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Job security is BS just learned it the hard way

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rsj

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So a little over a year ago I started working as a software development intern and a few months down the line I was promoted to jr software developer.

Today I went in and asked for a salary adjustment because I was getting paid almost 50% less than the median pay for someone with my equivalent skill set and experience

After talking to my boss she called me back in after lunch and told me that she wouldn't be able to negotiate a raise with me and my best option would be to go find another job.

I honestly didn't see this coming, I'm only 20 so this is my first time asking for a raise in a decent size company and I did not expect that at all.

It really makes me realize how when you're not in control you can work as hard as you can in the slowlanr and you may not even get compensated for it, although this sucks it really opened my eyes to what MJ said in the book.

The slowlane f*cking blows
 

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MJ DeMarco

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it really opened my eyes to what MJ said in the book.

Yea, a lot of young people don't know how much the system sucks because they've never been in it. You learned a lesson young, and it will serve you.

Anyway, sorry to hear about the job. You probably won't have any problem finding another. Sounds like you're young and talented.
 

mindfulimmortal

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So a little over a year ago I started working as a software development intern and a few months down the line I was promoted to jr software developer.

Today I went in and asked for a salary adjustment because I was getting paid almost 50% less than the median pay for someone with my equivalent skill set and experience

After talking to my boss she called me back in after lunch and told me that she wouldn't be able to negotiate a raise with me and my best option would be to go find another job.

I honestly didn't see this coming, I'm only 20 so this is my first time asking for a raise in a decent size company and I did not expect that at all.

It really makes me realize how when you're not in control you can work as hard as you can in the slowlanr and you may not even get compensated for it, although this sucks it really opened my eyes to what MJ said in the book.

The slowlane f*cking blows
RSJ sorry to hear about your situation. Until you get to the Fastlane/Unscripted lifestyle If I may suggest something for you - when you get a job offer ask them how their raise/promotion systems works. Ask them IF you do a great job for them what you can expect. If you go in low (salary) try to get them to commit at least verbally to a plan to get you up to standard. Bring some of that data with you. Sometimes a hiring manager has an annual budget and they can't give someone more without going to their boss/corporate. Sometimes HR only allows annual raises unless there is strong reasons to provide an out of cycle raise. I am an IT Manager/Director who hires programmers, system admins, etc. and try to make it very clear what I can do for them and what to expect salary wise but some managers/directors don't. There is a great book called Getting More I would highly recommend you read. It is great at helping you pre-setting or priming the stage vs waiting until you want or need something. Best of luck to you!
 

Rawr

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You got the important milestone - from internship to actual paid position. So now you can actually get paid what that position dictates elsewhere. Its like when you want to be a bartender, but they make you be a cook/server/etc first. A lot of people don't get to the bartender part and waste time stuck. So congrats, you have. Now go ask around for a GOOD enjoyable group of people to work with.
 

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Or you could have the opposite which can be just as bad.

My boss put me in for a $10,000 raise. And our regional director is fast tracking me to a management position.

And you know what all that does?

Distracts you from building your business and freeing yourself from a career and the slowlane.

If I didn't snap myself out of it, I probably wouldn't have been complacent and skated through the next year without a care in the world.

Your lesson was a rough one to learn, but it was a good lesson and learned early.
 

JWelch

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Perhaps it will ignite a fire under your a$$ in such a way that it causes enough motivation for you to never want to rely on someone else for your income again because in the snap of a finger they can take it away just because. The positive side is that you've got a great resource here with these fine gentlemen on this forum and already being familiar with the fastlane. I wish I knew what you know at 20 years old. You'll be just fine brother. Go out and do work!
 

daivey

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wait, i don't get it... it didn't say he was fired.....
all it said was he asked for a raise and the boss was basically a bitch and said if you want to make more money go somewhere else.
 

Roli

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So a little over a year ago I started working as a software development intern and a few months down the line I was promoted to jr software developer.

Today I went in and asked for a salary adjustment because I was getting paid almost 50% less than the median pay for someone with my equivalent skill set and experience

After talking to my boss she called me back in after lunch and told me that she wouldn't be able to negotiate a raise with me and my best option would be to go find another job.

I honestly didn't see this coming, I'm only 20 so this is my first time asking for a raise in a decent size company and I did not expect that at all.

It really makes me realize how when you're not in control you can work as hard as you can in the slowlanr and you may not even get compensated for it, although this sucks it really opened my eyes to what MJ said in the book.

The slowlane f*cking blows

So what's your next move?
 

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Denim Chicken

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Did you get terminated or did she suggest you leave? I dont know about Florida but in CA you are not eligible for unemployment if you leave on your own.

Most huge jumps in salary are lateral moves to another company or into a different position so I'd use that opportunity to find a better job or, jump into your entrepreneur venture if you got cash saved up.
 

Everyman

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So a little over a year ago I started working as a software development intern and a few months down the line I was promoted to jr software developer.

Today I went in and asked for a salary adjustment because I was getting paid almost 50% less than the median pay for someone with my equivalent skill set and experience

After talking to my boss she called me back in after lunch and told me that she wouldn't be able to negotiate a raise with me and my best option would be to go find another job.

