Re: Ask for a raise? Or pack my bags?

Subject: Re: Ask for a raise? Or pack my bags?
From: "RaphaelWorkman -at- comcast -dot- net" <raphaelworkman -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: Paul Hanson <twer_lists_all -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2015 21:14:25 -0600

Thanks for the excuse/reminder, Paul.

I have a short- and long-term plan for my future with my company.

Short term: burrow deeper into the high-visibility projects; take more training (on the company dime); take the lead on more projects, and quietly put out resumes to strong companies. I'll do interviews if invited and if I get a better offer, I'm gone.

Long term: Put together a list of my job duties and pay on a report with a list of other job duties and pay from other companies in the same state and then take that to my boss and ask, "What do I need to do to be able to earn this kind of salary?" By then I will have had my resume out among strong companies for a few months or a year. On my resume I will be continually updating it with the new projects, leadership, management, and experience on it.

In the last few weeks I've been put on a high-visibility project (visible all the way up to the executive leadership team) and this week I'm running a part of that project with one tech writer and two trainers and I'm managing them as they work on a hundred docs due on Monday. We have to take them from word written by SMEs and put it into another word doc with a table in it so it can be passed on to some computer people to be put into a searchable database. We also have to apply our conventions and terms as we transfer the tip sheets and job aids.

Also, I may be the guy who teaches all the tech writers in Rochester, Jacksonville, Irving, and a few others how to use Articulate Storyline 2. It's not a done deal yet so if I express dissatisfaction now they will almost definitely start thinking of other arrangements whereas if I act excited then they'll choose me and I'll have more bargaining power. My boss and her peers want me to be the guy because it's cheaper than flying everyone out to Richmond to take the official training from Yukon. My boss and the other area managers are going through the VP of Customer Care and the Sourcing department to get the green light to purchase the software for all the tech writers.

I've got some personal stress right now with my 76-year-old mother in my basement for the summer to watch my boys who aren't quite 12 (old enough to watch themselves all day every day all summer). This means along with the new responsibilities at work, I don't have energy to search too hard for another job. As I begin to train other tech writers and continue in this big project, I'll become more necessary and indispensable. Then when I ask for more money, they won't be able to easily replace me and they won't want to have to retrain someone else to do all the stuff the are training me to do now and all the stuff I've been doing for three years (as a tech writer). If it takes a year, I can start rounding my 9 years (at that point) up to "'a decade' with the company" during negotiations.

I'm excited for a few days off. I will put a new floor in the master bath and do some woodworking.

I want to thank all of you again for the advice and understanding. I can't tell you enough how much it meant to be able to bounce these questions and ideas off of other tech writers. I couldn't really talk to anyone at work to get the kind of insight you all gave me.

Oh and if someone anonymously asks a similar question in the future, who uses similar sentence structure, it DEFINITELY isn't me. ;-P

-Some Grateful Guy

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jul 2, 2015, at 7:05 AM, Paul Hanson <twer_lists_all -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
> So... what are you going to do?!? <grin>
> Don't keep the list in suspense!
> ----
> Paul Hanson
> My blog:
> Me Playing Drums:
> My (frequently ignored) Twitter: @prhmusic
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of RaphaelWorkman -at- comcast -dot- net
> Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 3:01 PM
> To: Robert Lauriston
> Cc: TECHWR-L Writing
> Subject: Re: Ask for a raise? Or pack my bags?
> Thanks to all for your advice so far! I realize I forgot to add a few key
> points.
> I earned a BA degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University in
> Clinton, Iowa in 2010.
> I commute from north of downtown Denver to south of downtown Denver through
> rush hour traffic. I spend 8-10 hrs/wk commuting.
> Denver region is above the national average so my original salary goals are
> spot on or even a bit conservative.
> I put out my resume to a few big companies and haven't received any interest
> back yet.
> Companies in my area that are actually hiring are paying $50-$75/yr for tech
> writing and editing jobs popping up last month and this month.
> I like the people I work with. My boss is nice. I like what I do. I didn't
> realize I was making so little until my little brother got a new job earning
> $75/yr (as a CFP) but told me his company is hiring regular people with
> bachelor's degrees starting at $50/yr. to basically just answer phones in a
> call center environment. That's a thousand dollars a month more than I make
> now and it's not even the regional average for tech writers in Denver
> Colorado, which is $62/yr ($2,000/mo more than I earn now).
> Here are some supporting pics. I entered my info (e.g. 3 yrs experience)
> into for my region: Denver.
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