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#1 ninechances  Icon User is offline

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Salary Negotiations

Post icon  Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:11 AM

So I've been with my company for almost 2 years and am looking for some advice. The company has approximately 40 employees and their clients are big auto manufacturers and dealerships(GM, VW/Audi, Ford, etc...). I've developed Mac and Windows stand-alone applications (over 23 & a full suite) and 2 enormous web applications for them so far with mobile applications on the horizon for all popular devices. The only software team they have is me and my friend/colleague. We do all the software design, coding/markup (HTML, CSS, Javascript/JQuery/AJAX, PHP, MySQL, Java, C++, etc...), and implementation. We both have over 3 years of industry experience and real-word application now on top of our Bachelors in Computer Science. In a few months, I'm going to be looking for a raise because in my opinion they aren't looking to expand our department and I don't make as much as I think I'm worth (I know that's commonly said but given my job description and experience I think it's very accurate). I'm currently making close to 60k (benefits included) with a $2500 bonus at the end of the year. I absolutely love my job and understand that I'm very lucky to have the opportunity but my question is, when I bring a salary negotiation to the table, how best do I stress how lucky they are to have someone as versatile as I am and what should I base my suggested salary off of?

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Replies To: Salary Negotiations

#2 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:17 AM

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A BS and 3 years experience does not an irreplaceable employee make.

Your target base salary should be based off of research into what other people who can do what you do - in your area, in your general field, with your education and experience - tend to be making. I would wager unless you live in a very urban area, you're already making more than most of them. But I feel the need to emphasize that your research should be what YOU can do, NOT what you AND your friend can do.

I have a CS degree, 10 years experience, and 3 years with my current company. My work is very similar to yours, but in a different industry. If I count benefits, I make slightly less than you. From my research, I am the highest paid person in my position - within my industry - in the entire state.

Do I think I'm paid what I'm worth? Nope. I think I should be making quite a lot more than I do, but it's not about what YOU think you're worth. It's what you're worth to someone else.
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#3 ninechances  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:05 AM

View PostBenignDesign, on 01 September 2012 - 06:17 AM, said:

A BS and 3 years experience does not an irreplaceable employee make.

Your target base salary should be based off of research into what other people who can do what you do - in your area, in your general field, with your education and experience - tend to be making. I would wager unless you live in a very urban area, you're already making more than most of them. But I feel the need to emphasize that your research should be what YOU can do, NOT what you AND your friend can do.

I have a CS degree, 10 years experience, and 3 years with my current company. My work is very similar to yours, but in a different industry. If I count benefits, I make slightly less than you. From my research, I am the highest paid person in my position - within my industry - in the entire state.

Do I think I'm paid what I'm worth? Nope. I think I should be making quite a lot more than I do, but it's not about what YOU think you're worth. It's what you're worth to someone else.


Thanks for the great response. I do live in a fairly large city and feel I do make more than most especially at my age but I can't help but think about how I've basically sling-shotted this company into the 21st century when it comes to my 'department.' All the projects I've worked on, I did most of the leg work before my partner came on so that's why I guess I'm getting a bit of self-entitlement towards my salary. I love what I do and the freedom that comes with it - working from home and out of state, making my own deadlines and schedule, etc... so I guess I shouldn't lose too much sleep over it huh?
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#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:49 AM

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Here's one way to decide what your true worth is:
  • If you quit today how hard would it be for them to replace you?
  • If you were fired today, would you get a job just as good with equal or better pay - and how long would it take in a down economy?
  • Go interview at other companies and see how many and what quality of job offers you actually get (you can always say 'no').


I've been working for the same company for 8 years as the main/only developer. The company grosses more than a mil a year. I gross less than 70k. Doesn't seem right sometimes. Then again, I work from home on the schedule I decide. I take 1-3 international trips on the company dime to Australia, Singapore, Brazil... wherever the client is. Trips I could not afford even if I earned 3 times as much.

There is worth to that lifestyle that is hard to measure in dollars. It goes beyond the lack of 8-5 grind and daily commute and spending money on lunches out. If I am stuck on a problem I just stop and wash the truck. If I am on a roll I work until the wee hours and don't get kicked out of the office. I listen to any music I like as loud as I like. I have puppies in my office instead of distracting calls and co-workers. I don't have internet filters keeping me out of Facebook or DIC.

I am just an employee, but in many ways it almost feels like they work for me. I make the products and they leave me alone, the company sells them and does all the bookkeeping. Now imagine what it would take to be a freelancer with that level of freedom and support.

All I'm saying is take a step back. Breathe deep. Go to the gun range. Whatever it takes to get a wider view perspective on the grown up reality of the employee/employer relationship. You entered into an agreement with your employer: You do xyz and they pay you $abc. Was there any clause in your contract about bonuses if the company made $x directly from your work?

