Post # 1
My one year is coming up at a job that I love. My bosses are awesome. They go above and beyond for my professional development. The work is fun most of the time, and I get paid a fairly decent wage for being 2 years out of college in a low-cost of living city. I do, however, think I deserve a raise. I was originally hired as a “communications associate” working mostly on media relations. I’ve branched out to do MUCH more that that, including web designing, web building and technical support, which typically have MUCH higher pay. I’ll be asking for a $5,000 salary increase.
However, the company (a communications firm) is a small start-up that only has 3 full-time employees: me, our CEO, and our founder, though we do have several other part time or contract workers. We recently spun-off from our incubator and our CEO bought the company out of his own pocket just a few months ago, so I’m senstive to the fact that the raise be coming pretty much out of his own pocket as well. We are stable, but I’m not sure if we can truly afford it. And since it’s only us 3, I’m worried that if I get turned down for the raise it’ll be awkward.
Should I ask for the raise?
Post # 2
I am all for asking for raises! I work for a company that rarely gives raises but gives bonuses at the end of the year. When I last asked for a raise they mentioned the bonus and I told them that a bonus is not guaranteed and I would rarely have guaranteed money.
I recommend also giving some thought to what they can give you that isn’t money as a compromise. For example, if the funds are too low for them to pay you more now would you be open to additional vacation time, a flexible schedule, having every other Friday off? Then revisit the salary topic in 6 months.
Post # 3
Ask for the raise! Make sure you let your employer know that you feel you’ve learned more skills since you started at your current salary, and that you feel your pay should be evaluated to reflect the new skills you’ve brought to the table.
I have done this in the past, even after my small employer went through a major loss/transition. I waited a few weeks past the date when I wanted to ask until it felt right. Have you hit your one year mark yet? They may even give a raise at a year of employment anyway. Good luck!
Post # 4
Some would say that a year into a new job is too soon to ask for a raise, but I trust your perception of the situation. Just make sure to have your case prepared – major projects you completed this year, revenue you personally generated if possible, etc. Most jobs will tack on “other duties as assigned” to a job description, so merely doing beyond what was initially asked of you may not be compelling enough for them.
Post # 5
sillylady93 : I totally understand where you’re coming from–I work for a small, albeit growing, business (we still have multiple locations and employees, so a little bigger than yours, but the owner of the company pays my salary from basically his own line of credit).
I’d ask for the raise. I asked for one and eventually got it so I might be just speaking from my own positive asking experience, lol, but it’s worth a shot. If they’re really as awesome as you say, they will not make it awkward even if they can’t oblige.
I do agree with the PP who mentioned non-tangible compromise. If they can’t offer cash, since that’s something they either have or don’t, they would almost certainly be open to non-cash benefits: extra days off, more flexibility in your schedule, or something along those lines.
The first time I asked for a raise with my current (and also awesome) bosses, they weren’t in the position to offer what I was asking, but my main boss offered to pay the cost of my insurance each month, so that the actual cash of my full salary would go to me. A year later, when the business had grown, they gave me the raise and they still pay my insurance as sort of a “bonus.” I’d bet your bosses might do something similar (i.e., here’s an extra 4 days of vacation, and a year from now when we can give you cash in the form of a raise, we’ll let you keep the extra days annually too).
Just be sure when you bring it up, to do so in a way that highlights the things that really necessitate the raise. A few extra responsibilities probably wouldn’t be enough, but showing that you’re not only doing your job and doing it well, but are learning and successfully executing projects on web design and construction (which holds a higher salary range) in addition to your actual job duties…THAT will be more likely to get you what you want.
Post # 6
I think it is important to do some reearch. Are you making what your would at a similar organization doing the same thing? I made a case last year for a raise using an industry salary survey. This was extremely helpful alongside my list of accomplishments.
Post # 7
sillylady93 : Sure, ask for the raise. Can you give an idea of what percent that $5000 equates to though? My company is pretty good with raises, but it’s consistantly 2-3%. If I have compelling metrics to show I deserve 3.5% there’s no problem asking for that. If I ask for 10%, there will be awkwardness. If the 5k is a pretty high percentage, you could request a smaller percent salary increase plus some company stock. This might be attractive for a startup because it’s less cash outlay, and even more important (maybe) it shows you have faith in the company and want to be part of it’s growth. Even a small company without “stocks” per se should be able to give some form of ownership stakes. My suggestion is ask for the raise and if they can’t meet it, ask about a stock option.
Post # 8
Thanks for the tips guys! To be clear, there’s other things that I think warrant a raise outside of web stuff – but I mentioned that because I have literally been building websites for clients from beginning to end. Something they certainly would’ve had to hire someone else for if I hadn’t have stepped up and at a MUCH higher rate than what I am building the sites for. I don’t know any other communications associates, specialists, ect. who build websites as part of their jobs. And they are not crappy sites, either.
And I’ve done an industry salary estimator. It estimated that I should be making $5,000 more than I do know. And that’s without web experience.
Post # 9
sillylady93 : Industry average might be X, but living in a LCOL area means you won’t get paid the same amount of money. I had colleagues who did the same job I did in Dallas but in Singapore. They get paid way more, why? HCOL (most expensive city in the world!) So I was ‘below’ average, but actually above average for my area.
Also, how much is 5k of your salary? If it’s 2-3%, after a year, that makes sense. If it’s 5% or more, I’d hold off, one year out of school that’s a big raise, unless your salary is $150k.
Post # 10
Girl, you go close that wage gap- get it! 😉
Post # 11
Ask for a raise! And check out the Ask a Manager blog – she has really great tips and resources for everything from how to ask for raises or how to give feedback to some really off the wall questions from others.
Post # 12
It doesn’t hurt to ask. Good luck!
Post # 13
sillylady93 : If $5000 is more than 3% of your salary it’s probably not an appropriate ask. If you’re in a low cost of living area, your salary will be lower than industry standard–even more so if you’re at a start up. Bigger salaries are usually at bigger companies in bigger cities. Are there actual job openings at competitors in your area that support the need and value of your position with your limited industry experience? Are those postings reflecting a salary that is $5k more than your current position? If there aren’t any openings or any with your goal salary what supports paying you more?
It can hurt to ask for a raise if you’re not prepared with more than “I took an online salary calculator…”.
Post # 14
knickergold : the salary calculator calculated for the area I live in. But thanks for the tips! Maybe I’ll reconsider the number.
Post # 15
Tons of things I hadn’t thought about, thanks guys! To be clear the salary calculator *DOES* calculate the salary for the city I currently live in. And yes, there are a few more communications firms that I could probably get a job at that pay more, as well companies that are hiring communications people. I live in a decently sized city, not a small town. It’s just in a relatively low cost of living area.
On top of that, if I decided I wanted to apply for web designing/building jobs instead I’d be making WAY more than I do now.