Author Topic: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would  (Read 1842 times)

patch45

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Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« on: October 26, 2018, 05:37:46 PM »
I work at a startup as a software engineer. I have about 2.5 years experience total at this point, 1.5 at this place. I was hired on at a salary of 80k, got a raise 6 months later to 90k, and then 6 months after that a raise to 96k.

At this 6 month increment I was expecting a raise and a ďpromotionĒ to senior software engineer. Iím the de facto leader of one of the more successful teams at the company, with 2 engineers with a good amount more experience than me looking to me for help in the codebase. My manager has said Iím acting as the senior engineer on this team. I asked specifically for this raise and promotion and my manager said ďit should be no problem, youíve earned itĒ (paraphrase)

I learned during my performance review that my managers boss, a VP, denied the raise saying ďwe only do yearly raises nowĒ. My manager said he fought for me but to no avail. I was disappointed because I was expecting it for one, and two, I feel I am being way underpaid at this point. I didnít really know what to do during the meeting so I just accepted it.

This was about a week ago. Is there something I should have done differently? Raise more of a stink? Talk to the VP directly? Start looking for another job to get a counter offer? Am I just being greedy?

I like the people where I work, I have unlimited vacation (took 4 consecutive weeks off this year, which is unusual but I didnít have to fight too hard for),  and Iíve never stayed at a a job for two years, so I kinda wanted to do that here for my resumes sake. But I donít wanna be a sucka waiting around underpaid while my company dangles a raise in front of me.

obstinate

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 05:53:03 PM »
Sometimes companies do change their processes. But it remains the case in our industry that finding a better job is the surest way to get a raise. :(

letired

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 05:56:28 PM »
I can tell you what I did in a similar situation. I wasn't promised a raise, but had just completed a big project and had no indication I would not be getting at least cost-of-living for an annual raise.

In the meeting when I got the news that I was getting nothing, I stuck pretty firmly to "I understand you have constraints, but this is very disappointing. My understanding was that everyone was happy with my work on Big Project. I understand that you need to do what you need to do, but so do I." My manager, not being the most socially adept, seemed baffled that I was at all upset, which was honestly even more frustrating and helped me stick to 'disappointed, I'll have to consider what I need to do'.

Manager came back with a promise of consideration in 6 months plus eligibility for the regular annual raise. Not ideal, but whatever. I got the 6 month raise, and we'll see in another few months.

For your situation, I would first consider if this is something I'm willing to leave over. It sounds like your job has some nice perks, and being mustachian means you can make decisions based on non-monetary factors if they are important to you.

Second, it seems like something to bring up in your next meeting with your manager. They are the ones that made a promise that isn't being kept, let them know it is their problem to solve. If they're not willing to solve it, or not willing to explain why or how they are making promises they can't keep, then it's time to signal that this is something you would consider leaving over (if that is true).

And finally, it sounds like its time to start interviewing. Even if you don't want to leave, you don't know your actual market value until the market has made an offer. It also keeps you fresh and gives you a timeline for if you decide to bounce.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 10:26:58 AM »
It's hard to know with the information provided whether or not you're underpaid, paid appropriately, or overpaid.  Given that your salary went from $80k a year and a half ago to $96k within one year (a 20% increase) and all other benefits it seems like you're valued and in a pretty good position.  I'm also a little surprised at the concern over your title; where I work even a superstar wouldn't be considered a "senior" anything after 2.5 years of total experience. 
If you live in Silicon Valley or a similarly HCOL area, then you may be underpaid.  If that's the case, then it sounds like the problem was really the starting salary, because it's really hard to believe you were appropriately paid when you started but now after a 20% increase you're "way" underpaid.  And if you're in a LCOL area then $96k is pretty good for someone with only 2.5 years of experience. 

Again, I don't know enough about your situation to really make any firm comments, but it seems to me that everything is great with one isolated exception.  You had a salary you thought was ok 1.5 years ago or you wouldn't have taken it ($80k), you got a 20% raise within a year, you are a de facto lead so they obviously respect your abilities, your manager thinks you're doing great, you have "unlimited" vacation and took advantage of that perk, you like the people on your team, and you want to show some stability on your resume.  Given all the good in your situation, I would do the following.  I would schedule a meeting with your manager, and lay out your reasons again for believing you deserve a promotion and why you think you're underpaid.  Then tell him/her all the things you like about the company and that you understand the yearly cycle, but that you were disappointed that the verbal agreement didn't happen.  Ask when (or confirm if you know) when the next yearly cycle will happen.  Basically - I'd want the manager to leave the meeting knowing that you're disappointed but understand the new policy, but that you're looking for it to be remedied at the next cycle.  Based on what you've said I would expect the next cycle to happen in 6 months, so it shouldn't be too long to wait.  I wouldn't throw away a good working environment right at the beginning of your career over one disappointment. 

