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Old 03-22-2013, 01:10 PM   #21
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Best way to find out what you're worth is to ask around at other companies and simply talk to your boss about what he thinks you are worth. Many people make the mistake of treating their company relationship like they would a personal one.

Example: early on in my career I was working for a company where I was clearly WAY below the average age. Most in my office were in their 50's and 60's with PhD's and here I was a new grad just trying to keep up. Loved the environment, learned A TON.

My first year I got a standard raise of 3.5% and was told that the company across the board gives this raise and that I fell right in the middle as a new employee. Some who were below average got 3% and others who were above got 4%. The next year, the same speech was given to me... this time the average raise being 4.5%.

I stressed myself for the next year about a way to approach my boss to tell him I thought I was worth more. Ultimately I came up with the following plan to say: "Look, I appreciate that the company has these average raises across the board, but I looked up online what someone who is really advanced in this field is making, like most of my older colleagues here that I'm learning from. My best guess is that their salaries are in the 150-175K range and I just wanted to ask if these 3-4% averages raises are putting me on track to be at that level relative to inflation by the time I'm as advanced as them? Also, don't younger employees typically advance in pay faster than they do later in their career?"

My boss being the engineer type he was, did some mental math and said "you are absolutely correct, a younger employee like you should be getting a larger raise early in your career. We want to make sure we stay competitive and don't lose you."

The next two years my raise was in the 7.5-9% range... about twice what the company average was

Can't hurt to ask.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
Best way to find out what you're worth is to ask around at other companies and simply talk to your boss about what he thinks you are worth. Many people make the mistake of treating their company relationship like they would a personal one.

Example: early on in my career I was working for a company where I was clearly WAY below the average age. Most in my office were in their 50's and 60's with PhD's and here I was a new grad just trying to keep up. Loved the environment, learned A TON.

My first year I got a standard raise of 3.5% and was told that the company across the board gives this raise and that I fell right in the middle as a new employee. Some who were below average got 3% and others who were above got 4%. The next year, the same speech was given to me... this time the average raise being 4.5%.

I stressed myself for the next year about a way to approach my boss to tell him I thought I was worth more. Ultimately I came up with the following plan to say: "Look, I appreciate that the company has these average raises across the board, but I looked up online what someone who is really advanced in this field is making, like most of my older colleagues here that I'm learning from. My best guess is that their salaries are in the 150-175K range and I just wanted to ask if these 3-4% averages raises are putting me on track to be at that level relative to inflation by the time I'm as advanced as them? Also, don't younger employees typically advance in pay faster than they do later in their career?"

My boss being the engineer type he was, did some mental math and said "you are absolutely correct, a younger employee like you should be getting a larger raise early in your career. We want to make sure we stay competitive and don't lose you."

The next two years my raise was in the 7.5-9% range... about twice what the company average was

Can't hurt to ask.
I like that approach. I once used a similar approach to negotiate a significant raise. I did all the research and went in with tables, graphs and inflation adjusted expected and actual numbers. If you are worth keeping, they will understand your replacement cost. Going into a negotiation with data shows them that you are taking this seriously, and so should they. They did.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #23
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Last year, I finished a Master's degree in water resources engineering and hydrology all while working part to full-time at my current job. Took me 5 years to complete while working, I started with Calc I! I paid off all my student loans before graduating too!

I've taken on new tasks at work over the course of my degree. While I am not a water manager right now, what I do is all related and helps water managers make their decisions - a supporting role if you will. My position was finally re-evaluated for a salary adjustment.

I am happy I got a raise; it's a 17% increase. I was told before I even started the degree that I would get a raise as a result. But I guess I was thinking it'd be more based on titles, ranges and level of education.

There wasn't any bartering or salary discussion in this process. It's all up to HR (it's a university). My boss said he tried to plug how crucial I am, and how I'm the only one in the state that can do what I do right now (if I trained others, they would know, but currently it's only me).

So, be grateful I even have employment and got a raise? My husband feels I should march in there and announce that I'm worth more and feels I'm letting them walk all over me. He works for the same university but they are a different research entity and have their own HR system. I'm not sure it works the same here as over there.
Water resources mgt + hydrology? I always wanted to do that. Maybe in another life.
I am sure you are getting plenty of sage career advice from the others. I just want to say congrats to you and enjoy basking in the sunshine.

Reminds me of DW earlier in her career. She used to complain about work to me alot. What's that, you got a 10% raise? Another one. Isn't that the second 10% raise this year? "Yea but I am still under paid compared to the male peers." She was definitely doing something right.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:41 PM   #24
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Congrats gina dog!

A second point is, I would caution making the argument that only a handful of people nationwide do what you do. While I get it shows a low supply (and in your mind a should command a higher price), the other side of the coin is it may be in low demand (which you probably disagree with, and that is okay). I'm trying to point out how the powers that be can view your position.
Congrats on the degree and the raise! I also did my MBA part-time and I know what a time drain it is. Good job!

I would second ronocnikral's comment. It may be that your skills have enormous value for your current employer, but if only 10 ppl are doing this across the nation, the market may be telling you there is not much demand for your skills, so you may have no choice except to work through negotiations with your employer. And they probably know that too.

So at the end of the day, unless its a credible threat that you will walk away and quickly get another job paying more, in the same location (since your husband also works there...)...you may well just accept this raise and continue to negotiate in the future for more increases by carefully documenting your specific contributions over time.

Also from a risk perspective, be wary of getting too specific in your skill set for your current employer. Make sure you consider how your resume would look to other potential employers should you ever want (or need) to make the leap.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #25
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Wow nice raise.

This year I got 2.5% and a family member got 1%. Unbelievable.
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