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IT Salary: 10 Ways To Get A Raise
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progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:20:07 AM
One of the best things I did was
plead a case for a raise, in a written document, 15 years ago.  I knew I was due based on the more advanced work I was due compared to my colleagues.  I also knew if I simply asked my boss the request would have disappeared into the ether.  I wrote a document that made my case, with supporting data, and give it to him with the understanding he would have to forward it up the chain anyway.  The senior VPs were so impressed with that the raise came quickly.  Even though it was 15 years ago that kind of salary bump pays dividends like any investment, and raised what my perception of my worth was for years afterward.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 12:56:40 PM
Re: One of the best things I did was
Progman, thanks for sharing your experience. Having those bullet points on paper can help when you enter the conversation with the boss as well. Depends on the person's management style.
StaceyE
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StaceyE,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 4:01:59 PM
Re: One of the best things I did was
I agree. It is good to have something written up to go by while having that uncomfortable conversation. The bullet points ensure you forget nothing because of nervousness.
H@mmy
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H@mmy,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 4:08:00 PM
Re: One of the best things I did was
Thank You Progman for sharing your experience.  Very effective way it is, I would say. Its always good to have things in black and white.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 11:31:10 AM
Big Bump
It wasn't an IT position, but when I discovered a non-management colleague had been making more than me, I was really hurt, angry, and upset. I was management, with a ton of responsibilities, heading high-profile projects, and he was a reporter who made a sizable amount more than me. Instead of immediately seeking another position (which was, I have to admit, my first reaction), I spoke to my immediate manager -- who happens to have been a great boss -- about the disparity. I spoke calmly and laid out the comparative responsibilities; my years of experience; the tasks i had taken on without guidance or request, etc. (there was no LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc., back then). Ultimately, I got a very big raise that brought me up to par with others in the position I held, despite the ongoing freeze on raises at the time. Sure, I was still hurt and felt used for the years of under-payment, but that was not this particular manager's fault and they earned my undying loyalty. I guess my honesty with the manager could have backfired but since i was not prepared to stay at the company after learning how underpaid I was, I had nothing to lose.
globalpos
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globalpos,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 12:06:18 PM
Re: Big Bump
One of the tasks of Management is keep the employee happy.  Management do not want to work on hiring painful process, so, instead, is easier to keep an eye on employees doing great job and obviously, hard to replace.Want to spend dollars in rewards or spend dollars in hiring process, training process?The great employee is an asset the bring value and results to the bussiness, it is a very expensive resource, you have to take care of him/her.If you have to discover you are underpaid compared with results AND you have to go to Management to get a raise, you have a poor manager there.It is like your dog at home, you try to give the best care possible, best food, best house, fun time and lots of love.

 

That's why I used to say Human Resources Dept are the least human in the supply chain...

 

 

 

 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:51:00 PM
Re: Big Bump
T @globalpos, Thank you for your comment, As mentioned in the article, "where you stack up compared to others in your role, industry, and location. " This I think is where I currently fall, since when I look around my peers, I'm one of the youngest and at times perform junior roles, yet my compensation is adequate for my current position...or am I fooling myself?
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 11:48:29 AM
Re: Big Bump
In this case, my manager was new to the position and was not responsible for my pay so i didn't hold it against them! I am not sure how much attention they'd paid to individuals' salaries before my situation occurred -- or whether this manager reviewed others' salaries to see if there were similar situations. 
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 11:19:00 PM
Re: Big Bump
@Alison , thx for sharing your experience. I commend yr approach to the problem, yeah it could have backfired but like the saying goes nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 2:29:26 PM
Other advice?
Alison and Progman2000 shared two good examples of what can happen if you just ask. Who else has had that conversation with a manager? Why do you think you were successful -- or not? Would you have done anything differently in hindsight?
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 9:28:59 AM
Re: Other advice?
Actually on my last job i did the same thing as Alison and Progman2000 but got nowhere. I had been with that company for about 3 years, grossly underpaid with a slew of accomplishments that were easily identifiable. In fact I did so much that my boss at the time recommended me for promotion to VP in 2 departments. Of course the company policy was NOT to promote from within and I got neither of those positions. The paper i wrote documenting all my accomplishments, ROI to the company, etc went nowhere. The CIO would not talk to me, the CEO would not talk to me (despite promising to do so for quite some time) and i stopped going above and beyond. Eventually i left that company. Now I finally got a salary commensurate with my experience and I don't look back. The point of this post is to illustrate that it is not a slam dunk case when you write such documents and just ask. It really depends upon the management culture of a company.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 11:55:04 AM
Re: Other advice?
@tjgkg: Sorry about your experience but delighted you found a position at another organization that DID recognize your abilities and accomplishments. I'd imagine writing the paper at your prior employer was helpful as you interviewed for new positions, since you'd established ROI and other benchmarks for the tasks you'd done at the prior company. Bringing up a disparity in pay or proactively pursuing a promotion is dangerous. It can backfire and you must be prepared to leave if it does.

