Advice for Work

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Hickersonia
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Advice for Work

Post by Hickersonia » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:41 pm

Hello friends,

I'm in a weird sort of predicament at work and I'm seeking a little confirmation (or otherwise) as to the most appropriate way to proceed.

In the last year I've picked up a whole slew of new functions that essentially make me a "Production Analyst" but without the title -- officially my job title is "Statistician." Accordingly, I am paid significantly lower than the lowest figure I can find online for similar Production Analyst positions. What I want to do is approach my bosses with this and make a little headway toward closing the gap between my current wage and that lowest figure I've found.

This amounts to an increase of about 12-13%, and that is not to match but to get me 1/2 way between my current wage and the lowest figure I can find under Production Analyst title.

I've exceeded expectations in every category and delivered excellent results on several projects in the last year that were conjured up and implemented by me. I've documented my projects and am prepared to show how these have affected productivity and accuracy in my institution. I am consistently praised at work by all of the management team for the results of my efforts.

Aside from the fact that I "feel" like I'm being a greedy jerk asking for more money (and the proper title) because I have this idea that I should be content with what is given, I'm also not really much of a negotiator. I usually pay sticker-price (or very close) for my vehicles and generally take the approach that the the values assigned to things by others are either the lowest they'll accept in payment or the highest they will offer because this is how I choose to operate (in other words, no BS). While I know none of the above points are necessarily factual, it is a concept/feeling I've never quite let go of in this adult life...

In your experience, what is probably the best (most skillful) way to approach a situation such as this without acting in a way that is totally driven by selfishness and delusion? Any insight is welcome, as are any questions that might help elaborate further on the matter.

Thank you very much. Please be well, friends! :anjali:
Hickersonia
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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Sam Vara
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:16 pm

An interesting problem. And I know exactly how you feel about these issues, because I have the same problems.

My advice is to reflect on the situation, and rehearse the various arguments, until you are sure that you can do so under most circumstances without giving way to anger or other unhelpful emotions; either to your employers, or to yourself. It might be an idea to consider how they are, according to their values, doing what they think is right by saving the company money, etc.

Then document the case, including the evidence so everything is to hand when you need it.

Then explain your position and feelings to them. Appeal to their rationality and good nature, possibly by explaining how raising your salary and position is a win-win situation, as it would increase your loyalty and probably make the company even more productive. Show them the evidence about comparable grades.

Then, if you get nowhere, you will at least have the double satisfaction of knowing that you did your best for yourself; and that you treated your employers with respect. And they will be made aware that they are not paying the going rate, and might in the future be more amenable to similar requests from you or other employees.

chownah
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by chownah » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:13 pm

I once worked in a gov't organization where I was being underpaid and being asked to do things above my grade.....I knew it was virtually impossible to upgrade my position as it was a gov't job and there were no openings in the work structure which I could rise to. Wanting more money, I just commented to my supervisor that "I see what I accomplish and what I am capable of accomplishing and I see what my co-workers accomplish and what they are capable of accomplishing and then I think about how much I am making and how much they are making and it makes me wonder." He immediately arranged the work load so that I could work as much overtime as I wanted but it was not required....strictly as I wished. This was as good as he could do for me given the work structure. I am not suggesting that you want to work overtime.....just wanting to show a conversational way to make the point that I was underpaid. This is probably not a good ploy if your boss is chummy with your co=workers as it might be taken as speaking unkindly of them.....I used this ploy when I as willing to start looking for other work soon if my position did not improve anyway so I risked the possibility that the boss would view my words as being against the team so to speak.
chownah

culaavuso
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by culaavuso » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:16 pm

Hickersonia wrote: In your experience, what is probably the best (most skillful) way to approach a situation such as this without acting in a way that is totally driven by selfishness and delusion? Any insight is welcome, as are any questions that might help elaborate further on the matter.
The book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury may be helpful in this situation. The article Why Negotiators Still Aren't 'Getting to Yes' by Keld Jensen also has useful suggestions regarding the mindset of negotiation. One helpful specific idea from the book is to consider your best alternative to a negotiated agreement and theirs. Knowing in advance what the outcome will be for each side if the negotiation fails to reach a conclusion will help shape a productive discussion in a way that results in mutual benefit. If the negotiation can be approached in a way that offers them a benefit they would not have without an agreement then there will be a greater incentive to agree than if the negotiation is asking for something that only benefits one side of the discussion.

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martinfrank
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by martinfrank » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:07 pm

I fear that you will paint yourself into a corner and instead of looking like a strong person, you'll look weak.

