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Last year, I landed in a messy project.

I started by sharing suggestions to make things better.

I brought in a tool that allowed parallel resources availability etc.

I was hired to work for three months, and the product owner loved documents I produced myself, and then, my three months contract became a permanent contract in the first or second week.

I noticed that my team is very passive and laconic.

The software we are mainting has many discrepancies, but my colleagues limit themselves to specification, no implication when finding a problem beyond the scope of the ticket.

During the past few weeks, I noticed that project leader has been using me as a jocker whenever there was a challenge.

I quickly switched from a topic to another, I found myself intervening on topics of different nature.

Moreover, it's obvious that I am a very efficient member of the team, as I am mostly assigned complex problems that I usually solve successfully.

That being said, is it legitimate to ask for a raise based on a comparison with the performance of team members ?

Shouldn't my employer take the initiative to distinguish me for being efficient in different circusmtances and for my problem-solving mindset ?

I have been having this problem in my career, where I happened to be the most important member of a team, in some instances, and earning less than peers I used to provide help and assistance to, and when I left / resigned out of anger because my requests for a raise were revoked, the consequences were very bad for the employer (lost contract, the manager couldn't have a stable anymore).

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    What country is this in? Given some of the phrasing, I'm guessing India? If so, I really can't advise you; I know just enough to know I will never understand that system.
    – keshlam
    Apr 1 at 5:32
  • do you know how much your team members are paid? You may already be getting much more than them and have no position of leverage. make sure you have enough information before proceeding.
    – cdkMoose
    Apr 1 at 13:14
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    Define words like "jocker" and "stable". I cannot discern your meaning. Apr 2 at 3:30
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    If you are Greek, as your username makes likely, and are using "jocker" to mean "joker", the playing card, and are trying to translate the French/Greek expression "passe-partout" (πασπαρτού), then joker doesn't work. "Wildcard" would be closer in English, but really if you mean that your boss is using you for any challenging project, it would be better to write it out.
    – terdon
    Apr 2 at 11:22
  • @terdon: "Joker" in this context does not refer to someone making jokes, but to the Playing card "The Joker", which in many card games functions as a wildcard.
    – Opifex
    Apr 4 at 11:42

4 Answers 4

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Rather than asking for a raise, I would suggest asking "What do you need to see from me to justify a raise?" (If you can get it in writing, so much the better.) Then focus on those items, while maintaining the others.

Note that in many companies there is a specific time (often end of year) when employees are evaluated and raises/promotions are considered, and that in a larger company you are potentially being ranked not just against your local peers but against a much larger group.

Note too that the company's budget needs to be able to cover a raise. If they aren't producing sufficient income that they can justify investing in their people, raises may become few and far between, or may be nominal (compensating for inflation, for example).

Finally, note that comparison with team mates is NOT a good argument. The question is whether you are "exceeding expectations" and merit a raise, not what they are doing or how well or poorly they are paid. Management is perfectly capable of comparing folks, and will not take your attempt to meddle kindly. Do the best work you can, make sure that management is aware of what you are doing, and do NOT attack co-workers even implicitly.

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    It's been over two decades since I've gotten a "normal" raise that even kept up with inflation. Depending on the company and industry, many people find that job-hopping is the only way to stay ahead.
    – arp
    Apr 2 at 16:33
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    Oh, rereading your comment, I didn't consider the practical longer term implications of comparing oneself to coworkers. I thought y'all were judging morally. That makes sense. I agree. Don't compare yourself openly unless that is common practice Apr 2 at 20:20
  • @keshlam seems like it was deleted. Thank you for your service to the global community Apr 4 at 0:11
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That being said, is it legitimate to ask for a raise based on a comparison with the performance of team members ?

NO! Never compare yourself to other team members for a positive outcome.

Shouldn't my employer take the initiative to distinguish me for being efficient in different circusmtances and for my problem-solving mindset ?

You are living in a fantasy if you think others will look out for your best interests. Your employer are not your parents; who typically give everything for their children.

You should ask for a raise and do so like this:

Hi boss, I think I deserve a raise of 7% because:

  • I closed 83 stories in 3 months
  • Customer satisfaction has increased by 7 percentage points since I have come onto the project
  • I helped increase revenue by $53 million dollars

Notice I made it clear what I wanted. I made it clear why I deserve such a raise using numbers that are good for the company profitability. The goal is to use metrics that the boss can then take to his boss and ask him for a raise.

Keep in mind, that the best way to keep increasing your salary is to change jobs every three to five years.

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    Yeah... my first thought as well... I mean yes OP should be paid more than Bob Bob, who is slower at solving simpler tasks... But unless OP works for Amazon, or companies with a similar work culture. Putting down your co-workers is not viewed favorably.
    – Questor
    Apr 1 at 19:38
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What's your BATNA? That is, if you don't get a raise, what is your alternative?

  • At one extreme, you might be happy to keep working even if you don't get the raise; in that case, keshlam's answer is the best — ask your boss what it would take to get a raise (and/or promotion) in due course, then work toward that.

  • At the other extreme, you may have a higher offer from another company in your pocket (or rather on your desk at home; never show it to your current employer); in that case, you'd probably ask much more aggressively, for some number that's a percentage above the other offer, with a private (lower) cut-off for your stay-or-go decision. In that case, if you don't get a raise, you come back to the boss with a resignation letter.

Various other options in between, depending on circumstances, your appetite for risk, your ability and willingness to bluff, potentially the amount of time and energy you're willing to put into improving your BATNA before you approach your boss...

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І think it's okay to ask for a raise.

Even if you only work for 3 months, your contribution to the team can be significant.

It is important to clearly and succinctly justify your offer, as well as be prepared for a possible refusal.

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