Is 1 year too early to ask for a pay raise?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by TeacherBelgium, May 13, 2021.

  1. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I'm really happy in my new job. I'm here for 3 months now and I love my tasks, my colleagues, the company culture, my autonomy. I'm now in a job where I can see myself staying for 40 years and where sometimes it still feels like a dream.

    I was also really happy with my salary that was proposed to me on a yearly basis.
    Yearly I make 50k$ before taxes.
    After taxes I keep 30k$.

    I was at first very happy with that salary considering that I'm a junior, but now everywhere I hear that I should have asked more.

    I have to disclose that aside of that 30k$ net I also receive meal-vouchers of 200$ monthly and health-insurance that covers everything and retirement saving where my employer puts 170$ of his pocket in a fund that will release at the end of the 40 years employment.

    I don't know if I'm greedy or not but everyone told me that I make too little. That I should have asked for more.

    I'm a negotiatior (negotiating budgets) and I also draft legal language to be used and I write defense strategies to have other people drop their requests.
    I also estimate timelines in which a project can be concluded.
    Those are my tasks.

    I myself am actually happy with my job but it still eats at me that other people think I could have gotten more out of the deal.

    So, I'm wondering, in March 2022 I will have 1 year anciennity.
    Is that timely enough to ask for a pay raise?
  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Absolutely common to ask for a raise after one year and as a manager I would anticipate that from someone who negotiates professionally. After all, if you can’t negotiate and advocate for yourself, how could you effectively do so for clients? That being said, some organizations may have limited/non-existent leeway on this and my experience and cultural norms are from America, yours may differ.
  3. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I work for an American company, so the cultural norms are those of America.
    I also want a higher position after a year.
    My contract says that I have to work 40 hours a week but I always go out of my way to work 45-50 hours a week or more, just because I want to do my work perfect. I'm a perfectionist and I hope they notice that.
  4. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Unlikely. Rather, they will take your surplus effort for granted or even laugh at you that you are so stupid to do extra time in exchange for a vague hope of a reward. Sad, but maybe more true that you think it is.
    innen_oda likes this.
  5. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    The thing is that I see that I'm still online at 7 pm while I'm only supposed to be online until 5 pm.
    They must notice that in some way?
    I even take lots of initiative.
    I e-mail higher placed people to ask them for trainings etc. To offer them help etc.

    So a lazy person with the right connections will get there sooner than I who is motivated and works with perfection, no matter how much overwork I have to do. Is that correct in your viewpoint?
  6. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I will apply for a pay raise at 1 year, together with a request for a higher function.
    After all, I negotiate the budgets professionally day after day and I negotiate the legal language to be used day after day, for others.
    So why not for myself?
    The thing is that they gave me a good training.
    So maybe they will see that training as worth let's say '' 10k$'' and therefor think to themselves "No, we already gave you job training that cost us enough ''.
    And now is too early to already talk about future occasions because then they will probably see me as a golddigger.
    I mean companies want someone who loves their job enough that money is only second thought.
    And if I'm going to ask for more money after a year then they might think that I'm ungrateful or something for my job.
  7. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    American companies take it for granted that employees will work super hard to not get fired. It's not uncommon, in some industries, for you to be expected to work 60-80 hours a week "for the team" and for them to find an excuse to fire you if you only work the contracted 40 hours. In fact, the harder you work, the less likely you are to get a raise and/or to get promoted because you become critical to your role and they don't want to wind up with someone else who can't do it as well as you can. So, yes, a lazy person is more likely to get promoted and to get a raise than a super motivated employee. It's not worth burning yourself out over it. Start to back off a little so that you are ONLY working the 40 hours.

    As for having a company think that you're a gold digger, no. That's not how it works in America. It's not uncommon to have companies give raises every 6 months, though every year is the most common. If you don't at least ask for a raise after a year, you're going to be seen as someone spineless who can be stepped on and they can do whatever they want to. That's just how American companies work.
  8. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Yes. In short, you don't decide what "doing a good job for your career" is. Your boss does. Hard, but harder to ignore it.
  9. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agree with Rachel that working too hard can absolutely make you too valuable, in that role, to easily be promoted. Although this predominately only occurs with niche roles and at organizations that are are overly concerned with short term thinking.

