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Help- Negotiating Promotion


steve09ru

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So just got a promotion to a customer support manager position and while the % increase is good (16.5) I'm still going to be slightly below national average according to just a quick google search (~1500). I will also have 13 direct reports. I was the front runner for position and have basically served as manager during my boss and directors absences and have seemingly been that 3rd manager even when they are around.

Is it reasonable to ask for more even given the percentage increase? I know a former co worker was offered about what I will be making a year ago when the direct report number was only 4-5. I'm fortunate for the opportunity but don't want to push it to the point it seems I'm ungrateful, trying to find that medium.

Thanks in advance!

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Tough one.  First, what line of work are you in?  Is the pay hourly or salaried?  

 

National average, while a nice number, is an average of the entire country, so what someone makes in a higher cost of living area (say California) is most likely higher than the guy in a small country town (say in NC or SC).  

 

Also, how long have you been there and do you have any opportunities outside your current employer to make more money or at least the same?  Any cards up your sleeve or favors to call in?  Those always help.

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I found that when I worked in the retail world, the threat of losing me to a competitor was a good bargaining chip.  I had so many friends in the industry, vendors, other chains, managers, etc.  that they knew if they called my bluff, I would bolt and not think twice about it.

 

Same in corporate America, depending on the job and the demand.  I'm in healthcare, so if I was unhappy, I could probably bolt and make more money.  I do love my company, job, co-workers so I'm not in the market of leaving.  But you do have to keep your eyes/ears open, make contacts/resources that can help you out if needed.

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So just got a promotion to a customer support manager position and while the % increase is good (16.5) I'm still going to be slightly below national average according to just a quick google search (~1500). I will also have 13 direct reports. I was the front runner for position and have basically served as manager during my boss and directors absences and have seemingly been that 3rd manager even when they are around.

Is it reasonable to ask for more even given the percentage increase? I know a former co worker was offered about what I will be making a year ago when the direct report number was only 4-5. I'm fortunate for the opportunity but don't want to push it to the point it seems I'm ungrateful, trying to find that medium.

Thanks in advance!

that national average also takes into account experience in the position. if you were my direct report and were just promoted, i would want to see results of your management before giving you a raise. at this point, they don't necessarily know if you'll be an average manager, so why should they pay you for it.

i did something similar, personally. i took a role that was new for me and accepted a salary that was lower then the national and regional average. after my first year (and with good results), i told my manager that if i put up another good year of results that i would be asking for a commensurate raise since i was producing results that were well above average. i also negotiated a side benefit that was of great value to me and that cost my employer very little.

a lot of people want to be paid because they have a job title (or x years of experience); most employers that i know pay people based on the job that they do. produce results, make yourself indispensable, and earn a salary that is above average.

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As a business owner, if you came to me and asked for more, I would ask to see you excel at the position before requesting more money.  And depending what I really thought of you, I might be offended...or I might be offering it unsure if you can do the job with a wait and see salary.

 

As an employee, I would accept the raise, kick ass in the position, then ask for more money from a position of strength.

 

Both from positions of personal experience in my past.

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Tough one. First, what line of work are you in? Is the pay hourly or salaried?

National average, while a nice number, is an average of the entire country, so what someone makes in a higher cost of living area (say California) is most likely higher than the guy in a small country town (say in NC or SC).

Also, how long have you been there and do you have any opportunities outside your current employer to make more money or at least the same? Any cards up your sleeve or favors to call in? Those always help.

We're a SaaS (software as service) company. I'll be 5 years in May (salaried) and have done a bit of everything from a client service role. Haven't looked elsewhere so it's hard to gauge. It's one of those thing I'm fine with now but then look down the road in a couple years and don't see the increases I'd be getting being competitive as compared to if I were to move. I guess it's always something I could bluff and use as leverage in a year or so?

Always hard for me to gauge and not pushing a lot in the past has probably hurt current.

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Agree with much of what DCHogs said.

 

Here is how I always look at the situation when I ask for a raise/promotion.

 

First, make a definitive list of the things you have done above and beyond what was expected (in this case, beyond why you got the promotion).  You need to show specific items where you showed you are worth more money.