Ask yourself first some questions:

- Could you get a job as a Production Analyst at an another company?
- In your area?
- Would you be ready to move to another company?
- Is there some training for Production Analyst which you could take which would get you a diploma or certificate?
- Is there a professional organization for Production Analysts which you could join?

It would be good to interview for a job as a Production Analyst with one or more other companies. It will give you a feeling of what you are worth in the market place.

To look like a serious, powerful employee, you would have to open the dialogue with something like

"I've interviewed for a position as a Production Analyst in a large company in .... and am thinking about moving. Before I decide I would like to have your input whether you would consider to employ me as a Production Analyst at a competitive salary. I would like to stay with our company but of course I also have to think of my long-term career. You'll understand that I don't want to stay a Statistician all my life.

(Then shut your mouth and listen.)

If your boss is evasive, you'll have to schedule an interview with your HR dept.

If you understand that they are only interested in you if they get your work at a discount, you'll have to look for a different job.
The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.

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Mkoll
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by Mkoll » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:02 pm

You're saying if you get a 12-13% larger wage, you will still be only at half of the lowest wage you can find? That's close to working at a $10/hr job and getting paid $4.50/hr and then asking to be raised to $5/hr. I mean no offense, but if you're describing your situation accurately, it appears you are being taken advantage of. In business, there are some people who will always try to take advantage of you if they can.

I'm leaning toward martinfrank's advice here but I'd be careful whichever way you go.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

santa100
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by santa100 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:15 am

Start going to interviews at other companies. That way you can keep your interviewing skill sharp, get an idea of the market and measure your own marketability. After getting an offer (hopefully the comp. range is more appropriate for the job title), if you want to stay at the current place, you can always ask if the boss' able to match that salary. Else accept the new offer and move on to the new job. All fair game..

SarathW
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by SarathW » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:20 am

:thumbsup:
Good advise Santa!
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Hickersonia
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by Hickersonia » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:17 am

Hello friends,

Thank you very much for the helpful replies. I've considered my options pretty seriously I had a meeting with my supervisor today on this matter. I laid out a fairly detailed list of my various accomplishments (both those that were directly assigned to me and those which I took on at my own discretion) and we have a very pleasant discussion -- he was very appreciative that I felt like I could even discuss it with him without too much fuss.

I feel like it went pretty well, but the final decision rests in the hands of the HR manager as they essentially have to create a new position (on paper, obviously, as I'm already doing the job) so the particulars are not entirely settled [this is assuming that my supervisor is truthful, which I have no reason to believe otherwise]. I have another meeting set for Friday, so I guess I have a sort of timetable at least.

I feel like my boss took my concerns very seriously -- I didn't get the impression that my asking for the increase and title change was seen as over-reaching. The meeting ended up being very pleasant.
Mkoll wrote:You're saying if you get a 12-13% larger wage, you will still be only at half of the lowest wage you can find?
I'm really sorry for the confusion here -- my intention was to indicate that it would be an increase that takes my wage half way between my current wage and the lowest wage for that job. The gap between my current wage and the lowest Production Analyst position I researched is about $3 per hour. I work with numbers all day and used to earn much higher raises than this company is willing to pay out at a yearly review, so a $3 raise doesn't seem like a lot to me, but it is 6 times the maximum raise that can be given at a regular yearly performance review so asking for that much is sort of a stretch.

I'll be honest though, I did it anyway.

I'll let you all know how it turns out, and in the meantime I will continue to keep an open mind as much as possible.
Hickersonia
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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Hickersonia
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by Hickersonia » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:35 pm

A quick update on this:

I went ahead and asked for the full increase that would bring me to the minimum Production Analyst wage, and as amazing as it might seem, they're granting it with no apparent reservation or concern -- it amounts to nearly a 25% wage increase. My bosses seemed very impressed with the way I presented the issue and seemed genuinely concerned that they needed to ensure that they don't loose my talents to another company.

I appreciate you all offering your ideas and support -- I'm pretty sure that all of the input I received prior to my discussion with the bosses helped to bring about this pleasant resolution. I certainly couldn't do it entirely on my own.

Please be well! :anjali:
Hickersonia
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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by lyndon taylor » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:01 pm

That's incredible, I'm so happy for you, it seems like discussing your issue in this thread was a very good idea, we should both thank everyone that contributed!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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Sam Vara
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Re: Advice for Work

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:11 pm

Well done, Hickersonia, and congratulations!

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