Author Topic: Asked for a raise, did not get it  (Read 4008 times)

doneby35

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Asked for a raise, did not get it
« on: April 05, 2018, 09:43:15 AM »
I've been trying to figure out how to go about this, maybe people on here can help.
I've been working for an large organization for 4 years now, make a 6 figure salary, with yearly 2-3% performance increases. However after I did some research, what I'm currently making is below the market average so I asked for a 10% raise. My manager agreed but the response ended up being that the organization does not give out raises unless there's a promotion or another offer from some other company in play.
I don't really want to interview other companies because 1) i really don't want to leave. 2) showing them an offer from another organization might have unintended consequences I assume.

What would you do if you were in my shoes: you know your salary is below market average and so does your employer, you made the case for a raise but did not get it, you don't really want to leave, but you really want that raise.

honeybbq

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 09:47:06 AM »
Ask to be promoted?

radram

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 09:49:56 AM »
I have always held the opinion that I only look for another job when I am committed to leaving the current one. Looking only for leverage with your current employer just doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

You like the work. That is worth something. You feel underappreciated. That is worth something as well. Only you can determine which of those feelings will win out.

With regard to the offer needed for negotiations, how has that been working for them? Have they lost good people? If they have and they are OK with that, there is not much you can do other than decide to stay or decide to leave.

Keep us posted.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 09:53:27 AM »
What would you do if you were in my shoes: you know your salary is below market average and so does your employer, you made the case for a raise but did not get it, you don't really want to leave, but you really want that raise.

First, maybe try mentally reframing your concept of "Enough." Money isn't a scorecard. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/04/book-review-enough-by-john-c-bogle/

Then:
1. Get and/or take a competing offer (I would probably just take the competing offer).
2. Look for internal promotions.
3. Continue talking to your manager, find out if there are any discretionary funds floating around.
4. Learn to live with the status quo. If you're making good money and you're happy, then the raise is less important. If the money issue is really bugging you, then maybe you aren't as happy with your current gig as you thought.

Millennialworkerbee

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 09:55:58 AM »
I am in a similar position, although not quite six figures yet. I go back and forth with this struggle a lot. It stinks to be in a position where you feel like you are being taken advantage of, money wise, when you are happy with everything else.

What are your benefits like? If it is only 10% difference in salary and you think you have above an above average benefit package, it may be a wash. I know my company falls into this category; lower salary number but better benefits especially 401k match.

doneby35

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 10:15:38 AM »
Thanks for the responses. I did ask for a promotion, the response was maybe next year.
Benefits are fine, medical, dental, vision, 50% 401k match up to 6%.
I'm happy where I'm at and I know money is not everything, I just am not the guy who just settles for a less than the market average salary without a little bit of a fight (not an actual fight). I'm thinking I could bring it up with my manager again and see what else can be done.

Meowmalade

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 10:23:08 AM »
Your company sounds like my company.  It’s true that there’s no budget for a big raise unless you get a promotion, but my friend was able to get a raise by getting a competing offer with another company, and they wanted to keep him so they matched it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to leave, but having another offer shows that someone external values you at a higher pay.  That would be your opportunity to say “I love working here but the pay difference is too great”.

If you want a promotion next year, start asking what you need to do to be promoted to the next level.  They’re probably not going to give it to you unless you’re performing higher than you are now, unless you’re already working at the next level.

I could probably make more elsewhere but I’m generally happy with my work and colleagues, and the money is more than enough.  My daily happiness counts for a lot.

doneby35

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 10:31:06 AM »
Your company sounds like my company.  It’s true that there’s no budget for a big raise unless you get a promotion, but my friend was able to get a raise by getting a competing offer with another company, and they wanted to keep him so they matched it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to leave, but having another offer shows that someone external values you at a higher pay.  That would be your opportunity to say “I love working here but the pay difference is too great”.

If you want a promotion next year, start asking what you need to do to be promoted to the next level.  They’re probably not going to give it to you unless you’re performing higher than you are now, unless you’re already working at the next level.

I could probably make more elsewhere but I’m generally happy with my work and colleagues, and the money is more than enough.  My daily happiness counts for a lot.

Thanks, it's good to know that it's not just an excuse when they say there's no budget for a raise unless you get a promotion or a competing offer.

thd7t

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 10:56:56 AM »
Your company sounds like my company.  It’s true that there’s no budget for a big raise unless you get a promotion, but my friend was able to get a raise by getting a competing offer with another company, and they wanted to keep him so they matched it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to leave, but having another offer shows that someone external values you at a higher pay.  That would be your opportunity to say “I love working here but the pay difference is too great”.