 

Second, don't look at national, google, etc for money.  Look at your area, in the want ads (yes, I'm old school) for salary range for people in your line of work.

 

Third, be completely honest with yourself - are you really indispensable to that company.  Do you have the leverage?  If so, go for it. If not, take the job, work your butt off, and go for the raise when you can show results. Key here - be BRUTALLY honest when you answer these questions.  Don't want to go from a promotion/raise to looking elsewhere.

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I have to agree with Chip, take what you are offered now.  But network yourself man.  College friends, old co-workers, etc.  Get some feelers out there.  And by all means, apply for similar positions for more money.  Get leverage.

 

If you get an offer or a foot in the door, then approach your boss and if you like it enough there, let them match or at least let them know they can match the offer.  If they can't or won't, put in a notice and move on.  

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Before you "bluff" know your worth.

 

I have seen people who think they are very valuable, only to find themselves unable to find another job paying them what they were making when they questioned their employers value of them.

It's easy to find your worth.  Meet with a reputable headhunter/placement professional and see what type of opportunities are out there and what they pay.

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Thanks for the feedback all. Got inside info on the old manager who only had 4 reports and it was a good 10k more but not sure her outside background (came from another company so I'm guessing you have more pull in those situations as well). Then also with the former co worker who was offered same (same credentials) but again, less reports, so wasn't sure if that was something to use as leverage.

Sounds best to just go with it until results are there since it's a new position

Thanks again all- great advice - appreciate it!

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Thanks for the feedback all. Got inside info on the old manager who only had 4 reports and it was a good 10k more but not sure her outside background (came from another company so I'm guessing you have more pull in those situations as well). Then also with the former co worker who was offered same (same credentials) but again, less reports, so wasn't sure if that was something to use as leverage.

Sounds best to just go with it until results are there since it's a new position

Thanks again all- great advice - appreciate it!

 

Be excited about the new position, kill it, then go for a promotion.  If you are happy with your company, be happy with the promotion.  I don't know what company you work for, but maybe that's all that was in their budget?

 

The unfortunate thing in industry, many times it pays to leave a company you love rather than stay.  For whatever reason, companies don't always value their employees or have the foresight to pay them enough from being poached in the first place.

 

Regardless, if you like your job, cherish the raise, thank them, then show them you are worth double.

 

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Thanks for the feedback all. Got inside info on the old manager who only had 4 reports and it was a good 10k more but not sure her outside background (came from another company so I'm guessing you have more pull in those situations as well). Then also with the former co worker who was offered same (same credentials) but again, less reports, so wasn't sure if that was something to use as leverage.

Sounds best to just go with it until results are there since it's a new position

Thanks again all- great advice - appreciate it!

it also depends on what her experience was as she was applying for the job. if she had previous management experience in your field and could point to proven results, she's very likely "worth" $10k more than someone without that experience.

in regards to bluffing, constantly applying for jobs to use as leverage, etc:

as people job hop more in today's working world, i do find it important to point out to younger employees that the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the fence, but it is always greener where you care enough and take the time to fertilize it. the new shiny job with the bigger salary could very well suck donkey balls. higher salaries also come with more responsibility, more stress, longer hours/less free time, and greater sacrifice. sometimes it is worth it, other times, not.

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Agreed- I wouldn't leave the company for 5k more elsewhere, love the company. Only one I've come across where the first thought getting out of bed is "this again? ___ more days til weekend". But down the road, they don't have to know that. My first 2 companies out of school were **** and never want tone I that environment again so definitely understand that.

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Agreed- I wouldn't leave the company for 5k more elsewhere, love the company. Only one I've come across where the first thought getting out of bed is "this again? ___ more days til weekend". But down the road, they don't have to know that. My first 2 companies out of school were **** and never want tone I that environment again so definitely understand that.

 

Personal happiness and what is best for your situation is first.  I was in management at my current employer.  I was happy there, but there was opportunity to step out of management, work from home and take a minimal pay cut to do so.  I took that opportunity, to work from home, to be there for my daughter and wife.

 

I don't regret it for a second.  I have no commute, I get to take my daughter to school and my wife picks her up and they hang out upstairs while I finish my workday.  Then I'm there with them.  I wouldn't trade that for the world man, it's a blessing.  

