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Strung along - now what?

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  • Feb 25th, 2019 1:29 am
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[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes

Strung along - now what?

I'm pretty sure I was strung-along for the last year and I feel defeated, humiliated, and I'm holding some resentment.

I am a CPA with about 7 years experience prior to starting my current role as an financial analyst through a contract. When initially discussing the contract, the next-step was explicitly stated to be a Controller role within 2 years. This contract had a low 70s wage and I assumed everything would fall into place in time - I accepted and began what I thought would be an excellent opportunity. Fast forward a year and, I went perm, my experience and exposure has been great, and I've been recognized as a high performer across many areas within the Company across the world. The problem is I am still at low 70s wage and all career orientated discussions with my boss have gone no-where - it's all talk.

Recently, I pushed to get some answers and here is the outcome:
1. The next move in Finance (manager-level) will only happen if someone retires, quits, or gets fired.
2. I was also told the pitch to get me a raise to be comparable with the market (85-95) is not happening unless it happens to everyone else - there are pervasive issues with wages across the company.

Some additional information is that I was offered a much better paying role after about three months of my original start date within the company. This was outside of the niche finance box and in a different location. My boss convinced me to not take it because I had a better future if I stayed in finance. I also was advised to shop my resume around by my boss to build an understanding of the market for a well-prepared wage discussion (with his superiors). After shopping my resume around for a couple of days, I ended up getting four interviews for 90-100k roles (1 analyst and 3 manager) at different companies - this was not a serious job search (purely wage analysis). The manager-level interviews went second-round (no offers), and the analyst went 3rd where I took myself out of the running because it felt like a lateral move (within the analyst level).

I need your help to assess my situation with logic because it's hard for me to think rationally, ignore emotion and irrational thought, and avoid doing something foolish that would compromise a paycheck (i.e. quit):
1. Was I strung-along and have my actions of getting answers (asking questions) prevented me from moving anywhere in Finance with this company?
2. Should I take this "out-of-Finance" offer to stay within the company (I do like the business)? - The offer is still on the table and I'm reminded of it a few times a month
3. Should I take job search more seriously to leave and think nothing more of it?
4. Am I obsessing about something that means nothing long-term, showing entitlement, or are these legitimate concerns?

If number 3 is the right choice, is it logical to be only applying for manager and above roles? Does it hurt me to jump from one analyst position to another - even though the wage would clearly be something that makes me feel comfortable with? Have I been with this company long enough to even consider leaving?
38 replies
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5735 posts
1321 upvotes
Why are you limiting yourself to one company that supposedly undervalues you?

Put your resume out there and find someone who will pay you what the market says you are worth.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes
Ziggy007 wrote: Why are you limiting yourself to one company that supposedly undervalues you?

Put your resume out there and find someone who will pay you what the market says you are worth.
I don't want to be jumping around; I've only been here for about a year. Does this make me look bad if I leave for another company - especially if it's for the same type of role (analyst to analyst).
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 28, 2010
650 posts
298 upvotes
Yeah it's hard to swallow this but I agree... Find a better job and ask your manager at that point if he wants to keep you. Your boss will always say he wants to keep you (because he'll have a low wage top quality employee working for him). He wants you, let him show you the money. If not then you know whether you want to stay (with your current salary) or move on.
This happened to me as well btw. I liked the company I worked for and didn't really want to switch. But I ended up in a similair dispute and left. The company I started working for then turned out to be so much nicer and I made a promotion within 3 years twice. Don't hold yourself back.
.
Newbie
User avatar
Aug 6, 2017
22 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto, Canada
HelloWorld3 wrote: I don't want to be jumping around; I've only been here for about a year. Does this make me look bad if I leave for another company - especially if it's for the same type of role (analyst to analyst).
I can't speak for all recruiters, but anecdotally speaking, a recruiter or hiring manager wouldn't really think much of someone leaving after a year if you've had longer runs in the past. They probably would ask you in an interview. If it's chronic and every previous job was a year, then that's a concern.

And I agree with the others to go look elsewhere. At the very least it's good to be open to opportunities and see what your value actually is in the market. If you're that good, a competitor should be more than happy to scoop you up.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes
lukidanu wrote: I can't speak for all recruiters, but anecdotally speaking, a recruiter or hiring manager wouldn't really think much of someone leaving after a year if you've had longer runs in the past. They probably would ask you in an interview. If it's chronic and every previous job was a year, then that's a concern.

And I agree with the others to go look elsewhere. At the very least it's good to be open to opportunities and see what your value actually is in the market. If you're that good, a competitor should be more than happy to scoop you up.
It can look chronic - this came up in the interview I had which translated into the position I presently hold.

