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Half a year ago I started a new job. They gave me the salary I requested, even a bit more. I couldn't have been happier.

In the meantime I know that this salary is a salary for working extreme work hours. There are several more factors which make this job more difficult than I expected. But I've had some successes already.

I also have good reasons to suspect that other persons on my level earn more than me.

I haven't started a discussion on a salary increase so far since I didn't want to appear greedy.

With the performance review period coming up, however, I'm wondering what my strategy should be. The truth is, I probably won't stay longer than a year unless I get a solid salary raise. The toll on my private life is simply too high and I'm not able to take on extra projects because of my work time. Is it wiser to wait till I'm notified about my salary increase and then try to negotiate if I'm not happy? Should I start discussing it before?

  • "The truth is, I probably won't stay longer than a year unless I get a solid salary raise" What percentage of salary increase would keep you in this company? – sf02 Oct 15 at 17:51
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    @sf02, at least 20-25%. I work 40% more than I should so I think that's actually a conservative demand. – monkey666 Oct 15 at 18:00
  • @JoeStrazzere, I've no idea. It's definitely in the habit of losing a big part of its employees within the first 6 months though. My experience is it's not possible to know what one is getting into before starting no matter how much research you do. – monkey666 Oct 16 at 4:41
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When to start discussing my salary?

Don't bother.

Based on your comment that you would need a 20%-25% increase in salary to stay with the company after only 6 months you should probably start looking for a new company to work for starting today. Asking for such a large increase in such a small amount of time is very likely to get denied.

If you are working extreme hours and your personal life is suffering, increasing your salary will not even resolve those issues. You are better off looking for a new company to work for that better understands work/life balance.

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With the performance review period coming up, however, I'm wondering what my strategy should be.

I suggest you wait for your upcoming review and go from there.

If you have been performing well, a raise should be imminent and most likely will be discussed with you after the performance review.

In case the offer they give you is not completely satisfactory to you (and you wish to ask for more), be ready to explain or justify why do you think you deserve that additional raise (exceptional performance, several projects delivered successfully, etc.).

However, again, if you have been performing well (or very well) it's likely that the salary they offer may already be of your liking.

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    Most people receive a raise of 1-4%. That's too little for me to be able to stay with the company. – monkey666 Oct 15 at 17:06
  • @monkey666 we don't know yet what that raise will be. I do suggest you think of a % that would be better for you, and be prepared to justify your counter-offer why do you deserve it in case the offer they give you is lower that you need (as suggested in my edit) – DarkCygnus Oct 15 at 17:07
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    @monkey666 as a side note (assuming the worst case: the salary they offer is not of your liking and they won't go any higher), remember that if you eventually think of finding a new job, it's better to do it while you are still employed rather than quitting or rejecting the raise and then attempting to start job-hunting. – DarkCygnus Oct 15 at 17:10
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    I can't agree that one should "explain or justify" a raise. State what you want. Maybe, if anything, say that "the market salary would be..." the figure. In negotiating a raise, you have one (and only one) piece of leverage: that you'll leave if you don't get what you ask. That's the "whole thing" in a salary demand; there's no other negotiating aspect. – Fattie Oct 15 at 18:03
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    Damn, there IS room for more answers! :) thx .. :) – Fattie Oct 15 at 18:34
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  1. Never, ever, ever work more than 35 hours for any reason.

  2. In answer to your specific question ("how to ask for a higher salary"):

"Howdy. I'd like to move my salary up to $abc,000 as of the first. What are your thoughts?"

If they don't say yes on the spot, politely resign on the spot, get your personal things and leave the building.

(In negotiating a raise, you have one (and only one) piece of leverage: that you'll leave if you don't get what you ask. That's the "whole thing" in a salary demand; there's nothing else there.)

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  • Is 35 the "normal time" in your country or are you talking about every country (where the "normal time") might be 38 or 39 hours? – guest Oct 15 at 18:47
  • @guest - unfortunately, since so many QA on this site relate to software, programming. I did assume that. Software is global / mostly remote-contract / led by the Valley so yeah I meant "software industry" – Fattie Oct 15 at 18:51
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    Sorry for the misunderstanding. I would like to know if you chose 35 because e.g studies show that's the best amount or if your locale, this is the normal amount? (Eg when I worked in the software industry, 38.5 was the normal amount stated by my government, thus 35 would be "part-time" and would have certain (eg tax-related implications). – guest Oct 15 at 19:21
  • Hi @guest - you may be looking for detail where none exists. "normal work hours" is the absolute max any programmer works for years now. So in fact just as your first comment says, a normal business week. "no overtime ever" for programmers. – Fattie Oct 15 at 19:42
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    So by "35" you mean "the amount you are paid for, without any overtime"? – guest Oct 15 at 21:29

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