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I have been in my current role for two years without a pay rise. In my reviews I score highly. I am told I am valued and am kept given more responsibility. I keep getting push back regarding a salary review. This is blamed on different reasons (this is not just me but the whole team).

I have been offered another job. Where initial I will be slightly more 5% but within a year when I complete my training I will be on up to 25% more than what I am now.

There are downsides with taking the role. More travel time to work. Higher travel costs to work and fewer vacation days and less employer benefits.

My ideal situation would be:

Keep current job with a pay rise.

However to achieve this I need to decide how to play my hand:

  1. Do I hand in my resignation. See if my company wants to pay to keep me on.
  2. Mention that I have a job offer without resigning and see what they do.
  3. Do nothing and see if I get a pay rise in the future.

I know if I do 1 or 2 I need to be prepared to leave my role.

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    From personal experience in a very similar situation, option 3 is a very bad choice. You may get "peanuts" somewhere down the line, but you will lose a lot of potential income. – Juha Untinen Nov 5 '14 at 11:08
  • Is the job offer in writing? – mhoran_psprep Nov 5 '14 at 11:11
  • @mhoran_psprep I should have it in the next day or so. I won't do anything until I have the contract in my hand. – Jimmy Nov 5 '14 at 11:24
  • This new position doesn't sound good at all. Initially you will be much worse off, then if you get the 25% pay increase you will be about back to even. Don't understimate the cost and pain of a long commute. Figure $1.00/mile for your time plus car expense. Commuting an extra 20 miles each way costs you about $400/month in mileage plus another $400/month in lost leisure. – kevin cline Nov 5 '14 at 16:21
  • @kevincline at 25% we are looking at ~ £12,000 / $19,000 – Jimmy Nov 5 '14 at 16:34
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My ideal situation would be:

Keep current job with a pay rise.

However to achieve this I need to decide how to play my hand:

Do I hand in my resignation. See if my company wants to pay to keep me on. Mention that I have a job offer without resigning and see what they do. Do nothing and see if I get a pay rise in the future.

First, don't do anything until you get a written offer and everything else you need to feel confident that your new job is yours for the taking.

Then, determine how long you have to make your choice. (If you need to give an immediate answer, then the question is moot. Make your choice and don't look back.)

Assuming you have at least a few days, and assuming your relationship with your manager is reasonably good, then ask for a few minutes with your boss privately.

Tell your boss that you have a good offer for more money from another company. Indicate that your preference is to stay, but that you really need the raise.

Then listen.

There are several possible outcomes:

  • Since you have already talked about a raise in the past and been rejected for "whole team" reasons, the most likely outcome is that you will just be asked to serve out your notice period, and then will leave
  • It's possible that you will be given a raise now that you have demonstrated that you are ready to leave without one
  • It's possible that you will be asked to stay, but not promised an immediate raise
  • It's possible (although unlikely) that you will be asked to leave immediately

Be sure you know in your own mind how you will respond to each scenario, since you likely won't have much time to make your decision.

As a long-time manager, I seldom make counter-offers in this situation. My experience tells me that someone motivated enough to go out and find a new job is unlikely to stay long just because I throw more money at her/him. There are always a bunch of reasons people seek jobs elsewhere - giving them a raise isn't likely to change any of those reasons for very long.

You yourself indicated that the no-raise situation has been happening for 2 years, and that the whole team has been affected. If I had to guess, even if you were given a bit more, it seems most likely that you would again feel the need for a raise after a short while and will be right back where you are now.

  • If you are in an industry where your staff are easily replacable and the job of managers is just to keep costs down then never counter-offering makes sense. Otherwise losing the team a member at a time and paying 30-100% of annual salary to recruit and train replacements every few years can get expensive – NobodySpecial Nov 5 '14 at 13:45
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    In many companies any conversation about a raise with a manager is risky. If I had a mortgage and kids I wouldn't put myself in the firing line without a backup offer in my pocket. The real danger is you get a raise then go on a manager's danger list and will be let go as soon as possible anyway. It does seem crazy that the only way to get a double digit % rise is to just quit and then get re-hired later. – NobodySpecial Nov 5 '14 at 13:52
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Let me warn you of the cautions of using a job offer from company B to leverage a raise out of your current company.

If you do this - there could be blow back and the company could get the impression that as soon as a better offer comes or more money is thrown your way you'll bail. Is that the case? Probably not. But some people get antsy and worry.

Also, even if a counter-offer is made by company A, it may not be what you were offered by company B. Furthermore when/if reviews/raises come out next cycle don't be shocked to find out that the counter-offer basically negates any raise you would have received.

The short version - if the only time the company values you is when you're looking to leave, then it's probably time to leave

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This is a partial answer (too long to put in a comment).

To help you make clear what the 'right decision' is you should use the method of weighted averages method of decision making to help you decide (Check here for a very good practical example).
(This technique is often abbreviated as WAR (weighted averaging rating) or OWA (ordered weighted averaging), and also named multiple attribute decision making so you should Google all 4 terms for more information)

The factors that you should weigh are: pay, travel time, travel costs, vacation days, growth opportunities, etc.

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