TL;DR I am doing very well at my current position, exceeding expectations and delivering on a daily basis work equal in complexity to Senior Engineers work. I have received compliments from both my manager, senior engineers and coworkers as well for the work I do, yet I am paid near Junior level salary. Asked for my salary to be reviewed, outcome uncertain.

I am currently working as a Front End Developer in a very successful company, joined the team around 5 months ago. During this 5 months I have made it my responsibility that I do my job the best I can and delivering quality code. During these 5 months I have been told I have been doing a very good job from everyone, even the top manager and I should be considered as a Senior.

Few days ago on a meeting with my manager I have finally asked what are the steps I need to take to become a Senior, before that I did not ask anything about promotion or money, I just kept on working.

The reply was that I need to complete my personal development plan which is 6 months long and to be fair I have the feeling they are giving me the carrot because the plan does not include technologies I am pursuing now and it will not make me better at front end development because the plan includes getting to know the back end services. I started this plan 1 month ago. Then my manager told me that they need to speak with the other bosses to see if they can allocate money and if they need more seniors on board, which contradicts everything said before that when they were saying they want to make me a Senior.

I replied to everything basically with something along the lines that the 6 months plan is too long for what I am doing at the moment and it will be nice to receive some sort of incentive for the work I have done and I keep on doing.

My current salary is £3k more than a standard junior salary and I am becoming very frustrated because when I actually started asking questions they started saying "oh we need to see if we have the budget" or "we need to see if we need one more senior".

I do not care about the title, I have a family and all I care about is being paid accordingly for the work I am doing.

I don't think I am wrong but if I am please let me know and share an advice if you can.

I have no plan of action at the moment, the only thing I was thinking about was my family and being good at my job. Should I start reaching other companies or just be patient? Thanks for your input.

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    You're in the company for 5 months. You say that in order to become a senior you have to complete your 6 months plan. Did you already start this 'plan'? Did it start when you got hired at the company? Otherwise, what is a one month wait for a 3k raise? I'm asking all this just to make things clear. – Condor Sep 24 '19 at 13:15
  • @Condor The 6 month plan began almost 1 month ago so I have 5 more months. What I meant to say is that my current salary is £3k more than a junior salary, I dont know what the senior engineer salary is. – squeekyDave Sep 24 '19 at 13:17
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    But the answers are going to be very similar. Generally, you can always ask for a raise - and if you do, you should do your best to justify based on value you contribute. But, many employers will be unprepared for spontaneous raises, and they may (or may not) have "excuses" which you don't like, and which may or may not be true. If you do your best to ask for and justify a raise, and they don't give you one, your next option is to find a higher paying job somewhere else. – dwizum Sep 24 '19 at 13:57
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    Note that just because your manager wants you to be a senior, doesn't mean there is a budget for it, or that the higher-ups support it. – Gregory Currie Sep 24 '19 at 14:21
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    To me asking for a new title and a pay raise right after working there for after a small moment (5 months) could be a red flag for the company. If you ask now, what would you ask for in one more year, what in two? – puck Sep 24 '19 at 17:01

Five months ago you applied for a job at your current place. They made you an offer, which, at the time, you presumably felt was a fair amount to be paid, so you accepted that offer and started working there.

Now, it seems like you want to be paid more.

You claim that you want to "receive some sort of incentive for the work [you] have done and [you] keep on doing". You are - your salary, which is exactly what you agreed to be paid. When you got hired, it wasn't to do a substandard job - it was to do "do [your] job the best [you] can and [to] deliver[] quality code". The salary you negotiated, they offered, and you accepted was based on you performing to the best of your ability - you don't get an extra reward for doing your job - the "reward" is the salary.

Now it appears that you are exceeding their expectations, so they created a "personal development plan" for you, which, it seems like you'd complete before your one year anniversary, and at that time, they'll consider your for a promotion. That sounds incredibly fair. (The fact that this focused on back-end technologies rather than front-end is either a function of what they need, or where they think your talents lie).

You, however, aren't acting fair to them. To say that their "6 months plan is too long for what [you are] doing at the moment" and insisting that you need a "incentive" to do your job makes you come across as either incredibly entitled, or incredibly naive. Neither of which is a trait a manager looks for in an employee.

