception and places the onus on you for this situation. Now it sounds like you were acting like an impatient ass. I've had many young employees who thought they were ready for the next level before they actually were, and that may be the case here. Your expectations were way out of line with management's, and management made their intentions abundantly clear. I don't know what you do, but if you knew about the wage freeze before having your initial conversation, then you are probably perceived as too immature to be promoted to higher levels of management.

In our employee career development discussions, we would tell each employee whether they were developing 3-5 years, developing 1-2 years or ready now for promotion. I always thought that was a very fair way to assess employees and help them understand how they were being perceived by others. You may want to ask your manager where you would fall on that scale.

I've seen employees leave a company and make huge progress in their careers, and I've seen people stay with companies for long periods of time and be very successful. The opposite is also true and I've seen careers tank spectacularly. There are no guarantees. Only you can know when the timing and opportunity is right to move on. Just make sure your emotions are in check, your skills are competitive, and you understand what you're getting into before deciding to move on. The ability to honestly evaluate yourself - and let others do it too - without your ego getting in the way is so important (and difficult).
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:53 PM   #33
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Thanks for the feedback. I should have *also* mentioned that the pay freeze was announced well after discussions that I had with my managers......if it was announced before those discussions I probably would not have initiated the discussions to begin with.
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:20 PM   #34
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if your business is doing so great why freeze pay?
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:37 PM   #35
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.....

Lastly, until you have another offer in hand, I would recommend you do your job to the best of your ability and avoid any conversation (with anyone at any level) regarding compensation at work unless the subject is brought up by your boss (in which case I'd be humble and express that you understand no one is getting any raises this year etc etc). The sole exception would be any routine discussion that would happen during an employee review with your boss, and then you only discuss desired increase in compensation in relation to your performance and responsibilities.
Well spoken. You never know who talks to, or is personal friends with, who. And who will eventually become higher on the ladder than you and control your future directly. It is your responsibility to yourself to manage your own career, not the company's. Take control of your future by acting accordingly.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:33 PM   #36
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OP I don't know how old or close to ER you are, or your personal goals. If younger, less established without roots like family, hopping makes more sense now than later. If you're under 30, start looking now, I don't think you'll be happy there for the long run, just a hunch given this and the last thread.

If you are going to stay and wait out the year to see what happens, then do so only if you can go all in. That means no bitching, but more - no showing frustration, no hallway comments, no looks. No more talking about other people's salaries, no more comparing yourself out loud to others. You are Mr. Team.

The LAST thing your boss wants to hear is that you know what so-and-so makes and that's not fair. It makes you sound like someone who is spending their time bitterly gossiping and griping (not saying you are, just that's what your boss thinks when you mention someone else's pay grade).

And that aside, the title of this thread and use of the word... Promise. That word has no place in corporate america and hasn't for a long time. Even if someone did say they promise you, it has no meaning. Best intentions get over-ridden every day. A smart manager will caveat everything that of course they can't promise... For all you know, your boss had every plan to promote and reward you, but was slapped down for other reasons. Maybe she also got some bad news, probably she was embarrassed to have to tell you know given her reaction.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:57 PM   #37
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Viewing yourself as an independent contractor running a small service business, are you acquiring skills & experience that will allow you to become an even more effective service provider in the future? If so, great! This is where your attention should be focused. Money & titles will follow, if not at your current employer then at some other. Good luck! 😎
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:36 AM   #38
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Sigh - welcome to corporate America.

I wish we lived in a world where promotions came easily and everyone was promoted and paid what they thought was appropriate. Sadly thats not the case.

In my 14 years in the workforce (with 3 companies) i've been promised promotions that never came, promised promotions that came 2 years later, gotten promotions with no/minimal additional pay and had to obtain competing offers in order to get where I am.

Now that i'm in a leadership (but not management position) younger employees come to me all the time with concerns of 'i'm not being promoted/paid' or 'i'm ready for more responsibility' or 'i'm going to leave because XYZ wants to pay me another $10k.' I wish i could give them the answer theyre looking for, but i cant.

The reality is, unfortunately: things move slowly, companies dont like to pay unless they have to and managers dont like to be bothered with payroll/hr issues. Quitting is always an option but i always recommend looking long term. Will a new company solve all your problems? Will they have issues that you wont like? Will you be missing out on future development by staying put for another year or two? I totally get wanting to be paid, but unless you're going from minimum wage to $50k a year, its not always the best long term solution to rush to the highest bidder.

Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:44 AM   #39
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In terms of looking for your next job, better to have the promotion and higher level of duties even without increased compensation--you will be more qualified for better jobs. OP is lucky to get advice here from seasoned former managers.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:53 AM   #40
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Any time you feel your boss gives you a "snarly reply", it's time to find a new boss!
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