I honestly didn't see this coming, I'm only 20 so this is my first time asking for a raise in a decent size company and I did not expect that at all.

It really makes me realize how when you're not in control you can work as hard as you can in the slowlanr and you may not even get compensated for it, although this sucks it really opened my eyes to what MJ said in the book.

The slowlane f*cking blows

This is a shitty thing to hear from your boss but at least you got it straight right upfront. No bullshit. In reality the paths you can take are explained here (qoute RSJ below). From my experience you won't get anything and you will end up changing jobs every 2-3 years to maximise salary potential. The problem here is you don't maximise your "skillset based potential" - how can you build a long term relationship based on this flawed premise i.e. RULE NUMBER ONE of rewarding salaried people - pay as little as possible and around market rate........ When the market is bad..... Or tell them the market is bad and salary problem solved... So choices are you start building something that can get you out of slowlane or accept the blue pill. You are smarter than I was when I was 20 and you seem to be more clever here. If you have already started asking these important questions... I was 23 when I asked for a raise to learn that I should work harder for another 6 months and "We will see". I went somewhere else immediately to get almost 70% pay rise although in the long term I learnt only this. Get out of the slowlane.

RSJ sorry to hear about your situation. Until you get to the Fastlane/Unscripted lifestyle If I may suggest something for you - when you get a job offer ask them how their raise/promotion systems works. Ask them IF you do a great job for them what you can expect. If you go in low (salary) try to get them to commit at least verbally to a plan to get you up to standard. Bring some of that data with you. Sometimes a hiring manager has an annual budget and they can't give someone more without going to their boss/corporate. Sometimes HR only allows annual raises unless there is strong reasons to provide an out of cycle raise. I am an IT Manager/Director who hires programmers, system admins, etc. and try to make it very clear what I can do for them and what to expect salary wise but some managers/directors don't. There is a great book called Getting More I would highly recommend you read. It is great at helping you pre-setting or priming the stage vs waiting until you want or need something. Best of luck to you!

Excellent advise here for people that want to continue. There are few companies that have actual plans, I mean REAL plans, not fake, depending on "shareholder mood" plans... Find these companies.

Sounds like a shitty place to work. I'm glad that you're not working for them any longer and sure that your future will be 100% better than this.

But good place to learn how it really looks like.
 

JAJT

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The slowlane has it's own set of rules and tricks and most people don't know them.

Yes, I would agree that the slowlane sucks but what you attempted was done entirely incorrectly as well and what you experienced was entirely expected based on how you approached it. It didn't play to the rules of the slowlane.

My wife was told pretty matter of factly that a raise wasn't possible and her annual increase was pretty much capped at 1.5% instead of the max of 3% which "nobody gets, that's just how it is". Oh. Okay.

Luckily I knew a lot of the games and tricks and rules and we did some additional research to get all our ducks in the row before the play. The result? A raise, a promotion, and another raise within the span of a few weeks/months.

mindfulimmortal hit on what I'm talking about a bit earlier in the thread and he's bang on. Getting a good raise isn't a single meeting kind of play. There are hang-ups and excuses and sometimes very valid reasons (like budget) why it can't happen immediately.

Here's what we did (mind you this was for a larger company with well established hierarchy but many of the same rules apply):

- We compiled my wife's achievements at the company (numerous)
- We looked at the industry average for her position (higher)
- We determined how much work she did at her position (easily 3 - 5x more than anyone else, not even joking, it was ridiculous...)
- We contacted HR directly to figure out what the established corporate range for her position was.

We compiled all this and made up a nice "proof" folder that she could refer to in the meetings. Reports she ran, emails of praise, hr responses, the industry average stuff, everything. Printed and physical.

She requested a meeting with her manager. The topic was a "performance review". Her boss had no idea what she was in for.

The first meeting isn't about salary. The first meeting is about performance. It's getting your boss to admit how awesome you are. You get them to advocate for you, against their best interests. If you are a good worker and worthy of a raise, this is easy. People WANT to say good things about you when they don't think there's anything at stake. My wife, consciously and purposefully guided the discussion to get her boss to admit during a pleasant normal and casual conversation that:

- She was the best worker on the team
- There was nothing more her boss could think of that she could do to improve in her current position
- She handled an ungodly workload without complaint
- She was the most helpful person on the team, always willing to jump in and fix things
- She does duties well outside of her job description
- She gets constant praise from customers and other departments and other managers
- She is the definition of a "top performer"

At the end of this meeting, she says flat out that she really feels like she deserves a salary review to reflect her actual performance. This is uncomfortable and takes her boss by surprise because she realizes that's what this whole thing was leading up to. Oops. Oh well. Her boss goes on the retreat:

Boss: Not a great time right now, let's talk later (which means never)
Her: Let's schedule that meeting right now, are you free (date/time)?

Meeting #2 is a game of "f*ck you" ping pong. It's the "counter all the bullshit you will try to feed me with logic and facts" meeting. This is really a sales meeting by all accounts. They have objections and you overcome them, one by one, until the answer is "yes".

Boss: Raises are determined during your performance review at the end of the year
Her: That's a standard of living increase, and it's capped quite low, I want a separate salary review, which is quite different

Boss: We're paying you more than everyone else already
Her: Which is less than the industry average, which I have printed out right here...

