By: Revanche

Saturday mornings used to be way better

January 13, 2007

Ugh, I keep trying to post but either work or this thrice be-durned cold keeps getting worse! So here I am, unable to sleep in on a Saturday morning, which is arguably my most favorite thing to do, because I’ve coughed up one lung and am working on the other. Cough? Check. Headache? Check. Tissues up the nose? Check.

How pleasant.

The other thing keeping me up is this post by Mapgirl about her raise and being lowballed by her company. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m really being underpaid for the work I do. I have two years of experience in the job now, and it’s not just your basic, run of the mill, entry level experience. In two years’ time, I’ve taken over quite a spectrum of responsibilities and supposedly impressed both my bosses no end. But I really feel like my raises haven’t reflected that. Or am I expecting too much?

I came into this job with no real experience at all so I know my salary started out around the bottom. Since then, I’ve received a 6% raise in the first year, and a delayed 12% raise at the end of the second year. Even with my bonus, if I run a basic unpersonalized Salary.com check, I don’t even register on their chart for a basic definition of the position I hold. My actual responsibilities are far greater than listed on the site. I mean, I could understand being on the low end because our company is a non-profit and only has about 9 employees, but seriously, I don’t even come CLOSE to registering at the 10th percentile end of the range!

Maybe it’s time to initiate that conversation. Maybe I need to ask how our salaries are determined and how it would be possible for me to earn at least general market value. The Fairness Patrol in my mind always holds me back because I know we’re working under the double constraints of being a non-profit within the structure of a university that lives and dies by their pay grades, but I often wonder why I keep looking out for the company’s interests before mine? It may seem a futile effort that will just create ill-will on Little Boss’s part, but I hope that if I handle it well … well, I just hope I handle it well. Perhaps I need to take the stress out of it by viewing this as a factfinding mission, first.

I always always hate the necessity of trying to negotiate when I don’t feel like the table is even in the room, but I hate feeling ignorant and possibly gypped just as much!! Hello, rock. Hello, hard place. How are y’all doin?

And I wonder if it would be worth the cost of buying an actual personalized Salary.com report?

8 Responses to “Saturday mornings used to be way better”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you thought about moving out of non-profits?

    But regardless, you should be paid what you’re worth and I think it’d be worth it to have that conversation with your bosses.

  2. MoneyFwd says:

    A 6% and 12% raise in two years is pretty amazing and shows that they are trying. And non-profits generally pay less than the rest of the market. It’s something you just have to accept.

    I agree that you should start fact finding and starting the conversation. But also, the best way to figure it out is to apply to other jobs. You will have a lot more leverage if you have an other offer on the table. And another offer would truly show what you’re worth.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Have you thought about moving into a bigger role like at the executive level? a friend of mines works in nonprofits but makes 28K a year or started out at 10/hour. she researched nonprofit work and the only way to get ahead is going for more school and trying to obtain an executive level position.

    but a delayed 12 percent raise is amazing! it’s usually 3-4 percent at most companies.

    but i’d talk to your boss and ask about more compensation. put it out there and see. couldn’t hurt to try …

  4. ~Wanda~ I’m actually not in a non-profit by choice, it just happens that the office I work for is owned by a non-profit. I think that most of the other jobs I’ve looked at are with for-profit companies.

    ~Moneyfwd~ When I don’t think about the base salary, the percentages look great…. it’s just that when I look at the base and realize that the new girls with zero experience are probably getting paid just as much, it seems like I should be asking for an appropriate adjustment. Then again, it seems like I’m crying “It’s no fair!”

    ~SF~ I think you’re right about taking a higher position to get a substantial increase. Unfortunately we don’t have an executive level, that would just be Lil Boss and Big Boss. The next step up is Lil Boss’s official assistant which is the equivalent of a “deputy” position. You know, like deputy chief of staff. There is no other higher title in the office that encompasses the work that I currently do and enjoy. So the other sticky bit is that I received my official promotion to this current level just three months ago despite doing the work for s’much longer …. I think I’d have to consider leaving this job to be more competitively compensated. It’s a little weird because he brought up the salary topic when I was really tired and mentioned that he’d like to see my salary go up to 50, 60, 70k, etc. but I really missed the opportunity to add (after “that’s a great idea”): How can we make that happen? *tsk* Really now. I need to be quicker on my mental feet.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think most places pay us younger workers the same low wages. They expect most of us to not perform, but some of us do. The employers respond by not paying a fair market value and drive the better young workers to other organizations. It seems the only way to get a raise is to change jobs, at least that’s what I did.

    Then again 6% and 12% rock! just think if the trend holds, you can look forward to 18% or up to 24% this year 🙂

    Bro’s always glass half full 🙂

  6. ~Bro~ Goodness, if ONLY the raises were exponential, I wouldn’t have a thing to complain about 🙂 Well, assuming the bosses agreed that I should get a 30% raise!! In any case, that’s the problem with being part of the university even though our wages don’t come out of their budgets: we’re forced to adhere to their raise ceilings.

  7. mapgirl says:

    I agree with MoneyFwd, they are trying to tell you that you are valuable with the 6% and 12% raises. However, if the company is constrained by resources, no matter how much they want to compensate you better, they probably can’t.

    You’re also likely comparing apples to oranges with Salary.com if you’re in non-profit work. (Even though Salary.com is one of my favorite websites, non-profit work is a whole other animal.)

    Consider your commitment to the mission of your company. Is that commitment worth your future retirement plans? Probably not. Because when you retire, your company isn’t going to care about you anymore. So be sure to look out for yourself if your long term salary goals aren’t going to be met by your current firm. Get what’s yours. You deserve it.

    (Thanks for the linky, btw! But does your font have to be so darned small?)

  8. ~Mapgirl~ Thanks for coming by!

    I definitely don’t want to be an ingrate because I felt like the percentages of the increases were meant to make me understand that I’m valuable. I just wasn’t sure if Salary.com was non-profit compatible!

    I also wanted be sure that I understand, and they understand, that I’m being paid less than market value and that that’s not going to cut it forever. I really do have a lot of financial commitments to meet and having to do THIS much overtime to meet them will not make me a happy & loyal employee. (You know, the kind of overtime that makes blogging impossible =P)

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