Case

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 11:00:29 AM »
I work at a startup as a software engineer. I have about 2.5 years experience total at this point, 1.5 at this place. I was hired on at a salary of 80k, got a raise 6 months later to 90k, and then 6 months after that a raise to 96k.

At this 6 month increment I was expecting a raise and a ďpromotionĒ to senior software engineer. Iím the de facto leader of one of the more successful teams at the company, with 2 engineers with a good amount more experience than me looking to me for help in the codebase. My manager has said Iím acting as the senior engineer on this team. I asked specifically for this raise and promotion and my manager said ďit should be no problem, youíve earned itĒ (paraphrase)

I learned during my performance review that my managers boss, a VP, denied the raise saying ďwe only do yearly raises nowĒ. My manager said he fought for me but to no avail. I was disappointed because I was expecting it for one, and two, I feel I am being way underpaid at this point. I didnít really know what to do during the meeting so I just accepted it.

This was about a week ago. Is there something I should have done differently? Raise more of a stink? Talk to the VP directly? Start looking for another job to get a counter offer? Am I just being greedy?

I like the people where I work, I have unlimited vacation (took 4 consecutive weeks off this year, which is unusual but I didnít have to fight too hard for),  and Iíve never stayed at a a job for two years, so I kinda wanted to do that here for my resumes sake. But I donít wanna be a sucka waiting around underpaid while my company dangles a raise in front of me.

You go look for a new job if you want more money.  Your manager already fought for you.  If you go directly to the VP, it willl look poorly,, both to your manager and to the VP.  when you have an offer from another company, then you can negotiate with your company, though at that point it is debatable if styaing is a good idea and depends on the unique circumstances of your workplace (e.g. you have to figure thatout on your own).

As others have said, you have not given enough context to determine if you ar being unreasonable or not. Need to know location, experience, etc,..
If you are truly being underpaid, then these sorts of actions are reasonable.  Your post style is going to lead people to think you are just being a little turd.  6 month raises seems with Expectations for  frequent promotions seems unusual to me, but maybe is the norm at your company.  Therefore , give more context.

herbgeek

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 11:34:58 AM »
I think you're greedy.  20% increase in one year is HUGE.  In my company 2% raises are the norm,  if you are a superstar who walks on water, maybe you'll get 4%.  Also I've been in engineering for > 20 years, and 2.5 years does not make you a senior engineer.  You might go from entry level engineer to a mid level engineer if you are really good, but there is more to being a senior engineer that one can accomplish in that short of a time span.

Having done a lot of hiring over the years, I'd be annoyed with the sense of entitlement coming across in your post.  How have you saved the company money or helped them make money?  If you're going to go back and ask for more money, play up the value you bring, not that you deserve more money because everyone gets a trophy.

Did your boss actually promise you a 20% raise  this time or was that your inference?  If your boss made a verbal promise with a specific number, then he/she is a tool.  Priorities change, and sales figures can be off and a whole host of factors could be at play reducing the amount of money for raises- no one should be promising defined numbers like that.

nick663

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 12:44:51 PM »
I am also curious how you judged that you are underpaid.  You have received excellent raises on a schedule that is more accelerated than most so far so I'm wondering if you have real data showing you should be making more or you are just spoiled from the recent history.

Just reading your post you remind me of a few green engineers I have met that thought because they knew how to setup webex meetings quicker than a 25+ year engineer, they knew more.  I think you're in for a rude awakening regarding how the world works. :)

Another Reader

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 01:30:48 PM »
From what you said, your manager did not promise you a raise.  He said it should be no problem.  That means he agrees you should get the raise, but someone else makes the decision.  Turned out it was a problem for that someone else.

If your industry is one where the job hopping game is played, you could do that.  Just realize the perception at your current company may not be positive and you could burn some bridges.  In your shoes, I would do some homework.  Talk to people at your company and at others in your industry to see what is a reasonable period for you to advance to senior engineer.  Your company may be balancing your value against the value of others further up in the line for promotion.  Or they may have a policy of only doing promotions at set intervals.  As you talk to more people, you may run into others that formerly worked for your company.  Those people will probably have the best insight.

Adjust your thinking to "your manager thinks you did a good job and are deserving of a promotion" from "you were promised a promotion."  Then analyze the situation with that understanding.  You might be just fine where you are.

Goldielocks

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 03:13:12 PM »
You definitely need to do the research for your local market to determine if you are underpaid.   Compare yourself to other programmers with only 3 years of experience, to see what the top 25% are making, and the top 50% (median) are making.   Take into consideration if other companies have longer working hours, travel, sales requirements or are on -call a lot after hours.

