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How to ask for a raise ....
2

How to ask for a raise ....

How to ask for a raise ....

(OP)
My current position has 'changed' titles a few times with no salary increase but I've always received a 'top-level' annual merit increase (lame IMO 3-5%).

I have been asking for a technical career path because I did know when I started with the company that this was a completely new direction they were looking to pursue. Recently I discovered that there has been no effort to create a technical career path for my position. I found out after I given the role of lead, that this was the closest thing they could come up with for a career path but yet another title change with no salary increase.

My boss tells me that I should be the manager of the dept but I don't want the position and the political crap or dealing with personnel issues and at this company, there is no way I'd want to be a manager, executive staff is too misogynistic. I was a manager once (different company) but I hated it, I never put it on my resume because I don't want to do it again besides I like what I do, doing the job, mentoring others, and other miscellaneous stuff.

I spoke to my boss about this situation and how I hadn't had a promotion and/or raise in almost 5 years. My boss shrugged and asked me to come up with what I think would be an acceptable raise but I don't know how to do that. Worse yet, my 'boss' situation at this company been chaotic, it flips on a dime and I know it's about to change again to someone I don't particularly trust or respect. My current boss is one of the better ones (IMO) that I've had (7 in less than 5 years), so I want to figure out a number/percentage fairly quickly.

Any suggestions?

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

"My boss tells me that I should be the manager of the dept but I don't want the position and the political crap or dealing with personnel issues and at this company, there is no way I'd want to be a manager"

I could see that statement as a huge impediment to any form of advancement in pay or otherwise. It sounds to me like you would like to keep everything within your comfort zone but you'd like to be better paid for doing the same thing.

If I was your boss, that would set off a lot of red flags for me.

Also, 3-5% annually is actually quite good in this economy, especially if you don't want any extra responsibility.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

>3-5% annually is actually quite good in this economy

Quite!

>you'd like to be better paid for doing the same thing

That's certainly the way it reads to me too - there does seem to be a strong suggestion in the OP that 'career path' is simply being directly equated to pay rises. But I'm sure that's not the actual case. The company I work for had certain problems with career paths if you wanted to stay purely technical (there was a career ceiling if you did not move into management), although they have fixed that in the last few years (at least partially), so I can partially sympathise with the OP's issue.

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

Choose happiness over money.

"Living tomorrow is everyone's sorrow.
Modern man's daydreams have turned into nightmares."

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

(OP)
Both of the senior people (myself and my coworker) in my group do not want management positions. We are good at and enjoy what we do and are constantly being challenged with assignments that are thought to be impossible but we find ways to accomplish them. I do not want to step away from doing work that I enjoy and that others may have given up on. I know I've been given a lot assignments that have been shelved for years only to come up with a solution.

Some people are just not cut out to be managers and forcing them into positions where their people management skills are lacking can be a disaster. My people skills lie on the lead side; training, mentoring and the like. I'm great at managing 'things' but managing people is not my skill set. I've worked with multiple people who wanted to be managers for whatever reasons, some have the skills for it and turn into good managers, some don't have the skills and are horrible bosses. Of the latter, most are now gone (fired, laid off or left for other companies) or their teams were decimated because of people leaving to get away from bad management. My current manager is one of the former, he's a good manager and understands my reasons for not wanting the manager position which is why he offered and I accepted the lead position. My current manager is always telling me how much he misses doing the work.

kwbMitel - I'm rarely in my comfort zone at this company, we're always tackling new requests, doing things previously thought to be 'impossible'.
I'm glad you're not my boss, my manager and his boss, the senior vp listened to my reasons and understood why I don't want the management position.
As for "you'd like to be better paid for doing the same thing." I rarely do the same thing twice, once I learn something new, I'm teaching others in the group how to do it so that they improve their skills.
I'm always given the highest priority, highest visibility tasks - the recognition is nice and I love my users but it doesn't pay the bills.
Lastly, 3-5% in Southern California is nothing.

strongm - As for the career path issue, on the application side of the dev team, they have multiple levels and branches in their career path. Their promotions never come at the same time as their annual review and I know they are getting pay raises. I just think we should have the same options on my side of dev.

goombawaho - I'm happiest when I'm busy doing my job and solving the issues or requests my users have.

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

Well, that's certainly what I meant. You ARE where you want to be. However, if your company won't "leave you be", then you might have to go elsewhere. It just depends on whether they will leave you alone in your tech position or whether they label you a problem child because of your refusal to be a manager.

"Living tomorrow is everyone's sorrow.
Modern man's daydreams have turned into nightmares."

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

@Jacque - based on your original post and the information provided I stand by my conclusions earlier. In light of your expanded information, I am now getting a better feel for your situation.

Here's something I did recently that seems to have really struck a chord in my company and is being rolled out in many formats. My role and responsibilities had increased significantly and my expectation was that it would continue. I was finding I was putting in several hours extra a week just to stay ahead. On a semi related note, we have an on call schedule whereby techs are paid a set amount per week. What I proposed was that I be paid on on call shift every week until such time as my responsibilities change. This was the equivalent of a 12.5% increase at the time. They really liked the flexibility of this solution where the responsibility could be moved along with the stipend without impacting anyone's rate of pay. It's worked out very well for me as I still continue to get semi-annual increases and the stipend continues at the same rate.

I can't say a similar solution might work for you but that's what I tried and it worked for me. I fact it only took 5 minutes to propose and be accepted.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

I understand not wanting to be management. I've been there and hated it. People are buggy, and they come with no documentation or vendor support, and don't even generate a useful log file. Some even seem to like to be broken. People are hard to deal with.

But...

Quote (Jacque)

My boss shrugged and asked me to come up with what I think would be an acceptable raise...

Have you done that?

There are several places that list average salaries for various positions. You can also find what additional percentage should be added for being in Southern California (I understand that, I'm in Irvine). Come up with a real number that you would be happy with, then pad it by 10%. Then create a cogent write up of the breadth and diversity of the projects you are working on, and a projection of future projects and how it all benefits the company. If you've completed projects that have a hard dollar benefit to the company, make sure to spell those out. A good documentation of what you have done, are doing, and can/will do, plus how it benefits the company, makes it easy for your boss to justify your raise to the people he reports to (which is probably why he asked in the first place).

It's just from what you've written, it sounds like you haven't done the one thing he asked you to do for the raise.

RE: How to ask for a raise ....

(OP)
I have done that, except for the padding it by 10% part - good idea for negotiations.
I do have a document listing everything I've worked on.
A projection of future projects will be difficult because this company is very flexible and changes directions on a dime.
Many times what I'm told that I will be working on might be shelved without warning, sometimes it comes back on my plate and sometimes it's never ever heard about again.
Sometimes the CEO will ask for something that he wants now and everything I'm working on gets put on hold.

I'm having trouble qualifying dollar value-wise how it benefits the company, I'm not sure that I can determine that or how to even attempt it.

I do know that customer relations have improved and that they are thrilled with many of the projects completed, which would be valued in retention.
I know that some of my projects have been used in sales pitches but I can't say that my project 'sold' that customer on our product. (My head is big, but it ain't that big - conehead)

I think one of the biggest benefits that can be related directly to my work is that the division I'm in was considered a cash suck (sorry I don't know a better term for it), while other divisions brought in the bulk of cash. Since we were the tech part of the business, they kept asking us to supply them with data, reports, information that they could use to better serve the customers and the requests were ignored until I came on board. I've provided them with options that they never had before, I try to accommodate needs, give them options they didn't know they wanted or needed but can't live without now that they have them.

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