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I am wondering how to go about asking for an increased salary during the non-standard review time after already receiving a pretty good raise at the beginning of the year.

I've been working for a company for two years and I'm a software engineer. I took a 10k pay cut when I came over from 70k to 60k and lost 5 sick days, and I was okay with it at the time because my ex wanted to move there and I do like the company. The first year I received a 3k pay increase and then this December received a 7k raise (putting me back where I started). Now I am starting to think that I want to move because I'm single again and there aren't many young people in my city. The problem is that I feel my team really needs me: They are understaffed as is. They are looking to hire more people (and are having difficulty finding people) and even if they found people it would take time to train them and get them caught up (and things would slow down with somebody having to teach them), the project is pretty crucial to the company and just restarted after some pretty painful delays (due to a third party). It already is probably going to be behind schedule since it's understaffed. It is an important and cool project that will likely continue for years (and my manager once told me that this is the best project he's ever worked on in 30 years and i'm insanely lucky that this is one of my projects so early in my career).

I feel very grateful to the company, it's pretty small and they have shown that they care a lot about their employees. The loyalty in me really wants to stay and help out, but I know that it's probably better for starting a family if I move. If I received a pretty big raise I would feel better about staying for a little while longer (maybe a half a year to a year) and if in that time I found somebody I liked I would definitely stay. Will asking for a raise (maybe 5k-10k) now likely be a problem, and since we always get raises in December does that throw everything off for December? Perhaps I should I negotiate like "7.5k now and 7.5k in December" to ensure the raise that I will almost definitely get in December?

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    It doesn't really seem like money is what is missing from your life, rather you seem to be proposing it as a consolation prize, and that seems unwise. Better to actually pursue what is meaningful to you. If you are going to ask for something, consider asking for remote work or flexible scheduling so that you can do your job and pursue your life. – Chris Stratton May 5 at 18:41
  • @ChrisStratton Perhaps I should have added... I'm very happy with my life, everything is pretty great and I'm very fortunate that is the case. It's not impossible to meet somebody near me, and I am able to travel to some larger cities near by on the weekends. I'm mostly interested in if the salary negotiation would be likely to make things weird with the then year end review. And that if I were to be upfront about potentially thinking of moving for personal reasons and they don't agree to the raise that they think im out the door. – workThrowAway May 6 at 23:13
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If I received a pretty big raise I would feel better about staying for a little while longer (maybe a half a year to a year) and if in that time I found somebody I liked I would definitely stay.

Don't conflate financial incentives with personal incentives. One won't solve the other. If you want to move away for personal reasons, more money won't magically solve it - it'll just leave you feeling more miserable a month or two down the line when the novelty of more money has worn off.

The problem is that I feel my team really needs me: They are understaffed as is.

That's not your concern, and shouldn't factor into your decision. If they're struggling to hire then they're likely being too picky, not offering enough money, or a combination of both. (The fact you had to take a pay cut to work for them signals they're probably paying less than the going rate.)

and my manager once told me that this is the best project he's ever worked on in 30 years and i'm insanely lucky that this is one of my projects so early in my career

That's just sales talk. There's plenty of good projects, unless you're working on some type of revolutionary software to put a man on mars or similar, this won't be unique.

  • I'm not miserable so staying where i'm at is not terrible, and I can continue to work on meeting more people in my area and traveling to some larger cities on the weekend. That's an inconvenience though, and making more money does offset that a lot. I do agree that they probably do pay under the going rate for me, which is another reason why I'm wondering if negotiating now half way through the year will cause issue for the end of the year and if its a bad idea that they gave me a decent raise in december (even though I might still be kind of underpayed) – workThrowAway May 6 at 23:24
  • @workThrowAway Also remember if you're on the same salary now as you were two years ago, you're still effectively on less than you were because of inflation. – berry120 May 7 at 8:47

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