Author Topic: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise  (Read 32748 times)

AK

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Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« on: December 26, 2014, 11:51:37 AM »
Hi Everyone. I found MMM a year ago and have been OCDing about F.I.R.E ever since. My current savings rate is 50% and I'm working on increasing it further. While tackling the spend side of the equation, I thought why not tackle the income side too. Any advice based on my plan to ask for a raise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Background

Next Week, I have a performance review with my boss and I plan on asking for a raise to $105,000 from $80,000 and discuss why it's warranted based on my contributions. I've never actually asked for a raise in the almost 8 years being a Software Engineer. I had always just received merit raises and bonuses. To prepare for this, I've spent probably 15-20 hours documenting my accomplishments, researching the market rate for similar software positions in my area using sites like Glassdoor and Salary.com, and researching these forums and the internet about how to go about asking for a raise. Negotiating is a skill I'm working on improving and I definitely need more practice.

I've been with my current employer for almost 4 years and am extremely happy being there. Our company now has a product on the market that I had a large hand in getting it to where it is. Because it's so successful, we're growing fast and have increased our workforce by about 40% this year alone because of the increased demand.

My current position is Technical Consultant. Based on that title's responsibilities, I have to gather requirements, design, implement, test, and document software based on customer's needs. I do all of that plus interview job candidates, mentor new employees, architect / design various customizations for other projects I'm not directly on, troubleshoot other people's issues because I'm the GoTo guy on certain technologies and domains, and provide training to partners. Additionally, I put in extra hours to enhance various tools and processes to streamline things which have made notable contributions. Currently, all the new hires, mostly recent grads, also have the title of technical consultant. Based on the what I've described, I think I'm more of a Senior Technical Consultant or Lead.

At my employer, we typically have monthly performance meetings with an annual performance meeting for raises and such near year end. My reviews have all been outstanding and for a few months my boss did not schedule any performance meetings. I actually asked for my performance meeting to be rescheduled to next week because it was scheduled during my vacation this week. In past performance meetings, I've told my boss that I don't want to code forever and this past week he mentioned that beginning next year, I'll be doing mostly architect / design work for projects. While having lunch with some of our new hires a couple months ago, my boss said that I was "brilliant" which made me feel good.

I also have a B.S. in Computer Science and a Master's in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and many Finance classes taken. The accounting and finance background has really been helpful.

If it helps, I'm located in western New York. Also, I've been perusing CareerBuilder and Indeed and see Remote positions where I can work from home and potentially earn even more than what I'm asking for. While I could earn more elsewhere while working from home, I'm really happy where I'm at and am afraid of not being happy elsewhere despite the higher income.


Looking For Feedback On
  • Should I ask for a promotion as well as a raise?
  • Is asking for a $25,000 raise too much? I realize that's above what most receive but I feel like I'm worth that based on my skills, going market rate, and most importantly the contributions I've made to my employer and will continue to make.
  • Should I just ask for a raise without giving a number? I'm worried that asking for a specific number will potentially leave money on the table if they say sure without any negotiating as well as them thinking I'm greedy.
  • Anything else you feel would be relevant.

Future Lazy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 12:10:37 PM »
Have you considered getting an offer from another company, offering significantly more than $105k, and then taking that offer to your boss as evidence that you are underpaid and want to be paid market value?

+1, but I wouldn't come to the table brandishing an offer that I wasn't actually willing to take if my current employer said no - logic follows that if you're told no and stay at your current salary or take a much smaller raise than what you've asked for, instead of taking the much better financial offer that you brought to the table to negotiate with, then in the future, they may continue to think they can short you on what you deserve...

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 12:18:46 PM »
I've considered it. I don't want to do that because it could be interpreted as an ultimatum and if they say fine go elsewhere, I would. I'm not prepared to do that now because I want to remain there while building the stash. Let's call that a last resort that I'm willing to do if necessary.

With that said, I did call a recruiter about a Remote Software position to get the ball rolling in case a new job is in order...

TerriM

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2014, 12:21:12 PM »
We have been told that it's easier for a manager to give someone a $20K salary increase on hiring than in the middle of employment, even if someone leaves and comes back to the same company.  I think asking for the raise absolutely makes sense--they won't just give it to you without you asking--but I would agree that having another offer that you're willing to take is a must--then the manager has the evidence he/she needs to fight for the raise, and is forced to make the real choice of keeping you on.  Even if you're happy where you are, if they won't match the offer, you can go away for two or three years and come back asking for the higher salary.

Why wouldn't you want to go elsewhere?  Either you're worth more, or you're saying the job is so good, that it's only worth $85K because they've got people lining up to take it for cheap.  What's so great about the job that you'd rather build a smaller stash working at it?

Tyler

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 12:33:33 PM »
The key to asking for any raise is to have a gameplan for what you will do if they refuse or offer you less than you believe you deserve. It's not a negotiation unless you have satisfactory alternatives in mind.

