I have been working as a military contractor for the past four years for a company that has treated me very well. This past year they were very supportive and reimbursed my travel and training costs for the PMP certification, sent me to the .conf and Splunk University in DC and gave me a bonus for getting my CISM certification earlier in the year.

I have a lot of loyalty to these folks. That said, I also have been trained up significantly and there are recruiters calling on me regularly with offers of 40 to 50 thousand dollars beyond what I am currently making. I want to stay with this company but with kids that have special needs and one of them accepted to an Ivy League college, I cannot justify turning away the higher paying positions.

How can I phrase a request for a raise so that the reality of the market is part of it without sounding like a threat to leave? My thoughts are I can sign a multi-year commitment if they are willing to meet my price.

  • 7
    Have you considered asking over at The Workplace where you may get even better advice? Jan 4 '18 at 18:57
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a Workplace issue. Interpersonal skills are not the same things as convincing an employer to pay you more - that's really selling yourself and your skills to your employer.
    – StephenG
    Jan 9 '18 at 5:08
  • Being on-topic for TWP does'nt mean it isn't suited for IPS though...
    – OldPadawan
    Jan 9 '18 at 7:43

Asking for a raise should usually follow this pattern:

1) Tell them what value you've added to the company. Be specific so that they can see exactly what your contributions are. If you are working for basically honest people they will want to compensate you for good work. Examples could be, I brought in an extra $X in revenue in 2017, or saved the company $X or Y days on the project. I've increased out code coverage by 20%.

2) Then tell them what the market is paying for this same position provide proof from sites like glassdoor.com or other industry sites (such as stack overflow for software developers. You could also use job listings that list the salary. if #1 is compelling then they will want to keep you and there fore will want to make sure you are not paid beneath the market rate.

3) Then express the desire to be paid the market rate.

You may want to avoid telling them that you've already had other offers since depending on your bosses personality it may appear disloyal (which shouldn't be a big deal but often is.) or it may appear that you are trying to strong arm them into giving you a raise. But again this depends on your bosses personality.

Don't expect them to give you the raise right away and try to prepare your self for some push back from them.

I used the above outline last year and my boss told me he wanted to see some improvement in other areas first. Then two weeks later I got a surprise raise. It will probably take your bosses some time to get used to the idea of giving you a raise.

In large corporations they may even need to wait for the next budget cycle to give you a raise.

Also, From my past experience I would warn you not to accept vague promises of a raise in the future. If the promise does not have a due date it tends not to materialize. And if no amount is specified it tends to end up being way smaller than expected.

Good luck!

  • Thanks. That is a great outline. I work remotely from the office so I will be doing all of this via an email. I also appreciate the last part about nailing down specific amounts and timelines. Cheers!
    – chaoslodge
    Jan 10 '18 at 12:48

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