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For some context, I am a software engineer developing a SaaS product, and have been at my current company for close to 4 years now. I am the fourth employee at the company, and hence have quite a strong bond to the company. However in recent times, my work has gravitated away from the product, such as writing bespoke scripts to alleviate customer pains, managing process, and more recently, working on our infrastructure.

Because of this, I notice that upper management, and perhaps other peers which I do not work closely with, feel that I am not performing as well as I should be. A lot of what I do isn't flashy and obvious, and so I understand why they think that way. I have spoken to my manager about this issue, and he is supportive, however, I feel like I need to do more to get some acknowledgement of the hard work I've done.

I am thinking of asking for testimonials from customers that I have written scripts for. I have pride in the quality of my work, as well as being able to communicate with them effectively and resolving their issues quickly. I am also thinking of getting testimonials from colleagues, who I've done some work for them. Examples are, writing scripts to gather data on customers to help them make product decisions; scripts to determine the status on customers' servers to keep track of some metrics.

I am not sure of this course of action, because it may seem like I am pitting testimonial writers against the company. To my co-workers, it may seem like the company is treating me poorly by not acknowledging my work, and may start to become more wary of the company. To our customers, it may seem that the company does not care for its employees.

Could anyone advise if I should go ahead with this?

Cheers

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    What do you expect to gain by compiling all these testimonials? – sf02 Feb 13 at 14:37
  • @sf02 Perhaps showing what a valued employee he is, how he's making everybody else's life so much easier, and why, perhaps, his boss might find himself more easily disposed towards such a reward as, say, a pay raise, or similar, since he's getting his money's worth. – rath Feb 13 at 14:41
  • @rath If OP feels that he deserves a pay raise he needs to communicate this to his boss instead of collecting testimonials from all his clients/coworkers. If the boss is oblivious to OP's work accomplishments then maybe this isn't a good company to be working for. – sf02 Feb 13 at 14:46
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    @sf02 Not necessarily the case. Most employers need gentle prodding and reminding when it comes to that. Besides, I'm only guessing. – rath Feb 13 at 14:50
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Your best bet is to talk with those who believe you could perform better directly

First, if your current boss has your back, talk to them. Tell them exactly what you've written, that you believe others in the company think you should be performing better. Listen to what they say.

It's possible someone badly worded a question. It's also possible you are being perceived that way. If you are perceived as a low performer, here is what I would do.

Make sure your immediate boss does not perceive you this way

This is the most important step. Correct any issues with your boss now. Don't gather testimonials, instead, just point to the work you've done. Something like

I spent last week working with Jill and Bob from Ace Corp. helping automate task X, Y, and Z. Before that, I was supporting some automation Alice needed for Big Corp.

Show the scripts you've made. This will likely alleviate the issue with your boss.

Now for the rest of the company

You want to advertise you don't have a full work week because of support projects. The easiest way to that is to remind people when tasks are assigned.

Something like

Remember, I'm supporting Ace corp this week.

may do the trick

If that doesn't work. Add the task to your task tracker so people see how much work you are doing

  • I agree with this answer and would like to add that the right person to do the advertising is the manager, who should be transferring the information upwards. Something similar to testimonials could feature in OP's next review. – bytepusher Feb 13 at 16:47
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On a previous role, we conducted yearly appraisals which in turn had an impact on our Annual Bonus and Salary. During the appraisals we would score ourselves and provide examples that backed our scores. My first year with the company I wasn't aware of how this worked so I finished my appraisal and I knew my superior knew how well I performed and that I had exceeded expectations. I ended up receiving a score of 4/5 which wasn't bad but I felt it didn't demonstrate how well I did. When I asked my superior why this was, the simple answer was: "We both knew you did well but neither of us had anything to back up this claims".

The following year I kept every customer email that mentioned that I excelled on expectations, any internal email with good feedback from management or other colleagues. When appraisals came around, I was able to provide examples for every single point in the appraisal of how I continuously exceeded expectations. That year my pay was increased by 10% and I had my 5% annual bonus.

So...

Yes - do keep any evidence of exemplar work you do. You know what you do and whether you are doing it right or not, your boss is taking care of many other people and may not notice how well an application you support is running because all you do is support it. Any measurable statics you can provide are great too!

If you can provide average time from raised to resolution, customer feedback, financial impacts. This all helps proving that you are worth your salary and more.

Big if though, IF you are spending too much time gathering this information then you are being counterproductive, but if you are able to quickly gather the information and examples you need I would recommend doing so.

  • Note that this good advice can also be applied to beefing up your resume and network, should your current company persist in not appreciating you enough.. – user90842 Feb 14 at 2:19

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