If you want a promotion next year, start asking what you need to do to be promoted to the next level.  They’re probably not going to give it to you unless you’re performing higher than you are now, unless you’re already working at the next level.

I could probably make more elsewhere but I’m generally happy with my work and colleagues, and the money is more than enough.  My daily happiness counts for a lot.

The thing that could backfire about getting another offer is that OP's company may not match it.  In that case, if OP stays, they may end up feeling underappreciated.  If they leave, they may not have a happy environment.  I agree with posters who say not to get an offer if you're not prepared to leave.

Phoenix_Fire

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 11:39:39 AM »
For factoring benefits, do yours cost a lot?  When I switched jobs I saved about $2,800 a year.  Yes, both places offered all the benefits you listed, but they can have significantly different costs.  I just had a co-worker leave this place, with great benefits, for one that offers the same benefits, but matches 8% on 401k instead of our 4%, and instead of an average 12% bonus, the new place is 16%, and they give out a separate December bonus of 1 months salary.  He was happy at the place I am at now, but decided to look, and found something even better that paid a higher salary as well.

Another point to consider, you are being paid 10% below market average.  What if you got an offer for 10% above average?  Depending on the job market in your area, that could be completely realistic. 

Your company has told you what they need to give you a raise above the standard 2-3%.  The fact that they told you that it will take a competing offer would suggest to me that they wouldn't hold it against you, but you never know.  You do have to be prepared to take the new offer though.  And if that offer came in at 10% or more above market, you might be willing to take it.  Be glad that they told you what it would take to get that raise, they could have just said no. 

The ball is completely in your court at this point.  You need to decide what makes you happy.  You were probably happy with your salary until you did your research.  Now, you will probably not be completely happy until you are compensated accordingly.  You need to try and avoid becoming resentful if you do stay and they don't increase your pay. 

Looking won't hurt, and could quite possibly help.  Change is scary though.

Meowmalade

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 12:06:51 PM »
Your company sounds like my company.  It’s true that there’s no budget for a big raise unless you get a promotion, but my friend was able to get a raise by getting a competing offer with another company, and they wanted to keep him so they matched it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to leave, but having another offer shows that someone external values you at a higher pay.  That would be your opportunity to say “I love working here but the pay difference is too great”.

If you want a promotion next year, start asking what you need to do to be promoted to the next level.  They’re probably not going to give it to you unless you’re performing higher than you are now, unless you’re already working at the next level.

I could probably make more elsewhere but I’m generally happy with my work and colleagues, and the money is more than enough.  My daily happiness counts for a lot.

The thing that could backfire about getting another offer is that OP's company may not match it.  In that case, if OP stays, they may end up feeling underappreciated.  If they leave, they may not have a happy environment.  I agree with posters who say not to get an offer if you're not prepared to leave.

Good point, that only works if they really don't want to lose you.  You have to be the judge of how valuable you are to the company.

acroy

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2018, 12:29:04 PM »
Your company sounds like my company. 
^^ same here. I am in similar position and have people working for me in similar position. Many companies take the stance of 'no negotiation' as 1) they don't want to open that door 2) They figure once a person has decided they want more money, no amount will be enough 3) they put the onus on management (including me) to use 'non-monetary compensation' to retain & motivate employees. I get their point, it is all valid.

So, I too know I am 'underpaid' and the company would have to spend more to replace me, but I stay here because
- I like the work
- i like the people
- I like the location
- I like the work/life balance
- the cost/investment of changing job, learning new company, relocation

it's all a balance. Good luck!!

bognish

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2018, 12:51:41 PM »
If you don't want to leave you might be stuck with limited negotiating power. one way to push again would be to ask you manager if you could use them as a reference in a job search. Ask them to review your resume. If you need a competing offer to get a market bump tell them you are going to start searching. Maybe showing you are serious about pursuing this will prompt them into action.

 warning though is that you need to be certain you have average or above skills and value as an employee. I have has employees that were good enough to not get fired, but I would have been happy to help them search for a new job.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2018, 01:34:47 PM »
What industry are you in?

My career is IT.  I worked in the healthcare industry, which does not pay as well as substantially identical positions in, say, energy.  I was underpaid for my area for a few years, and that was expected by everyone (including management and including me).  That's just how it is in that industry. 

My company had the same policy as yours. One of my coworkers approached Boss and Director and asked for a raise because he was underpaid for the market.  He actually made an average salary for our group - everyone made about the same amount of me (except me - I came from another industry with higher pay and negotiated more.)