Those organizations that have a policy of never/always promoting from within blow my mind. It is so short-sighted to never/only consider candidates from a certain pool of individuals. Who knows the capabilities of the people within/outside your organization if you only look outside/within? Silly.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 1:36:14 PM
Re: Other advice?
@Diana: Silly is right. At my exit interview I brought up their no promotion from within policy and they denied it. After I brought up all the examples they finally conceeded that they were looking for "new ideas".  The paper I wrote formed the description of my time at that place on my resume. It is very difficult to find a decent position right now. The economy is not as robust as some of these strange reports would have you believe. In fact it is worse. Employers have the upper hand and they use it. And then there is age discrimination...
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 3:38:06 PM
Re: Other advice?
I am sorry there's a dearth of good jobs in your area, @tjgkg, and I admire your resolve to drive four hours round trip each day. That's absolutely incredible -- and shows your dedication to a job that doesn't sound particularly rewarding, given the way you've described it. I do hope the job situation improves in your area or you find a position at a company that allows 100% telecommuting, depending on what you do. 

On the good news front, it's not only research from InformationWeek that shows growing demand for technology professionals. I've seen several reports from a variety of different, respectable and unbiased researchers that all seem to say the same thing. Anecdotally I see a lot more job postings these days on both social media and email (i am on a few alerts). Of course, when you are unhappy at your job or unemployed, generalizations don't mean anything until you find a (better) position. Good luck.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2014 | 4:47:17 PM
Re: Other advice?
Thanks very much! I am hoping something breaks soon.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:53:29 PM
When to rock the boat?
To the community, isn't staying stable for a couple of years seen like a good thing? (Only asking since at my current assignment I'm seeing a lot of turnover, with many consultants leaving with less than a year.)
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/8/2014 | 10:38:41 AM
Re: When to rock the boat?
How happy are you in your position? Is your work challenging and rewarding? Are the skills you're learning and using preparing you for what's next? If not, it may not be worth it to stay just for the purpose of stability in your resume. If your job isn't meeting your expectations, that's something you can discuss with hiring managers if they question your short stint. 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 9:00:55 PM
Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
A trend I'm seeing is that while a sa!art raise at a given moment is not viable for the company, asking for more flexibity with the schedule is a good drwpaw back. Many have opted to work a certain amount of days remote, and meetings are scheduled considering this. Also the company itself has made investment in video conferencing technology to support this
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 11:24:43 PM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
@ Mejiac. A good option when pay raise is not possible.I actually felt that companies were more willing to go with this option other than pay raise.
kbannan100
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kbannan100,
User Rank: Strategist
7/1/2014 | 12:24:23 AM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
I think it's also worth asking to offload some of the more mundane, time-consuming IT tasks, moving them into an IT-as-a-Service model. By removing rote, annoying tasks you as an IT person can spend more time doing work that's exciting and at the same time raise your visibility.


I wonder if some people are being held back because management doesn't see their roles as crucial. Even those in managerial positions may have trouble making the case for a raise if they are stuck doing commodity-like IT tasks.


--KB (Me: http://bit.ly/1iMdSE5  )
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/1/2014 | 9:07:04 AM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
@mejiac Exactly. Asking for something like a more flexible schedule still puts more money in your pocket, but in a more indirect way. Less time spent commuting = less money spent on gas and an increase in productivity, which ultimately benefits the business, too. 

What other creative benefits have you negotiated in lieu of a pay raise?
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 10:16:52 AM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
@Kristin Burnham,

Training. Because I'm PMP certified, my company has funded all my training needs so that I can keep up my PDUs.... that when you sume up 60 hours worth of courses, it racks up fast.

Another fringe benefit has been have days off that don't count towards PTO, so that's good too.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 11:51:07 AM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
Training is a terrific benefit, @mejiac, especially because it benefits both your employer and you if you choose to move on to a different organization. I'd add attending trade shows is another plus, too. You can see panel discussions, keynotes, and product demonstrations and also network among peers to make new connections, find potential new positions (if you want to leave your current job), and see how other organizations are addressing the challenges you're facing.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 9:42:39 AM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
Working from home a day or two per week is a nice perk. Especially if you take three trains like i do to get to work. And with a rail strike looming, that is an important option for me.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 11:56:41 AM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
Yes, that's a great perk that doesn't cost organizations a penny but has a terrific, beneficial effect on employee morale and loyalty. I know several people who have stayed at their current positions, in large part because they can work from home one to three days per week and/or have flexible hours instead of the typical 9-5 or 8-4.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 1:41:01 PM
Re: Getting creativewhen a raise is not an option
Amazingly the place that I work at now frowns on working from home and they are an IT place! It takes me 2 hours each way to get to work every day. Working from home would allow me to use that time for work.  Even worse is that this place requires you to punch in and out like you are working at a pizza place when you were 15. Sorry, this whole subject has brought up a lot of sad things for me!
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
6/30/2014 | 9:12:08 PM
A rising tide lifts IT's boat
The economy must be getting better. Here's good advice on how to ask for a raise.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 9:16:45 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
Well, here in China one good way to get salary increase is changing the job. For IT industry on average you will  get 20% - 30% increase. But I do agree on the points in this post. The competence and skill are the foundation for asking raise but the tactics such as proper positioning, doing more research, etc. are also quite important.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 7:22:09 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
There's an old saying, the biggest raise you'll ever get is when you walk through the door.  I've seen this hold true over the years.  If you are willing to hop jobs it is possible to increase your pay by moving around.  I'm at the point where I'd rather not hop jobs just for higher pay, I'd like to settle in and be paid a fair wage when compared to regional averages.  I think that longevity at a job brings things that money cannot.  In IT having deeper roots in a company means many things go more smoothly because you understand the business and they understand you.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 9:31:14 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
I cannot agree more on your points - salary  is definitely not the only reason to change a job. Moving around frequently is not a good  idea. By moving around you get raise to your  salary but you need to start  everything from scratch. You need to get familiar with the new business  and build new network. Except there is good reason in addition to money,  moving for higher pay is definitely not a wise choice.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 9:33:07 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
I agree with you there SaneIT. It is one of the reasons I worked so hard at my last job to try to get someone to listen to me. Unfortunately sometimes you just have to make the move and hope things work out for the best.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 12:01:48 PM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
I'm with you, @SaneIT. Salary is important, of course, but it's not necessarily the critical issue. Autonomy; a career path; opportunities for growth; interesting work; supportive management and peers, and an organization who I believe in all play a role. There's also the comfort level that comes with knowing your organization. Sometimes it's time for a new challenge, to learn a new organization (or even industry), and sometimes it's not. I think, though, if you plan to move jobs that's definitely the time to get more money. It is probably the sole time you can request a more sizable salary increase!

