Career Advice Tuesday – “Should I Be Thankful”

November 24, 2009

Dear Infosecleaders:

I was recently summoned to my manager’s office the other day.  He began the meeting with the dreaded “I have some good news and I have some bad news.”  He told me that the good news was that I had done a good job this past year as an information security engineer and my position was “secure” and I am an employee in “good standing.”

Then he told me the bad news.   Due to the economic situation and the financial position of the company, our information security department and more important, me, personally would not be given a salary increase or year end bonus.

On the one hand, I look at the unemployment rate and I am thankful that I have a position that at least for the moment is not in jeopardy.  On the other hand, I feel that I deserve much better for both the quality and quantity of the work that I performed this past year.

I want to know if I am missing the big picture, or if it is time to look for “greener” (as in the color of money) pastures?

Sincerely,

“Poor Pilgrim”

Dear “Poor Pilgrim”:

The first thing that I can tell you is that you have to keep a sense of perspective when dealing with your particular situation.   It is true that there are many people who are not currently working, but that by itself does not hold relevance.  What is relevant is how many people who possess your level of information security skills and experience are unemployed.

Another item that holds relevance is how your compensation compares to the rest of the market.  When you look at the market, you have to ask your peers and your network, (in other companies) what they are earning, their benefits, and the demands of their jobs.   For example, if your current position pays you more money, and requires less sacrifice, you may want to keep quiet.  But, if you are earning less than your peers, and your position is more demanding, you may want to reevaluate.

A final item that you may want to consider, is how the company treated you during the good times.  For example if they gave larger salary increases and overpaid bonuses when things were good, it would only be logical for them to eliminate increases and bonuses, when the company is struggling to survive.  If this is the case, think of it as an average, and consider yourself “even”.

I do not believe that you are being greedy.  I think that you want to understand if you are being treated fairly, and if your employer’s response to the economy is a rational one.   Leaving a position is a personal situation, and I think that sometimes it is important to give your employer the benefit of the doubt – especially when bad things are happening to many around you.

Hope this helps.  Enjoy the turkey!

Lee and Mike

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Career Advice Tuesday 

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