Boss: We'd really need to do a formal performance review, not just a casual sit-down like before
Her: You said in your own words that I was the best on the team, I do more work than anyone else, and you don't think there's anything else I can do to improve, you did say that, right?

Boss: Sadly there's no budget
Her: Who determines the budget? When is the budget meeting held? Let's get a meeting set up today with that person before the budget is set for next year. Also, I do the work of 3 people and you even admitted it, right? I'm asking for X, which is only a small fraction of what 3 new hires would cost, right? If budget is a factor, paying me more is actually the cheaper option.

Boss: I wouldn't say you do 3 people's worth of work, I just meant you are a hard worker
Her: Here's a few reports that measure my output compared to the rest of the team, it's actually more like 4.6

Boss: Well we'd really need to get corporate approval, I'm not sure what we're allowed to do
Her: Already did that, contacted HR, here's their email and here's the range for my position

Boss: Well you're already right in the middle of that range
Her: Well you said I'm operating as a top performer on this team. Would you say it makes sense to give a top performer an average salary? Isn't that what the top of the range is for?

This goes on. And on. And on. The trick is knowing that they have a million excuses and you need a million answers. You don't let them shake off the hook.

Anyway, she got the raise. It took a few weeks (maybe a few months) but she never let them ignore it until it was done. If they needed a meeting she made sure it went into a calendar. If they fed her bullshit she fed them facts. Never. Let. Go.

When a promotional position came up a few weeks later (by chance, totally unexpected), she was a shoe-in because they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on if they said no.

One problem - they kept her existing salary. Oops. Another meeting. "Oh did you know that my current salary is on the low end of the range HR just provided me for my new title?

Boss: Ahhhhhh f*ck.

She got another raise.
 

G-Man

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Or you could have the opposite which can be just as bad.

My boss put me in for a $10,000 raise. And our regional director is fast tracking me to a management position.

And you know what all that does?

Distracts you from building your business and freeing yourself from a career and the slowlane.

If I didn't snap myself out of it, I probably wouldn't have been complacent and skated through the next year without a care in the world.

Your lesson was a rough one to learn, but it was a good lesson and learned early.

Shortly after I got a 10k raise and a bonus last year I quit my job with no notice. It was also right after reading TMF. I had one of those meetings with my boss where he laid the entire plan he had for my life in front of me. I realized I wanted none of those things. I told him I needed to go call my wife with the good news, but instead I sat in my car shaking the steering wheel in rage. I was sitting there thinking: Is this really my life now? Is that what my hard work has led me to? A future I don't want?

all it said was he asked for a raise and the boss was basically a bitch and said if you want to make more money go somewhere else.
Did you get terminated or did she suggest you leave?

You gotta read between the lines here. What's she's telegraphing is that your days are numbered but she's not gonna fire you (to save the severance/ unemployment/ whatever else), she's just gonna make your life miserable until you can't take it any more and quit. Better to just mercy kill yourself. Been there, and gravity is on her side, on a long enough timeline, you lose.

@JAJT That's a great story. I hate to admit it, but the way I got my last raise/ promotion, was I just stopped doing my boss's job for him for about 6 weeks.
 

Young-Gun

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The slowlane has it's own set of rules and tricks and most people don't know them.

Yes, I would agree that the slowlane sucks but what you attempted was done entirely incorrectly as well and what you experienced was entirely expected based on how you approached it. It didn't play to the rules of the slowlane.

My wife was told pretty matter of factly that a raise wasn't possible and her annual increase was pretty much capped at 1.5% instead of the max of 3% which "nobody gets, that's just how it is". Oh. Okay.

Luckily I knew a lot of the games and tricks and rules and we did some additional research to get all our ducks in the row before the play. The result? A raise, a promotion, and another raise within the span of a few weeks/months.

mindfulimmortal hit on what I'm talking about a bit earlier in the thread and he's bang on. Getting a good raise isn't a single meeting kind of play. There are hang-ups and excuses and sometimes very valid reasons (like budget) why it can't happen immediately.

Here's what we did (mind you this was for a larger company with well established hierarchy but many of the same rules apply):

- We compiled my wife's achievements at the company (numerous)
- We looked at the industry average for her position (higher)
- We determined how much work she did at her position (easily 3 - 5x more than anyone else, not even joking, it was ridiculous...)
- We contacted HR directly to figure out what the established corporate range for her position was.

We compiled all this and made up a nice "proof" folder that she could refer to in the meetings. Reports she ran, emails of praise, hr responses, the industry average stuff, everything. Printed and physical.

She requested a meeting with her manager. The topic was a "performance review". Her boss had no idea what she was in for.

The first meeting isn't about salary. The first meeting is about performance. It's getting your boss to admit how awesome you are. You get them to advocate for you, against their best interests. If you are a good worker and worthy of a raise, this is easy. People WANT to say good things about you when they don't think there's anything at stake. My wife, consciously and purposefully guided the discussion to get her boss to admit during a pleasant normal and casual conversation that:

- She was the best worker on the team
- There was nothing more her boss could think of that she could do to improve in her current position
- She handled an ungodly workload without complaint
- She was the most helpful person on the team, always willing to jump in and fix things
- She does duties well outside of her job description
- She gets constant praise from customers and other departments and other managers
- She is the definition of a "top performer"

At the end of this meeting, she says flat out that she really feels like she deserves a salary review to reflect her actual performance. This is uncomfortable and takes her boss by surprise because she realizes that's what this whole thing was leading up to. Oops. Oh well. Her boss goes on the retreat:

Boss: Not a great time right now, let's talk later (which means never)
Her: Let's schedule that meeting right now, are you free (date/time)?

