How do I get my boss to take my raise request seriously?
July 24, 2014 7:11 AM Subscribe
I'm underpaid after a year in my first job after Grad school. I've done great work and my boss is happy, but she won't put me up for a raise. I am in the process of looking for a new job and have an interview, but I'd prefer to stay at this one if she would take my request seriously. What's the best course of action? Snowflakes inside.
posted by permiechickie to Work & Money (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I started at my company 1 year ago fresh out of an engineering masters degree program that directly relates to my job. I was offered a salary of X and negotiated up to X + 2,000, although they told me at the time that they "generally don't negotiate." In the year I have been working I have made substantial contributions to multiple projects and taken on a lot of independent responsibilities that were not necessarily in the scope of my position, but more suited to the next level up. At the end of last year I received a 1.5% raise, along with everyone else.
In the past few months I found out that my colleagues at exactly the same level, most of whom were hired with 1-2 years of industry experience and without advanced degrees, are paid 7-10 thousand dollars more than me, one of whom told me he didn't even negotiate! HR told me also that they are in the process of doing a recalibration of some people's salaries to better reflect market rates, but they wouldn't tell me if my salary was being recalibrated or when any raises would be given. For the first year I could understand my being paid a little less as somewhat of a trial period, but after I've proven myself I would expect to be brought up to market standards.
At my mid-year review (also close to my 1 year anniversary with the company) my boss talked to me about how happy she is with my work and how she'd like to put me up for a promotion at the end of the year. I thought it would be a good time to talk about salary and asked if it would be possible to talk about a raise, considering what I had accomplished in the year. She told me that she didn't think anyone would go for it as raises are mostly given at the end of the year in line with more formal review processes. I got the sense she didn't want to rock the boat with her superiors. I dropped the subject. I'm not too excited about being put up for a promotion, as the promotion process is very bureaucratic and requires a lot of higher up people to agree and approve it. I'd like just a raise because it seems simpler and would mostly just bring my low salary in line with the industry as a whole.
I'm still very upset by it and submitted my resume to some other jobs and am getting a positive response. The skill set I've developed at my current job is very desirable in my geographic area and is hard to train for. I'm interviewing for another position in a week, and I would be willing to work for this other company. However, I really like my job, my projects and my co-workers. I don't want to leave, and I'm pretty sure my boss doesn't want me to leave either, as having to hire and train a new person would set the project timelines back considerably, and I don't think it's even on her radar that I would think of leaving, as we have a very positive and friendly relationship.
How do I communicate to my boss that I find my salary unacceptable, that I have other options than the status quo, and that she needs to figure out how to make this work if she wants to retain me? Hopefully without coming off as very disloyal or bitchy. Alternately, should I just talk to HR since they have already admitted that they are looking into how some people at my site are significantly underpaid?