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This is my first job, and after 8 months my company decided to give me a raise in salary because I 'exceeded their expectations about productivity'.

I'm a young Computer Engineer, and I have to be honest, I'm very self demanding in growing as a professional (not only technical, but also 'soft' skills). So this consecuence seems pretty logical.

I know my job is not my home; my peers are not my friends, and my bosses are not my mentors. When I was told about the raise I said:

"I'm glad the company values my progress as a professional".

(Note the word 'Thanks' wasn't included)

Talking this situation with some friends, much of them think I was too 'cold' in the response, and a more 'Thanks :), I'm happy. You made my day' was expected me to say. Mainly because I'm a "Junior" or something like that.

So I have two clear questions:

1) Was my response unpolite?

2) For future situations, which is the most sincere way to thanks for the raise but still communicating (in some way) that you know that happened because you generate more value to the market?.

  • 2
    This was not impolite. It probably could of benefitted from actually saying thank you, but if I were your manager unless you are a normally sarcastic person I would have taken this as implying thanks so still a plus in my book. – RualStorge Jul 14 '14 at 17:32
  • "Wow, that's terrific. Thanks a lot. I'm glad my contributions have made a difference." - Simple, direct. – Joel Etherton Dec 23 '14 at 13:45
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I don't know if it's exactly impolite, but it's certainly not ideal. You say you're working hard on improving your soft skills, but responding to praise or recognition gracefully is a soft skill you still need to work on. A better response that gets in your point that you deserved it would be something like "Thank you! I've been working very hard to be useful to the company and improve my skills, and it's gratifying to have my efforts recognized. I hope to continue to improve in the future and have a rewarding career here. And thank you for (putting me on such an exciting project) or (supporting my growth) or (something your manager has done that's helpful)".

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    Your answer seems to be much better, a good midpoint. Thanks for the advice. – Matthew Azkimov Mar 3 '13 at 1:52
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Was this a verbal response or a written (e.g. email) response?

If it was written, that could easily be interpreted as sarcastic. It looks a bit that way to me, as words on the screen.

Assuming that it was verbal, whether it was "too cold" or "impolite" would be entirely down to how it was delivered. If someone said that to me with a handshake and a smile of genuine pleasure, I would absolutely take it as a very polite expression of thanks. If it was said in a flat tone with an expressionless face, I would take it as a sarcastic expression.

With regards to your second question, perhaps something along the lines of saying "thank you" for the raise and also saying how pleased you are that things are working out well for both yourself and the company. Make it a mutual thing, tell them that you are happy that you are able to do a good job for your employer, and also happy that you are being recognized for doing so.

  • 3
    Note that Carson63000's answer adds the personal accents to your "I'm glad" reply. That's exactly what is missing in the reply: it sounds like a textbook phrase instead of coming from you. I hope it was more than that. – user8036 Mar 2 '13 at 12:54
  • It was a verbal response. – Matthew Azkimov Mar 2 '13 at 15:32
  • 1
    I don't want to make an additional answer, but it's normal and polite to say "thank you" in these circumstances. You didn't do that. I would recommend taking this opportunity to communicate to your boss and say it. – DJClayworth Mar 2 '13 at 22:24
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but still communicating (in some way) that you know that happened because you generate more value to the market?.

I'm not sure why you think that's necessary - I think you might be trying a bit too hard. The raise was given for whatever reason it was given, and I might consider it just a bit presumptuous and self-serving if I received such a reply from an junior employee. Your employers aren't particularly interested in your personal "progress as a professional" - they're interested in the work you do for them.

Next time, I'd go with:

"Thanks. I'm glad my work is appreciated, and I hope I can live up to your expectations in the future".

I think this conveys appropriate appreciation in a warm but professional manner, and also shows humility and a desire to please your employer. That's what an employee should be working to do, and that's the way you "make progress as a professional".

0

I don't think what you said would count against you, but I think you could do better. If I read that, it wouldn't count against you but it also wouldn't count any more positively than if I received no response at all.

Your response is quantitative and objective. Because of that, it's kind of like you aren't thanking the person for their role/decision, but instead just thanking an entity (company) for optimizing to a new fact (value of professional progress) in a way that you knew it should. To cut to the chase, that translates to you de-emphasizing their individual role, not acknowledging their discretion and autonomy in the matter and conveys a sense of arrogance that you know what they should do and they finally caught up to you on that.

The whole point of the communication is to convey that you are happy that somebody did something. Therefore, you want to emphasize the people (i.e. "you" vs "the company"). You want to emphasize their role ("that you decided" vs "that the company values"). You also want to emphasize the fact that they could have not done this. When you say "I'm glad" it kind of sounds like it was just meant to happen anyways so it has that undertone of arrogance. The more inevitable and obvious you make it sound, the more it diminishes their action that you are appreciating them for. Appreciation is a lot more meaningful when it's not for compliance with the laws of the universe, but instead for more voluntary aspects. Consider the difference between somebody saying, "I appreciate that you gave me some of your food" and "I appreciate that you landed back on the earth after jumping". ... the more involuntary, the less meaningful the thank you.

Also, I don't think it's a matter of being "junior". In fact, I'd say being overly formal in internal operations is more likely with a new hire who is a bit nervous about how they will be perceived. Where I work, whether somebody is an executive or an assistant and whether they are a new hire or a long time employee, I'd expect a lighter and more friendly kind of thank you simply because humans in general tend to be friendly and subjective. There are some objective and perhaps cold people (probably including me, I'm a computer type too, so most of my communications involve making things objective and defined), but overall most people here, even those who are extremely dedicated and productive, are friendly, personable and balance subjective and objective. Over-reliance on a cold objective stance may be good in writing software specs, but the fact is, every company comes down to people. Making people feel good, making people feel appreciated, making people happy and developing bonds with people is central to making an effective company/team. While you don't have to be going out to the bar with your coworkers, being kind and friendly, rather than simply "down to business" is in the best interest of both the company and the workers. Being professional is absolutely, definitely not at odds with being outgoing, kind, friendly and even joking around a little bit. These are all tools to help communication and interaction be more effective and communication is a central to basically any job. Most of the top executives where I am are completely professional, but will still joke around a little bit and certainly say things like "thank you". When I do a good job, the people at the top of the company certainly say things like "Thank you!", "This is going to make things so much easier!" and "I don't know what we'd do without you" rather than just "We appreciate your completion of X." I work at a big place too; this isn't some sort of small, loose start-up. This is a massive, bureaucracy with rules, committees and regulations for everything.

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From a standpoint your response seems cold at first glance. This can be interpreted many ways including sarcastic so adding a "thank you" wouldn't hurt lol.

You could have said:

"Thank you! I am glad that the company values my progression as a professional"

You don't want to come off as someone sarcastic or potentially hard to work with. People will be less likely to want to be around you in general or want to do things with you lol.

Maybe your like this in general I don't know lol i've come across some hard folk but this ain't no big deal. Just don't forget to add a thank you for things like that. It might come a long way in the long-run. :)

  • This does not add anything to the other answers – user8036 Dec 23 '14 at 8:53

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