Meeting #2 is a game of "f*ck you" ping pong. It's the "counter all the bullshit you will try to feed me with logic and facts" meeting. This is really a sales meeting by all accounts. They have objections and you overcome them, one by one, until the answer is "yes".

Boss: Raises are determined during your performance review at the end of the year
Her: That's a standard of living increase, and it's capped quite low, I want a separate salary review, which is quite different

Boss: We're paying you more than everyone else already
Her: Which is less than the industry average, which I have printed out right here...

Boss: We'd really need to do a formal performance review, not just a casual sit-down like before
Her: You said in your own words that I was the best on the team, I do more work than anyone else, and you don't think there's anything else I can do to improve, you did say that, right?

Boss: Sadly there's no budget
Her: Who determines the budget? When is the budget meeting held? Let's get a meeting set up today with that person before the budget is set for next year. Also, I do the work of 3 people and you even admitted it, right? I'm asking for X, which is only a small fraction of what 3 new hires would cost, right? If budget is a factor, paying me more is actually the cheaper option.

Boss: I wouldn't say you do 3 people's worth of work, I just meant you are a hard worker
Her: Here's a few reports that measure my output compared to the rest of the team, it's actually more like 4.6

Boss: Well we'd really need to get corporate approval, I'm not sure what we're allowed to do
Her: Already did that, contacted HR, here's their email and here's the range for my position

Boss: Well you're already right in the middle of that range
Her: Well you said I'm operating as a top performer on this team. Would you say it makes sense to give a top performer an average salary? Isn't that what the top of the range is for?

This goes on. And on. And on. The trick is knowing that they have a million excuses and you need a million answers. You don't let them shake off the hook.

Anyway, she got the raise. It took a few weeks (maybe a few months) but she never let them ignore it until it was done. If they needed a meeting she made sure it went into a calendar. If they fed her bullshit she fed them facts. Never. Let. Go.

When a promotional position came up a few weeks later (by chance, totally unexpected), she was a shoe-in because they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on if they said no.

One problem - they kept her existing salary. Oops. Another meeting. "Oh did you know that my current salary is on the low end of the range HR just provided me for my new title?

Boss: Ahhhhhh f*ck.

She got another raise.

Thanking you for four reasons:

1) Great story, thanks.
2) Great lessons on getting a raise, thanks.
3) Took a lot of time to type that, thanks.
4)... made me so freaking glad I own my business, thanks XD

Congrats on all the hard work - you and your wife REALLY earned that raise.
And, given how much effort it took to be FAIRLY REWARDED for your wife's expertise and efforts... it's also a perfect example of why (for us, here) the Fastlane is the way to be...
 

JAJT

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4)... made me so freaking glad I own my business, thanks XD

Absolutely!

Honestly you almost need all the skills and attitudes of a fastlaner to operate effectively in the slowlane. And at that point, the slowlane makes no sense.

Frankly this was ONE story. There are many. All involve a good deal of not putting up with bullshit and standing your ground.

Like the time we had to use lawyers to get 10+ years of severance pay out of her employer while every other person in her company went without (they all even told us it was a waste of time and money to try, haha!)

It's all bullshit.

The only way I was able to put up with it when I had a slowlane job was because I was in sales, which thankfully largely gets left the hell alone because most companies are smart enough to realize you can't feed bullshit to wolves and call it a sheep.
 

MJ DeMarco

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The slowlane has it's own set of rules and tricks and most people don't know them.

Yes, I would agree that the slowlane sucks but what you attempted was done entirely incorrectly as well and what you experienced was entirely expected based on how you approached it. It didn't play to the rules of the slowlane.

My wife was told pretty matter of factly that a raise wasn't possible and her annual increase was pretty much capped at 1.5% instead of the max of 3% which "nobody gets, that's just how it is". Oh. Okay.

Luckily I knew a lot of the games and tricks and rules and we did some additional research to get all our ducks in the row before the play. The result? A raise, a promotion, and another raise within the span of a few weeks/months.

mindfulimmortal hit on what I'm talking about a bit earlier in the thread and he's bang on. Getting a good raise isn't a single meeting kind of play. There are hang-ups and excuses and sometimes very valid reasons (like budget) why it can't happen immediately.

Here's what we did (mind you this was for a larger company with well established hierarchy but many of the same rules apply):

- We compiled my wife's achievements at the company (numerous)
- We looked at the industry average for her position (higher)
- We determined how much work she did at her position (easily 3 - 5x more than anyone else, not even joking, it was ridiculous...)
- We contacted HR directly to figure out what the established corporate range for her position was.

We compiled all this and made up a nice "proof" folder that she could refer to in the meetings. Reports she ran, emails of praise, hr responses, the industry average stuff, everything. Printed and physical.