They declined with the reason you were given.  To be perfectly honest, though, they declined because he did average work, and he made an average salary within our company, and they couldn't justify to their superiors why he needed more money.  They were also quite honest with him that he wouldn't get the promotion he wanted for another year or so...and, again, tbh, that was a fair statement.  He wasn't doing that level of work yet.

He found a similar job in another industry, increased his pay by 15%, and was happy to make the jump.

Three months later at review time, I was turned down for the same promotion because of office politics.  That same manager/director managed to get me a substantial raise anyway out of the pool of funds for "people with a competing offer".  That put me at overall market value for my skills.  I had not been looking for a job yet and had not approached them about pay, but I was a top performer and they knew that I would be all kinds of angry about not getting the promotion.  (I immediately started job hunting, but the raise meant I didn't quit on the spot.)

So the moral of the story...
a) Know how your salary stacks up within your industry.  This does not necessarily match the market for your job as a whole.
b) Honestly evaluate your own skills and output within your department - are you an average performer or a top performer?    How does your pay stack up for other people who perform at your level within your company?

If you are underpaid for the industry AND you are underpaid for your company and skill level, then you need to be looking for another job, either internally or externally.  You have been told that you will not be handed more money.

If you are underpaid for the industry BUT are paid fairly for your company and skill level, you won't get more money unless you leave the company.

If you are paid fairly for the industry, then you aren't getting more money unless you leave the company.

jlcnuke

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 01:52:33 PM »
I'm underpaid by about 10% currently (in the "range" for my position, but low for my abilities/experience). I am still staying at the job because:
A. The standard benefits are about average for my industry but the vacation is well above average (I get 11 paid holidays plus 30 paid days off).
B. I like the location and there is only one competitor I'd consider working for in the same area and their pay scale isn't sufficiently higher to justify losing my seniority with the company and the vacation time difference both. While my parents are still around I'm not willing to move far away from them.
C. The job is "easy" (I find it quite easy at least), so the amount of effort I have to put in to "cruise" for the next 5-7 years before retiring isn't very high at this point (compared to having to go learn a bunch of new stuff/people/etc if I switched positions).
D. Most of my coworkers are my friends (recruited a lot of my friends from my days in the Navy to come work with me over the past 10 years)

If more than 2 of those factors were significantly worse/different (didn't like who I worked with, pay was "much worse than average", etc.) then I would go look for a new position (preferably a position with another company that also represented an advancement in my career, resulting in both increased compensation as well as career progression). Then when I had that offer, I'd submit my resignation notice and explain why I was leaving.

Additionally, if I had a significant number of years working ahead of me, I'd likely do that in my current position if I didn't need to be in the area to take care of family.


Oh, and if I was younger and marketable, in the OPs shoes I would have started looking as soon as they told me that the company doesn't believe in valuing me for what I do and my capabilities until I threaten to quit. That stance from a company says to me that company culture is such that employees are not valued and that will carryover into all facets of the organization's treatment of employees eventually. Employee development, mentoring, and retention cannot be priorities in a company that openly admits they are deliberately and perpetually planning on giving subpar compensation to their employees.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 01:58:08 PM by jlcnuke »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2018, 02:34:16 PM »
After a year or so of meetings where my manager agreed that I was underpaid and he was "working" on an increase that never came, I bluffed the competing offer.  Did my best do so without outright lying, using terms like "I was exploring other options", and establishing a deadline for their response.  They never did, but if the probing questions had gone too deep, I would have cited confidentiality. It was a bit sporty, but I knew other firms were hiring, and it worked.  Had it not, I was only two years away from FIRE, and I would have just sucked up the embarrassment of not leaving.  There was no way I was going to jump ship, learn a whole new system, just to quit.

There was absolutely no awkwardness afterwards, and if anything, perhaps a little more respect.  It probably happens more often than we think.

As another poster mentioned, lines such as, "I really don't want to leave, but I just can't pass up such a promotion, etc" are very effective.  Especially if you really are a good employee.  In the event they do not offer to match, you can actually leave (if you have a real offer;), or talk about how great your current company is vs the offering company.  There are dozens of ways to do this gracefully without any hard feelings or risking much, even if it doesn't work out

I worked with a guy who negotiated with offers several times over his career.  One just has to be careful not to over do it, which could get you get a reputation for it, but even then, in a short Mustachian career, how likely is that? Plus, Megacorp's tendency to restructure every few months, makes them vulnerable to competitors when it comes to retaining their employees, they know this, take advantage of it when you can.  Looking back, I probably should have done it at least one or two more times.

