I started working at company X 8 months ago as a software developer, after graduating from university. I was working with no problems and hearing only praise.
The company underwent a new compensation model change where we are ranked based on levels of contribution. This also affects salary.
I was told I was higher level than my salary and asked specifically where I was in the new level. I was told mid to low in that level range.
Originally I decided to wait as I hoped they would bring salary adjustment changes up. This never happened. I brought up salary adjustment later on and they said they would get back to me. After a while I asked again (roughly 1 month), and they mentioned I was actually "incorrectly" placed into that higher level but we will keep you there "as its easier to move within levels".
I brought this up in a meeting with my peers as the conversation was shifted to compensation. This was probably not the best idea, and I was told as such from higher ups.
I'm not sure how I should be proceeding. I can find another company to work at that would (hopefully) compensate me fairly for the work I was doing, which is something I have been thinking of doing.
I am required for a big project that is nearing release and I think it would reflect poorly on me if I left, as the city I am in has a fairly close and small tech scene.
I am wondering if it is a better idea to seek a new employer who will compensate me for what I am asking, or stick with my current employer and see this incidence as a small hiccup?
Edit for clarification: Project is nearing completion, roughly 4-5 weeks away from launch and my departure will guarantee on missing launch date.