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I'm new to workplace exchange but I figured I would head over here to ask a question that may be provocative and may have several answers.

The background:

I was hired as a web developer for an established company that wanted a single developer to work on new application ideas. I started in December of this last year. I accepted an offer 10k below the average for the area, which is fine.

I have added tons of features to their existing sites and I'm about a month away from completing a huge project I started a month ago. My boss was expecting completion around 6 months. I've been working so hard I've nearly got a beautiful product out in about 1/2 the time.

What I want:

So the truth is, I want the average pay and a decent bonus after the project is complete. I feel like I've proved my worth. And my boss and coworkers think the same (or I'm pretty sure).

The problem:

This project may or may not take off the way my boss wants... Which is determined by the marketing strategies of the company. I'm sure all CEOs like profitability, but I'm sure other developers have the same issue: "I'm not in charge of marketing."

Should I tell him my salary desires after the project?

  • @JoeStrazzere I was hired as their on site developer. This project was one of many, but kind of the "proving ground" project. – anon Feb 27 '14 at 20:44
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I think you're better off talking about that now rather than waiting.

Firstly, because surprising managers is generally a bad idea. Even nice surprises like "it's 5 months early" will require some action from your boss. Either more features or an earlier launch, otherwise you will be out of work for a few months.

Secondly, because your idea of "finished" might not match hers. It's embarrassing to go "hooray, it's done" only to have your boss turn round and say "what about X, Y and Z?"

Similarly with your pay expectations. Much better to have a discussion now along the lines of "what would it take to get a pay rise and bonus as a result of this project?" That way you can adjust your performance and expectations accordingly. Obviously you'll be hoping for "deliver it early and you get the pay rise as soon as you start the new project", but it's also possible that you'll get a bad reaction and that gives you time to work out how to react.

As far as project success goes, that comes up here a lot. The trick is to manage your boss's expectations and make it clear that whatever you can do to help the project succeed you will do, or have done. It's a fact of life that if the project is a major failure you're unlikely to get a bonus, but you can often avoid the worst if management knows your part of the project succeeded. Questions like this go into that much more.

  • That's great extra context, and it sounds positive for you :) But yeah, knowing that, I'd still mention that you'd like the pay rise sooner rather than later. Good luck! – Móż Feb 27 '14 at 3:16
  • @James_1x0 congratulations. That's great news! – Móż Jun 11 '14 at 22:02

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