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Reasonable salary negotiation

 
#1 Reasonable salary negotiation
09/02/2010 17:12

Gentleman Jim

<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I do not wish to push for something based on outdated expectations (e.g. if the salary benchmarks reflect only historic promotes and with-promotion salary increases are no longer the norm).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.

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#2 RE: Reasonable salary negotiation
09/02/2010 18:31

anon to Gentleman Jim (#1)

The answer is to move employers.

Even if you get a pay rise this year, it will only be a short term thing. It will be normalised out next year.

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#3 RE: Reasonable salary negotiation
10/02/2010 09:42

mac to anon (#2)

What's in it for your employer?

Would they care if you went elsewhere?

That's your sales pitch - not 'It's not fair'.

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#4 RE: Reasonable salary negotiation
10/02/2010 10:06

Anon to mac (#3)

In my experience, employers actually respond better to the 'it's not fair' argument. They seem to understand it and will often try to 'work something out'. Threats such as 'I can get paid more with your competitors' tend to get their backs up and are often responded to by 'join our competitor then' (but usually in nicer language).

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