I was an IT guy at my previous company, but I left an year ago because I found another IT job with more pay. The previous owner calls me to see if I can do part-time because the only IT guy they had left, and also because I setup everything when I was employed there. I agreed to help out, but didn't discuss my hourly rate (my fault I guess), but I'm still being paid the same hourly rate as when I left an year ago. When the owner called me originally about coming back as part-time he said I would only be doing task 'x', but now he's asking me about more things (because I was the one that setup the network, and the IT guy that left didn't know anything).

How can I tell the owner I need a raise if I'm going to be doing more work than we agreed on. I still have my full time job plus this part-time job.

Also, the owner hired me back plus another IT guy, but this new IT guy have literally 0 IT experience (this is his first IT job), and every time he does something he keeps bugging me for help even if the owner agreed that I'm only supposed to do task x. I helped out a few times since he's new but I don't think I owe him to help out every single time.

My question is, how do I ask for a raise? I've asked the owner via email couple of times, but he never responds to that. He only emails when he needs my help with IT related work. IT related work he said I won't be doing.

  • I should add that the IT guy that was working with me when I was full time with the company left due to health reasons, and the owner said he's not coming back. Not to sound arrogant, so basically I'm the only IT person they have that still remembers all the IP addresses of servers, switches etc, but that's not what I'm supposed to be doing now as a part-time person, but still being asked to do it.
    – tantony
    Commented Jul 3 at 17:09
  • What is your actual question here? How to ask for a raise? How to avoid doing tasks that aren't in your job description? Please make it a little more clear, and update the title of your post accordingly.
    – InBedded16
    Commented Jul 3 at 17:24
  • Sorry about that, I updated my post. Hope its more clear.
    – tantony
    Commented Jul 3 at 17:29
  • So you want a raise or more hours at the existing rate? You need to know what you want....
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 3 at 17:56
  • 2
    If you want a salary raise right away, you should have asked for it before signing the contract or returning to the old company. Now, you probably have to wait for the annually performance review to ask for a raise (if you are a full time regular employee). Commented Jul 4 at 2:56

8 Answers 8


Others have given good answers to your main question - but looking at your other comments - I think there is a meta-answer here:

Asserting your limits, your worth and your boundaries is not Rude.

There is a certain personality type that thinks that advocating for themselves is rude and that they should be quiet and just accept whatever charity they are given.

Now, to be fair, there are absolutely ways you can be rude about this (I won't go into detail as I think this statement is fairly self-evident).

Everything I read in your comments talks that you struggle to be disagreeable and advocate for yourself.

So, let's start with your Pay rate:

Your current pay is X, the Market rate is X+Y, but you are also in possession of institutional knowledge (such that they head-hunted you) and the other 'IT' person is a joke.

Before we get to the point where you articulate what you want, we gotta start at the basics:

You are valuable, you have valuable skills, knowledge and experience.

You have to believe this - for some people this comes naturally, for some it comes a little too naturally - but in all seriousness, take a look at the objective situation - they were up a creek without a paddle in your absence. You have worth.

Some people feel like this is akin to Black Mail - but Negotiation is simply a series of compromises - I have something you want (my skills, ability and labour), you have something I want (Money, working conditions etc.) and we both advance our position and interests until we can come to a position where be both get what we want or we reach an impasse. Leveraging a strong negotiating position is not bad.

Kicking in the door and saying "I want a Million Dollars an hour or I WALK" - yeah, that would make you kind of a dick.

Sitting down with your boss, pointing to the current market rates for your position, the added value that you have in institutional knowledge and the fact that it is cheaper for them to pay you what you are worth than it would be to go through another hiring process or to get a contractor in (at a premium rate) in a calm and rational manner is good.

If the company is having cash-flow issues and can't pay that much, then you can discuss other options (more PTO, limited hours, shares in the company, whatever)

But again - this is a negotiation and advocating for yourself is not rude.


How can I tell the owner I need a raise if I'm going to be doing more work than we agreed on.

Something like "I need a raise if I'm going to be doing more work than we agreed on." should work.

It's pretty simple, if you want a raise, you ask for one. Be prepared to answer how much you want. And decide ahead of time what you will do if the answer is "No".

No need to make this any more complicated than that.

