<b>1) How "reasonable" am I being?
2) How likely am I to succeed if I push for an out-of-policy salary increase?</b>
I'd like some feedback on what "reasonable" requests I should take into my salary negotiation, and how far the "new normal" for salaries has shifted.
The situation is this: I was promoted from a consultant to a senior consultant grade last year. This was a pay freeze year across the firm globally, so I did not get the step up in salary that usually goes with the promotion. However, I got the enhanced benefits package that goes with the grade.
This year, the policy is that pay rises are allowed, but restricted to a small percentage margin. This would mean that I get a small increment on an already low (relative to grade) figure. On this basis, my earnings would be near-static for at least 3 years (2008 to 2011).
Whilst I appreciate that the blanket policies in both 2009 and 2010 are trying to be "fair" across the board, I am starting to feel the personal pay disparity more acutely. My salary is below the latest Top-Consultant benchmarks. Perhaps more importantly, it is below those of peers who happened to be promoted a year before, and below my expectations. I am conscious that each year my salary remains static during the "rapid progression" phase of my career, the higher the opportunity cost I pay.
Which brings me to the two questions: how "reasonable" am I being, and how likely am I to succeed if I push for an out-of-policy salary increase?
I do not wish to push for something based on outdated expectations (e.g. if the salary benchmarks reflect only historic promotes and with-promotion salary increases are no longer the norm).
Similarly, I do not wish to argue for something - no matter how correct - if current market inefficiencies (employer power, labour market stickiness, etc.) mean it cannot be achieved. It would be far better to try and move jobs than to stir up a lot of pointless friction over money before moving anyway.