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 01:00:20 PM »
Quote
We have been told that it's easier for a manager to give someone a $20K salary increase on hiring than in the middle of employment, even if someone leaves and comes back to the same company.  I think asking for the raise absolutely makes sense--they won't just give it to you without you asking--but I would agree that having another offer that you're willing to take is a must--then the manager has the evidence he/she needs to fight for the raise, and is forced to make the real choice of keeping you on.  Even if you're happy where you are, if they won't match the offer, you can go away for two or three years and come back asking for the higher salary.

Why wouldn't you want to go elsewhere?  Either you're worth more, or you're saying the job is so good, that it's only worth $85K because they've got people lining up to take it for cheap.  What's so great about the job that you'd rather build a smaller stash working at it?

Terrim, you make good points. I hadn't considered that.

My main objection to not going elsewhere is that I'm afraid I'll be miserable / stressed elsewhere despite the higher pay and faster time to FI. I'm happy where I'm at despite the pay because I work about 40-45 hours per week, like the work I do, enjoy working with my co-workers, bosses, and clients. Also, I can work from home and have a flexible schedule when needed. I guess I just feel loyal to them because of how well they treat me.

This is my 5th job in 8 years and I've been with my current employer for about half my professional career. With a higher salary, I think I can reach FI in say 5-8 years instead of the planned 8-11 years I'm anticipating now. This is one job where the grass has definitely been greener.

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The key to asking for any raise is to have a gameplan for what you will do if they refuse or offer you less than you believe you deserve. It's not a negotiation unless you have satisfactory alternatives in mind.

If they come back lower or say no, some things I'm considering are

1) Becoming self-employed and possibly working as a contractor for my employer while getting paid more while seeking other clients. This may work because it's been extremely challenging to find employees and my employer has had to start sub-contracting work out.

2) Getting a remote job and maybe someday return as Terrim mentioned. Working from home / anywhere is really appealing to me because I am married and would to spend more time at home with my wife and not have to go to the office as much.

3) Responding with what can I do to get to 105,000. If they say nothing, I'll definitely be seeking opportunities elsewhere.

- Despite the above options, I also planned on some side income from rentals and other sources too to build the passive income stream.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 01:04:42 PM by AK »

TerriM

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 01:07:39 PM »
Hmm.   The self-employed thing--not sure....  just remember that it means less benefits--so be sure to factor those in if you mention it.  You'd need to charge around $80-$100/hr to be equivalent to your current job.  You spend more time drumming up business.  Also, it may not be legal for them to simply convert you to a contractor.  There are IRS rules....

Also, be careful--being home more with wife means working less hours.  Trust me!  I've worked from home for a number of years, and the toughest thing is *not* getting distracted in the house by housework/kids/wife/hobbies. 

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 01:20:33 PM »
Regarding self employment, I've definitely considered the risks as you said. I estimate my total compensation to be around 90-95,000. Health Insurance is ok and there's no tuition reimbursement or life insurance. They actually tell us how much they contribute to the different health plans. The 401k contribution is 3% of salary regardless if I contribute. PTO is 3 weeks with an additional week of sick time. Didn't know about the IRS rules though... I do know that's what a former co-worker did but the owners weren't too thrilled about it. He no longer consults there.

I'd like to think I'm very disciplined about sticking to the task at hand and not being distracted. Currently, it's just my wife and I and she works part-time so I'm not expecting to be too distracted. Also, I've worked from home here and there this year and wasn't distracted. Of course, doing it full-time is different so I'd have to wait and see.

Thanks for the feedback!

Exflyboy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 01:58:55 PM »
You absolutely should be prepared to move!

As an ex engineering manager I can almost guarantee they are bringing in new hires with zero experience for more money than you are making. I saw this all the time, my new graduates would get paid the market rate and the people who now had 3 to 4 years experience would get 1% ( performance related) per year.

Well when the new graduate hire market rate is growing by 10% per year.. guess what happens? You manager will be sworn to secrecy for fear of losing his own job of course, so you'll never hear this from him/her.

I stayed with my employer for 28 years before retiring.. When I put my face out there on Linkediin I was snapped up for an easy 20% pay increase.. How many years had I allowed myself to be underpaid?

This is getting worse, the only person that will look after you in the workplace is YOU!

Now put your profile on Linked-in.. and you can use a program on the web called "resume builder" which will puke out a very professional looking Resume from your Linked in profile.. You just keep the profile updated and hit the resume buider every time you need to update the Resume.. Much easier... and free!

The ONLY bargaining power you have is the fact your holding another offer.. telling your boss your underpaid and you'll do what all managers do with empty threats.. You'll be ignored!

Do I sound a little millitant?... well I learned a lot in 30 years on both sides of the fence from where you are sitting.

Frank

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 02:18:53 PM »
Frank,

I prefer direct and to the point. I suspect what you've outlined is happening here also. Maybe I'm being naive but I truly think that they'll want to keep me and I'm fairly confident that'll I'll get the raise I want. They also mentioned that they're going to be looking for a few more technical consultants too.

