I'm currently working in Toronto, Canada; as the highest-seniority engineer ("Senior Engineer IV") in Canada for a large US-based engineering firm. I've been working with this company for about 2 years now, and basically put in obscene amounts of overtime (60 - 100+ hours per week), and helped save a project/product that nearly failed (millions of dollars would have been lost; my employer straight-up told me a lot was expected of me to help salvage the project when I started, and has since told me that I "delivered" on the expectations they had from me). My employer, as of 4 months ago, started assigning me even more complex work that involves researching industry standards and emerging technologies, managing people, and so on. I was told that I'm being put in the "effective role" of the most senior non-management role there is, "Principal Engineer". This role pays nearly 1.5x my current role.
I just had my annual review, and was told I'm doing a great job in my new role, and I brought up the topic of "that's great to hear! When will my remuneration reflect my new role?". My manager, who's normally very upbeat, frowned a bit, and noted that nobody gets promoted within the company in under 4 years, especially for such an advanced role, but that at this rate, I would definitely be earning a Principal Engineer's salary when the 5 year mark hits. False modesty aside, I don't buy it: exceptions are made for exceptional circumstances, and being credited with being a major contributor to company success and already working in the capacity of a "Principal Engineer" seems more than reasonable enough justification for my promotion.
I can find similarly paying work, but I'd like to stay on board with this company and see how far I can go with them, as the "Principal Engineer" position is a pathway to even higher pay in a senior management role, which eventually paves the way to becoming VP/exec level, etc. My goal is to not burn up existing goodwill, and not to simply quit and job/ladder-hop. That being said, I'm willing to risk burning up goodwill and taking a job with another company if it's apparent the company is going to make me work in a role and wait 3 years to start (potentially) being paid appropriately (they can only burn up so much of my faith/trust too).
To the question: how can I light a fire under my employer's toes to make them reconsider, without having to threaten to leave and accept a counter offer? My stance is to never accept a counter offer, as the good will is already burned up (i.e. "the well is poisoned"), and that promotion would be the last one I have with the company. My thoughts so far:
- Have a friend call my boss pretending to be a recruiter, asking for very minor information (i.e. did "Mr. XYZ" work here during this time period?): things that employers are often willing to share without being intrusive.
- There are a number of relevant industry certifications I could pick up within a couple weeks, and add to my LinkedIn profile (coworkers of mine are able to access my profile). I could just re-enable "broadcast my updates to friends", post it (which draws attention), and have a friend create a fake recruiter account and publicly try to reach out to me.
- Have a friend pretend to be a recruiter, call the front desk, and ask to be forwarded to me. It's not hard to automate this.
- Ask my employer for special dispensation (which the company allows) to run my own company (i.e. so I can provide volunteer/pro-bono services to charities that need my skills). I can just insist I need to incorporate for insurance and professional liability reasons. Right now I'm doing about 55 hours of work per week, and am happy to drop it down to an even 40 hours, and let them assume that formerly-free 15 hours per week (almost 3 per work day) is going somewhere other than their pockets.
Thoughts/comments? Thank you!