Ask for a raise? Or pack my bags?

Subject: Ask for a raise? Or pack my bags?
From: "RaphaelWorkman -at- comcast -dot- net" <raphaelworkman -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 17:31:34 -0600

Hello tech writers:

I don't know where else to turn for advice.

Is it a risk to my job security to ask my supervisor or an HR employee for a raise or work from home privileges? I earn an anonymous amount of money between $36K and $38K annually. I was hired 3.5 years ago at $32K. I just found out the national average is around $60K. I'm feeling undervalued with long hours long commute and low-ish pay for my field. I used to be allowed 2 days/wk work from home and just to come in on those days for occasional meetings. I was told our new building is new and nice and I am now expected to be in the office every day. I've been with this company for 8 years total and 3 years as an above-average tech writer, content developer (Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline), and instructional designer. I write/develop for a department of 1,000 people in 2 states in call centers that support all of the security system installers for US and Puerto Rico. The subject matter is highly technical including hardware, software, and troubleshooting. I came up through the ranks 4 years troubleshooting and programming, one year leading and training, and 3 years as a tech writer with many "other duties as assigned." I imagine my job/work is worth at least $50K. Am I delusional? Should I just be happy to even have a job at all? FYI I'm too nervous to strike out on my own as a free-lance contractor type but I'm looking around at places like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Jeppesen. I'm in my mid 30's and I'm old enough to wish for a company from which I could retire, but I think I may be deluding myself to think this could happen where I am. There are no similar jobs in my company that are just a step up from where I am, and none of my peers makes very much money. With my annual "merit increases" being anywhere from 0% to 3.1% I don't see myself making very much money in the future. I can't really bring this up to my boss or HR without a strategy because I fear once they know I want a lot more money they may begin quietly looking to replace me.

Advice?

Thanks,
Raphael
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Follow-Ups:

References:
"Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Mike Christie
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Janoff, Steven
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Robert Lauriston
Re: "Are technical writers the unsung heroes of document generation?": From: Gene Kim-Eng

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