I was hired by an established tech startup straight out of college, along with a handful of other college hires. I was given a salary of 50K (which I knew was a drop low for that industry), but they refused to negotiate on the offer and the company/job was appealing enough for me to take it.
I've been here for nearly 1.5 years now - and I'm doing high level work that is 100% NOT entry-level work. One of my more senior coworkers even commented to me once privately that the company is ripping up off by paying us entry level salary and giving us mid-level work.
I've gotten plenty of feedback from both co-workers and my manager to know that I'm exceeding all expectations and performing unusually well. However, at this point I've been there a year and a half without a raise. (Company policy is only to give raises in December, and I didn't get anything my first year since I joined a couple of months before December and was still fairly new).
Because of the low salary (again, relative to the work I'm doing, location, and the industry), almost all of the other college hires have left to go work at other companies. I've heard they are getting between 70K-90K... And I know I could get the same thing if I went to work at other companies.
The thing is - I really like the company & the job. I don't want to leave, and I know for sure that my boss doesn't want me to leave either. Also we are a bit short-staffed for my position now that many other college hires have left over the last few months, so I know that it would be a bit of a blow to lose me (from a department staffing level - and from a team morale level). But I am willing to leave because the salary is so ridiculously low.
I had many conversations with my boss about this when I hit the 1-year mark, and I agreed to wait till December (based on lots of other reasons that are irrelevant here). I know that I'm up for a promotion then, too.
Basically, my questions are:
How much I can ask for when I negotiate it in December? I honestly feel I deserve 75K or 80K. They trained me to do the same work that 8-year experienced professionals are doing - and I'm still considered a fairly high performer when compared to many of those co-workers. However... from a percentage standpoint, that's a 50% raise - which sounds ridiculous. Will it be counter-productive to say I'm looking for 80K (or more, since I assume that they'll try to lower down whatever number that I say)? I don't want them to laugh in my face and think I'm being ridiculous or greedy.
How open should I be about the fact that I want to stay? My boss knows that I like the company. But if I am completely transparent that I love my job, will they be less likely to give me the raise I'm looking for (since they might just say - oh he anyways isn't serious about leaving, so we'll bump him up a drop but not majorly)? Again, I am serious about leaving due to the salary but it would be a major decision on my part - which I don't want to make until I see what they offer in December.
UPDATE - One last note - It's worth pointing out that all other level of employees seem to be compensated very fairly. The company devotes a lot of effort into their compensation approach and making it transparent to employees. This salary issue seems to be an issue isolated to college hires - which is a fairly new program for this company. Apparently they have plans underway to change their compensation approach for future rounds of college hires, but I don't know what that means. It clearly isn't going to affect anything for me retroactively, though.
UPDATE 2 - After seeing feedback about a possible duplicate question, I removed one of my questions for "how to ask". The remaining questions are different since it's focusing on the general "is it going to sound ridiculous to ask for 50%" and on the very specific part about "how transparent I should be" - which wasn't asked in that other post.