Amazing how one-sided loyalty is - is the grass even greener on the other side with respect to my current dilemma? Or is exploitation the game - whose doing the exploitation is how you gauge a winner?

I'm starting to see the forest through the trees here and I'm not sure if it's entirely me. What I mean is, my ambition and thirst for more can be seen in a negative light. However, when I'm also providing value to back this up - then, it's leverage on it's own accord (i.e. leverage through performance). In fact, the way things went this last month, I have no better form of leverage through performance than where I am at today - with a key accomplishment that I built ground-up and managed into completion. If this wasn't enough to demonstrate my worth, nothing will. To be blunt, this is a billion dollar company and I did something nobody else can do while wearing that CPA hat to ensure the numbers were good.

Logic is powerful man - I think the decision is either #2 or #3. I shouldn't have to come to this company with a competing offer as leverage to further support what I've already done. What do you think?

In fact, I have a competing offer - the area that wants me within the company. They offered (still on the table) over 100k - I'm not exaggerating here. When I originally brought this up with my boss, there were a few drawbacks, namely a need to relocate and that it would be outside of finance. As I said before, there were some considerations provided by my boss to decline; these drawbacks were weighted with the expectation that my wage and role would change once this contract went permanent - which influenced the decision to decline that offer. However, when it did go permanent, no change happened; all i received was continued employment and access to benefits. Except, after three months, those benefits actually caused a reduction in my pay by about $100 a month. If we cut to the chase, talking and not doing has actually costed me more money out of pocket. I've never taken stock of my situation before and I'm starting to look like a fool now.

From a high-level, some considerations on my pro-con list for this offer are:
1. Con - this is not in accounting and some could consider it a junior position in a different stream;
2. Con - this could make me look less attractive to the finance world should I ever decide to come back;
3. Con - if I don't like it, I may be unable to go back;
- this is tricky because the Canadian leader told me a role like the one that remains on the table would provide long-term benefit to my career here and I have not asked enough questions to relax my gut
4. Pro - this retains the company on my resume and I don't look like a chronic jumper;
5. Pro - over 40% raise;
6. Pro - may not require relocation;
7. Pro - continued education is encouraged (PMP)
There are more pros than cons, but the cons listed have significant weight in relation to a lot of other pros

I don't know what to do. If I sound disorganized - I am. There are a lot of thoughts moving around and I am trying to find stability before taking any kind action.

Is there any platform available to showcase your skill-set? I know the market is flooded with people boasting x, y, and z - without the capacity to actually do any of them. How can I advertise what makes me so good; I have taken to LinkedIn and flat-out asked contacts (as well as cold); but not many are responding. Do I wait for networking events and sell myself hard? How can I be more pro-active and not continue to stand on the side-lines?
Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
2316 posts
1100 upvotes
Alberta
HelloWorld3 wrote: It can look chronic - this came up in the interview I had which translated into the position I presently hold.

Amazing how one-sided loyalty is - is the grass even greener on the other side with respect to my current dilemma? Or is exploitation the game - whose doing the exploitation is how you gauge a winner?

I'm starting to see the forest through the trees here and I'm not sure if it's entirely me. What I mean is, my ambition and thirst for more can be seen in a negative light. However, when I'm also providing value to back this up - then, it's leverage on it's own accord (i.e. leverage through performance). In fact, the way things went this last month, I have no better form of leverage through performance than where I am at today - with a key accomplishment that I built ground-up and managed into completion. If this wasn't enough to demonstrate my worth, nothing will. To be blunt, this is a billion dollar company and I did something nobody else can do while wearing that CPA hat to ensure the numbers were good.

Logic is powerful man - I think the decision is either #2 or #3. I shouldn't have to come to this company with a competing offer as leverage to further support what I've already done. What do you think?

In fact, I have a competing offer - the area that wants me within the company. They offered (still on the table) over 100k - I'm not exaggerating here. When I originally brought this up with my boss, there were a few drawbacks, namely a need to relocate and that it would be outside of finance. As I said before, there were some considerations provided by my boss to decline; these drawbacks were weighted with the expectation that my wage and role would change once this contract went permanent - which influenced the decision to decline that offer. However, when it did go permanent, no change happened; all i received was continued employment and access to benefits. Except, after three months, those benefits actually caused a reduction in my pay by about $100 a month. If we cut to the chase, talking and not doing has actually costed me more money out of pocket. I've never taken stock of my situation before and I'm starting to look like a fool now.