 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2014 | 7:42:12 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
@Alison_Diana, Autonomy is a big thing for me, I'm not one that does will with micro management nor do I manage that way.  Right now I have periodic meetings to give updates to executives but aside from that I run along at my own pace focusing on the areas I feel need attention.  I've worked in environments where I felt like I spent more time talking about what was going on than actually making things happen.  I feel like until you have established yourself in a position getting that autonomy is difficult.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/3/2014 | 9:46:13 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
When speaking with professionals over the years, micromanagement is one of the top peeves I've heard and one of the reasons many give for seeking alternate employment. If you're qualified enough for a position, once you've learned an organization's particular processes and preferences surely there's no reason for someone to oversee your every move! 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2014 | 7:18:21 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
I find this funny because if you think about it many "bosses" in popular media are portrayed as micromanaging tyrants.  I've only worked for a couple that were like this so I can't say it's the majority of leaders who behave this way but there is a real awareness for this type of boss so you would think that people put into those positions would be careful not to become "that boss".
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/8/2014 | 9:04:03 AM
Re: A rising tide lifts IT's boat
We have seen some commoditization of certain IT jobs, for sure. It's one reason IT professionals want to continue receiving training on new techs -- that, and because it's generally something IT pros are genuinely interested in doing for themselves, as well as for career development. As in many careers, specialization helps. If you become adept in a specific vertical -- finance, healthcare, retail, etc. -- as well as an area of technology, you will most likely be in more demand and command a higher salary than someone who is a generalist. 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/3/2014 | 12:28:33 PM
Job hopping
Good discussion here on money vs. longevity. There is indeed something to be said for growing with people as an individual and as a team.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2014 | 2:14:49 PM
Workplace Reality and the Tech Low Ball
Thank you for some really  great advice Kristin.  It seems to be a constantly battle to find the right balance in the area of salary.

It depends on the location I understand, but I have the distinct feeling I have been "low balled" my entire career.  To say it isn't frustrating would not be truthful, but I know I am not alone.   And this is not because I am not a good negotiator, but in this economy one can rarely bargain from a position of strength.  Companies know this  unashamedly take advantage and probably have been since the first transaction.

Regardless, of the fact that IT salaries have in general been on the rise for the past decade.  Real salaries have for the most part become stagnate.

So your advice will be useful to everyone regardless of role and for the most part - position.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/8/2014 | 10:46:23 AM
Re: Workplace Reality and the Tech Low Ball
@Technocrati, have you checked out the full results from our IT Salary Survey? You can download it here and find a breakdown of average salaries based on location -- that may help you determine whether you're paid fairly. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/17/2014 | 10:01:49 PM
Re: Workplace Reality and the Tech Low Ball
Hi Kristen, I had not and thank you for the link. ! I am sure I need to update what is in my head. : )
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/17/2014 | 10:08:02 PM
Re: Workplace Reality and the Tech Low Ball
Hi Kristen, Thanks again ! This is exactly what I needed ! And thank you IW ! Great information.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
7/7/2014 | 10:07:55 PM
Re: Workplace Reality and the Tech Low Ball
Since 2005, that is when the economy fundamentally changed into what we have today.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/8/2014 | 7:11:24 AM
Re: Workplace Reality and the Tech Low Ball
@Rich, I love how the top of the industry plays this game.  IT is a hot industry, everyone is making millions with their feet up on a desk watching the datacenter monitors.  I see IT becoming more like factory assembly jobs, people are looking for work and they decide to go get some training and IT is a field where lots of training is available and the money is decent.  So we get various levels of skill sets that can be hard to sort out.


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