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Posts tagged with: asking for a raise

Job Title/Raise Update

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Hey guys! Thanks for all your awesome suggestions on this morning’s post! I haven’t been able to read/reply to all of them yet, but I did see a sampling of great ideas and I’ll be sure to reply later this evening. Thank you! As always, you’ve come through with great tips!

So, remember in mid-December when I mentioned wanting to ask my boss for a title change and raise? Well our meeting was just a couple hours ago and I wanted to give you a little update.

It’s a mixed bag but I’m happy with the results.

For privacy issues I’m going to try to be a little vague about exact title, etc.

Basically, I was hired as a non-tenure track faculty. However, my role has included a lot of administrative duties as I have worked both within my department and externally to really get our department’s online program off the ground (it just launched this Fall and, as you know, I have lots of experience working online since that’s what I’ve done the past several years).

Anyway, I’ve been taking on lots of duties that are really far beyond the scope of “non-tenure track faculty” as an intentional and strategic move to try to get my foot in this door. Of my own accord I’ve been taking additional training classes for online course design/instruction and have been meeting with people across campus in all kinds of departments (including people from content-based departments, IT staff, ID staff, etc. etc. etc.). I’ve been trying to forge relationships and get my name known amongst the various powers that be.

So in today’s meeting, I had a strong case for why my current title no longer matches up with the actual job duties I’m performing. I also typed up an actual proposal of title change that listed (in bulleted fashion) duties that I could perform in my new role as well as a second list of ways that this will benefit the department (of course, mostly revolving around money since dollars are the name of the game).

I didn’t write any actual numbers in my proposal. I wanted to be open. I’m currently on a 9-month contract but know my department head had wanted me to be on a 12-month contract. So what I’d had in my mind is that if I stay on a 9-month contract that I want a 20% raise (and I had lots of reasons to back up this specific figure). If I moved to a  12-month contract I would be willing to keep my current monthly salary (framing it as though I’m not actually getting a raise), but my salary would continue across all 12 months instead of the 9-months I currently work. In my last post I referred to this as a 25% raise in salary (I was thinking instead of 3/4 of the year, I’d now be working 4/4 of the year, hence 25% extra). But thoughtful commenters pointed out that I was being a dummy with my calculation. From a dollars perspective, this is actually a 33% raise over my current salary. So those were the two competing figures I had in mind, either of which I’d be happy with.

And here’s what I was told…

Basically, my department head does not have the authority to give me a raise. She would need to get approval (and funds) from another entity on campus that is control of online programs. She indicated that if things continued going well and the program continues to grow, she believes she could make a strong case for it “in the next year or two.” That was a huge bummer. I wasn’t expecting an immediate change, but I was hoping for a change over summer or by next Fall, so hearing the 1-2 year timeframe was a bit of a blow.

BUT, I’d made this compelling case for why I really needed this new title. So I was told that in the meantime, department head doesn’t care what I call myself. I’m totally seizing the opportunity, changing my e-mail signature, and am now going to give myself this more prestigious title (albeit, without the raise). I still think this is a good thing, because it will look good on my resume/vitae, and if I ever make a move down the road it will show longevity in this position. Good things.

But here’s where salary comes into play.

Remember how I mentioned that they really need me to work this summer? Like, bad. They need me to prep 3 courses AND teach a course. For any non-academic folks out there, that’s a full-time load! But I’m only on a 9-month contract. I don’t get paid over the summer.

So for this summer, specifically, I was told that department head thinks she can justify the need (from the separate entity in charge of online programs) for continuing my full-time pay all summer. In essence, giving me the 33% raise I was going to ask for had we ever gotten to talking about numbers!

It’s still not in-the-bag because department head has to get approval from the powers that be. But from my perspective there’s really no way around it. They NEED this work done NOW. There’s no putting it off until later down the road. They need it.

So I continue with my current contract for now. I’ve given myself (with department head’s blessing) a fancy new title. And I’ll (very likely) continue getting paid all summer. At the end of summer, maybe I can try again for re-negotiations. I really plan to make myself super invaluable not only to my department, but to the larger online program entity as well. As long as I continue doing good work and showing how this change will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved, I have to hope that this will be leading to a permanent increase in pay down the road. For now, I’m happy with the compromise.

What are your thoughts? You’ve got to remember that this is my first ever full-time job so I’m super inexperienced in terms of negotiations and such. I really value your expertise and would love to hear if you think I could’ve done something differently (or maybe can do something different in the future), or what your thoughts are on the situation.


Asking for a Raise

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Asking for more money has never been easy for me. To be fair, this is my first “real” (traditional) job in my life so I haven’t had a lot of experience. Prior to this I worked in the service industry for years (bartending and waiting tables), worked for universities in adjunct/contract positions, and other miscellaneous work with set rates (and often on short-term/contract bases).

I’m going to use a little ambiguity to try to preserve some anonymity here, but when I was hired in my current position my contract listed job duties and responsibilities. Although I’ve only been in my position for a single semester, I feel as though my list of responsibilities and duties have grown. This is totally fine with me and I really enjoy the work that I do. But I no longer feel that my title accurately describes my position. And the pay doesn’t seem to quite match either.

I foresaw this happening when I was first hired (and, indeed, I’d tried to negotiate for a different title from the beginning). Because of my foresight, I asked to have it specifically written into my contract that I would have a performance review after a single semester (the norm is to conduct annual reviews). This would give me a chance to discuss with my supervisor what I’ve done well and to identify opportunities for improvement. But more than that, it would give me a chance to try to re-negotiate my contract a bit.

But wait, there’s more….

I am currently on a 9-month contract. My department head has already asked if I’d be available in summer and I eagerly said yes. The way this is typically handled is by providing an additional short-term/summer contract. But when my department head (who is new to the position and not actually the person who hired me) learned that I was on a 9-month contract I could sense the frustration. I believe the words, “well that was a mistake” were actually uttered.

Here I have an opportunity to expand my job duties/role, gain a more prestigious title, and get paid more all the while. While I like the idea of a 9-month contract simply because of the flexibility it provides in allowing me to be with my girls, I also like the stability of a year-round job with a year-round paycheck.

So I’m thinking my proposal to my boss will be to change my contract from 9-month to 12-month. Because I’ll be working an additional 3 months (25% of a year), I’ll ask for a 25% raise. The way I’ll frame it is that it’s actually the same exact rate I currently get paid (same exact $ per month), but it will be year-round rather than only during the academic year. From this perspective, I’m not actually asking for a raise…I’m simply asking for more time to work!

I don’t know if it will fly. A 25% hike could cause some serious waves in the department, as I’m already paid more than several people who have been there longer and this type of raise would throw me up into the upper half of the department in terms of earnings. But, again, I’d be working more than others too.

Even if my boss doesn’t want to re-negotiate with me for a 12-month contract, I know I’ll still be getting extra money this summer because they really need me to develop and teach a class over the summer. So that’s already kind of a raise, in the sense that it’s more money than in my current contract.

This is such a crazy time of year. I had hoped to be able to have our official meeting prior to the semester ending but the last day was Friday so it wasn’t in the cards just yet. But we’ll be meeting in early 2016 to discuss these issues. My assumption is that any change will not take place until Summer 2016 and, again, I’m really only asking for additional work time so my monthly pay wouldn’t actually raise. Of course, if we stick with the 9-month contract but change my title and increase my duties, I could still have grounds to ask for additional money. Basically things are just really up in the air right now. But things are looking up. I feel pretty good about my performance and where things are at so (fingers crossed) I feel confident that things will only continue to improve across time as I become more comfortable in my role, etc.

Wish me luck in my (future) negotiations!


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