As a side note, I would have taken a manager mentioning getting a competing offer as an invitation to get one.  Any chance they said this with a wink and a nod?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 03:00:40 PM by Gone Fishing »

doneby35

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 04:24:03 PM »
Good feedback from everyone. Thanks.

As a side note, I would have taken a manager mentioning getting a competing offer as an invitation to get one.  Any chance they said this with a wink and a nod?

No my manager was more like "the raise only comes with a promotion or a competing offer, but I personally wouldn't try to do the latter".

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2018, 05:09:41 PM »
Good feedback from everyone. Thanks.

As a side note, I would have taken a manager mentioning getting a competing offer as an invitation to get one.  Any chance they said this with a wink and a nod?

No my manager was more like "the raise only comes with a promotion or a competing offer, but I personally wouldn't try to do the latter".

It sounds like your manager is being pretty straightforward with you. That's something I would value for sure.

chasesfish

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2018, 06:44:02 PM »
I've always taken the stance as a manager that I have to pay my employees reasonably close to market.  It is what it is.  I actually take the opposite stance, if someone hands me a resignation letter, they don't get a dollar more.  I have that reputation and it prevents that crap.   I also have a line of internal people that would give their right arm to work for me, having a reputation as a good leader helps.  (My only caveat to that rule was broken earlier this year, someone I really didn't want to leave was going, I told her this isn't a counter, but you should know your value here because you were due X promotion in five months).  It wasn't about the money, so we parted ways.

I also manage people in a revenue producing role, so I can justify/fight for pay when needed and also completely understand the system and how to work it.  No moves during raise pool, promote away from the raise pool, ask for "off-cycle" raises at the right place/time, usually right after someone has closed a big deal or completed a monumental task.  All of this within a fortune 500 company that's incredibly cheap.

Do you produce revenue in your position?  What specifically makes your skills more valued in market?  It sounds like IT where you'd have to prove you have a competing offer.  I've found when an employee gets to that point, its more than just the money that made them look.


COEE

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2018, 07:07:16 PM »
Another perspective.

I was in the same position about 3 years ago at megacorp company #1 (always 10% below market).  I finally had enough and went to work at small-business company #2. The pay was just marginally better after benefits and such.  The work environment and quality of work/life balance was great though, and it was a HUGE net positive in lifestyle for me.

About a year ago company #2 went out of business and I was forced to find another job.  I spent 6 months being patient and trying to find a really good job.  I ended up with two offers.  One offer from company #1 and another from company #3.  Company #1 lowballed me (again).  I countered #1 with an offer that was better than #3 by about 10%.  #1 came up to basically be just a hair better than #3.  I went to work for #3 because they didn't jerk me around and offered me a good salary to start and I got to keep all the lifestyle advantages of working at company #2.

All told, The base salary is good (about 20% more than I was was at 3 years ago), and the bonus is up to 30% of my base.  I'll probably make about 30-40% more than I was 3 years ago.  That's like getting a 10%+ raise 3 years in a row.

AND #3 has also promised me a promotion assuming I come through on a delivery of 15% of my base.  Hopefully they come through on their part - I know I will on mine.

doneby35

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2018, 09:18:56 PM »
Do you produce revenue in your position?  What specifically makes your skills more valued in market?  It sounds like IT where you'd have to prove you have a competing offer.  I've found when an employee gets to that point, its more than just the money that made them look.

I do, i'm in IT consultant, a subject matter expert when it comes to a few products, billing clients a minimum of 40 hours/week and suggesting solutions that end up resulting in additional billable projects, unfortunately it's the sales team getting the commission and not the consultant.

I'm perfectly happy with where i'm at, but it's the fact that i know what my employer's offered salary is for someone in my exact same position, which is higher than what I make, and you can't help but feel that it's not fair.

NorCal

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2018, 09:29:42 PM »
I went through an almost identical situation a few years back.

First, good work on asking.  Most people never ask and suffer for it.

I worked for MegaCorp, which provided decent raises, but market salaries had grown faster.  I was almost 20% below market.  I asked for a raise, and even escalated it up to the VP level.  VP agreed I deserved a raise, but corporate policy prevented it.

Do you have any interest in transferring to a different department in your current company?  Some Megacorps have blanket policies against raises without promotions, but allow raises if you change departments within the company.  For example, if you moved from product to marketing, you could move to a new baseline.  This may or may not be true at your company, but might be worth research.