Also, the owner hired me back plus another IT guy, but this new IT guy have literally 0 IT experience (this is his first IT job), and every time he does something he keeps bugging me for help even if the owner agreed that I'm only supposed to do task x.

You don't need to make this your problem, unless you want it to be so.

If you want to help him, first ask the owner what you should do if the new guy asks for your help.


This is about setting boundaries.

The conversation could go something like this:

Look I agreed to do for a limited time to do a limited amount of work. We did not discuss a bump in pay, mainly because I like you and your company.
You are all very nice people.

Since that time, my responsibilities have grown in size and scope. I cannot continue at below market rates. If you would like me to continue I will need to be raised to X$ per hour and am only available 20 hours per week.

You may want to add any additional caveats like the hours you are available for support.

So I would send him an email to that effect then stop taking calls from the IT guy. Eventually the owner will want your help. You answer that by asking if there is an agreement on the new rate? If the answer is no, then it is no to you doing the work. Its pretty simple.

This is a good money making opportunity for you, but it really depends how much of a pain it is compared to the impact on other areas in your life.

  • I already stopped responding to the new IT guy, and the owner is aware. The new IT guy is dating the owner's niece or something, and I think that's how he got this job. But still this is very first IT job. My wife and I used to work for this same company, and we both left on good notes, and I don't want to sound rude that's why I'm asking here. But I guess being assertive is the way to go especially since the owner is replying to all emails except for my hourly rate question.
    – tantony
    Commented Jul 3 at 18:07
  • @tantony he is being passive aggressive towards you and you don't seem to find it rude. So if he is a decent human being, then he should not find it rude you are standing up for yourself. If he does, the relationship was not worth saving anyway. I'd love to hear how this turns out in the end.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Jul 10 at 10:31

1.) If you are the only the knows the IP Addresses, shame on you. Document them. Task the new guy to document.

2.) Ask the boss the for a "sit down" or whatever your term is for a talk. They will know what you mean AND THEY WON'T BE BLINDSIDED.

You basically said that this is more than you wanted to do. Explain that, let them know that you'll like XX more per hour. It really won't be a surprise to them. If they have any business sense, they know they are on borrowed time.

Consider having a simple a plan to make yourself obsolete. That will make you more money for less time and help the old employer. Everyone wins and you're a hero. You get a chance to learn something useful with minimal career risk. The boss LIKELY wouldn't mind paying good money for this.

Bottomline - unsustainable isn't cutting it for anybody.

I don't use terms like boundries in situations like this. You don't have to answer the phone. This isn't your primary job.

The suggestion here is to look for an opportunity to improve your skillset and make more money per hour. You know the tech. But do you know how to teach, document, and hand-off?

  • This! "Ask not what your boss can do for you, but what you can do for your boss." Most seem to forget that they're to provide quality to their employer; not simply quantity.
    – Fe2O3
    Commented Jul 3 at 21:51
  • 1
    @Fe2O3 It really is a lot easier to get a lot more from a boss when presenting a plan. As your comment points out people forget that.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented Jul 4 at 12:55

If you left for more pay and they've begged you to return, the question is why you went back only for the old money!

I think I'd open the conversation with the owner in terms that you've found you're doing more work than you expected, and you'd like to discuss setting a proper boundary on your working hours and bringing your pay for those hours up to the market level for what is effectively a permanent overtime shift for you (so it should be the rate in your full-time job, plus something additional).

Or alternatively, you want to discuss being hired back full-time at an appropriate rate of pay, which should be no less than your current full-time position.

If you don't get either, then make your life easy and give it up!

  • Right I agree I should've asked the owner about raise when he initially called me about coming back. I still have my new full-time job, and I'm doing work at my previous company part-time. I did ask about coming back full-time (still keeping my new job) because its a 100% remote work, but because the owner is now paying the new IT guy, he's not interested. I was also on the impression that this will be a temp job while the IT guy that got sick comes back, but now the owner said he's not coming back.
    – tantony
    Commented Jul 3 at 18:28
  • 1
    @tantony, it sounds like you're not very clear in your own mind about what you want out of it.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 3 at 20:30

IMO you can ask the boss for a raise tomorrow; your former boss is exploiting your skills and experience by paying you less than a year ago due to the fact you are working fewer hours.

You are the one holding all the cards, and have the power to negotiate a new deal/contract. If your former boss rejects the raise, you simply hand in your notice and stop working for them. Make a realistic and fair request, and don't budge from that.

