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I've been working with a company for a couple of years now;

Things are generally okay, but I'm starting to contemplate looking for a change or an improvement somewhere... Either a higher salary, significantly more PTO, more work-from-home, etc. Something to make it more 'worth it' for me. I don't necessarily explicitly want to leave, but I find I'm generally just not excited about my job anymore and I feel it would be pretty easy for someone to poach me with the right offer.

I recently updated my resume, and at the end of it, I was feeling very, very confident about myself. Greatest resume to ever walk the earth, exponentially better than the one that I originally applied with a few years ago.

I started to think, If I were to ask for a raise, my manager might just consider the work that I've done here at this company and their personal experiences with me when responding to it... (Which is definitely okay, I've done a good job, I just haven't worked with this manager very long)

However if my manager were to see/look at my resume when responding to that request, I feel it would likely drive home a bit of fear that "Oh..... This person is prepared and will very likely get hired somewhere else at the amount they're asking... It will be a monumental effort for us to replace them if they leave, which from the looks of it they could easily do if we don't give them this...."

and cave;

My question is, is this a normal thing to do when asking for a raise?

I feel like it would be a useful tool, but I feel as though it would also worry them that I'd been looking for other offers or preparing to leave.

If I've gone this far, should I just get an offer or two first anyway?

I'm likely on the higher end of the pay scale for my position already, but I have leverage in that if I were to leave, it would likely take months to fill the position with a new replacement; there's only one of me and I develop/maintain an application that ~500 users rely on each day at our organization; Likely much longer to find someone at the same level of experience (niche market), and even then they would have a very long time (1 year+) to spin up / get acquainted with the system, why things are built the way they are, etc

Edit: This is not a duplicate of the other question on how to go about asking for a raise, because this question is specifically asking, would it be appropriate or confrontational to show/use an updated resume as a negotiating tool when actually asking for the raise. This isn't something that's mentioned or addressed in the suggested duplicate question or its answers.

  • Possible duplicate of How should I properly approach my boss if I'm feeling underpaid? – gnat Aug 13 at 13:24
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    @gnat This specific question isn't addressed as part of that other question, or any of its answers. I know what I would say when asking for a raise, my question specifically is about whether it would be confrontational to also show them my resume / mention it when doing so. – schizoid04 Aug 13 at 13:29
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Maybe instead of calling it a resume, reformat and make it an experience list. The manager would make the leap of thinking - "Wow! With a little reformatting, this is an excellent resume." Explain how your priorities have changed, and you want more flexibility. Ideally you get that with the current company, where you are a great fit, and have specialized essential skills. If there is room for a raise, work from home, etc., they would be foolish not to work with you. Don't wait for other offers, act soon to get the motivation you are looking for. You might be surprised by what they - who know you better than a new company - can do.

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Don't think it's normal. I've never heard of a resume being used at an employee review. Resumes are intended to help you find a new job. Not negotiate at your current job. Something similar to a resume is the list of accomplishments you've had at the current company & that's something you can use.

I'm likely on the higher end of the pay scale for my position already,

Some other normal things to ask for would be title, bonuses and benefits/perks.

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Your specific question was,

My question is, is this a normal thing to do when asking for a raise?

That's easy to answer - no, it's not normal.

In the broader sense though, you seem to be implying that your motivator in asking for a raise is that you're bored (not excited) and want more compensation, and your (indirect) vector for getting this from your employer is implying that you're a flight risk. I would caution you on both of those points.

If you're truly "not excited" then make sure you know why. Of course, everyone wants more money, but money is generally not a permanent solution - a few months from now, you may find yourself just as unmotivated. So - before you pursue a raise, or a job change, make sure you know what excites you (or doesn't) about work, and what motivates you. Regardless of if you stay at your employer or switch jobs, knowing your own deeper motivations can help you make decisions that will keep you feeling satisfied, regardless of if an employer gives you a specific raise at a specific point in time or not.

Further, threatening to leave is almost never a good idea. If your manager is not trustworthy, they may take this as a sign that they need to start looking for a way to get rid of you (since you've just polished your resume and are implying you could leave). If your manager is trustworthy and well intentioned, the best way to justify a raise is to show your value to your current employer. "I might leave" doesn't say anything about what you've accomplished, what your skills are, what you're capable of, or how you're adding value to your employer.

Employment is a simple arrangement - you contribute value to an organization, and they give you money. If you want more money, be prepared to show how you're adding more value.

  • " If your manager is not trustworthy, they may take this as a sign that they need to start looking" - I don't think that has anything to do with trustworthy. I would say it is good diligence for a manager to prepare for replacing an employee who appears to be on the way out. – onnoweb Aug 13 at 17:09
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    If I had finished the sentence as "prepare for replacing" then I would agree. However, my point was that "bad" managers will sometimes try their hardest to force you out by whatever means necessary the instant they get any indicator you may leave. That's a very different result from a manager simply preparing to replace you. – dwizum Aug 13 at 17:11
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    Sure. Fair enough. – onnoweb Aug 13 at 17:20
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However if my manager were to see/look at my resume when responding to that request, I feel it would likely drive home a bit of fear that "Oh..... This person is prepared and will very likely get hired somewhere else at the amount they're asking... It will be a monumental effort for us to replace them if they leave, which from the looks of it they could easily do if we don't give them this...."

Not really. It's more like the manager knows you're getting underpaid and just hopes you accept your current position as is. Now if you went and got a job, that sends a clearer message that you're not willing to stay around for the asking price. They'll either come with a counter offer or they'll hire someone for a bit more than what they're paying you now.

Overall though this plan will backfire. You're already willing to stay at the price you accepted, so assuming they'd be afraid you'll leave will backfire in many ways. I would just make a list of accomplishments, then ask for a raise. Maybe bring salaries in the current area and what they make for similar roles. Assuming a scare tactic will work won't and showing a resume as if you're looking for a job will only make the manager attempt to look for your replacement if he thinks you're leaving, not beg you to stay.

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