I am thinking about also saying something to the effect of finding good people has been challenging and will likely only get harder because there's only 40,000 or so computer science graduates per year and the IT industry is expected to expand by 1.2 million jobs by 2020. That implies it'll be hard to fill my position and sound like an empty threat.

In any event, thank you everyone for the feedback!

mm1970

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 02:54:55 PM »
What Frank says is standard industry practice in ALL areas of engineering, not just software.

Ask for a promotion.

I've counseled many a young engineer with how to get a raise. It starts with doing research (you've done that), stating the case of why you think you deserve the raise and promotion (from your research).  Ending with "if I'm not at the correct level right now, what else should I do to reach it?  What other responsibilities should I take on?"

Usually if there's money, that works.

The work I'm doing is "X"
The title and level that corresponds to is "Y"
The going rate for that in this area is "Z"

mxt0133

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 03:22:57 PM »
Regardless weather you want to jump ship or not, you should always be interviewing at least once a year with a goal of getting an offer letter.  That is the only way you will know what your market rate is.  It will also help you get feel for the job market, what skills command top dollar, and where the industry is going.

I completely understand where your coming from about liking your employer, having flexibility, and having "career" capital with your manager.  I get it i'm in the same position, I could have left and made more money but doing the math, I'm making more on an hourly basis where I am than if I were to move and have to put in 40-50 hour work weeks, I average about 30-35 hours now and that's an aggressive estimate.

So if your going to ask for a specific number then be prepared and know what your course of action will be if you don't get it.  Be fully prepared for them to counter with a lower number with something along the line of we'll talk again next year or in 6 months, you need to have a answer then an there.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

starguru

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 04:11:52 PM »
One thing I've learned about negotiation is to ask for more than I what I want, and then if necessary compromise down to where you want to be.  If I were you, I'd ask for $120k a year and be prepared to accept the 105. 

120k a year is the bottom of what software engineers start at in Silicon Valley.  It's not unreasonable. 

Of course I'm making assumptions about what your skill set is.  Can you lay it out?

iamadummy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2014, 05:17:53 PM »
BigSlick, you need to ask for that raise pronto

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2014, 11:28:09 PM »
Big slick...lol. I chose this handle from my old username in TFC, audioking. I actually did play some hold em tonight and won.

Mxt0133, if they counter with a lower number and say we'll re-evaluate in 6 months or X time, I'm unsure what I'd do. If they come back with say 85-90, I'd push back with 100. If they say we can't go any higher, I'd accept that and start looking for another job. When new job arrives I'd say my goodbyes even if they countered because they don't value me that much. If they say 100, I'd accept it and say what can I do to get to 105 or higher. 100 is the minimum I really wanted. When starting out, I had a goal of getting to 100 by my current age. With my birthday not too far away, it's driving me towards asking even further. That sound reasonable?

Starguru, I'm a full stack developer who's done primarily web apps using various technologies. At my current employer, I do mostly Salesforce development because our product is on the platform. I have the advanced developer certification and do pretty much everything on the platform such as apex classes, visualforce, triggers, workflow, flows, reports, objects, etc. I'm also well versed in microsoft technologies and tools like visual studio, c#, asp.net, iis, and sql server. Of course, I know html, CSs, JavaScript, various source controls, build severs, design and architectural patterns and on and on. Despite being a full stack dev, I've always preferred backend dev because I don't possess the aesthetic skills of say a web designer. To me, Google is an awesome interface.

P.S, excuse the minor typos and capitalization. Typing this much on the tablet in bed is a pain. Face punches welcome...


starguru

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2014, 08:25:06 AM »
I think you are selling yourself short at asking for 105k.  If it were me I'd go with 120k (maybe higher).

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2014, 10:50:53 AM »
Starguru, you may be right.   Just unsure how likely it is to get that much higher of a raise. Will definitely think about that more...

One negotiating tactic I've thought about using is potentially working more, say up to 5 hours more a week. In all honesty, I usually do work more than 5 hours extra a week because there's so much to learn and keep on top off so I wouldn't mind. Since I'm a "billable" resource, this may work. Of course, I don't want to do it but if it's for 5-7 years, I think it's a decent compromise. What do you guys think?

Another thing I thought about doing is telling my boss ahead of time that I plan on asking for a raise. Is that too premature?

Also, what do you think about asking for a large bonus of say 50,000? Just exploring different options...

starguru

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2014, 11:55:26 AM »
Starguru, you may be right.   Just unsure how likely it is to get that much higher of a raise. Will definitely think about that more...

You won't know unless you ask:). The worst they can say is no.  Someone earlier mentioned that getting another offer to see what your worth will give you a good idea of what you can get.  Not a bad idea.  You have almost 10 years experience, to my mind the fact that you are making less than 100k is insulting.  Im insulted as a software engineer, and this isn't even my problem :). 

I just filled out a basic sketch of your scenario at payscale.com and it spit out a median of 101k.  That means half of engineers make more than that.  Are you better than half of engineers?

