New Raise Buzzkill - I should still get paid more!!
April 15, 2012 11:02 AM Subscribe
Advice on negotiating a raise when I've just transferred to a new office?
posted by lizbunny to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm an engineer and have been with this company for 2.5 years. I started as a new grad (M.Sc.) in late 2009 - given the economy at the time, I was lucky to find a job.
When they hired me, I was offered $5K less than I felt what I was worth, given other friends recently hired in my profession. HR said that's their standard for new hires. But I managed to negotiate another $2K because of my M.Sc. and previous experience. Through annual performance-based raises (I did well, my boss sang my praises) and company-wide raises over 2.5 years, as of next week my salary will be up ~$11K from where I started. That's not including the christmas bonus, or the additional money I've made from living allowances when traveling for work.
This month I transferred to this new office (by my request). Not given a raise for the move, but I got a relocation allowance. The work's fantastic so far, and we just found out about the raise. I was told I'm getting ~5.3%, which is on the high side, so I was proud.
When I went out for drinks with one of my new office mates on Friday, she vented about how mad she is that she's only getting 3.1% (the average is 5%). She was told it's because she's only been there 7 months (she's effectively new grad, with a B.Sc.). It was then I found out she currently makes $500 more a year than me. Not a lot, and given the % increases I will end up making about $1K more than her. She's a junior, I was recently promoted to intermediate in January. So, I'm feeling undervalued - the discovery's reaffirmed the sentiment that I'm still being underpaid by at least a few $K, and I won't make the same extra cash in this new office for travel to make up for it, like I used to.
I'm not on solid footing to ask for an additional raise at the moment - I just got here, so though my reputation's great I still have to prove myself to my new boss and group. I'm also waiting on my formal Professional Engineer qualification - should go through in a few months. I've heard mixed reviews on raises for getting licensed - some say 10%, some say no raise. There are engineering salary surveys online that indicate I'm slightly lower than the average for someone with my experience. I don't know how much I should ask for, all things considered.
In regards to making more money by jumping ship to another firm - well, I am getting ~$4K in relocation money, and if I leave within 2 years I will have to pay back a percentage of that. Competition is fierce for engineers in this city though, so management has outright told us to come talk to them first if we're unhappy with our jobs or salaries.
I'd like your advice on how to go about setting myself up for success in asking for a raise in a few months, when I'm new to the office but not the company, and we do get regular raises. Should I go talk to HR confidentially about their policies on this stuff, or reserve that for when I'm in a good position to ask formally? And if any Canadian engineers can chime in on raises for getting your P.Eng., I would be extremely grateful.
I don't intend on bringing up that other girl's salary in the discussion, as the other askmes on negotiating raises have said.