Hi guys - this is where I put the "long time listener, first time poster" thing.

I've been with a company around 2 months now, and my boss has told me that they're happy with my work and would be pleased to increase my pay at the 3 month mark - and would like to know what I'm after. What sort of increase should I ask for?

Some background on this - I work in an IT Managed Services role as a Service Delivery Manager, essentially managing customer contracts. I came into the role with absolutely no IT experience or qualifications at 26 years old, whereas the other SDM's (in this company, and in general in the Industry) are usually late 30's with 10+ years experience, from a technical background. I impressed the employers by how I spoke to them and offered to work a little "cheaper" I guess for the first 3 months to prove I could really excel.

Turns out I hadn't really done the research on the pay I should expect, and the wage I accepted (which I was happy with) is about half of what the average pay is in my city (industry standrard stats)! So, I'm on half of the wage of a more qualified and experienced person, but my bosses are happy with me, have made me process manager for a few ISO processes (IT Service Management standard) and are really getting behind what I'm trying to do.

So the question is - normally, I know a 5% increase is amazing. But I think I might be selling myself short? I'm not going to ask for the full pay, as I don't think I can deliver (yet) ALL the benefits that someone else could. But as a guideline, does anyone have any suggestions? I'm on literally 50% of the standard pay, should I maybe ask for 60%?

Any and all thoughts would be great!


jhack's picture

You're at half.  Tell that to your boss.  Tell him your goal is to catch up, over time.  

Find out what they can do now to move you closer.  Suggest something you think is reasonable (you know them better than we can). 

And remember next time to do the salary research first.  

John Hack

RickMeasham's picture

As John says above, tell the boss what he/she already knows: you're currently paid about half of the industry norm for your city.

I'm not sure that I'd put a number on the table for the three-month review. It's better if they can do that. Instead I think you should map out your future expectations:

I accepted the low compensation because I'm new to this kind of work, but this job is where I want to be. Obviously I'm proving to be successful in the role so I'd like to talk about the future. I'm expecting to be as good, if not better, than anyone else you could hire by the time I've been here for 18 months. By that time, if you agree that I'm at that level, I'd like to be compensated a lot closer to the industry norm for this region.

If you're pressed for a number, then use the above as your reason for a big increase:

I started at 50%, after 18 months I expect to be at 100%. We're one-sixth of the way there now, so an increase to 55% of the norm feels like something that would be fair to both of us.

You've just asked for a 10% pay rise -- and indicated you're expecting similar apx every 3 months going forward.

If they're not willing to do this, and your addiction to food, clothing and shelter is being met by the 50%, then do your 18 months. Get good. Really good. Then find another employer that will pay you the industry norm. Consider the lower-than-normal pay to be the cost of being educated in the job plus a penalty for not doing your homework properly :-P

Rick Measham

Geek Herding