Maybe you should fill out your profile at this websit to get a more accurate sketch?

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One negotiating tactic I've thought about using is potentially working more, say up to 5 hours more a week. In all honesty, I usually do work more than 5 hours extra a week because there's so much to learn and keep on top off so I wouldn't mind. Since I'm a "billable" resource, this may work. Of course, I don't want to do it but if it's for 5-7 years, I think it's a decent compromise. What do you guys think?

I wouldn't to that.  You are already working more than normal right?

Quote
Another thing I thought about doing is telling my boss ahead of time that I plan on asking for a raise. Is that too premature?

Also, what do you think about asking for a large bonus of say 50,000? Just exploring different options...

Once you decide what you want, I would schedule a meeting with him/her and just get to the point.  I think salary is better than bonus as it affects things like 401k match, if you have one, and it's recurring. 

Exflyboy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2014, 12:19:10 PM »
My prediction is if you try any of this negotiating without an offer in hand you'll get a flat "no" or at best a paltry increase.

Worse case is you find yourself with "performance or attitude" problems at your next annual review and end up on the bottom of the bonuses/increases.

Remember this is a game, If they are indeed hiring grads for more than what they are paying you, well then the motivation is to do nothing unless your serious. If you don't have an offer then your not serious, your just whining.

I would stop wasting your time and get on Linked-in and get that profile done. I still get on average of one enquiry per moth asking if I would be interested in a move... Heck I don't even have to apply to jobs.

Frank

jpo

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2014, 12:36:14 PM »
My prediction is if you try any of this negotiating without an offer in hand you'll get a flat "no" or at best a paltry increase.
It depends on how much they want to keep you. Some places will give you a raise to keep you from interviewing.

Also, the grass isn't always greener. If you end up interviewing I would ask how many hours are expected and calculate out your hourly pay even if the offer is salary. Make sure you know what you'd be leaving for.

OP, I have less experience than you and have received offers over 60% higher than your current pay with less responsibilities... you shouldn't have much issue getting a significant bump as you seem to be quite underpaid.

jsloan

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2014, 12:53:56 PM »
Wow, are you me?  I'm also a senior technical consultant for an accounting/IT firm only we primarily do work using Dynamics AX/CRM (Microsoft stack).  For context: I'm located in the Midwest as well and currently make around 105,000 with bonuses.  My base salary is around 88,000.

I recommend that you bring it up in your interview and mention that your skills are in demand.  I don't think you have to go as far as lining up another offer because you could probably do that by just updating your linked in account.  If I even make a small modification to my linked in account I get at least 2-3 recruiter calls the next day.  I wanted to comment because I have also struggled with leaving because I know I could make more money somewhere else.  My company is smaller and they know that they can't compete with the big consulting companies by offering giant salaries, but they can control their work environment.  Work weeks tend to be 40-45 hours and we have work from home, etc.   

I have a couple of friends that left our company to make more money and within a year were back at smaller consulting companies or companies that they were consulting for because of time and travel demands.  You never know if you left you may find a similar situation for more money, but it can be hard to know for sure.  For example, my one friend was on a project where he basically got on a plane on Monday and didn't return until Friday.  He worked onsite at the client and a lot at night to hit some ridiculous deadline set forth by the client.  I think it was tough on his family so he decided to move on after the project was over and I'm not sure if he took a pay cut or not.  I think he just wanted out.  With that said, I also have people I used to work with that went on to leadership positions at the companies they consulted for, made more money and still have a good work life balance.   

For myself, I have been leaning towards staying at my company at least in the short term because I have 2 small kids at home that I get to see everyday.  To me, it is worth it to take a bit less pay in order to have lunch with my kids at least for a few more years.  Once my youngest starts school and if the yearly merit raises don't keep up I'm probably going to bail or go independent 100%.  My wife is a stay at home mom/independent programmer and I work with her on some larger projects she takes on for extra money as well

Bottom line, there is a lot of opportunity out there right now for CRM consultants/programmers, especially Salesforce.  You will have no problem finding another job so I don't even think you need to worry about that part of the equation until you decide what is most important to you.  Just realize that opportunity is a good problem to have.  I would say if they don't work with you at all that you look to leave.  You can always bounce around until you find the right fit.  Good Luck!
       
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 01:01:41 PM by jsloan »

jsloan

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2014, 01:33:21 PM »
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A recruiter call is a lot different from an offer. Part of the reason for actually getting an offer is that it lets you know what the actual market rate is, rather than just having to wonder about how high you can get.

The reason I'm hesitant to agree with this advice because we had this happen recently with a junior programmer.  He asked for more money and presented an offer from another company and our company did not counter because they figured that he would leave within the year anyway.  Since OP actually wants to stay I'm not sure this is the best advice.  In our case it created a rift between the programmer and our development manager who was actually standing up for him to HR.  Based on the description that OP laid out I'm sure he is valuable and would not have an issue finding another job quickly.  If his company is uncompromising then they are showing their hand and you plan accordingly.   