But I also suspect your former boss will drop you like a hot potato the moment the company finds a good replacement.

They need you not you them. You already have a full-time job.

  • Just wanted to add that this might be by accident because they're poorly organised or don't understand the lack of skills the current person has. Or it might be on purpose because they know you're helpful or they know you're cheaper than someone else. Either way it's not your fault and this is a purely business transaction, as said above if the transaction doesn't suit you (even if you don't like a task because it's boring or in a dark room) it's your choice to change the deal or refuse if it's not in the original deal. Commented Jul 4 at 14:02
  • How can paying someone the same identical rate as a year before be an accident? Especially when you know that PT employee has a FT job. It's on purpose, they didn't lie to the OP, the poster knew exactly how much they were being paid. (Posted before comment above was edited)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 4 at 14:07
  • 1
    I was focussed less on the salary and hours and more of the expansion/variety of the tasks, motivation and training element. If there's free overtime going on then that's a more general issue and I would always advise someone against doing that. Commented Jul 4 at 14:19
  • Thanks for the replies everyone. Also nothing "fishy" we did have 2 IT people originally at previous company. I was the person that setup the network, servers etc, and the other IT person was technically my boss but he had less knowledge than me as far as networking etc. He was my boss because the company is a small company and he knew people. If that makes it clear. And I did gave the other IT person all the documentations when I left, but then they moved to another building and the IT person left because he was sick.
    – tantony
    Commented Jul 5 at 12:07

My question is, how do I ask for a raise? I've asked the owner via email couple of times, but he never responds to that. He only emails when he needs my help with IT related work. IT related work he said I won't be doing.

Good grief!

It sounds like you still have a full-time job. If that's accurate, then then next time the guy emails you, don't respond by email, and don't call. When things get messy for him and you haven't responded, if he needs you, then he will call. That's when you press the issue about more money. Before he calls, you need to have a number for an rate that you will accept. If he balks at that number, then fine -- this opportunity is not for you. Be prepared to walk away.

If he's agreeable, then tell him you will send him a memorandum of understanding by email describing the new hourly rate, and that he needs to confirm it it a response. If you don't get the response, then don't show up. If your money's not right with the next paycheck, get the state employment office involved to get your last paycheck, and don't work for him any more.

Games, games, games!

You have to play the same game he's playing, and stop being so agreeable because he (and others) will take advantage of you.


I'm trying to ask for a raise as politely as possible, and I don't want to seem rude or selfish. But I think its only fair to pay someone more hourly rate especially when they agreed to come back for this crucial role.

Here is the gist of what you need to write:

"I'm sorry. There must have been some misunderstanding. I can't work for you anymore. I have more experience. I'm being paid more at my current full time job and I have more responsibilities. I'm not getting any of the normal benefits you'd normally have to pay a full time employee. I'm paying more taxes. I'm working for you during my free time, when I don't really need the work and as a personal favor to you.

So I was at least expecting a normal healthy consulting rate. I certainly wasn't expecting that I'd be bumped down to my previous hourly rate when I was a full time employee at your company more than a year ago. Right now, that deal is just not worth it for me. Please give my regards to the team."

[then you do not go in tomorrow and you stop doing any work for them]

In other words, don't frame it as a raise. You're not asking for raise. You're not even asking that they match your current hourly salary. You're asking that they pay you the rate of a consultant hired during a period of emergency transition (who already has a better full time job elsewhere, and who therefore doesn't need the extra work).

Also, don't be so quick to accept a counter-offer. Make them sweat a little. How many hours have you worked for them already? Make sure they make up for those hours also.

And please stop all that nonsense about not wanting to seem "rude or selfish". Your time is valuable. Your free time outside of work is even more valuable. And you can NOT control what they think of you. If you try to control what they think of you, or say about you, then they control you and they'll lean even more on that kind of manipulation to control you.

This is nonsense. Either they pay you extremely well, or they do not. That's all that matters. These people are not your friends. This is a market decision and nothing else. And if they're not willing to pay you what you're worth, but you still want to do extra work, I'd suggest that you look for a new client who doesn't know the previous you and who therefore wouldn't try such nonsense in the first place.

As to the problem with the other IT guy, you need to read this book:

When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith.

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