I was chosen to do a graphic design internship for 3 months without the possibility of being kept permanent. I admit, when i started, it took me some time to get used to things but by the third month, everything was already second nature to me.

I was started at 10$ an hour and was grateful that i was getting a paid internship. They then decided to keep me full time and right then and there, i asked them if there was going to be some type of pay raise, since the other designers were getting at least 16$ an hour, with one of the designers going the same path i did (school, first job out of school, minus the internship).

I was denied a raise and was and was told i wasnt eligible for a raise because they usually do that during their yearly reviews. But i was given full time benefits. Which means they will be taking more out of my check and i will be receiving even less money for the work that i am doing. For a place that solely depends on their Graphic Designers to prep artwork for the customers and also the company, i feel like I am getting low balled or being treated unfairly compared to the other designers. I may not be as skilled as they are but i still believe i should get paid more especially if i went to school for this skill.

Ive just been growing more and more frustrated because they continue to hire new people and make renovations around the company but still leave us in the dark about our wages. It took the, 2 weeks to finally reply back about my pay after i had asked again.

Just not sure what to do anymore. I feel like I've lost my passion to work because of it. Dont get me wrong, I'm grateful. I just feel like i should be more appreciated. Or maybe them not raising my pay is an indication on how much value i bring to this company, which makes me replaceable.

What should i do?

closed as off-topic by gnat, user9158, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings, yochannah Mar 4 '15 at 10:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here." – gnat, Community, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings, yochannah
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  • 1
    It does not make sense that this was an internship but you are not going back to school. – paparazzo Feb 25 '15 at 19:21
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    Why aren't you looking for another job in the mean time? – user8365 Feb 25 '15 at 19:21
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    @Blam: Why not? A lot of internships happen in the final year/semester of schools with students following on upon completion of a degree or even the internship requirement of their program. – Joel Etherton Feb 25 '15 at 19:26
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    Any time a job classification is changed, there is a legitimate chance to reset the pay. That being said, you didn't do that, or assert that, so I think your window is closed. I, personally, would not have tolerated it. You have to make your own decisions. – Wesley Long Feb 25 '15 at 19:29
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    @JoelEtherton I have never seen an internship as the last requirement of a degree. – paparazzo Feb 25 '15 at 19:31

There are some things you're kind of missing I think in the whole situation. First, the fact that you have full benefits is a huge value. I'm sure you're young, so you don't see these benefits as being any value because you likely rarely avail yourself of them. I know when I was in my 20's I had full medical, but since I was never sick, only very rarely injured, and you couldn't drag me to a hospital it was almost like wasted money. It has tremendous VALUE though. So while you get "less money" in your paycheck you are getting more value. Value is a relative term though and it's possible you'd rather just have the money.

Second thing you're missing is the rate of pay disparity. Whether it's $10/hr or $16/hr you're replaceable. It doesn't matter what value you bring to the company. They've got you at $10/hr, so why should they bother giving you a raise? If you leave, they'll get another intern. If you don't leave, they've got cheaper than $16/hr labor. It's win/win for them. The only way you can really get a raise is to justify your value on paper and also to justify the cost of replacing you is less than the cost of giving you a raise. It probably isn't, and they probably know this.

In the long run, you'll probably discover that your skills are in a certain level of demand, and the company you work for is only willing to value those skills at a certain rate. To change that it's likely you'll have to move on to the next company that puts a higher value on your skills.

Last thought: Don't waste this opportunity to learn how to negotiate for yourself. This is a very important skill that will be useful throughout your career no matter what your field is. Learn how to "commoditize" the value of your skills. Also learn how to put into monetary terms the cost of replacing you (finding, training, negotiating, time lost, etc). You may or may not be successful in obtaining the raise you seek, but the experience of negotiation is irreplaceable.

  • 3
    "Don't waste this opportunity to learn how to negotiate for yourself." - Wish I could +2 for that, alone. – Wesley Long Feb 25 '15 at 19:44
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    And start looking for another job. You will probably always be behind the curve salary-wise there. – Voxwoman Feb 25 '15 at 20:59
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    Getting angry and frustrated isn't going to help anything. For that matter, don't bother with feeling grateful either. This is a business relationship, treat it as one. Try to find a new job with better pay. If you can't then presumably you are being paid more or less the market rate for your skills. If you can, then you now have a job with better pay. – HamHamJ Feb 25 '15 at 21:26
  • +1 for "he fact that you have full benefits is a huge value." OP's total compensation may have actually gone up with that, even though he has less pocket change. – cdkMoose Feb 26 '15 at 18:21

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