She requested a meeting with her manager. The topic was a "performance review". Her boss had no idea what she was in for.

The first meeting isn't about salary. The first meeting is about performance. It's getting your boss to admit how awesome you are. You get them to advocate for you, against their best interests. If you are a good worker and worthy of a raise, this is easy. People WANT to say good things about you when they don't think there's anything at stake. My wife, consciously and purposefully guided the discussion to get her boss to admit during a pleasant normal and casual conversation that:

- She was the best worker on the team
- There was nothing more her boss could think of that she could do to improve in her current position
- She handled an ungodly workload without complaint
- She was the most helpful person on the team, always willing to jump in and fix things
- She does duties well outside of her job description
- She gets constant praise from customers and other departments and other managers
- She is the definition of a "top performer"

At the end of this meeting, she says flat out that she really feels like she deserves a salary review to reflect her actual performance. This is uncomfortable and takes her boss by surprise because she realizes that's what this whole thing was leading up to. Oops. Oh well. Her boss goes on the retreat:

Boss: Not a great time right now, let's talk later (which means never)
Her: Let's schedule that meeting right now, are you free (date/time)?

Meeting #2 is a game of "f*ck you" ping pong. It's the "counter all the bullshit you will try to feed me with logic and facts" meeting. This is really a sales meeting by all accounts. They have objections and you overcome them, one by one, until the answer is "yes".

Boss: Raises are determined during your performance review at the end of the year
Her: That's a standard of living increase, and it's capped quite low, I want a separate salary review, which is quite different

Boss: We're paying you more than everyone else already
Her: Which is less than the industry average, which I have printed out right here...

Boss: We'd really need to do a formal performance review, not just a casual sit-down like before
Her: You said in your own words that I was the best on the team, I do more work than anyone else, and you don't think there's anything else I can do to improve, you did say that, right?

Boss: Sadly there's no budget
Her: Who determines the budget? When is the budget meeting held? Let's get a meeting set up today with that person before the budget is set for next year. Also, I do the work of 3 people and you even admitted it, right? I'm asking for X, which is only a small fraction of what 3 new hires would cost, right? If budget is a factor, paying me more is actually the cheaper option.

Boss: I wouldn't say you do 3 people's worth of work, I just meant you are a hard worker
Her: Here's a few reports that measure my output compared to the rest of the team, it's actually more like 4.6

Boss: Well we'd really need to get corporate approval, I'm not sure what we're allowed to do
Her: Already did that, contacted HR, here's their email and here's the range for my position

Boss: Well you're already right in the middle of that range
Her: Well you said I'm operating as a top performer on this team. Would you say it makes sense to give a top performer an average salary? Isn't that what the top of the range is for?

This goes on. And on. And on. The trick is knowing that they have a million excuses and you need a million answers. You don't let them shake off the hook.

Anyway, she got the raise. It took a few weeks (maybe a few months) but she never let them ignore it until it was done. If they needed a meeting she made sure it went into a calendar. If they fed her bullshit she fed them facts. Never. Let. Go.

When a promotional position came up a few weeks later (by chance, totally unexpected), she was a shoe-in because they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on if they said no.

One problem - they kept her existing salary. Oops. Another meeting. "Oh did you know that my current salary is on the low end of the range HR just provided me for my new title?

Boss: Ahhhhhh f*ck.

She got another raise.

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Everyman

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The slowlane has it's own set of rules and tricks and most people don't know them.

Yes, I would agree that the slowlane sucks but what you attempted was done entirely incorrectly as well and what you experienced was entirely expected based on how you approached it. It didn't play to the rules of the slowlane.

My wife was told pretty matter of factly that a raise wasn't possible and her annual increase was pretty much capped at 1.5% instead of the max of 3% which "nobody gets, that's just how it is". Oh. Okay.

Luckily I knew a lot of the games and tricks and rules and we did some additional research to get all our ducks in the row before the play. The result? A raise, a promotion, and another raise within the span of a few weeks/months.

mindfulimmortal hit on what I'm talking about a bit earlier in the thread and he's bang on. Getting a good raise isn't a single meeting kind of play. There are hang-ups and excuses and sometimes very valid reasons (like budget) why it can't happen immediately.

Here's what we did (mind you this was for a larger company with well established hierarchy but many of the same rules apply):

- We compiled my wife's achievements at the company (numerous)
- We looked at the industry average for her position (higher)
- We determined how much work she did at her position (easily 3 - 5x more than anyone else, not even joking, it was ridiculous...)
- We contacted HR directly to figure out what the established corporate range for her position was.

We compiled all this and made up a nice "proof" folder that she could refer to in the meetings. Reports she ran, emails of praise, hr responses, the industry average stuff, everything. Printed and physical.

She requested a meeting with her manager. The topic was a "performance review". Her boss had no idea what she was in for.

