Career Advice Tuesday – “SOC-Sessful”
May 17, 2011
Currently I work in security operations for a Managed Security Service provider, and I am responsible for our company’s largest customer. Supporting a customer like this requires 7X 24 effort – and I am often called upon for late nights and weekends.
Recently, my manager called me into his office, and let me know that our company’s sales team has acquired another “flagship” client, and we are going to need to provide them with the same level of support and client service. The manager has informed me that they are going to want me to be the main point of contact for the client.
I first asked who would be taking over my previous responsibilities, and he remarked that nothing would change and I would be now expected to manage both clients. When he told me this, my expectation was that this increase in responsibility (and time commitment) would coincide with a salary increase, but as the meeting drew to a close, it was clear that this was not on the table.
After thinking about this, I feel that I am taking advantage of. The increase in work means more time away from my family, more weekends, more responsibility, and lets face it, more pressure.
Not quite sure that I want to take on all of this without any additional financial incentive. I have flirted with leaving the company in the past, but like working here and believe in our mission. In fact, the client that I am supporting has approached me a number of times to come work for them – and I know that this option is open to me.
Do you have any advice for me?
First of all, congratulations for doing a good job and being recognized for additional responsibility by your manager and employer. The fact that they have demonstrated this to you by attempting to give you additional responsibility provides you with an indication that you are valued and subsequently provides you with some leverage in these future discussions.
What we would like for you to do is to schedule a meeting with your current manager to discuss the new responsibilities and requirements. During this meeting, you should have your manager clearly express any new requirements that they will have on you – this should include their expectations of additional time, service, skill, and availability. Once your manager expresses this to you, you should first let them know that you are happy to take on additional responsibility, but your expectations would be that if you are successful your expectation would be that you would receive additional compensation – in terms of salary, bonus, and equity (if this is an option) . You should ask your manager to review these items with you, six months from today – and even ask them to calendar the meeting when your are in your office. In addition, at this time, you should inform your manager that, beginning with the new assignment, you would like to have some more discretion over your vacation/PTO time – considering your time away from your family will increase.
By doing both of these things you are setting some precedent with your manager:
1) You are letting your manager know that you are willing to take on more responsibility and are willing to prove yourself without immediate reward. This is a sign of maturity – and should be recognized. At the same time, you are also letting your employer now that you have an expectation for a financial reward, if you perform your job well. This gives your manager the necessary time to plan with their management to budget for these financial outlays.
2) By asking for discretion on vacation, you are demonstrating that you will demand additional benefits for increased workload. This sets a precedent to your manager that they can not give you additional work, for nothing in exchange and that your time is valuable. Giving you discretion over vacation is something easy for your manager to provide you, without any permission from their management.
What you have effectively done is make some demands on your management without “holding a gun” to their head.
Once you embark on this new assignment, ask your manager to review you in 60 days, and 120 days, leading up to your six month review. This will provide you with a documented status, on your performance. During these meetings you can remind your manager of your expectations of increased compensation. You should have a pretty good understanding of what your manager thinks of your progress and performance.
If in six months, you do a good job, you will have that meeting with your manager, and you should have your increase. If you do not receive your increase, keep your client’s number on speed dial, as if they do not financially reward you, you will have no other choice but to leave.
The reasoning is that by ignoring your request, your company will have effectively set the precedent that they can give you more work, without any additional pay – and if you accept this, they will continue to do so.
Hope this helps,
Lee and Mike