Also, as an FYI, I have received an offer from recruiters in as little as 2 phone calls, no face to face meeting.  Salary was 120,000.  I eventually turned them down due to their onsite/travel requirements.  CRM consultants can easily see what they are worth by performing searches on glassdoor.com for your area.     

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2014, 05:40:14 PM »
Wow. Thanks Cathy, jsloan, jpo, ExFlyBoy, and Starguru for the other discussion points. All the feedback has definitely increased my confidence in asking and I feel much better about going into it. I can't thank everyone enough.

For determining the market rate, so far I've looked at different salary sites such as Salary.com and Glassdoor, looked at the online job boards like career builder and indeed, and spoken to a recruiter at a Salesforce recruiting agency. I wholeheartedly agree that getting an actual offer is far more valuable. If things don't go so well, I'll start looking elsewhere.

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I would stop wasting your time and get on Linked-in and get that profile done. I still get on average of one enquiry per moth asking if I would be interested in a move... Heck I don't even have to apply to jobs.

ExFlyBoy, I love your no-nonsense feedback. Keep it coming! I've been updating LinkedIn here and there the past few years. Like you, I get inquiries frequently from recruiters but I turn them down by saying "I'm happy where I'm at but if something changes, I'll let you know". For the time being, I'm going to keep my LinkedIn activity to a minimum because I'm connected to my boss and other higher ups at my employer so I don't want them to know, at least not yet, that I'm looking.

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The reason I'm hesitant to agree with this advice because we had this happen recently with a junior programmer.  He asked for more money and presented an offer from another company and our company did not counter because they figured that he would leave within the year anyway.  Since OP actually wants to stay I'm not sure this is the best advice.  In our case it created a rift between the programmer and our development manager who was actually standing up for him to HR.  Based on the description that OP laid out I'm sure he is valuable and would not have an issue finding another job quickly.  If his company is uncompromising then they are showing their hand and you plan accordingly.

jsloan, Based on knowing my boss and the owners, the scenario you described is the most probable outcome if I did have an offer in hand. I'm sure I can find another job if needed even if it took a while. The stash can pay for multiple months of living expenses. If things get really bad, I can go back to work for a former boss who has contacted me a couple times to come back. He's the reason I left.

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I would say if they don't work with you at all that you look to leave.  You can always bounce around until you find the right fit.  Good Luck!

I've already bounced around and I truly like where I'm at. When most people are saying is it Friday yet, I'm thinking everyday is Friday because I'm happy there except for the pay. Currently, I'm a "Technical Consultant" with, to me, "Senior Technical Consultant" responsibilities.

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You won't know unless you ask:). The worst they can say is no.  Someone earlier mentioned that getting another offer to see what your worth will give you a good idea of what you can get.  Not a bad idea.  You have almost 10 years experience, to my mind the fact that you are making less than 100k is insulting.  Im insulted as a software engineer, and this isn't even my problem :). 

I just filled out a basic sketch of your scenario at payscale.com and it spit out a median of 101k.  That means half of engineers make more than that.  Are you better than half of engineers?

I'm certainly not a genius so I'm definitely not in the top 10%. Based on my performance reviews, peer feedback, and my own self-assessment, I'd say I'm in the 70-80th percentile. Hard to say for sure.

mm1970

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2014, 06:39:44 PM »
Quote
I've already bounced around and I truly like where I'm at. When most people are saying is it Friday yet, I'm thinking everyday is Friday because I'm happy there except for the pay. Currently, I'm a "Technical Consultant" with, to me, "Senior Technical Consultant" responsibilities.

This is key.  When I was counseling some junior (and fellow female) engineers to point out their current responsibilities and ask how they can increase them, they both said "that doesn't work, they will just tell you that there is no room for you to move up."

Unbeknownst to me, the male engineer in the next cube over did just what I said, and then his manager said "wait, you are already doing the higher level of responsibility, here's a promotion and a raise".

mozar

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2014, 06:41:52 PM »
Your boss can't find out you are getting messages on linked in. Unless you let them read your messages, if you are connected on linked in they know you are getting messages from recruiters. They're not stupid. Also for a new job your performance review doesnt matter (i hope you are not sending your performamce reviews to future employ opps???). Jobs just like that you are shiny and new to them, they don't know any negatives yet.

Exflyboy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2014, 07:59:51 PM »
Your boss can't find out you are getting messages on linked in. Unless you let them read your messages, if you are connected on linked in they know you are getting messages from recruiters. They're not stupid. Also for a new job your performance review doesnt matter (i hope you are not sending your performamce reviews to future employ opps???). Jobs just like that you are shiny and new to them, they don't know any negatives yet.


^^^^ This... Don't worry about it. Everybody uses Linked-in and every manager is aware its a free market out there.. Stat by emailing them recruiters and asking what they got.

Frank

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2014, 08:05:27 PM »
Mozar, I know they can't see my private messages. I just don't want them seeing me connecting to new recruiters at this time because I don't want them thinking my foot is halfway out the door already so why give him any raise. If things don't go as planned, then I don't mind them seeing new connections.

