I started working for a new call center a couple months back and have moved my way into creating metrics and productivity tools for our supervisors, providing reports to our client, and overall just making easy ways to look through our metrics data to try and discover trends and work-avoidance behavior and the like.

The company already knows they pay very low wages (~20%-30% lower than national averages for almost all call center positions). I have created a niche for myself and the company wants to put me into a position where I can work full-time on developing tools and reports for our client and company.

The issue is, I'm going to be offered a $1 raise, to go from a low $10.50/h for a team lead to $11.50/h for a Workforce Analyst/Quality Analyst. It's almost insulting, but I like this place, and enjoy almost everyone and everything there except the wage.

How can I best prepare myself to go into the meeting and push for a far more acceptable wage? National averages put that position at ~$20-$25/h with the very low end of the spectrum being $15-$18/h.

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    If the company already knows they pay low wages and aren't worried about it, then your chances of getting more than your $1 is pretty slim.
    – Jane S
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 10:15
  • How does their pay compare to similar jobs in your area? Is your area simply cheaper than the national average?
    – mikeazo
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 11:54
  • One thing you need is a concrete asking price. Summarize your research about national averages and so on into a single concrete value X that you want. If they offer you something lower than X, you say "If you could offer me X, then I could certainly accept this position."
    – Brandin
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 12:15
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    The situation seems fairly straight forward: Make a counteroffer, but be prepared to reject the promotion (and leave the company) if it is not accepted by the employer. More specifically, based on market rates, come up with a fair hourly rate that you would be comfortable accepting, e.g. $(15+18)/2=$16.50, avg of low-end estimates. Explain the value you deliver for the $. If the employer rejects your fair counter-offer, you need to be ready to reject their promotion offer. If this happens, start looking for other opportunities as they will be aware that you are not content and may leave.
    – A.S
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 12:35
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    Look at this as a career building exercise: If you don't have the qualifications to get hired straight into the higher level position at another company, you should take the promotion. After you have a bit of experience in the new role, find a new employer (for a nice pay hike) and leave.
    – James Adam
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 15:51

7 Answers 7


How can I best prepare myself to go into the meeting and push for a far more acceptable wage?

If the company has a culture of paying very low wages, and you don't see any exceptions occurring already, and you somehow know that you will be offered a $1 raise, then it's unlikely you can just go into a meeting with facts and figures and expect them to change their minds. They already know any facts you can bring to the table.

However, if you go in with an offer from another company, it's possible (although still very unlikely) that they will make an exception in your case, and put you in a job that will give you more money.

Look around. Find some other companies that would hire someone like you with your background, education and experience at the rate you desire. Apply, and get at least one offer. Then bring those offers to your meeting.

Explain the additional value you bring to the company, how it benefits them, and why you are worth what you are asking.

Explain to you boss that you would like to stay if they can match the other offer(s), but be prepared to leave. It's still very unlikely that a company with the pay scale that you indicate will keep you around at 50-100% more than they wanted to pay. But you'll only know by trying and by having the ability to decline their offer and leave as your leverage.

  • One might add: if you have a company that pays this voluntarily and your's needs convincing, ... think not of this raise, but also those to come.
    – guest
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 22:29
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    "Find some other companies that would hire someone like you with your background, education and experience at the rate you desire. Apply" -- and take the new job! Even if you get a counteroffer, it's rarely a good idea to take it: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/54748/… Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 0:17

As the company is already aware of the fact that they are paying low wages, the hike seems improbable to me.

Th current salary structure might be a part of the company's policies and structure, so they might not want to part/alter with it.

However, if you have counter-offers with a better salary package, then you can show them and ask for a hike, as you love the current place and a slight hike would do the job.

Tell them:

I am currently having x job offers, with a salary package of $____. However, I love this place and culture, so I would very much like to consider my promotion and future at this place, in light of a better salary package (< Expected salary >).

If you don't have offers in hand, then it isn't really easy convincing a company which have already accepted and adopted the current practices and policies.

  • 2
    Did the poster mention other offers? This is risky if there aren't any, the poster risks being told to take the (non-existent) higher offer. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 10:52
  • @TheWanderingDevManager I have added the word if in the answer. Please read the answer. I haven't in any way ask the OP to show a non-existent higher offer.
    – Dawny33
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 10:55
  • 2
    I did read your answer but my point is the first thing someone sees is the quote starting "I am currently having x offers" as it's in a tasteful colour which draws the eyes, so easy for someone to think "I need to bluff them on my alternatives", which is risky. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 11:02
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    At a position of 10 dollars an hour, I would expect them to know there is a high turn over rate. I would think in such a position, one doesn't have much wiggle room and bluffing with a non-existing offer is very dangerous as most of these places know they can hire someone else quickly who would be willing to take the lower offer.
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 16:01
  • In my experience, when you are dealing with this type of "wheeler and dealer" type of employee, when you try a power play to take the leverage and threaten to leave, they call your bluff. Immediately. And if you don't take "your other offer" you never get another penny out of them. I would NOT recommend this approach unless you are really have and are ready to accept these 'other offers', or if you never want a raise from this company again. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 16:16

The pay is dependent upon your area as oppose to what the national average is. Sure it may be lower but other factors such as tax, cost of living, similar companies, etc, etc play into your rate. Just because one area pays $25 an hour for a similar position it may in fact be lesser than your position once you factor in tax and cost of living in that particular area.

