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This question already has an answer here:

My background

  • UK 1st class computing degree
  • 3+ years working in software dev since graduation
  • 1+ year Android dev (unofficially; as it's not my contractual role)
  • Hobby android dev experience (one app on Play store; 2k+ downloads)
  • 4+ years (fragmented) experience with my current employer
  • 29 years old
  • currently paid £22,300 PA, permanent contract

Context:

18 months ago I moved back to my home town, and contacted my old manager to see if there were any jobs going. There was nothing available that fully utilised my skill set, the closest job was Test engineer (hardware and software tester for an upcoming product release), which I accepted for 22k PA.

Long story short, the product suffered a major delay, resulting in a lot of 'free time', so I used the spare time to do R&D in Android development; I already do some programming in Android as a hobby so I was curious if I could interface with our products through the android platform.

This R&D has resulted in myself producing a driver and a software package to use our products on the Android platform. I showed it off to my manager and sales, and they liked it; so much that my role as shifted into 100% Android development - I have been doing this for about a year now. 6 months ago, I was also given a company apprentice to help in my development, who I am responsible for managing.

My efforts reached a pinnacle recently, where I went to a major trade show in Paris to demonstrate what I have produced to our costumers, which was received really well. This also garnered me a lot of internal notoriety as senior management were able to see my software in action for the first time.

Post trade show, I've been attending meeting where sales are developing their strategies to refine and sell what I have produced, so it's all starting to kick off.

Getting to the point:

Basically I want more money! When I initially took the testing role for 22k I knew I was getting underpaid, but I took it anyway as it meant I could conveniently stay in my home town and rework at a company that I like. But now my role has completely changed.

I love where I work, and what I do, but I'm getting old and want to be able to afford a mortgage etc which is not possible with my current annual take-home.

Other motivators are that I know graduates fresh out of uni who earn more than I currently do. I see my friends, some of which don't have degrees, earn more than me. Heck, I have a friend who didn't even go to college who got a job handling PPI calls for Barclays who earns the same as me. I really feel like I'm getting left behind, and damaging my future by not acting.

As you can probably tell, I get a bit clouded by emotion when I think about my situation! Which is why I'm here, I need some straight practical advice and opinions.

Questions:

So, how should I approach this? I guess I'm not asking for a raise; it's more of a promotion, so I'm officially recognised as an Android developer, and paid accordingly.

Who should I talk to, to initiate this? My line manager, or go straight to the department manager? ( I have zero experience asking for something like this! little nervous, but definitely feel confident enough to stand my ground).

Given the context, my qualifications, experience, and proprietary domain knowledge, how much do you think I should be asking for? Personally I feel somewhere between 30-32k, does that sound realistic? Should I be more / less ambitious?

I'm also very interested in your thoughts of the situation!

Apologies for being so wordy! This has been on my mind for a long time :3

marked as duplicate by Jim G., yochannah, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Michael Grubey, Kate Gregory Nov 29 '14 at 19:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • You're going to really struggle to convince them to jump you from 22 to 32k in one hop, it's a massive raise. In your situation, I'd be asking for 28k and expecting 25k really. Yes, you'd probably get more if you switched jobs, but that's usually the case in the UK job market. Research similar positions that you could apply for and use this to guide how much you ask for too. – Fiona - myaccessible.website Nov 17 '14 at 15:53
  • @FionaTaylorGorringe: I really don't understand your comment. The OP has a specific skillset they are using and (hopefully) (s)he has a good work history with this company. The amount of jump doesn't matter. What matters is the amount the company feels his/her contribution is worth to them. – NotMe Nov 17 '14 at 22:57
  • @ChrisLively Ideally yes, but that may not be how the company sees it. The best thing to do is ask – Fiona - myaccessible.website Nov 18 '14 at 9:08
  • You are definitely underpaid! I don't know where you live, but in London you can easily get £35k with a couple year experience. Unfortunately here jumping ship pays much more than being loyal. Employers actually see it as a negative note if you work too long for the same company: they regard it as being "lazy". – algiogia Jun 22 '15 at 15:15
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Who should I talk to, to initiate this? my line manager, or go straight to the department manager?

You should definitely talk to your line manager first. Going over his head may piss him/her off for no reason (unless your relationship with your line manager is bad - which you haven't mentioned so I won't discuss in more details than that it would be a difficult situation requiring extra care from your part).

You need not be very nervous about this, I am pretty sure your manager - if he is worth his pay - has already considered this and may even have an answer ready for you.

Given the context, my qualifications , and experience, and proprietary domain knowledge, how much do you think I should be asking for?

I can only give my general thoughts on this, not being familiar with salaries over there. I think you can look at this as applying for a new job (with the advantage that they already know and almost surely want you). Most advice regarding salary negotiation states that you should let the other party make the first proposition, then you can bargain for some more.

So I suggest you focus on asking for official recognition of your results in the form of a new role / job description, including the appropriate salary. If your manager agrees to promote you into a (senior) developer role, you can just calmly wait until he starts talking about the new job grade or salary range. If he wants you to give an amount first, you can politely answer that he knows the company job grades much better, and he can judge well how useful you are (and going to be) to the company. You can say that you are feeling underpaid and under-recognized for what you have so far put on the table, and you would like fair treatment in this respect as the basis for a mutually benefitial long term relationship. Then sit back and listen calmly to his response, and move based on that.

Other motivators are that I know graduates fresh out of uni who earn more than I currently do. and I see my friends, some of which don't have degrees, earn more than me, heck I got a friend who didn't even go to college who got a job handling PPI calls for Barclays who earns the same as me, I really feel like I'm getting left behind, and damaging my future by not acting.

I understand your frustration about this, and I would just like to note that you need to be careful with such feelings. First of all, unless they are close friends whom you fully trust, you may need to take their claims with a pinch of salt; some people like to boast their own social status and importance. Moreover, you can't say you want more money because your friends earn more than you; you can only make your point based on your actual achievements and future prospects (which based on your story sound very convincing so you should not have much worries here anyway).

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    tyvm, I approached my line manager today and got the process started; I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind going forward, thanks again for taking the time to respond; it helped me regain focus. – user2710669 Nov 17 '14 at 18:06

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