Exflyboy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2014, 08:08:48 PM »
Mozar, I know they can't see my private messages. I just don't want them seeing me connecting to new recruiters at this time because I don't want them thinking my foot is halfway out the door already so why give him any raise. If things don't go as planned, then I don't mind them seeing new connections.

If your bosses have time to go go snooping thru your connections on LI, then they simply don't have enough to do. Seriously your not THAT important...:)

Frank

Rural

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2014, 06:16:58 AM »
Mozar, I know they can't see my private messages. I just don't want them seeing me connecting to new recruiters at this time because I don't want them thinking my foot is halfway out the door already so why give him any raise. If things don't go as planned, then I don't mind them seeing new connections.


You can adjust your privacy settings so they don't get notifications when you make changes or new connections. Then they'd have to do look, probably as a reaction to you asking for a raise... Then, wouldn't they take your request just a little more seriously?

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2014, 06:39:20 AM »
Rural,

I'm probably overthinking LinkedIn too much. I wasn't aware of the LinkedIn settings so thanks for that nugget. Next time, I'll be sure to check my social network settings.

If they do go look at LinkedIn after my request, I still have the same concern as you quoted. I'm asking this week so waiting a few more days or another week to make connections won't hurt.

TerriM

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2014, 07:51:12 AM »
Mozar, I know they can't see my private messages. I just don't want them seeing me connecting to new recruiters at this time because I don't want them thinking my foot is halfway out the door already so why give him any raise. If things don't go as planned, then I don't mind them seeing new connections.

Do NOT connect to the recruiters.  Just respond to their emails and discuss privately with them.

TerriM

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2014, 07:55:03 AM »
Given the feedback here, perhaps the game plan should be to go talk to your manager, see if he will give you the raise.  If he won't push for it, then get an offer from somewhere else, and be clear that you like it there and you don't intend to do this every year, but that you know you're underpaid.  Then see if he'll get you a raise.  But then what?

I think you're in a real quandary here.  You don't want to leave, but you're underpaid.  Unfortunately, if you're really feeling that way, and they know it, they have no incentive to give you a raise.

pbkmaine

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2014, 08:53:36 PM »
As you can probably tell from the postings here, corporate culture is very important. Our former CEO did not give substantial raises without seeing an offer from a competitor. He was a very logical man, and this to him was proof of market value. Current management responds better to a memo listing achievements, with perhaps some competitive data. Offers mean that you are ready to leave. So I think the lesson is to know your company.

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2015, 12:12:45 PM »
Earlier this week, I had my performance meeting. Before the meeting, I posted the agenda which included talking about next year's objectives and responsibilities, since my boss mentioned that I'll be taking on more lead responsibilities, and a raise, which had a link to my raise request requesting $110,000 and why. Before I could even begin the raise discussion, he had a paper stating well we were giving you a 6% raise to $84,800 but I'll have to talk to the owner's about this. He mentioned that the company usually gives 3% raises and that since we're growing fast and such, the budget has been "leaner".

The conversation was professional and went better than I was expecting. He said is there any wiggle room here. To which I replied, I'm willing to consider another week's vacation, being able to rollover additional vacation time, and working up to an additional 5 hours a week. I didn't respond with a lower number. He said ok and that he would really hate to lose me and he'll get back to me as soon as possible, probably on Friday.

Overall, I think my chances are pretty good of getting a higher salary. The question is how much. My gut is telling me $110,000 is unlikely but we'll see. I think we're going to play the negotiating game on Friday where I expect them to counter with probably $90K and I'll probably say how about $105 with another week's vacation. After the performance meeting, I attended training sessions led by my boss and he unexpectedly called me the "Membership God" and was showcasing different examples of my work so that reinforces that he wants to keep me.

What do you guys think? Any other advice?

P.S. Thanks you everyone for your feedback. I felt unusually confident going into the meeting and during it. This wouldn't have been possible without you.

Exflyboy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2015, 01:46:46 PM »
well your boss has set out his negotiating position.. I.e a 6% raise with you take on extra work.

In other words his wriggle room is waaay less then what you expect.


I think you are at square one.. only its worse now because negotiations have commenced and he will want to wrap this up quickly.. Bottom line is you won't get paid what your worth and you'll have more work to do.

I'd get looking and hold an offer in your hand ASAP

Frank

mm1970

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2015, 07:26:49 PM »
ExFlyBoy is right.  I certainly wouldn't give up and accept $90k, for example.  Keep negotiating.  Then start looking.

TerriM

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #36 on: January 01, 2015, 08:27:00 PM »
This doesn't sound very good.  What I just read was that you're willing to accept a higher salary in exchange for more work and the possibility of rolling over vacation (an agreement which could be pulled out from under you while you're in the middle of a deadline--are you going to leave in the middle of a project to take that vacation or let it go poof?).   Doesn't that mean you're working for the same hourly pay, and asked for more hours?  I think you need to hold firm at $105K until he comes back with $100K.   If he doesn't, get another offer to see if you're really worth $105K.  Then come back with it, and tell him, you really want to stay, but you need to be paid what you're worth.  At least you gave him a chance to keep you first.

