Career Advice Tuesday – “Should More Work Mean More Pay?”
August 2, 2011
The other day I learned that my information security program will be going through a reorganization.
The good news is that as a result, I am receiving increased responsibility, visibility and exposure. The bad news is that I am getting more work, more headaches, and I am not receiving any additional compensation.
Needless to say, I am angry.
I really like my employer, but I consistently fight battles with management and human resources about my compensation. Last year I received an “over market” increase (according to HR), which from my perspective was underwhelming, and did not reflect may contributions. When I brought them “data” about compensation, they dismissed it.
Here I am again. The pattern is repeating itself. I am planning on putting my thoughts down in writing, in a very direct letter to both may management and human resources, documenting and reflecting my feelings.
Do you approve of this approach?
Before you decide to put your thoughts down in paper or in an e-mail, you need to ask yourself, “How good of a writer am I?” By writing a note, your thoughts are going to be contained forever, and can always be referenced. If your note takes an angry tone, it can be viewed as a line in the sand to your current manager and employer, and it can force an action – which may or may not be worth the risk.
Personally, I believe that you should express your opinions verbally, in a meeting setting with both your manager and human resources present. I think that you should set the tone of the meeting, by first letting them know that you appreciate their recognition of your contributions, by providing you with additional responsibility.
Once this point is conveyed, you should let them know that your expectation would be that once your prove yourself in this new capacity, that you be compensated commensurate with others across the organization who hold the same titles and responsibility. During this meeting, you should ask your manager to establish specific metrics on how your performance will be evaluated. In front of HR, you should ask for a follow up meeting so that these can be reviewed, and set up a timetable for an initial review (6 months may be ample time). In these 6 months, you should work your butt off, to overachieve, to show them that they made the correct choice in giving you this opportunity.
By handling it this way, you are demonstrating maturity in your approach. It is a common mistake for people to ask for money once given an “opportunity”, but the fact is that the extra money is earned once you prove that you can perform at this newly elevated level.
When the review cycle comes around, one of two things will happen – you will either be happy with you new position and increase, or your will be polishing off your resume, looking for an employer that appreciates your experience and newly learned skills.
Hope this helps,
Lee and Mike