I’ve been working at my current job as a GIS analyst for 3 months shy of 5 years, before that I was a GIS manager at the state level for 3 years and I have my M.S. in my field.

I am in charge of setting up and implementing an enterprise GIS system, with only limited, and reluctant help from our IT department that is suppose to support the server side of the application. When I attend other conferences I find organizations the same size as ours has 4-5 people in a department doing what I do. Two years ago we hired an intern that works 15 hours a week tops, and my boss likes to consider her part time but she needs considerable guidance.

About two years ago I was put on-call 24/7 to support our “call before you dig” requirements. And while it’s only emergencies I have to respond to them immediately and we only get at most one a month on average, I’m still required to carry a company phone at all times and be able to respond to an emergency at a moments notice. It doesn’t take much action on my part, I have to review a document and make the determination of work needs to be done and then call the appropriate field workers. The rule is you have 8 hours to responds but once it took an hour because it came while I was in a doctors appointment and I received some heat for how long it took.

Now it has come to promotion and raise time. This year on one project I saved the company more than my salary, along with a number initiatives I have implemented, saving huge amounts of manhours in other department. I have received glowing performance reviews the last two years, and two years ago they had started talking about a promotion from analyst I to II. I was told this year that our IT departments dragging their feet was affecting my promotion potential, as we were still in a test system and not a production system. Well here we are, moved into our production system... but no promotion. Now I’m being told that our department VP does not generally promote people unless they have people working underneath them. This is a blatant lie as someone else working under my boss, who has since left, was promoted right out of school to Analyst II after 3 years.

When raise time came I was given a 3.2% raise. I have only seen one higher at 3.8%. I was told this was good because inflation was only 1.5% (it’s 1.9%), I feel like I had been rewarded with a cost of living increase, not a raise. I have been a hard working innovative employee for almost 5 years.

I tend to not be able to look at the bright side of things, but it seems with my performance reviews, contributions, and permanent on call status seems like I’m not being treated in an equitable manner.

I’m starting to become apathetic about my job because I feel like I’ve had a carrot dangled in front of me the last two years, and they are continuing to dangle that carrot.

Is it time to jump ship or am looking at the world from a very negative perspective as I’ve been known to do due to my health issues?

  • 1
    I hope that cuts it down enough. Dec 19, 2018 at 21:53
  • 8
    Polish your resume, get it out there, see if you're actually underpaid and find out what your options are. Dec 19, 2018 at 22:01
  • 2
    On the bright side, it looks to me like you have some really impressive things to put on your resume. Somebody's likely to appreciate what you can do. Dec 19, 2018 at 23:48
  • @DarkMatter please don't answer in comments. Post an answer instead :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 20, 2018 at 0:35
  • Yearly performance reviews are not the same as raises. It's a common misconception that a performance review is the time the company is going to congratulate you on a job well done and give bonuses and pay raises. It's simply a time to see how you're doing, and what sort of changes to look forward to the next year. It usually happens on your anniversary or fiscal year where you also get a cost of living update.
    – Dan
    Dec 20, 2018 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


The problem set is very straightforward. You feel that you are being underpaid for your work and performance. What number do you feel is a fair exchange for your employment? Try to get that number. They will use every excuse under the sun, gnash their teeth, claw their eyes out, that it can't be done, that it's never been done before, that is how things are .... and then when they do Finally get you that raise, because they can't afford to lose you, then they will be perfectly pleasant human beings the next day.

This is business. Their side is in the interest in getting the maximum output out of you, at the minimum cost. When they see you're serious, they will pay you what you think you're worth.. or they won't and you should go find someone that will.


Yes. If you think that you could obtain a better job in another organisation then you should absolutely do that.

5 years is a perfectly decent amount of time to have spent in one place so you shouldn't come across as a job hopper.

Remember that there is (or should be) no negative impact from you looking for a new job. If you believe that you can find a better job then go and find that job. You may need to be persistent and if your current job happens to promote you before you find the new job then you can always re-evaluate and abandon the search if you no longer feel you need it.

  • Thanks, I had this discussion last week so I’ve been searching indeed and am getting my resume together. I feel that at least the crunch isn’t on. I’ll admit that I’m not a pauper, but it’s becoming very difficult to find if my pay is equitable to others due to my location years of experience and education. Basically I’m at my midpoint Dec 19, 2018 at 22:10
  • Never let the 'negative impact' of leaving somewhere hold you back. I have job stints and short as 10 months, it never hurt my career. And I have left not one, but two jobs over lack of promotions. Never looked back. It's all a learning experience. Hopefully you will learn leaving this company and moving to another that it's not that hard to do and can be rewarding both personally and financially. Dec 19, 2018 at 23:05
  • 1
    Having a manager that sees your contribution as important makes all the difference in the world. I worked at a startup for nearly 2 years working disgusting 80+ hours a week and never saw a promotion or salary bump. I jumped ship and in less than a year at my new company I got both because my new manager isn't an idiot.
    – jcmack
    Dec 19, 2018 at 23:43

We cannot tell you if it's time or not, that's your decision to make.

It sounds like you have a marketable skillset, have used it with great effect in your current role and are wearing a few hats at the same time. You also have a modest network of peers, given that you go on conferences and the like.

That's always a reason to keep your ear to the ground

Now let's have a look at your company: A promotion without a raise is more responsibility for the same pay, which isn't exactly fair to you. A lot of people think promotions are mandatory, they are not. A promotion is, effectively, contract renegotiation. Though it doesn't matter in your case because you already have a lot of responsibility without compensation.

So I call BS on that. I also call BS on being on-call 24/7 without compensation; that's absolute nonsense.

But let's assume that they did make things right with you. You get the promotion and a nice big raise. You're unhappy where you are and feel taken advantage of; that's an extremely difficult feeling to get rid of.

So I cannot tell you if it's time to go or not. That's your decision to make. If it were my decision, I would be out the door already.


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