For one reference point -- DH has 8 years of programming experience across 2 companies, took a long break, went back for upgraded training (3 years full time school), and now has another 4 years of programming / hardware design work experience in the engineering / development department of his current employer. 

Although he has 2 different computer studies diplomas (plus another 2.5 years of chemical engineering university undergrad) he does not have a full degree.   

He works for a manufacturer for a smaller company, and is blissfully happy with his short commute and maximum 40 hour work weeks.

So -- 12 years of experience.  8 years of post secondary school (all of it in computer studies or engineering).
He is currently paid $65k/yr.    We live in a very HCOL city, and this is just under the local market rate for programmers who work for manufacturers as "Engineering Technologists".

   

DoNorth

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 02:25:14 AM »
what should you have done differently?  Walked into the negotiation with one or two better offers in your pocket that you could present to your manager.  In most cases, the extra money you wanted isn't as much as it would cost your employer to recruit, hire, train, and retain a replacement.

patch45

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 07:31:59 PM »
Interesting comments. My concern with coming to my manager with other job offers would be that I get deemed disloyal, and become first on the chopping block. It seems like that might be the best way to ensure raises though, if not ensure longevity at the company.

For those asking for context, I work in Boulder, CO. My manager did not promise a raise at all. I'm not upset with him, I think he did everything he could and made no promises that he didn't keep, nor did he give me specific numbers. I more wanted to know if there was anything I could do to influence or push for an exemption against what the VP has deemed the new way of doing things.

I understand the comments of "entitlement" and "you're not a senior engineer" and I know I was spoiled with a 20% raise in the first year. I felt like I didn't even deserve the first raise, to be honest. The reason why I think I am underpaid now is that I felt like the increase in my abilities/value produced in this last 6 month increment was actually higher than the increase in the previous two 6 month increments, when I actually did get raises (without specifically asking those past two times). I don't have much data to back that feeling up, besides those Glassdoor/SO salary calculators, which I don't have much faith in. I should probably gather some data before asking in the future.

As for being too green to be a senior, I agree that does feel weird. Maybe it's company specific. My context for considering that is that my manager said to me "you are acting as the senior engineer", combined with the fact that people on the team who have the title of "senior engineer" sometimes look to me for help with architectural decisions, and I usually take on the more complex bugs and exploratory work. Surprisingly enough, my feeling has nothing to do with my ability to set up a webex meeting.

Anyway, I got some good advice in this thread that I will take into consideration next time. I'm just let this one go for now, and hopefully put some of these suggestions to work in 6 months. Thanks all!

obstinate

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 08:15:31 PM »
Interesting comments. My concern with coming to my manager with other job offers would be that I get deemed disloyal, and become first on the chopping block. It seems like that might be the best way to ensure raises though, if not ensure longevity at the company.
This is a not unwise thing to fear . . . depending on the type of workplace you're in. Where I work, advancement through the ranks is considered the norm, and you don't really get to ask for raises without getting promoted. I have heard that there is an unwritten policy at the company that if you come in with an offer and demand a match, we may match it sometimes, but you have basically put a cap on the amount of responsibility you'll ever be trusted with in the future. I have no idea if it's true.

I understand the comments of "entitlement" and "you're not a senior engineer" and I know I was spoiled with a 20% raise in the first year. I felt like I didn't even deserve the first raise, to be honest. The reason why I think I am underpaid now is that I felt like the increase in my abilities/value produced in this last 6 month increment was actually higher than the increase in the previous two 6 month increments, when I actually did get raises (without specifically asking those past two times). I don't have much data to back that feeling up, besides those Glassdoor/SO salary calculators, which I don't have much faith in. I should probably gather some data before asking in the future.
IMO, don't worry about the haters saying you're entitled. We're here on this earth for a limited amount of time. If you are trading some of that time for money, it behooves you to ensure you're getting the best possible rate.

As for being too green to be a senior, I agree that does feel weird. Maybe it's company specific. My context for considering that is that my manager said to me "you are acting as the senior engineer", combined with the fact that people on the team who have the title of "senior engineer" sometimes look to me for help with architectural decisions, and I usually take on the more complex bugs and exploratory work. Surprisingly enough, my feeling has nothing to do with my ability to set up a webex meeting.

Anyway, I got some good advice in this thread that I will take into consideration next time. I'm just let this one go for now, and hopefully put some of these suggestions to work in 6 months. Thanks all!
"Senior engineer" has come to mean, "not entirely helpless," in modern parlance. It doesn't mean you're actually senior. It just means you're not junior. The title is arbitrary. It's just a designation of a certain level of independence and skill. Although the money is what really denotes your value to the company. Anything else is very, very cheap.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Didnít get the raise my manager said I would
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 10:14:00 PM »
I fail more "2-3 years experience, senior XYZ" resume/phone screen/interview candidates than I pass. A title bump can be a trap.