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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.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Dan Neely, gnat, mag, espindolaa, sf02 Oct 16 at 14:56

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    Leaving a company with an upcoming project shouldn't be an issue. It is far easier to replace someone before a project, instead of halfway when they have accrued specific knowledge in the system and how it functions (Specially as you aren't a senior or architect). Make sure to secure a job before handing in your resignation. This way, even if it reflected poorly on you, you would already have secured a job. – Shadowzee Oct 16 at 3:41
  • "The company underwent a new compensation model change where we are ranked based on levels of contribution". This sounds quite bad in itself. How is measured "levels of contribution" ? – Arthur Havlicek Oct 16 at 4:36
  • Given that you are already considering looking for a new job, I would suggest not taking that. Demand your compensation as per new regulations, or only do the bad job that you are payed for. Yes, they will not like you at all, but right now it sounds not like a place to work at anyway. – Dirk Oct 16 at 6:28
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    This was probably not the best idea, and I was told as such from higher ups. Side Note: Your higher ups telling you that you can't discuss salary with your co-workers may be illegal depending on where you live. – BSMP Oct 16 at 10:54
  • @ArthurHavlicek its hard to say, they are very vague with the levels. It is based on "contribution" levels, which is why I think I was placed in a higher level. They recognized my value being higher than what I'm being paid for but seem to refute that now money is involved. – workplacethrowa2000 Oct 16 at 16:30
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The state of project is not really relevant here. The points you need to consider here are:

  • Are you satisfied with the work and compensation here?
  • Do you see value in the work you do?
  • Is you work/effort valued?
  • Did you try to talk / discuss the scenario/ situation you're currently in with higher-ups and received no positive sign?

If the answers of first three are negative and the last one is affirmative, you should move on and find a new job.

  • This sounds like the OP's first post-college job. Given the small size of community and leaving within a year, there may be more to consider around this reference than most situations. That said, I agree with the conditions and if those imply leaving, OP should do so, but may need to factor in more notice or ways to salvage the reference than some cases my suggest. – John Spiegel Oct 16 at 13:16
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    I did have a talk with the higher ups and they went with I have bad attitude and should work hard, and if I truly am deserving of higher compensation it will come. I wouldnt really say thats a positive sign as they themselves have me rated higher in their own internal scale. – workplacethrowa2000 Oct 16 at 16:27
  • Sounds like they have an attitude problem themselves. If they don't think a raise is merited they should at least be polite about it. – P. Hopkinson Oct 16 at 19:34
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I am required for a big project that is nearing release and I think it would reflect poorly on me if I left

That's irrelevant. There's never going to be a nice, convenient time to leave. It's up to your employer to plan for these conditions accordingly, not you.

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.

...but where are you in the grand scheme of things, ignoring the internals of your company? This is the important question you don't seem to be considering.

Where you happen to be on an internal pay scale is nearly irrelevant. If you're right at the top of it and still earning half as much as you could get elsewhere, you've got a poor deal. If you're right at the bottom of it and earning twice as much as you could elsewhere, you'd be insane to quit (over compensation, anyway.)

If compensation is a really important factor to you, then do some independent research for other similar positions, and then use that to decide if you want to move. However, don't forget to factor in the following as well:

  • You're working with no problems, hearing praise
  • You seemed to be happy there (before this conversation started, anyway)
  • You've only been in this role 8 months, so you're unlikely to get a step up from graduate roles (and questions could well be asked as to why you're moving on so soon.)

All in all, unless you're receiving a really terrible deal, my gut feeling is that you'd be better staying where you are and keeping up the great work. If you still don't feel that's recognised and still feel you're getting a poor deal in another 6 months or so, you then may find more options open to you if you look elsewhere.

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