 

But.......you still need cards up your sleeve and connections.  I cannot stress that enough.  Always have a fall back plan in place, never know when the dream will end.  Be smart.....and always think of work/life as a game of chess and be 2-3 moves ahead.

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Which is how?

I've never used a headhunter. Is there some sort of gimmick?

 

Sort of like a sports agent. 

They will work hard for you so don't get me wrong (set up the interviews, negotiate with the potential employer on your behalf, etc).

I agree that utilizing them is great. Just understand you technically pay them, not the employer. Typical agreement is basically, they earn a percentage of your earnings for a specified period of time, the employer just cuts the check. 

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Sort of like a sports agent.

They will work hard for you so don't get me wrong (set up the interviews, negotiate with the potential employer on your behalf, etc).

I agree that utilizing them is great. Just understand you technically pay them, not the employer. Typical agreement is basically, they earn a percentage of your earnings for a specified period of time, the employer just cuts the check.

Gotcha. I figured that's how it worked, just didn't know if there was something hidden that I wasn't really aware of.

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I am going to have to disagree a little with everyone here. If the bump is $1,500 to make you feel more comfortable it won't ever hurt to ask. A company can say no, but won't remove the promotion over 1,500. It just doesn't happen. I always say you should try to negotiate anything above the first offer. They can say no and you take the position away. They may say yes, no problem. You never know until you ask. The reason most people make more over another employee in the same position is they took the risk to ask for more.

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FIrst off, congrats... The main thing is making sure you're making your bread to pay your bills and still enjoy life. I'm earning about 50%  less than both predecessors before me in my position, and I know I do a much better job from all accounts... but I love my job and love the people I work with.

 

Could I go out and get another job in my industry making more... without a doubt, but I may be unhappy and I'd have to change a lot of things that are already steady in my life. There are a lot of factors to take in to consideration.

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I am going to have to disagree a little with everyone here. If the bump is $1,500 to make you feel more comfortable it won't ever hurt to ask. A company can say no, but won't remove the promotion over 1,500. It just doesn't happen. I always say you should try to negotiate anything above the first offer. They can say no and you take the position away. They may say yes, no problem. You never know until you ask. The reason most people make more over another employee in the same position is they took the risk to ask for more.

 

That's partially true.  Depending on the company, there are a lot of factors that can determine a person's salary at a specific position.  He said the national average for his position is roughly $1500 more than the offer.  That doesn't mean that anyone at his company made $1500 more than he did at the same position.

 

Some factors may include that they have a fixed scale of what they can offer for a promotion, that might be all they are allowed to offer.  As far as what others make, people could be hired in at more because they were making more at a previous job but the company wanted to lock them in because of experience and knew if they didn't pay, they would go elsewhere.

 

He is getting a 16.5% pay increase.  That is a very good spike in pay, imo.  Asking for more based on the national average, personally if I was his boss, it wouldn't bother me, I'd say no or yes (depending if they even have the power to offer more than the 16.5% increase) and not hold it against him.

 

But we don't know how his boss thinks or how they would react.  They could take it as a slap in the face and feel that he was being greedy.  Negotiating a salary prior to getting hired is one thing, trying to negotiate after being hired where policies and corporate politics are in play is completely different.

 

Honestly, probably the best course of action would be for him to go to his Human Resources Dept. and ask them about pay increases for promotions.  Is it a fixed percent or is there a range?  Can that range be exceeded?  Etc.  That's what they are there for and it should remain confidential if he asks about it, generally speaking with them.

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Thanks again all - appreciate it! 

 

So I ended up signing the initial offer letter, took the advice of playing it out for a bit before asking for a bump once I had more to show in the new position.  I was only expecting a 10-15% to begin with so the plan was to try and squeeze out 18% since the timeline would be skipping over my annual review and I'd be missing out on that.  So the 16.5% initial offer kind of put me in a 50/50 area on trying to squeeze anymore.  That and I look at it as maybe being able to get an extra percentage or 2 now or a larger percentage in a year with more facts so they don't come back and say 'well we just gave you the larger increase last year'

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