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I was very excited about my new job and now I am 7 months into the job. What concerns me now is the compensation part of the job. I am not aware of the salary revision process of the company. Rather I do not even know if the company has a revision process after certain period and what are the factors that would be considered.

What would be good way to approach someone higher in authority and discuss this with them? Are there any standard government rules that address this or is it a completely independent company policy? What is the current industry standard for revisions? (.Net Application developer - USA)

Thanks

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    If you're asking about government rules, giving some indication about what government you're talking about would be helpful. Rules in different countries are different. – Justin Cave Mar 21 '13 at 20:50
  • I was looking for some kind of advice as how could I approach someone to talk about this as I consider myself relatively new to the job – Ron Mar 21 '13 at 20:52
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    You say you are "[concerned with] the compensation part of the job". Are you worried that you won't get a bump in pay for cost of living increase, or are you expecting to get a raise of 10-20% or more because you think you are great at your job? The answer will differ greatly depending. – jmac Mar 21 '13 at 23:42
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    If you talk to your HR department or supervisor and find that there is no formal procedure for raises, you may want to check out this question for seeking a raise: I am being paid less than I would like, how can I change this? – Rachel Mar 22 '13 at 12:57
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You're in the US so this is completely dependent on company policy.

As a general rule, most larger companies do annual reviews and tie any raises to that annual appraisal process. Smaller companies are more likely to not have a formal review process and dole out raises and reviews in a more ad hoc fashion. You may, however, be working for a large company that doesn't have a formal review process or a small company that does. Your company may do annual reviews but adjust compensation separately.

Most companies will have a handbook of some sort that you were given on your first day that spells out how and when reviews happen. If you weren't given such a thing (and no handbook exists online for your company), the best option is generally to talk with your supervisor about the company's approach to reviews of performance and compensation.

Unless something was said about starting you off at a low salary the company said would be adjusted after a probationary period or your duties have expanded significantly from the time you were hired, it seems a bit odd to be concerned about your compensation after just 7 months in what I'm guessing is your first job out of school. For most developer positions, it takes a couple of months to get the new developer up to speed on the existing code base and the company's processes and to get the new developer through the first few easy projects before you start to assign them meatier tasks. At the 6 or 7 month mark, you're generally starting to hit your stride and deliver the value the company anticipated when they made their offer. That's not to say that you shouldn't ask for a raise if you deserve one after your initial 7 months, just to caution you that you'll likely need a particularly compelling argument.

  • Justin, That was a well explained answer. There is a company handbook but I could not find much out of it. And yes it is my first job out of school and that maybe explains my anxiousness. I have a year experience working as an intern and they had a very formal structure as you explained. I see my friends with almost the same experience levels and work get salary raise which had me worried if I was giving my best at the job. But maybe like you explained, the company policies would be different. Thank you – Ron Mar 21 '13 at 21:20
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    @Ron I'm going to add that this sort of question is great for determining in the interview/job offer evaluation process. – enderland Mar 22 '13 at 1:10
  • there are companies where the rules for salary revisions or even the appraisal process are company secrets only known to the HR department (and presumably upper management). – jwenting Mar 22 '13 at 8:31
  • And lots of companies are not giving raises right now to anyone (or to anyone below the senior manager level). That too is a fact of life in this economy. – HLGEM Mar 22 '13 at 13:44
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To my knowledge, there are no U.S. government rules stipulating when you should get a raise (unless you work for the U.S. government.) Raises are usually tied to performance reviews. I've seen a few different frequencies; most often these are annual occurrences. However, "annual" can mean on the anniversary of your hiring or certain times of year (e.g. every March and September, whichever is closer to your hiring anniversary) so that they can be done in batches. Also, some organizations will give you a raise after a probationary period, such as three or six months. Another thing is that some employers allow you (or maybe your boss if you've done a great job) to request an "out-of-cycle" review, which usually moves your next review to an earlier date than it would normally be done. Some employers won't do a performance review or give you a raise until you ask.

Information about this sort of thing is often discussed when you first start working at a new place. If that wasn't the case (or you forgot the information), here are some things you might do:

  • Check any documents you may have received when you were hired.
  • Check your employee handbook/policy guide (which may be part of the above set of documents). In my experience, many small and most medium to large companies have these. In some cases this is on an internal web site.
  • If you don't have the above or they don't contain the information you're seeking, you'll have to ask someone. Your boss should know. Also, if your employer is large enough to have a Human Resources department, people there should know. However, if you're uncomfortable asking them and have a co-worker who's been there a while, you can probably ask them. Regardless of who you ask, avoid over-thinking this - a casual question about the process is probably the best approach. Something like "Unfortunately, I don't remember being told when performance appraisals are done and raises are given. When is that?" should be fine.

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