From a high-level, some considerations on my pro-con list for this offer are:
1. Con - this is not in accounting and some could consider it a junior position in a different stream;
2. Con - this could make me look less attractive to the finance world should I ever decide to come back;
3. Con - if I don't like it, I may be unable to go back;
- this is tricky because the Canadian leader told me a role like the one that remains on the table would provide long-term benefit to my career here and I have not asked enough questions to relax my gut
4. Pro - this retains the company on my resume and I don't look like a chronic jumper;
5. Pro - over 40% raise;
6. Pro - may not require relocation;
7. Pro - continued education is encouraged (PMP)
There are more pros than cons, but the cons listed have significant weight in relation to a lot of other pros

I don't know what to do. If I sound disorganized - I am. There are a lot of thoughts moving around and I am trying to find stability before taking any kind action.

Is there any platform available to showcase your skill-set? I know the market is flooded with people boasting x, y, and z - without the capacity to actually do any of them. How can I advertise what makes me so good; I have taken to LinkedIn and flat-out asked contacts (as well as cold); but not many are responding. Do I wait for networking events and sell myself hard? How can I be more pro-active and not continue to stand on the side-lines?
Do you have a designation that is finance related? What part of the business is this other job? Sales/IT???

I'm in finance and not saying you should leave it, but it seems that you are under a manager that either undervalues you or their hands are tied because they are unable to move you up until a position becomes available (unless there is adequate positional space where they can create a title, for example I was with a company that had a financial reporting analyst report directly to the director of financial reporting. This gave room to be promoted to the new position of manager of financial reporting).

40% raise is huge, and as most people will tell you, your previous salary will govern what you make in the future, assuming you stay with the same company.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes
I have the CPA and this other job is in operations.

I'm not sure if my manager's hands are tied. My role was created several months in advance of someone leaving the organization; I was brought in as a runner-up for a Controller role. When that person finally left - my contract went permanent, but I received no change to my wage or title. There was also a problem employee that was fired about a year after I started; a lot of their responsibilities fell on me and, still, no change in comp/title. I also know this person made more than me.

This entire time, I've been adamant about ensuring wage and role are a concern; every couple of months I bring it up and nothing changes I'm told it's out of my boss' hands. I've spoken with virtually everyone involved in this type of decision and I am not getting any direct answers. To be honest, the buck keeps getting passed off.

I realize I'm getting exploited here and this has made me angry. I typically arrive to work an hour early and I've been late every day this week; this is now impacting my performance; I'm exhausted when I get home; I feel like I just finished a long swim everyday; I feel betrayed. I put everything into this role and the company received some amazing results; yet, I remain underpaid, all of my concerns remain unaddressed, and the only people that have offered any kind of legitimate help are in operations - those at the receiving end of virtually everything I've accomplished.

You are right - my boss undervalues me; I'm not sure there is a real concern about this either. The people occupying the roles I'm supposed to move into from the finance side are under-qualified, under-perform, and are considered to be weak employees by my boss. The problems I've seen and resolved at this company are from a repeat history of hiring and employing under-qualified people; namely, people that don't care. I realize what I'm experiencing is unique to this company.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2007
4399 posts
1691 upvotes
Edmonton
HelloWorld3 wrote: I don't want to be jumping around; I've only been here for about a year. Does this make me look bad if I leave for another company - especially if it's for the same type of role (analyst to analyst).
I jump around 4-6 companies a year. I accept the job that pays the best, it is also in the trades so I don't worry about salary talk. I have been jumping around for a while and even came back to same companies I worked for before, it works great
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes
tmkf_patryk wrote: I jump around 4-6 companies a year. I accept the job that pays the best, it is also in the trades so I don't worry about salary talk. I have been jumping around for a while and even came back to same companies I worked for before, it works great
Most trade orientated work doesn't require investment from a company; you show-up, do a job, and leave. That's the norm. Your wage is also fixed based on a defined agreement (union vs. non-union).

Outside of trades orientation, a company does invest in hiring people to stay; learning the business to provide measurable value is an investment. Wages are bartered and this is why they are kept secret; can't have everyone making the same amount of money because that would be too fair. As in my case, I see payroll people making more than me; but I'm not allowed to comment on this because it would not be diplomatic. Instead, I'm supposed to be grateful for a job.

This is why turnover and jumping around are negatively perceived; it's also why I'm worried about leaving.
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2408 posts
764 upvotes
New Brunswick
WHy don't you ask for a change in title. It "cost" them nothing and you can use the title of controller to shop around.
[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes
raichu1 wrote: WHy don't you ask for a change in title. It "cost" them nothing and you can use the title of controller to shop around.
I've done this - in fact, I've made this one of three primary considerations in order of priority:
1. Direction
2. Title
3. Wage

Direction went nowhere; title and wage went nowhere.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
13006 posts
9965 upvotes
Edmonton
Unfortunately, you've demonstrated to your boss that you're willing to put up with a lot of [email protected] and still keep plugging away. So guess what? You're going to keep getting more [email protected] until you decide enough is enough. At that point, I'd be willing to bet your boss will come through with some kind of counter offer to try to entice you to stay.