You're seeing yourself as being under-paid. Are you paying R&D costs, building rent & utilities, payroll taxes? You think because the company did its job in turning a profit you need more money... If the company had lost 100,000 this year would you be refunding a chunk of your salary?
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#5 ninechances  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:17 PM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 01 September 2012 - 08:49 AM, said:

Here's one way to decide what your true worth is:
  • If you quit today how hard would it be for them to replace you?
  • If you were fired today, would you get a job just as good with equal or better pay - and how long would it take in a down economy?
  • Go interview at other companies and see how many and what quality of job offers you actually get (you can always say 'no').


I've been working for the same company for 8 years as the main/only developer. The company grosses more than a mil a year. I gross less than 70k. Doesn't seem right sometimes. Then again, I work from home on the schedule I decide. I take 1-3 international trips on the company dime to Australia, Singapore, Brazil... wherever the client is. Trips I could not afford even if I earned 3 times as much.

There is worth to that lifestyle that is hard to measure in dollars. It goes beyond the lack of 8-5 grind and daily commute and spending money on lunches out. If I am stuck on a problem I just stop and wash the truck. If I am on a roll I work until the wee hours and don't get kicked out of the office. I listen to any music I like as loud as I like. I have puppies in my office instead of distracting calls and co-workers. I don't have internet filters keeping me out of Facebook or DIC.

I am just an employee, but in many ways it almost feels like they work for me. I make the products and they leave me alone, the company sells them and does all the bookkeeping. Now imagine what it would take to be a freelancer with that level of freedom and support.

All I'm saying is take a step back. Breathe deep. Go to the gun range. Whatever it takes to get a wider view perspective on the grown up reality of the employee/employer relationship. You entered into an agreement with your employer: You do xyz and they pay you $abc. Was there any clause in your contract about bonuses if the company made $x directly from your work?

You're seeing yourself as being under-paid. Are you paying R&D costs, building rent & utilities, payroll taxes? You think because the company did its job in turning a profit you need more money... If the company had lost 100,000 this year would you be refunding a chunk of your salary?


You have some excellent points and I'm definitely in the same situation as far as my work environment and it's pretty priceless to have those luxuries which is why I'm just thinking about negotiations and not sweating it so much. I just kinda wanted to get other people's opinions on it to kinda bring myself back to ground level. I don't think I'm worth 100k or anything like that but I do feel that I should start negotiating an increase within the next year or 2 since my contributions were a huge part of the $27m contract my company just signed. Thanks for your input, I really appreciate the insight.
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:29 PM

I think a lot of people look at negotiating for a raise as an intimidating process that pits the employer against the employee. While this is far too often the case, it isn't always so. At my house, when I wanted a raise in my allowance, I negotiated with my parents and generally took on extra responsibility. The same applied when I worked for my dad at the family business for three years. At my current job, I just went in, presented my case, and he gave me a raise. No fighting at all. I was surprised at how easy it was.

At the end of the day, a lot of employers want happy employees. Go in and sit down with your boss. Talk about what you have done for the company and where you would like to see yourself go within the company. More responsibility, promotion, etc. Ask what it involves to earn a raise. The keyword here is earn. As with any negotiation, it's about give and take.

Good luck, and I hope this helps some! :)
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#7 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:29 PM

View Postninechances, on 01 September 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

I don't think I'm worth 100k or anything like that but I do feel that I should start negotiating an increase within the next year or 2 since my contributions were a huge part of the $27m contract my company just signed.


Again, that's 27m GROSS - not the company net profit. If it costs 20m to make the product its only 7m NET.

If you recognize you're not a 100,000/year guy but feel your value is felt on each contract, then perhaps negotiating for bonuses based on contracts signed that have a value-add because of your contributions is a good middle ground.
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#8 ohiostate  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary Negotiations

Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:00 AM

I'm in the same situation myself, so I applied for other jobs. I will provide a little background information about my current job:

-3 miles from my house
-flexible hours but need to be in the office 40 hours a week :(
-benefits
-car pool with the fiance
-@60K a year
-2 trips a year, just got back from Florida couple months ago, heading to Vegas Sunday on the company dime

Now I have applied for other jobs, but they require atleast 20-40mins driving one way.

If I was you I would apply for other positions and see if you actually get an offer and if so, then take it from there. If your current employer needs/wants you that bad, they will try their best to keep you. If not, then be ready to leave.

When applying for the new position give them an amount you want to be paid.

Then after you get the offer you will need to sit down and compare each job. Its not always the money, its benefits, retirement, travel, work hours, drive to and from work, are you gaining experience in a new field, technology, etc.

best of luck

Oh and everyone always wants to be paid more!!!!

Also when you ask for more money have a list to show what you have accomplished, how you have gone above and beyond your job description, and it does not hurt if you can show them how you saved them money.
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