Now as far as your position goes, I would say it doesn't hurt to ask for more raise. I wouldn't bring up what other companies are doing as that may backfire on you. Instead I would say that you feel you deserve X amount an hour. The worst thing they'll say is no.

  • I would feel like comparing what the company currently does, as part of the justification, in addition to the value I am bringing to the table. For all the positions I know of they pay on average 70% of the national and regional averages (regional averages are very close if not exactly on point with national averages). I am programming tools from scratch and providing complex reports and data analysis for a large client. While I enjoy doing this, I also would expect my value to be more than $1/h. I honestly don't believe they would offer that wage to an external applicant for the position. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 19:04

Basically you need to quantify the additional benefit you are bringing and offer a sensible counter offer. Work out in time/money what your metrics and tools have already benefited (and will benefit) the employer along with the industry stats on pay you have to show what is fair. Use that to show that given you are saving/earning them an extra x per year, a bump to y (which is what you could get elsewhere) would keep you happy, especially as you enjoy your job and position.

If you do that and they don't bite, you need to then decide your next move, but you need to weigh up how far you are willing to push it.

  • Thanks for the comment! My tools can save our reps as a whole ~70 hours a month. Another tool already saves supervisors ~20 hours a month each (After all the new ones are hired, that will equate to 100 hours/month saved). It also saves our program manager at least 30+ hours/month of his own time (He was pulling 16 hour shifts 7 days a week to get done what I've been automating). In addition to the time saved, it also fulfills requirements of our client that would otherwise go unfilled. Thanks for the suggestion, I will bring this sort of information in with me. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 19:08
  • Wow, 16 hour shifts 7 days a week. Your company doesn't only pay poorly, it also mistreat it's staff. This really sounds like a bad company that lives off taking advantage of people.. You saving them time will probably mean people will be fired, and the remaining people still have to pull those shifts, all the while increasing the companies profit. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 19:49

Salary mentality at a given company is something that comes with the territory. You cannot change it. For example, imagine they acceded to all your demands and paid you $25 per hour. What would happen when other people in the company at the same level found out you were making more than double their wage? It's just a hypothetical question, but the executives at your company will have thoughts like these at the forefront of their mind.

What a given employer offers in terms of salary depends on all kinds of factors, many of which you may have no knowledge of. Maybe the company has a huge, secret debt, or the CEO has a gambling habit; you have no way of knowing what considerations go into salary decisions. Without that knowledge it is difficult to bargain effectively outside of the company norms.

When you accept a company, you are implicitly accepting their pay scales. If you want to get paid more your main option is to work for a different company.


This looks like a hard line company, you're not going to get more than they offer you. You have created a niche, but it's not an indispensable one. If you want to continue working there then bite the bullet and put it down to experience, you might be able to negotiate a little bit, but not from 11.50 to 15 - 18.

If the money is more important than be prepared to leave and give them a minimum you will accept. If they try and steamroll you which they probably wil, then leave.

It's really down to whether you can afford to give them an ultimatum or not, because call centres have very high turnover, it's something they already factor in to their equations.

If it was me I'd have been looking for a new job a long time ago.


Here is what you do. You nickle and dime them.

In the interview/meeting where you get your promotion, get your dollar. Make it very clear that you are looking to hit the 18 dollar an hour mark as soon as possible, but that you are reasonable and are more than willing to demonstrate you are worth it before you get there. Continue to do your job, impress them, and offer value.

Every 3 months, you force a review, and you push for another raise.

I have worked for multiple small companies that feel the need to low-ball their workers, and that is how I have always gotten up to at least lower end average. Be valuable. Force them to tell you that you are valuable. Force them to see that they are low-balling you, and get another nickle. Rinse. Repeat.

  • 1
    "Every 3 months, you force a review, and you push for another raise" - Have you ever dealt with the call center industry? High pressure, high turnover of staff, tough management. Trying to force anything will just result in you being shown the door. You need to show them how your loyalty positively affects their bottom line, that drives every decision. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 17:25
  • I have, and my experience tells me that a shyster does their best business with another shyster. But if you think working harder for free is going to be a more successful tactic with shysters, good luck to you. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 17:54

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