    Certain industries and niche fields do have reputations of people wearing long hours as a badge of honor or part of a corporate grooming/training program. That being said, putting in time and obtaining results are important and do get noticed more often than no, IMHO. Don’t sacrifice your health, family, or social circle, but if your goal is to get a head... providing results (often but not always time dependent) and having a game plan are critical. Hard work, perseverance, and a smart strategy does payoff in the end.
  10. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Worked 47 hours this week and the week before 50 hours and the week before that one 52 hours. My contract mentions 40 hours. Seems like I really need to ask a pay raise at the 1 year seniority mark. I'm thinking about asking for a humble pay raise though because I think I would offend them if I asked for more than let's say 300$ brute pay raise per month.
    Some people with civil engineer diplomas in the company never asked for a pay raise and never received one, so I would likely need to be careful about how to bring it.
    I think in exchange for the pay raise, I will not take up any summer holidays so that I can use that as a motivation for the pay raise.
  11. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    Goodness, no, please NEVER give up your holidays in exchange for pay.
    Vonnegut and Mac Juli like this.
  12. datby98

    datby98 Member

    Please do NOT give up your spare time; otherwise, for this board's sake, how would we find extra time for our study?!
    Rachel83az likes this.
  13. AsianStew

    AsianStew Active Member

    You know, when I was your age I thought exactly. I skipped my vacations and worked OT, it was a killer. In hindsight, I would recommend you to take a look at your financial situation before thinking of OT and look at how you want to spend your "free time". Some use their time more wisely than others and have great time management skills, I would only work OT if it is absolutely necessary. If not, use that "free time" for study and whatever else that is most important to you - for me, it's family time!
  14. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    That's a good point. Do you plan to date/marry in the future? Your future husband/wife probably won't be so understanding of your lack of vacations. Once you get a reputation as the go-to person who will ALWAYS give up holidays and who will work overtime regularly, that's probably not going to be easy to back off from. If you're happy being single forever (and that's okay; some people are like that), do what makes you happy.
    Mac Juli likes this.
  15. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Oh, and be assured that no one is going to admire you because you do overtime. It's more likely that they think about you as a wimp, an easy pray who allows everything to be done with him.

    Best regardsm
    Mac Juli
    Rachel83az likes this.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's sadly true that far too many employers will take extra effort for granted...

    ...but this to me sounds like a little too much like, "So on the day you get there, make sure you start a fight with the biggest guy in the yard so the other inmates will respect you."
  17. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    There's a bit of a fine line to walk when it comes to "picking up slack occasionally" and "always helping out everyone else". Too little teamwork and you get written off as lazy and incompetent. Too much OT and you're the scapegoat that everyone will pile work onto.
  18. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe it sounds like this. It is possible that I do not get my ideas across in a language that is not my own, and maybe I have become too bitter about this subject. But regarding the meaning behind it, I stand my ground - due to way too much years of personal experience; of course, YMMV: if you do not show your colleagues where the limits are, nobody will.

    Your boss won't.
    And neither your colleagues.
    SteveFoerster and Rachel83az like this.
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Oh, I didn't think you were wrong, just that it was a bit dramatically stated. There's a saying, "If you want something done, ask a busy person." What you're describing is the darker side of that, I suppose?
    Mac Juli likes this.
  20. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Depends. I would start by looking at the salary range for your internal company job level (almost all American companies have a job level system that shows a range and a median). Are you significantly below the median? If so, as long as you performed at an average level, you can raise that point to back you up. In many cases though, you don't even need to ask for a raise at the end of the year - companies will automatically move you towards the median at the end of the year as long as you are not performing poorly. That happens after the yearly job evaluation.

    But if you're already close to the median, your manager will want to know why you deserve something more? What makes you special for him/her to pay beyond what the role expects? If you have a good answer for that, then you have a good case. In many cases though, if you are performing beyond the job requirements, that means a promotion or a move up in job level and salary.

    All of this assumes you are not on some sort of contract or are not part of a union.

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