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2015, 08:35:50 PM »
It probably doesn't make much of a difference but he was giving me a 6% raise before he knew about me asking for one. In any event, let's see what tomorrow brings and we'll go from there. Thanks for the feedback.

TerriM

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2015, 08:55:37 PM »
Yeah, but you're asking for a megaraise :)  Which you may very well be entitled to.   So don't back down.  Just be very polite.

chopper41

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2015, 09:05:50 PM »
AK, you're selling yourself short.  With your qualifications, you could work remotely making at least $150/hr (contracting).  As an employee, depending on the city, you should be making in the $120,000-$150,000 range.  Please put your resume on Dice, make sure your profile is updated on LinkedIn and just chat with the recruiters who will come a-calling.  I've been successfully freelancing for the last 5 years with 95% of my jobs remote.  Since I have small children, it's one of my job stipulations.  We have a similar skill-set.   Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

chopper41

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2015, 09:16:05 PM »
Also, as others have mentioned.  You absolutely SHOULD talk to the recruiters that contact you.  1)  It's a way of networking, 2) you can find out what other companies are willing to pay for your skill-set.  If you haven't already, you should join some of the linkedin groups for jobs (i.e. Saleforce.com Jobs).  You can make the groups you join hidden on linkedin, if you're worried about your boss.

clifp

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2015, 10:21:16 PM »
My knowledge of SW salaries is 15 year so other on the forums have far more accurate information. I will say that at times companies can incredibly foolish and short sighted when it comes paying engineers.   They have to pay new college graduate what the market, but they can hope that rest of the workforce is too busy doing their jobs to notice what is going on.

This Xmas I had conversation with a friend who was home for the holidays.  Master and Bachelors Engineering degree from Stanford, working for a very high visibility company in the Valley. Also been out of school for 7 years and 4 years at the company and had risen to engineering manager.  Last year he was complaining that he couldn't get hire engineers cause Google was snapping them up at salaries 25% more than he was making.  This year he got a 43% raise,and sounds like most of his staff and co-workers got a 30%.  If they had done it a year ago they would have been a lot better, since his loyality was really tested and they lost several could candidates.

The everybody else is getting 3% raise is frankly insulted. You have MBA so you could in fact probably do most of the jobs that others could do.  It is doubtful that more than a couple of the non-engineers could do your job.  The simple fact is that there is no way they could replace you for $85K, and I think that is something you need to point out to your boss and the owner.


ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2015, 05:28:52 AM »
I'm 25, so I haven't been working that long, but my best raises have come outside the performance review cycle. One, I asked for 6% midyear and got 7%, the other, a manager got for me after a brutal month. At performance review time they have a set amount that they're going to raise people's salaries by. Midyear it's more nebulous and flexible.

This is just my observation at my company, of course.

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2015, 05:37:55 AM »
No discussion came up Friday. It's been a few days so I'm unsure if that's good or bad. Gut is telling me it might be good.

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2015, 01:58:22 PM »
So I had a follow-up meeting about my Salary request today with the head of HR, my boss, and the CEO / owner. It started out with them explaining that the past 2 years have not been profitable because they were investing in the company and so forth. They asked me if I had started searching elsewhere and that they'd hate to lose me. I mentioned that no I'm not searching but I like to keep my options open. I also mentioned that I love working here and am willing to negotiate. I then asked if we could meet in the middle at $95,000 with another week's vacation and the owner said they'd have to go back and discuss it further.

The owner then asked if I'm looking to take on more responsibilities like managing others and doing more architecture / senior level responsibilities. I responded that yes and I would like to and that I feel I already am doing that. She mentioned that with a promotion they can have better options with pay there. Where we left off is that we're going to meet again when I get back from vacation and that they'll increase my pay to 85 for now.

My initial thoughts on this are

1) They don't obviously value me as much as I think I'm worth. Otherwise, this would be a non-issue and I would've gotten the raise already.
2) It's highly unlikely now that I'll get anywhere near $100,000 since of the meet in the middle tactic.
3) I'm going to start searching more heavily now?
4) I really don't want to leave because I'm very happy here. I have mixed feeling about this. Obviously, I have to watch out for numero uno but things are good.

What would you do? I'm guessing most people would say time to move on.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2015, 02:01:02 PM »
Having a stable job that you like is worth a lot of salary. Remember, most of us are here because we value happiness over dollar throughput.

AK

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2015, 03:31:36 PM »
After talking to a recruiter, they mentioned that my employer had reached out to them looking for salesforce developers and the salary range was 75 - 90K. I'm unsure how to use this information since we're still in the negotiation stage.

Right now I'm feeling insulted but trying to rationalize my feelings with knowing that this is how business goes to make myself feel better. The recruiter did mention that there was a position available where I could work remotely, with a salary in my range, and limited travel. That has piqued my interest but we'll see how things go.

