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In the company I'm currently employed, there's a 5-degree career plan, with very distinct functions.

Step 2 (Programmer) is supposed to do the programming per se. Analysts and higher (Steps 3, 4 and 5) define what must be done, programmers decide how (technically) and execute it.

I'm no longer doing any development. I'm currently meeting with clients, documenting things and forwarding the development to a team of programmers. This is not something I decided to do, those are the orders I got from management. I also have to do lots of reports, including team reviews.

Here's the catch: the company does not allow a promotion to analyst without a bachelors degree, which I don't have (yet! I'm working on it, but will take at least another 1.5 years to complete). I feel this is a little too convenient - I can do the work, but can't get paid accordingly.

I'm going through some financial distress and I'd like to ask them to make an exception for my case. What they are doing is actually illegal where I live. I don't want to threaten with a lawsuit (obviously - I don't have any intention of doing anything about it), nor do I want to sound like I'll stop doing what I'm being told to do if I don't get promoted (even though this is what I'd like to do).

How should I proceed without sounding like I'm entitled or just plain lazy and without risking losing my job?

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    Do you want to be sure you are still employed there after you get your degree? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 5 '14 at 20:54
  • Yes, definitely! – Pedro Cordeiro Mar 5 '14 at 21:16
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    @joe, in Brazil there are two things called "attribute deviation" and "wage parity". The first one happens when an employer hires someone to do a subpaid work, but in reality ends up making him do what was supposed to be a higher paid job. The second one demands all employees with the same attributions get paid the same (regardless of titles, as long as they were hired within a 2-year time frame). Wife's a lawyer. – Pedro Cordeiro Mar 5 '14 at 23:16
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    @PedroCordeiro - I am not familiar with Brazilian law, but since they stipulate a degree for your level of work, your legal grounds may not be as strong as you believe. – Vector Mar 6 '14 at 0:39
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    @ComeAndGo, you'd be right if my profession was regulamented (like doctors, engineers, etc). Since it's not, the law says if I can't have the job (because I don't have a degree), I can't do the job either. If I'm already doing the job, I should be paid accordingly. – Pedro Cordeiro Mar 6 '14 at 10:57
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Perhaps explain that you are experiencing financial hardship, and since you are doing the work of an analyst and working on the degree, maybe they can make an exception and pay you as an analyst for a stipulated period of time - for example until you can negotiate your financial difficulties (six months or a years, etc) or a reasonable amount of time for you to finish your degree and acquire the official Analyst title, so you can be duly compensated without a special exception.

Do not ask for a "blanket exception", one that relinquishes you from all responsibility - IMO that doesn't smell right.

Also make sure that you are indeed doing the work that demands higher pay, and that you aren't dealing with a perception problem: Doing more than you think you are. You can probably verify this by talking to co-workers, etc.

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