Jumping "quickly" once isn't a problem. Maybe even twice. After that, you need to be much more aware of how it might be perceived to prospective employers. So my advice to you is to start shopping around for another job. And when you get it, ignore any offers to stick around. Life is too short to hang out with people that just want to take advantage of you.

And stop listening to your boss for career advice. He seems much more interested in making his life easy than helping you out.

C
[OP]
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
138 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote: Unfortunately, you've demonstrated to your boss that you're willing to put up with a lot of [email protected] and still keep plugging away. So guess what? You're going to keep getting more [email protected] until you decide enough is enough. At that point, I'd be willing to bet your boss will come through with some kind of counter offer to try to entice you to stay.

Jumping "quickly" once isn't a problem. Maybe even twice. After that, you need to be much more aware of how it might be perceived to prospective employers. So my advice to you is to start shopping around for another job. And when you get it, ignore any offers to stick around. Life is too short to hang out with people that just want to take advantage of you.

And stop listening to your boss for career advice. He seems much more interested in making his life easy than helping you out.

C
What do I do?

I have a history of about 1.5-2 years at past employers for the last 7 years (5 jobs since early 2011); last job was less than a year though.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
13006 posts
9965 upvotes
Edmonton
5 jobs in 6.5 years... Yeah, you should start thinking about how that might be perceived...

I would probably stick out your current company for at least 2 years altogether. If you want the money, go for the other position. If you only do it for a year, I doubt it will hold you back much as far as getting back into finance. If you do it for 3 or 4 years, then yeah, it might make it tougher to go back to the dark side. Talk to your prospective boss in the other area, and see how you feel about working for them. Get an answer on the relocation issue.

C
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5995 posts
1351 upvotes
Toronto
Sorry dude, I see this thread as a continuation of your last thread which I've read through.

You are a stereotypical careerist, and you are annoying those around you in your workplace (managers and colleagues) with your neediness.

I'm not saying being a careerist is a bad thing. You're always trying to get ahead and have your goals set and there's nothing wrong with that. However there could be negative connotations that you may not notice.

Your performances are high, but you're still being difficult bringing up position, wage, etc. all the time to your superiors and advisers. That's why you are getting "nothing" or not the answers you're looking for. They are putting up with you only because you are performing well. If you weren't performing, you'd be getting the boot in the face. I suggest to focus on your own self-awareness. What I can't tell you is to "sit tight and do some time" because that might not work.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2008
1056 posts
402 upvotes
Markham
With your shoddy track record for long-term employment, and your demands for constantly increasing salary, I think you would be better suited for contract work - this way you can set your own rates. I'm finding this is the path I should be taking as well.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
2402 posts
1210 upvotes
No Frills wrote: Sorry dude, I see this thread as a continuation of your last thread which I've read through.

You are a stereotypical careerist, and you are annoying those around you in your workplace (managers and colleagues) with your neediness.

I'm not saying being a careerist is a bad thing. You're always trying to get ahead and have your goals set and there's nothing wrong with that. However there could be negative connotations that you may not notice.

Your performances are high, but you're still being difficult bringing up position, wage, etc. all the time to your superiors and advisers. That's why you are getting "nothing" or not the answers you're looking for. They are putting up with you only because you are performing well. If you weren't performing, you'd be getting the boot in the face. I suggest to focus on your own self-awareness. What I can't tell you is to "sit tight and do some time" because that might not work.
unowned wrote: With your shoddy track record for long-term employment, and your demands for constantly increasing salary, I think you would be better suited for contract work - this way you can set your own rates. I'm finding this is the path I should be taking as well.
Both good points the OP should strongly consider/think about...
Deal Guru
Oct 3, 2006
10472 posts
790 upvotes
Toronto
Just shop around OUTSIDE of the company and within the finance area. If you get a better offer then just leave and plan to stick around longer this time. You'll also find out if your boss truly values you as much as he claims if he comes back with a counter offer to entice you to stay. Not that you should accept it anyway.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5995 posts
1351 upvotes
Toronto
unowned wrote: With your shoddy track record for long-term employment, and your demands for constantly increasing salary, I think you would be better suited for contract work - this way you can set your own rates. I'm finding this is the path I should be taking as well.
I agree, contract work may be the way to go for OP.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.

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