Any advice on how to use that info?

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2015, 05:21:44 PM »
After talking to a recruiter, they mentioned that my employer had reached out to them looking for salesforce developers and the salary range was 75 - 90K. I'm unsure how to use this information since we're still in the negotiation stage.
---

Remember, if the recruiter lets you know about what the company is doing, then he might let the employer know that you are talking to recruiters.

It could go either way, either they go up to 95k or they cut you loose.

swashbucklinstache

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2015, 05:48:37 PM »
Depending on where you are at geographically, that could mean a lot or it could mean absolutely nothing. For one, if the recruiter has any incentive to make you change jobs, which they probably do, they could just be flat out lying. I'd think it would be very unprofessional for them to tell you that your employer was looking for jobs, and depending on your location possibly quite unlikely that your employer uses the same recruiter, if they use any at all. Unless maybe the recruiter was pitching your employer as a potential option for you, not knowing you already work there?

I work in software and we have positions with very high end ranges posted sometimes. We almost never fill the position at that range - it's usually reserved for the person who worked 5 years as a developer, 10 years as a senior architect, 5 years in a position managing architect or as an apprentice CTO type who wants to move down the ladder somewhat and that experience would really help them. Or sometimes people with established relationships with primary clients - i.e. they will immediately bring in several times more than someone we would hire at the bottom of the salary range with clients. Or specific credentials that clients require making them hard to find, though that doesn't sound like an issue here.

Other times we post things in a certain range because we find it much easier to recruit more junior level people vs. senior level from a quality/value standpoint. A posting for 75-90 doesn't necessarily mean that they don't want the $120,000 person and want to pay for it. Many companies strongly prefer to grow from within for lots of reasons.

--- More generally on this salary and job change topic

The below paragraphs will sound like the opposite of this so let me say this clearly: You believe you are worth salary x. If you are, find someone to pay you x in a good work environment. This is the only solution, whether that is your current company or somewhere new. If your current company can't do this then that is too bad for them - it is not particularly relevant that the company hasn't done outstanding the last 2 years, all of the reasons I lay out below, or any other reason or excuse for them to not pay you. If you're worth x, get "paid" x end of story, where "paid" is monetary and quality of (work) life.

A lot of companies don't want the 10 years experience engineer, as they don't feel like they get a good value in that price range. They're not going to fire you if you stay there, I mean they'd love to have that kind of skill, they're just not going to pay you like you have 10 years experience either. Sometimes our clients are like this - we provide value z, which is way better than their need of y, but they really do only want y so only want to pay for y. Sometimes they're right about their need and the overall value we bring to the table and sometimes they're wrong. There's really nothing wrong with this on either end and it could just mean it is time to move on to someone who wants an engineer with 10 years experience and is willing to pay them like it.

This depends a lot on the company, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss your chances and call it all a lost cause at your current gig. Sometimes getting things like this done really does little while, and remember that these people often have a lot on their plate. I've seen people (manager) get verbally thrashed by their superiors and even (the CEO) by the manager in between them and the employee playing your role because they didn't move fast enough and someone moved on. They had every intention of doing so but didn't do it fast. I've also seen people organize new teams to create brand new positions for people they wanted to keep (and pay to keep), but couldn't simply promote them and give them a 25% raise with no additional responsibilities because it would wreak havoc on the morale of the rest of the workplace or even cause people already at that salary levels with that responsibility to quit. Especially if there really is a hard-and-fast system of promotions and pay grades - people might not like to see others not have to put in the time and it could be extremely obvious to anyone who is above a certain level having gone through it, even if it is unnoticeable to people who haven't (you).

I think the only thing we can say they "obviously don't think you're worth" is something crazy like $200,000, where they'd stumble over themselves to raise your pay to $100,000 and be sure you appreciated their magnanimity in the meantime. No matter what they raise your pay to expect them to act like it is the very limits of their capability. But remember that good companies don't want to play chicken any more than you do. Hiring good talent is often ungodly expensive and there can be a lot of pressure on managers to boot. Not all of them realize that though, and in some cases it isn't hard or draining for them at all. Hence the negotiations :).

Also, if it comes down to it be careful with throwing an offer down on the table unless you're willing to leave and be hesitant to engage in the counteroffer game.

---

tl;dr: Probably wouldn't do anything with this piece information.

Exflyboy

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Re: Software Engineer Seeks Feedback on Asking For Raise
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2015, 06:28:36 PM »
AK, why on Earth did you tell your employer your not looking?

The whole idea is to make them think you could leave.. you should have declined to answer.

So now that you have gone down your path and its CLEAR it doesn't work.. Have you generated your LI profile and got your resume done yet?

Your just wasting time.. if you think your worth $105k.. then get an offer for $105k then negotiate.. not before, you have zero power!

The only way I got $165k (when they offered less than $100k) was because I knew they needed me and I told them I wouldn't work for less.. Period.