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  #1  
Old 05-04-2015, 10:28 AM
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Default My friend is asking for a raise.

I have a question, for a friend. No really it's true. Not me - a friend. Okay, so I've got a friend who thinks he's underpaid and he has informed me that he will inform his manager that he wants more money. The one thing going for him, I think, is that if he were to apply for a new job he would certainly get salary = salary * 1.2. Possibly more if he conceals his current salary during the offer phase. The catch is, his current employer is the only major firm within a 200 mile radius, and even within an 800 mile radius there are really only 1 or 2 other employers, so any kind of new job opportunity will almost certainly involve moving to another city.

What do you recommend for my friend? What do you think his chances are at getting a raise? How much do you think he should ask for? My guess is that his salary is hovering around the 10th percentile, might be slightly higher, might be slightly lower.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:36 AM
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There's a thread (or two or more) around here someplace about the strategic approach to asking for a raise - it involves the correct timing and the fact that your friend needs to sell himself* based on the value he provides to his current employer.

* or herself to her employer.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:40 AM
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There's a thread (or two or more) around here someplace about the strategic approach to asking for a raise - it involves the correct timing and the fact that your friend needs to sell himself* based on the value he provides to his current employer.

* or herself to her employer.
It's kind of scary. When he applied, there were about 40 other EL candidates scrambling for an interview. I'm scared that his fungibility might harm him. Actually the fungibility part isn't entirely true, it's that management doesn't realise it. He inherited a high profile project, but management hasn't treated the people who were previously on that project well, and his predecessor quit. Every time the project switches hands, they have to start over from scratch. This has been going on for at least 5 years.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:44 AM
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It's kind of scary. When he applied, there were about 40 other EL candidates scrambling for an interview. I'm scared that his fungibility might harm him. Actually the fungibility part isn't entirely true, it's that management doesn't realise it. He inherited a high profile project, but management hasn't treated the people who were previously on that project well, and his predecessor quit. Every time the project switches hands, they have to start over from scratch. This has been going on for at least 5 years.
With that management philosophy, I would frankly recommend that your friend give serious consideration to relocating. And to look carefully at the opportunities before jumping ship. Which means NOT to go in demanding a raise.

I have often remarked that there is no substitute for good management.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:47 AM
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step 1 = ask for raise, say something about being awesome, solving problems, etc
step 2 = jump ship

Step 2 is independent of step 1, as anything gained from step 1 gives a better jumping off point for step 2.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Winston View Post
It's kind of scary. When he applied, there were about 40 other EL candidates scrambling for an interview. I'm scared that his fungibility might harm him. Actually the fungibility part isn't entirely true, it's that management doesn't realise it. He inherited a high profile project, but management hasn't treated the people who were previously on that project well, and his predecessor quit. Every time the project switches hands, they have to start over from scratch. This has been going on for at least 5 years.
You've essentially described a person who is absolutely vital to a project that doesn't matter. That makes him more fungible, not less. The fact that the thousand reboot project is high profile just makes him more vulnerable, IMO.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:51 AM
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How can a high profile project be constantly restarted for 5+ years....

Doesn't sound very high profile. Sounds like none of the people working on it should be employed at the company.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:53 AM
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How can a high profile project be constantly restarted for 5+ years....

Doesn't sound very high profile. Sounds like none of the people working on it should be employed at the company.
Kind of. It's something that I've seen every insurance company try to do but they aren't particularly doing it well. A company will be able to operate without it getting done, just less efficiently and more expensively, labor wise. The good news is that if it ever does get done they'll need about half as many reserving actuaries as they used to have. So there's that.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:11 AM
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Kind of. It's something that I've seen every insurance company try to do but they aren't particularly doing it well. A company will be able to operate without it getting done, just less efficiently and more expensively, labor wise. The good news is that if it ever does get done they'll need about half as many reserving actuaries as they used to have. So there's that.
Have managers been strategically dropping the project/shuffling out in order to preserve the workload of their department? It sounds like this project just needs a closer to be appointed and the department in question is going to be decimated (for the good of the economy). All it's going to take is a senior exec getting wise to what's going on and the party's over. Is there a way for your friend to step up to being the real project manager, delivering the finished project, and actually netting positive career boost from finally allowing the useless busy work to be put to bed?
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:16 AM
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Have managers been strategically dropping the project/shuffling out in order to preserve the workload of their department? It sounds like this project just needs a closer to be appointed and the department in question is going to be decimated (for the good of the economy). All it's going to take is a senior exec getting wise to what's going on and the party's over. Is there a way for your friend to step up to being the real project manager, delivering the finished project, and actually netting positive career boost from finally allowing the useless busy work to be put to bed?
I don't know. The last time there was a hiccup (incorrect numbers being generated) an executive unleashed a bunch of obscenities to the chief actuary that I personally wouldn't use. So there is a guy at the top who is monitoring its progress.
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