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How to ask for a pay raise at my current job?

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Anonymous User at Taro Communitya year ago

I am a senior developer in my company for a long time and performing really well. I switched divisions in this new group about 3 years ago but my managers changed 2 years ago. I see there is a problem of visibility of my work to upper management and I realized my manager is not really helping me grow. I took many initiatives and lead the projects last year but there is politics and they are sort of blaming me that I am not performing well enough though these projects are very important to the success of the company.

On top of this, my compensation is way lower than industry and as well as across my company.. I asked a few friends across the company and it is 25-30k lower than theirs for the same level. I tried asking for a raise to my manager and my 2nd level manager(director) but my manager says that there is a budget every year in the 1st quarter and they allot it based on performance. My 2nd level (director) says my compensation is great and I am same as everyone else here. When I asked about my performance, I was told I am a solid and valuable performer but not outstanding and so you may get accordingly but no guarantees.

Last year there was a new senior director hired from outside of the company in our division and bringing many new processes and changes. The sr.director seems to understand the challenges and problems we face as a product and also the trying to change the way the people are held accountable. But since this person is new, they dont know my contributions in the past 3 years to this product. Many people with senior level titles who are paid more don't really perform at that level and it is seen..and people like me who perform well and paid less. 

My question is - I dont think it is going to help if I talk again with my manager on this, but I definitely am under-paid and have to address this. So, is it OK for me to setup a meeting with the sr.director and share my contributions to this product, etc in the past years , and say I can bring in lot of value to this product in x, y, z areas and say I am underpaid and would you help with matching up at least to the company standards of 25k-30k more. I dont want my manager think I am skipping levels to talk to the sr.director. Also, the sr.director has the power to allot how much raises each person gets, and I think it will help me to talk directly to them, but I am not sure if that's ok to try that, any advise on how to navigate this is appreciated. Thank you!

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(2 comments)
  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    I'm sorry to hear that you're underpaid relative to your peers, but I just want to temper expectations here and say that negotiating a raise at your current job is very difficult. It's just a huge headache for everyone involved, especially if you're trying to get a raise outside of the performance review cycle.

    Because of what I just mentioned, it was explicitly against company policy at Meta to issue ad-hoc raises. If you wanted a raise, you either needed to wait until the yearly performance review that came with compensation adjustments or leave the company.

    So, is it OK for me to setup a meeting with the sr.director and share my contributions to this product, etc in the past years , and say I can bring in lot of value to this product in x, y, z areas and say I am underpaid and would you help with matching up at least to the company standards of 25k-30k more.

    I would only do this if you have a extremely good relationship with your senior director (so probably not). The fact of the matter is that almost everybody thinks that they are underpaid in the tech industry as there's always companies like FAANG that pay more and even within companies, bands tend to be large. Executives are generally not happy to have these conversations. As you alluded to in your post, this can also seriously backfire as your manager will perceive this as you going over their head.

    At the end of the day, 99% of companies only understand leverage (i.e. "Do you have it or not?"). In order to generate leverage, you need a competing offer. Here's some other resources that cover this topic:

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    Assuming you like your current company, your best bet is probably to just crush your next performance review. The good news is that your company seems to issue raises formulaically against performance, so at least this is effectively guaranteed (assuming you get the strong rating).

    I hope these resources are helpful there:

    Best of luck!