For the benefit of the doubt, I'm going to assume that you are new to the workforce, so your expectations are due to naivete. First off, companies, even very succesful ones, don't just sit on piles of money which they hand out to employees whenever they ask - raises and promotions usually occur at set times of the year, and usually require one's manager to go and "fight" for them. To succesfuly make that fight, the manager must have lots of convicing evidence that the employee deserves the reward (things like succesfully completing a development plan), but must also feel like the employee is a "good fit" (that the employee is easy to manage, doesn't cause issues, will stick around long enough for the company's investment in him to pay off).

There is nothing which prevents you from asking for a raise at any time, but if you start giving off the impression that you'll never be happy - doing things like asking for raise after only a few months there, telling them their development plan is "too long" for you, asking to be incentivised for doing your job etc. - they will soon decide that you aren't a "good fit" for them, and they'll start saying stuff like they aren't sure they have the budget.

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    The company might see it differently. If you are making X, and you want Y, they look at the pay jump in percentages. Reasonably they expect 1-3% as a normal pay jump. Asking for 5% or more, then they want some good reasons behind it other than the OP did his job (which is something they already pay him to do). They're going to ask, "Why should I pay someone more than 5% pay jump just to do something when I can get a person in willing to do it for less?" – Dan Sep 24 '19 at 14:36
  • So you are saying I should be happy and praise my employer where I sat and said nothing for 5 months and handled work that was passed to me from senior engineers who left or which were incapable of finishing a project. I was hired as Junior to Mid level Front End developer and this is what I specialise in, I do not specialise in creating and handling complicated UI, creating and managing services to feed that UI, this is a Senior level position and I am getting frustrated because I do not think it is fair. Maybe I asked in the wrong place, ty for your input. – squeekyDave Sep 24 '19 at 14:36
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    @squeekyDave There's no magical word you can say or do to get them to change their minds. If it was that simple, then everyone be making six figure salary. It's not unusual for everyone to do the same tasks in the programming world regardless of level. That doesn't necessarily equate to getting paid more as you're already willing to accept your current pay. You need to find a new job and see if someone else is willing to pay you a higher amount for the work you do. – Dan Sep 24 '19 at 14:41
  • @squeekyDave That you took over from seniors who jumped ship is not part of your question. If you do so, that is an argument that you should bring up with your managers. You do the work of senior X and senior Y, who left their positions vacant, so you think you are doing the work of a senior and you should be paid accordingly. If they don't budge, maybe it's time to find out whether other companies would pay you better, and once you have better offers, leave. – Alexander Sep 24 '19 at 14:43
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    @squeekyDave no one is saying that you should just be happy and take what the company is giving you but that's the thing, they're giving you what you already agreed to. You've only been there a few months, not much has changed from their perspective other than your chances of future raises are better than before. Right now it would be very unusual to get a significant raise. You have to decide if you're happy or not but right now you're getting what you agreed to. Of course you have the right to demand more and you can do that, but expecting it right now is very unrealistic. – Jonast92 Sep 24 '19 at 16:31

It is very uncommon for a person to be given a raise after such a very short time at a company. There are exceptions -- it is the regular review cycle, so you are getting a raise; they realized you were hired at the wrong level and immediately promoted you -- but none seem to apply here.

It sounds as though you are currently following your employer's process. You may disagree with the need to learn skills you aren't presently using, but this is typical. The further you get up the ladder, the fewer positions are, and either the more heavily concentrated you need to be ("Subject Matter Expert") or the broader (various sorts of "Generalists"). They decided they needed more people with skills you don't have and which you aren't using.


Patience is the way to go.

A senior position is not only recognized by technical knowledge or speed in problem solving or the quality in it. A senior position is also recognized by maturity. Maturity enough to handle a "no" and patience to trail the path to your goals without forcing shortcuts.

The company gave you a clear path to your goal. Go for it. And if, in the path, turns out that they are not being true to your promotion or even procrastinating it, then you'll know that is time to move on and find a better company.

That does not seens to be the case. You're doing a great job. Just be patient. You'll get there.

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