The first meeting isn't about salary. The first meeting is about performance. It's getting your boss to admit how awesome you are. You get them to advocate for you, against their best interests. If you are a good worker and worthy of a raise, this is easy. People WANT to say good things about you when they don't think there's anything at stake. My wife, consciously and purposefully guided the discussion to get her boss to admit during a pleasant normal and casual conversation that:

- She was the best worker on the team
- There was nothing more her boss could think of that she could do to improve in her current position
- She handled an ungodly workload without complaint
- She was the most helpful person on the team, always willing to jump in and fix things
- She does duties well outside of her job description
- She gets constant praise from customers and other departments and other managers
- She is the definition of a "top performer"

At the end of this meeting, she says flat out that she really feels like she deserves a salary review to reflect her actual performance. This is uncomfortable and takes her boss by surprise because she realizes that's what this whole thing was leading up to. Oops. Oh well. Her boss goes on the retreat:

Boss: Not a great time right now, let's talk later (which means never)
Her: Let's schedule that meeting right now, are you free (date/time)?

Meeting #2 is a game of "f*ck you" ping pong. It's the "counter all the bullshit you will try to feed me with logic and facts" meeting. This is really a sales meeting by all accounts. They have objections and you overcome them, one by one, until the answer is "yes".

Boss: Raises are determined during your performance review at the end of the year
Her: That's a standard of living increase, and it's capped quite low, I want a separate salary review, which is quite different

Boss: We're paying you more than everyone else already
Her: Which is less than the industry average, which I have printed out right here...

Boss: We'd really need to do a formal performance review, not just a casual sit-down like before
Her: You said in your own words that I was the best on the team, I do more work than anyone else, and you don't think there's anything else I can do to improve, you did say that, right?

Boss: Sadly there's no budget
Her: Who determines the budget? When is the budget meeting held? Let's get a meeting set up today with that person before the budget is set for next year. Also, I do the work of 3 people and you even admitted it, right? I'm asking for X, which is only a small fraction of what 3 new hires would cost, right? If budget is a factor, paying me more is actually the cheaper option.

Boss: I wouldn't say you do 3 people's worth of work, I just meant you are a hard worker
Her: Here's a few reports that measure my output compared to the rest of the team, it's actually more like 4.6

Boss: Well we'd really need to get corporate approval, I'm not sure what we're allowed to do
Her: Already did that, contacted HR, here's their email and here's the range for my position

Boss: Well you're already right in the middle of that range
Her: Well you said I'm operating as a top performer on this team. Would you say it makes sense to give a top performer an average salary? Isn't that what the top of the range is for?

This goes on. And on. And on. The trick is knowing that they have a million excuses and you need a million answers. You don't let them shake off the hook.

Anyway, she got the raise. It took a few weeks (maybe a few months) but she never let them ignore it until it was done. If they needed a meeting she made sure it went into a calendar. If they fed her bullshit she fed them facts. Never. Let. Go.

When a promotional position came up a few weeks later (by chance, totally unexpected), she was a shoe-in because they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on if they said no.

One problem - they kept her existing salary. Oops. Another meeting. "Oh did you know that my current salary is on the low end of the range HR just provided me for my new title?

Boss: Ahhhhhh f*ck.

She got another raise.

Great story JAJT!

I don't know everything there so don't take this wrong.

The other side to the coin is - you and your wife spend time (a lot?) to prepare this. Then precious time was spent on the meetings with the boss and other important people. I wanted to point another reason why I hate this type of companies and behaviour. It's counterproductive. They already know she is the best there. Yet they argued. They wasted time on proving she is not, after admitting she was... This is ridiculous. I am happy for your success and the effort! But the way it works ... Essence of corporate bureaucracy and waste.
 

JAJT

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The other side to the coin is - you and your wife spend time (a lot?) to prepare this.

A few hours of research, a few emails, some uncomfortable conversations, and a few weeks (or months) of waiting for it unfold was a small price to pay. If you're going to work in the slowlane, you might as well spend the time to get paid what you are worth.

Essence of corporate bureaucracy and waste.

Not always. I mean, yes, there is plenty of that too, but also consider that it's more work for your boss to give you a raise than say "no".

As dumb as it sounds I bet a lot of raises get turned down because the manager being asked just doesn't want another headache to deal with.

- Paperwork
- Meetings
- Justification to the higher ups above them

Not to mention the potential team issues if the raise is 'found out' by other members who also demand more. Then you have to tell the worthless ones no and go through the whole damn thing again for the ones who are worth it. All the while having to answer questions on why every team member is now causing a salary stir at the company.

It's one hell of a lot easier to say "oh yeah, sorry, we don't have the budget" or "yeah, let's talk about this at year end" or "you're already paid pretty well" and hope it goes away.
 

PedroG

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In the tech industry at least, the best way to get a big raise is to get another job. First research the market salary (salary.com), and maybe lie to the new potential employer about what you currently make IF what you currently make is below the market, and IF that new potential employer isn't one of those big ones that will actually ask you for W2s before you start working. Most companies have no way of knowing what you made before as most of them do not ask for your W2s. Of course, this only works if you do impress in the interview and are obviously worth what you are claiming to be worth.

By doing this you are giving yourself a raise before the new employer actually gives you another one in their offer, since they will normally offer you more than what you currently make.

I got a 17k raise recently by just leaving and coming back in 8 months. The new job, if I included stock options and bonuses was actually more of a 47k raise but I hated it as it left me no time to work on my fastlane projects. So I contacted my old employer and got my job back after they matched my new base salary.

I couldn't care less about the bonuses, stock options and good annual raises I had to give up to come back because the freedom to work on fastlane projects is worth a lot more than 30k.

