FWD: RE: More problems with equity

Subject: FWD: RE: More problems with equity
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 18:49:59 -0700

Name withheld upon request. Please reply on list.


Dear Anon.,
In most cases, the people who get paid more ASK to be paid more,
and KEEP ASKING. They ask when they negotiate their salary for a new
position. They ask when they get their performance review. They ask
out of the blue when they get new information that indicates they can
get more money for what they're doing. This persistence means they'll
be paid a tremendous amount more than their humble, hard-working
coworkers. Working quietly and waiting to be rewarded for your efforts
with not increase your salary 10-50% a year, making it a priority to
sell your skills (on the open market or within your organization),
justifying why you should be paid more, and then ASKing to be paid more
can and usually does.
There are occasions where the company simply cannot afford to
pay any of its employees more--but, even if a manger tells you this is
the case, keep asking (once or twice a year) because situations change
and the manager may not be telling you the truth. Also, even if the
company really doesn't have the money, they can offer other benefits
like: working from home, stock options, 401k matching, home computer
workstations, etc. Be creative. A key to successful negotiation is to
be flexible and focus on the real issues--in this case (for you) I
assume this is improving your standard of living and perhaps getting
more respect from your coworkers. What having a T1 line at home do this
for you? Consider the possibilities. If the programmers know that you
make significantly less than they do, they may treat you as someone
lower on the food chain. (In fact, within an organization this point
may be used as a negotiating point for a salary increase.) The people
you work for need to know you're serious about your value before they'll
take your value seriously.
Finally, when negotiating for a pay increase, just keep coming
up with reasons why they should pay you more until they do. As long as
the list of reasons you're worth more money is longer than their list of
reasons why you're not, you should do well. NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS,
Caveat: if you work for the government or university you salary
range may be pre-determined, in which case, to make a salary jump you'll
need to get reclassified into a hiring paying job title.
See further comments below in context.

> I recently received a very good performance review and a
> to Senior Technical Writer. For this I expected a significant raise in
> salary. I was given a 5.26% raise, only slightly more than I got last
> when my salary was boosted by 5% and I received no reclassification.
> This pittance of a raise seems completely unfair and out of line with
> performance review and reclassification I received. What, in your
> experience, would a fair raise have been in this circumstance? For
> background, I have been with the company just over 2 years, have about
> years of tech writing experience, and am completing an MA in English
with a
> tech writing concentration.
Did you ask the manager you reviewed why your raise was only 5%?
In Silicon valley business, raises usually ramp up for programmers,
engineers, and tech writers at the same rate (10-50% a year for the
first 3 years) and then level off as salaries reach the 60-70,000/yr

> In addition, I hear tell of bonuses being paid to programmers and
others at
> my company that far, far exceed what I was given, in some cases by
> a factor of four. In your collective experience, is it common for tech
> writers to be remunerated so poorly in relation to other workers, such
> programmers and engineers?
Then there's definitely more money for you in the company. Ask
for it! And, since you're in California compare your salary to the
going rate. If you're below it, use that as a negotiating point.
Best of luck my friend! I think all good, hard-working people
deserve more!

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