In my case, I was able to find a job with a 25% raise and a big promotion in 2 months of looking.  And I didn't feel bad about looking because they said no to the raise.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2018, 09:31:08 PM »
Call their bluff, look for another job. Doesn’t mean you have to take it, but you should look. That means updating your resume and LinkedIn and searching for a better role that pays what you want. Then, if offered, you can see if your company will match or take the new offer—win/win. Companies are rarely loyal to employees, you don’t need to work for them out of obligation. It never hurts to test yourself in the market. Maybe you’ll discover that you’re worth exactly what you’re being paid, or you’re worth a lot more that others can see. You gotta play to win.

gooki

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2018, 05:03:21 AM »
What would you do if you were in my shoes: you know your salary is below market average and so does your employer, you made the case for a raise but did not get it, you don't really want to leave, but you really want that raise.

The other option is to work 10% less.

I’ve been in roles where I’ve taken on additional duties, proved myself competent, requested additional compensation for doing other people’s jobs on top of my own. They denied the raise, and I happily walked away from those additional duties.

Or just ask your manager out right, if you can’t get me the 10% raise, can we agree to reduce my hours by 10%? Does finishing up at lunch time Friday work for you?

Since you’re generating revenue through billable hours, they’ll probably want to pay you more to keep those hours up.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 05:06:36 AM by gooki »

TheAnonOne

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2018, 08:47:56 AM »
I am a consultant/contractor but....


JUST LEAVE


If you don't get what you want and someone else can give it to you, why not. Higher pay pushes you to FIRE faster and then you have to deal with exactly 0 of this.

This mindset of mine is why early in my career I started in software and moved to a senior job in less than 3 years and broke 200k by my 5th year in the industry 'in the midwest!' (though it fluctuates down to 160 up to 220 depending on contract rates/downtimes ect ect ect). Loyalty is unfortunately unrewarded.

alanB

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2018, 09:07:05 AM »
I've always taken the stance as a manager that I have to pay my employees reasonably close to market.  It is what it is.  I actually take the opposite stance, if someone hands me a resignation letter, they don't get a dollar more.  I have that reputation and it prevents that crap.   

This attitude seems to be more and more common based on my observations.  Asking for a raise at a big corporation is usually fruitless.  The salary bands are usually enormous so there is no reason they could not do it in theory.  Many managers these days are forced to think about reducing fixed costs, from that perspective it is better to lose an employee than pay more, you can always hire someone younger at lower cost.  Even matching competing offers seems increasingly rare.  That may vary a lot between industries of course.

If you want more money, or just generally want to further your career, your best bet is to jump ship.  If you want to coast until you FIRE I would just stay there.  Good luck!

Car Jack

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2018, 09:09:01 AM »
You sort of have to decide for yourself.  I will say that if you're getting yearly raises, you're sure doing better than I am.  I'm in tech and have had exactly one raise (outside of job moves) in the last 10 years through 3 companies now.

If you love your job, and would not leave, stop.  Continuing to ask for a raise is going to make you into a whiner and they're going to find a way to get rid of you.  If you would consider leaving for more money, interview, get the offer and leave.

In my case, I lucked out in that my current company started me with a low base salary but the bonuses, profit sharing, stock and such has been through the roof.  Nearly doubles my base.  I got a 3% raise at the start of the year, out of the blue. 

I'm older and have already been pushed out of one megacorp job because of my age.  I'll take what I can get at this point.  Luckily it's been great bonuses and a very "leave employees the hell alone" management style, so no pressure (unlike previous jobs).

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Re: Asked for a raise, did not get it
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2018, 09:43:50 AM »
Asking for a raise at a big corporation is usually fruitless.  The salary bands are usually enormous so there is no reason they could not do it in theory.  Many managers these days are forced to think about reducing fixed costs, from that perspective it is better to lose an employee than pay more, you can always hire someone younger at lower cost.  Even matching competing offers seems increasingly rare.  That may vary a lot between industries of course.

At my company, there’s a fixed budget for every org for raises.  So basically there’s a huge fight between managers to make sure that their own employees are not the ones getting shafted by someone else’s raise.  In my immediate team, when I asked for a promotion, my boss said that this year “the promotion” was already promised to someone else, but he’d do his best to slot me in for next year.

OP, since your manager explicitly said not to get a competing job offer, don’t do that.  I think if you’re happy at your current position, you could start working on getting a promotion (with increased responsibilities) or focus more on appreciating the non-monetary benefits of your position.