I know some of those who know me thought I was crazy (even if they didn't tell me) for leaving that new job, but they'll never get it. Having the lower paying job allows me the potential to make millions, while the higher-paying job just robs me of my time and limits my potential.
 

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luniac

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The slowlane has it's own set of rules and tricks and most people don't know them.

Yes, I would agree that the slowlane sucks but what you attempted was done entirely incorrectly as well and what you experienced was entirely expected based on how you approached it. It didn't play to the rules of the slowlane.

My wife was told pretty matter of factly that a raise wasn't possible and her annual increase was pretty much capped at 1.5% instead of the max of 3% which "nobody gets, that's just how it is". Oh. Okay.

Luckily I knew a lot of the games and tricks and rules and we did some additional research to get all our ducks in the row before the play. The result? A raise, a promotion, and another raise within the span of a few weeks/months.

mindfulimmortal hit on what I'm talking about a bit earlier in the thread and he's bang on. Getting a good raise isn't a single meeting kind of play. There are hang-ups and excuses and sometimes very valid reasons (like budget) why it can't happen immediately.

Here's what we did (mind you this was for a larger company with well established hierarchy but many of the same rules apply):

- We compiled my wife's achievements at the company (numerous)
- We looked at the industry average for her position (higher)
- We determined how much work she did at her position (easily 3 - 5x more than anyone else, not even joking, it was ridiculous...)
- We contacted HR directly to figure out what the established corporate range for her position was.

We compiled all this and made up a nice "proof" folder that she could refer to in the meetings. Reports she ran, emails of praise, hr responses, the industry average stuff, everything. Printed and physical.

She requested a meeting with her manager. The topic was a "performance review". Her boss had no idea what she was in for.

The first meeting isn't about salary. The first meeting is about performance. It's getting your boss to admit how awesome you are. You get them to advocate for you, against their best interests. If you are a good worker and worthy of a raise, this is easy. People WANT to say good things about you when they don't think there's anything at stake. My wife, consciously and purposefully guided the discussion to get her boss to admit during a pleasant normal and casual conversation that:

- She was the best worker on the team
- There was nothing more her boss could think of that she could do to improve in her current position
- She handled an ungodly workload without complaint
- She was the most helpful person on the team, always willing to jump in and fix things
- She does duties well outside of her job description
- She gets constant praise from customers and other departments and other managers
- She is the definition of a "top performer"

At the end of this meeting, she says flat out that she really feels like she deserves a salary review to reflect her actual performance. This is uncomfortable and takes her boss by surprise because she realizes that's what this whole thing was leading up to. Oops. Oh well. Her boss goes on the retreat:

Boss: Not a great time right now, let's talk later (which means never)
Her: Let's schedule that meeting right now, are you free (date/time)?

Meeting #2 is a game of "f*ck you" ping pong. It's the "counter all the bullshit you will try to feed me with logic and facts" meeting. This is really a sales meeting by all accounts. They have objections and you overcome them, one by one, until the answer is "yes".

Boss: Raises are determined during your performance review at the end of the year
Her: That's a standard of living increase, and it's capped quite low, I want a separate salary review, which is quite different

Boss: We're paying you more than everyone else already
Her: Which is less than the industry average, which I have printed out right here...

Boss: We'd really need to do a formal performance review, not just a casual sit-down like before
Her: You said in your own words that I was the best on the team, I do more work than anyone else, and you don't think there's anything else I can do to improve, you did say that, right?

Boss: Sadly there's no budget
Her: Who determines the budget? When is the budget meeting held? Let's get a meeting set up today with that person before the budget is set for next year. Also, I do the work of 3 people and you even admitted it, right? I'm asking for X, which is only a small fraction of what 3 new hires would cost, right? If budget is a factor, paying me more is actually the cheaper option.

Boss: I wouldn't say you do 3 people's worth of work, I just meant you are a hard worker
Her: Here's a few reports that measure my output compared to the rest of the team, it's actually more like 4.6

Boss: Well we'd really need to get corporate approval, I'm not sure what we're allowed to do
Her: Already did that, contacted HR, here's their email and here's the range for my position

Boss: Well you're already right in the middle of that range
Her: Well you said I'm operating as a top performer on this team. Would you say it makes sense to give a top performer an average salary? Isn't that what the top of the range is for?

This goes on. And on. And on. The trick is knowing that they have a million excuses and you need a million answers. You don't let them shake off the hook.

Anyway, she got the raise. It took a few weeks (maybe a few months) but she never let them ignore it until it was done. If they needed a meeting she made sure it went into a calendar. If they fed her bullshit she fed them facts. Never. Let. Go.

When a promotional position came up a few weeks later (by chance, totally unexpected), she was a shoe-in because they knew they didn't have a leg to stand on if they said no.

One problem - they kept her existing salary. Oops. Another meeting. "Oh did you know that my current salary is on the low end of the range HR just provided me for my new title?

Boss: Ahhhhhh f*ck.

She got another raise.


