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Bringing up raises

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  • Dec 10th, 2012 12:07 pm
[OP]
Member
User avatar
Mar 10, 2011
349 posts
108 upvotes
Edmonton

Bringing up raises

I started a gig as an assistant controller at the beginning of this month. The employment contract stated that after 6 months my salary would be reviewed.

From doing some payroll functions I uncovered that my predecessor was making 10K more than I am now. My predecessor was with the organization for 3 years before he left. He left because my organization would not finance his CMA designation. In the interview my boss told me they would not finance my designation either.

In 6 months would it be unreasonable for me to ask for the same pay as my predecessor? (essentially a 10K raise). I don't want to come off as being greedy, but I also want to be fairly compensated since I will be doing the exact same roles and responsibilities as him. I am not sure how much experience he had, but I have about 2 years of experience (co-op/summer jobs) and 1 year post graduate at an accounting firm.
32 replies
Newbie
Nov 11, 2008
59 posts
4 upvotes
Yes it likely would be considered unreasonable. Your predecessor got to that salary after adding three years worth of raises to whatever he started with. So essentially you would be asking to be compensated similarly to an employee with three years of on the job experience at six months employment. Your three years of prior experience, especially considering two years of it is co-op/summer jobs, isn't comparable to your predecessor's three years in the assistant controller role.

I can see why you would consider it unfair when you have the same R&Rs as your predecessor, but what I've outlined above is how your employer will see it.
Deal Addict
Jun 29, 2009
2307 posts
213 upvotes
Toronto
Unless you are proving to be a stellar performer so quickly in your new job, 10k raise is A LOT. Especially given that you have very little experience

With any negotiation you always have to assess where you stand relative to the company. Simplest question to ask yourself: how replaceable am I

Any negotiation will always be around question of leverage - and you need to have an honest assessment of yourself.

If any or most junior people like yourself can just walk through the door and do your job - you really don't have much leverage in asking for raise.

Think about it: your employer didn't try to offer your predecessor to stay and happily get someone else (you) for 10k less. What are the chances there are others who would take your job without that 10k extra?
Member
Jan 14, 2010
408 posts
641 upvotes
GTA
You were able to get an assistant controller position after a year of post-graduate experience?? That is amazing! I would think you need at least 5 years experience lol. Good luck and hope you get the raise!
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2006
1435 posts
125 upvotes
Midtown Toronto
As other have alluded to, the chance of you getting a raise depends on:
1) Your next best alternative; and
2) Their next best alternative.

If you think the answer to those two questions is $10k more than you're making now, then go for it. If not, be very very quiet.
Deal Addict
Aug 12, 2004
4505 posts
2165 upvotes
Calgary
rubberbandman wrote: From doing some payroll functions I uncovered that my predecessor was making 10K more than I am now. My predecessor was with the organization for 3 years before he left. He left because my organization would not finance his CMA designation. In the interview my boss told me they would not finance my designation either.
In other words you found out about someone else's previous salary by snooping around where you shouldn't, and trying to use that illicit gained info as leverage for a raise? Frankly if you were my employee and you were to bring this up you'd be fired on the spot. Get a raise through your own merit, not on what you found out about who you replaced.
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2010
2764 posts
181 upvotes
Firebot wrote: In other words you found out about someone else's previous payroll by snooping around where you shouldn't, and trying to use that illicit gained info as leverage for a raise? Frankly if you were my employee you'd be fired on the spot. Get a raise through your own merit, not on what you found out about who you replaced.
Relax. As long as he doesn't use that has his reason for the raise there is no issue. Unless he was stupid, you wouldn't even know he knew.

Its no different then a staffing agency telling you the rate first for a position (leaving you room to negotiate) or if some compensation professional gave you the grade range for a position. Even if you hear gossip about someone retiring lets say, and you take advantage but applying immediately for their position, HR doesn't have to know you knew about ahead of time.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 17, 2008
1180 posts
114 upvotes
A co-worker of mine asked her manager for an outsized raise to increase her wage to more 'market' levels. Her manager hemmed around it saying things like well, I have a budget to maintain and if I give you a larger raise than normal, I would have to take away from someone else.

Her response: I totally understand the difficult position you are in and that budgets should be maintained. Let me give you a list of names that you can take away the raise from.

:D :D :D haha
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2009
2085 posts
82 upvotes
Toronto
bizstudent wrote: You were able to get an assistant controller position after a year of post-graduate experience?? That is amazing! I would think you need at least 5 years experience lol. Good luck and hope you get the raise!
It's quite different being an assistant controller at a company with $1M+ in revenues vs $100M+ in revenues. The latter is where you will see the assistant controller with 5+ years of exp.
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2006
1507 posts
56 upvotes
Also as with any raise, time on the job is not the only factor. Make sure you arm yourself with what you have achieved over the past 6 months. I was in similar situation as you, I started working for my current company in September 2008 and they said I will be eligible for the salary review during their normal review at the end of the year. In the end, I ended up getting about 2.5k more. 10k+ increase is almost promotion range, not just a raise in your current role. That is the minimum you would expect when looking for a higher position, not realistic if it's your current role.

