I accepted your offer and work here now. Let's negotiate my salary now!
February 18, 2014 2:12 AM Subscribe
I started a job several weeks ago and now I think I definitely should've asked for a higher salary. Oops. How soon can I ask for a raise? And how do I broach that subject? I've never had to ask for a raise in my life. Details below. (Sorry the post is quite long because any feedback on how to deal with my specific situation would be great.)
posted by AppleTurnover to Work & Money (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I was heavily courted and recruited for a job I initially wasn't interested in. After having an open mind and meeting everyone and seeing the office, I thought it would be a good step for me career-wise and especially lifestyle-wise. I wanted something with a more flexible pace and this place definitely has that. Plus, everyone seemed really nice and easy-going. My experience also makes me a big fish in a small pond, so I kind of liked being able to come in with absolute confidence and shape the organization and make a big impact. The head of my division told me they were going to offer me $75,000 and he'd hate to see me ask for more and then not be able to get a raise for a while. I actually wanted $80,000 (even though a good friend in the business said I should be asking for $90,000). But I didn't want to do a hard negotiation -- I did that once (and got a much bigger salary), but with it came extra pressure to perform in a situation where I ended feeling unhappy with the work anyway. The higher salary/expectations made my bad feelings in that office even worse. I didn't want to come into this new job with added pressure to perform -- I specifically was looking for a low intensity job, which is why I chose this organization. So when HR offered me $75,000, I just said yes. To be honest, that's the highest salary I've gotten before (probably because I was doing the same job in a sector that underpaid), so it was hard to get too greedy when it was a decent amount over the highest salary I've ever had and I always lived comfortably on my other salaries.
Now I have worked here for a few weeks and I am frustrated. I have no clue what the manager did before me but as far as I can tell she initiated no useful projects that help us meet our goals or prepare for oncoming day-to-day situations requiring immediate attention. There is nothing "in the hopper" and I feel like I have a ton of work ahead of me just to get our department in a decent place. My staff needs to be re-trained too, as far as I can tell. They are seriously lacking the training and basic learnable skills and work ethic I expect anyone doing this line of work to have already. To add to my frustration, one of these employees was given a massive raise and promotion before I started (and after the last manager left). He is basically my No. 2 now. At the salary he gets now (mid 50s), I would've rather hire someone as a deputy who I know can do the job and doesn't need re-training as they have similar experience to me. His massive raise makes me wonder if the division head felt like they saved a ton of money on my hiring. (It also happens he had been at the company almost two years and never got a raise, despite asking a few times, so I guess it was overdue.)
One of my employees revealed to me that the previous manager made around $75,000. I foolishly assumed because I came in here with much more (and much better) experience, they would start me higher than her. But it is extra annoying because of how much she sucked at her job. Since taking over, I had a phone chat with her on the state of on-going projects or projects yet to be done, and the stuff she recommended we devote time to was completely ridiculous. I couldn't believe she felt those were priorities that slipped through the cracks, but it really showed the difference in our experience levels. I really think she should've never been the manager of this department, and they were just very lazy and opted to promote within rather than get a good outside hire. This previous manager was well-liked as a person and is on friendly terms with everyone, so it's very hard to criticize how useless the work she did was. But I am trying to impress upon people that we have a lot of catch-up to do and I find myself apologizing that our department is so under-prepared. (I wonder if anyone even notices though, since they seemed happy with this previous manager and may not know better.) And I think the employees liked her so much, it's hard to make them understand how much she failed when it came to training them to do their jobs well. I feel like the bad guy coming in and forcing new standards and procedures on them, but they really do need it. So progress with my team has been a little tough. (Also: I can't just care less. I either am all in or all out. I will work hard if I feel that's what's necessary to keep us in a good place. Unfortunately, since the last manager did nothing useful, I must work hard -- I thought I was coming into a situation that would be more of maintenance rather than total overhauling.)
So, basically, I feel like I accepted too low of a salary and deserve more. When can I ask for more? And how? I am in a three month probation period (which I don't really understand because I am already a full-time salaried employee with full benefits and they can fire me whenever they want anyway.) But I guess I meet with HR (not my division head?) after three months of me being here and they remove me from probation or something, whatever that even constitutes (I am not positive on what they do though -- all I know is there is nothing gained or taken away after probation ends). I realize I already took the job and I'm here already, and I made a significant relocation to come here for it (and it would be very expensive to move back to where I came from), so I have very little by way of bargaining chips here. It's not as if I can just walk away (not that I'd think I should dick over a new employer like that anyway). But how can I be like "Hey, I expected to take over as captain of a ship that's on the right course. But now it turns out I am needing to do a huge overhaul to get us on the right track. Your last captain sucked. I am awesome at my job. Pay me more, please." I generally like the job and the people so far, but I can't help but feel resentment over my salary, both from a standpoint of how much value I bring and how hard it turns out I need to work. I worry this will make me bitter. Or I worry it will make me want to work less hard, which for me would be not trying at all. It's way too early to let myself start to feel this way.
Any non-judgmental advice would be great! Thanks in advance!