The fastlane literally sounds a lot easier than this... i dont think my pride could take such bullshit and im a pretty humble guy deep inside...
 

luniac

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i been at the same spot for 3.5 years now. I make at least 10-20k below industry average at 35k a year but i give zero f*cks cause my job often got a TON of downtime, occasionally the entire 8 hour shift!
I got internet and external harddrive with software i need.
I do research, programming, sadly time wasting, reading.
This luxury allows me to spend time out of work on physical exercises to take care of myself, cause i SIT for many hours.
caveat: i do night shift, it is what it is... for now
 

Everyman

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A few hours of research, a few emails, some uncomfortable conversations, and a few weeks (or months) of waiting for it unfold was a small price to pay. If you're going to work in the slowlane, you might as well spend the time to get paid what you are worth.



Not always. I mean, yes, there is plenty of that too, but also consider that it's more work for your boss to give you a raise than say "no".

As dumb as it sounds I bet a lot of raises get turned down because the manager being asked just doesn't want another headache to deal with.

- Paperwork
- Meetings
- Justification to the higher ups above them

Not to mention the potential team issues if the raise is 'found out' by other members who also demand more. Then you have to tell the worthless ones no and go through the whole damn thing again for the ones who are worth it. All the while having to answer questions on why every team member is now causing a salary stir at the company.

It's one hell of a lot easier to say "oh yeah, sorry, we don't have the budget" or "yeah, let's talk about this at year end" or "you're already paid pretty well" and hope it goes away.

Thanks again for explanation. You are right here. I am just wondering - I don't own a multimillion dollar business to say what works best. I work best when I am rewarded for results and I have never found a company that would pay for these (I don't even know a person, apart from business owners). This would solved the problem of being paid for results - high-performers get more and these who are performing worse.... etc... Or just created more problems - "A processed 100 documents and I did only 67 but mine were bigger..." and this sort of things.....

I know some of those who know me thought I was crazy (even if they didn't tell me) for leaving that new job, but they'll never get it. Having the lower paying job allows me the potential to make millions, while the higher-paying job just robs me of my time and limits my potential.

i been at the same spot for 3.5 years now. I make at least 10-20k below industry average at 35k a year but i give zero f*cks cause my job often got a TON of downtime, occasionally the entire 8 hour shift!
I got internet and external harddrive with software i need.
I do research, programming, sadly time wasting, reading.
This luxury allows me to spend time out of work on physical exercises to take care of myself, cause i SIT for many hours.
caveat: i do night shift, it is what it is... for now

Both of you PeterCastle and luniac.
Right you are! Same thing here.
 

JAJT

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I work best when I am rewarded for results and I have never found a company that would pay for these

Sales people get paid for exactly this.

One of the reasons I loved it so much. You make a call, close a deal, feel accomplished, get paid for it, repeat.
 

maverick

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Or you could have the opposite which can be just as bad.

My boss put me in for a $10,000 raise. And our regional director is fast tracking me to a management position.

And you know what all that does?

Distracts you from building your business and freeing yourself from a career and the slowlane.

If I didn't snap myself out of it, I probably wouldn't have been complacent and skated through the next year without a care in the world.

Your lesson was a rough one to learn, but it was a good lesson and learned early.

Exactly this. I've been invited to fast tracks, leadership programmes and lived from promotion to promotion. "IF I could only get this promotion, it will solve all my problems!" was my mantra.

The only thing that _always_ happened though was that I automagically upped my expenses just before the raise would occur and thus on a net-basis I would still be in the same position as before. The only thing that increased were my responsibilities, workload and overall stress on the job.

I'm sure that the majority of people that chase promotions are all wondering where their money went at the end of the month..
 

juan917

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I was in a similar situation and I walked out of the room. That's when I started my entrepreneurship journey
 

G-Man

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Sales people get paid for exactly this.

One of the reasons I loved it so much. You make a call, close a deal, feel accomplished, get paid for it, repeat.

This^^^ In the company I used to work for, I was convinced that it was actually the sales guys that were the fastlaners. The owners made way more money, but had all the downside. All the headaches. All the inventory. You tell me, I go get a new customer, and I get 35% of the net cash on cash every time they order?

These guys would disappear for weeks at a time, going on vacation, riding motorcycles cross country, and the checks kept coming.
 

GuitarManDan

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RSJ,

This is an excellent lesson that you learned from that experience, although it may sting in the short run. I also completely agree with some other users who commented that it's just as bad to get positive feedback constantly, as this keeps you complacent.

I've been working in investment banking for 4+ years (3 years at one bank, 1 year at this new job). I've worked my a$$ off and have taken and passed certifications that I thought would raise my intrinsic value. So far, I've gotten nothing but positive feedback.

I thought I had it all and I was just going to coast through the next 20-30 years until I retired. The investment bank I worked for was falling apart, so an amazing opportunity came up to work with my old boss at one of the largest investment banks in the world. The last year, especially the last six months, have been an absolute nightmare and it's snapped me out of the delusion that spending 50-60 hours/week at this place for the rest of my working life makes sense. The new management are extreme micromanagers, the coworkers are extremely depressed and paranoid, and I've been dreading going to work more and more ever since I've found TMF and these forums.

Point of my rambling is that I think it's the luckiest break of my life that I got put into such a toxic work environment because it opened my eyes (and I believe you had a similar experience) that working a Slowlane doesn't make sense and there is more out there if you're willing to work for it.
 

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