The main reason why younger people tend to move around more, is because your next salary is always based on your previous salary (which they know). I always hated that, the company should pay what is market value, not what you were paid before. You could have been under/over paid in your previous position. When you move to another organization and if they ask what your previous salary was, you can pretty much say whatever you want (100k can become 108 or 110k). You are always underpaid for internal promotions vs the same position in the market (the company would have to pay a premium to attract someone new).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 23, 2006
4568 posts
851 upvotes
Toronto
Chigu wrote: Also as with any raise, time on the job is not the only factor. Make sure you arm yourself with what you have achieved over the past 6 months. I was in similar situation as you, I started working for my current company in September 2008 and they said I will be eligible for the salary review during their normal review at the end of the year. In the end, I ended up getting about 2.5k more. 10k+ increase is almost promotion range, not just a raise in your current role. That is the minimum you would expect when looking for a higher position, not realistic if it's your current role.

The main reason why younger people tend to move around more, is because your next salary is always based on your previous salary (which they know). I always hated that, the company should pay what is market value, not what you were paid before. You could have been under/over paid in your previous position. When you move to another organization and if they ask what your previous salary was, you can pretty much say whatever you want (100k can become 108 or 110k). You are always underpaid for internal promotions vs the same position in the market (the company would have to pay a premium to attract someone new).
Yup, that's why you should go get an offer with higher pay elsewhere and show it to your boss and ask him/her to match it.
Board games!!!!
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2010
2764 posts
181 upvotes
projectmoonlightcafe wrote: Yup, that's why you should go get an offer with higher pay elsewhere and show it to your boss and ask him/her to match it.
+1. Only works if your job is not easily replacable (i.e your in a critical operations role or a top revenue generator).
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2006
1507 posts
56 upvotes
Abel4Life wrote: +1. Only works if your job is not easily replacable (i.e your in a critical operations role or a top revenue generator).
This is a no risk strategy.

1) They match the pay and you stay, and you don't have to bother moving to a different environment and start building relationships from scratch
2) They don't match, and you then give your notice and move to your new better paying position.
[OP]
Member
User avatar
Mar 10, 2011
349 posts
108 upvotes
Edmonton
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

The consensus seems to be that asking for such a aggressive raise in such a short time would be a risky strategy for me. I agree for the most part with what has been said.

During the the interview process they said that they would provide me with an interest free loan, but would not pay for my designation (CMA). In six months time, do you think I can re-negotiate this, especially in lieu of a larger raise? How can I convince my employer on the merits of paying for my designation?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 3, 2010
1903 posts
186 upvotes
10k raise all of a sudden?

I always look for a new company to work for whenever I want a 10-15k salary increase. Finding a different company is your best bet.
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2010
2764 posts
181 upvotes
Chigu wrote: This is a no risk strategy.

1) They match the pay and you stay, and you don't have to bother moving to a different environment and start building relationships from scratch
2) They don't match, and you then give your notice and move to your new better paying position.
Your right. Missed that. Job in hand then yes it is no risk :) .
Deal Addict
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Oct 23, 2006
4568 posts
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Toronto
world25 wrote: 10k raise all of a sudden?

I always look for a new company to work for whenever I want a 10-15k salary increase. Finding a different company is your best bet.
Same here....but recently I've been quite aggressive and asking for $30k increases in new job....got it once and trying it again...and the reactions from potential employers are looking good!
Board games!!!!
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2006
1507 posts
56 upvotes
projectmoonlightcafe wrote: Same here....but recently I've been quite aggressive and asking for $30k increases in new job....got it once and trying it again...and the reactions from potential employers are looking good!
I've done about 15k (but keep in mind that was over a 20% increase), but that was because when they asked me what I made in my previous job, I may have rounded up the number by 7-8g's. It was a balancing act because the knew the range that public accountants get paid. For my next move, I'd expect over 20k increase for sure.
Newbie
Nov 23, 2010
86 posts
14 upvotes
I've done 45K (15% increase), but that was working in another industry. Nowadays, I'm lucky to get 15 or 20K. I usually get it though...
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 1, 2004
12862 posts
1484 upvotes
Pickering
world25 wrote: 10k raise all of a sudden?

I always look for a new company to work for whenever I want a 10-15k salary increase. Finding a different company is your best bet.
This^. Prepare to jump ship. You can ask for a joke, but I've never been successful. Especially when they can blame hard times on the economy. The last time I asked, I did give the names of the people whose work that I was doing as people that should see wage decreases to fund my increase, if that was the issue. Either way, leaving was the most stress free way and provided me with the most increases.

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