The company I work for supports large corporate clients, and a constant influx of new work is always expected. They are not a startup and have been in business for 15 years. We have six employees including myself. The owner of the company has completely removed themself, calls occasionally but never visits and lives out of state. I was basically hired as a glorified secretary but my position has slowly morphed over time and I am really starting to feel incredibly resentful. I feel like as much as I try I will never be seen as more than a peon. Aside from that I really enjoy my coworkers and they are almost always cordial and level-headed to my face.

I was hired to monitor their online project management system, assist with data entry, and content entry for websites, as well as extremely mild coding, and customer service. It has slowly but surely become much more.

One of our largest clients manages their data extremely ineffectively because their marketing manager handles it and doesn't frankly understand much of anything about it. This person seems to be constantly worried about losing their job and spends most of their time obstructing us from working directly with anyone else. Because of this almost none of their product fitment sheets are standardized, accurate or translate in a way that makes sense by region. I spent almost four weeks+ learning to navigate my companies extremely complex multi-tier system that holds that data, as well as trying to decipher the non standardized, confusing format of the sheets all without even being able to speak to the person who created them because the marketing manager was standing in the way. Not to mention almost everything in the system was incorrect, and I fixed it all. There were tens of thousands of fitments and thousands of fitment groups. I spent days upon days organizing and researching the correct fitments. I was happy when I did it and I felt like it was a good opportunity to prove that I was competent and passionate about my position. I was given a one dollar raise about three months after the project was complete. I went from 12 to 13 dollars an hour.

Almost everyone at my company is more technically inclined. While I do throughly enjoy these things, investigating them and learning to understand them from my outside perspective.....I am much more of a creative person and Art and Design are my passion. My company used to design things but they have held on to a really outdated aesthetic and they love to wave that flag whenever third party firms take over that responsibility. They don't seem to value design work, they gawk at it, they naysay it and yet they never seem to have any valuable insight on how anything could possibly look better. They cannot just admit they aren't good at it, and other companies who are have pushed them out. All of the design work they used to handle has been outsourced by their clients to trendier and frankly better design companies while they have been left to handle data and programming responsibilities.

Their own personal website is terrible, and considering that's the business they're in it looks really bad. Attracting new business will be hard for them in the future if they don't update it. The owner wanted a new website. They asked me if I would do it and I said that I would thinking that It would be another opportunity for me to earn a better raise. I took on the project knowing very little about photoshop, which I have learned very well. I have a good design sense and spent much time researching and thinking about the best way to reach their niche market in a relevant and modern way. Not to mention NO ONE GAVE ME ANY DIRECTION OR FEEDBACK WHATSOEVER (aside from telling me to keep an outdated logo). I came up with something that the owner could not stop raving about, and loved. The whole thing was under the guise that if they didn't like it they would not use it, and I was aware and fine with that. The content on their current site was clearly half cared about, so I had to redo all of the copy and determine the best way to integrate what I could salvage as well as come up with new and interesting concepts to feature. I did all of this hoping they would give me a raise after the design was complete if they decided to use it.

I completed the seven page design two months ago, and am now working tirelessly to reach their deadline for an important industry trade show when one of my coworkers says that one of our clients trendy third party design outlets quoted our company 30K to redesign their site, and said "How could it cost that much for a picture?" I calculated it and they have paid me about 4 over the course of six months for the project. I am just really angry and frankly overall it just hurts my feelings, because I do really care. I don't expect to get 30K but I expect to be appreciated and somewhat compensated seeing as they know they saved a lot of money using me.

Thankfully I dodged another one when they asked me if I would do an entire content translation as they know that I am bilingual. They frankly just treat me like an imbecile in a passive non confrontational way but somehow at the same time they seem like nice and perceptive people. I just don't know what to do and I'm angry. I just don't know how they're comfortable knowing what I did is worth and continuing to deny consideration of another raise on their own. I don't know how they think that is acceptable.

Pardon any mistakes, I don't have the patience at the moment.

I want to ask for a raise but I don't know what is appropriate or how to ask, I also really just feel like I shouldn't have to ask and it's making me not want to be there. Posting on my boyfriends account, so other questions are not mine.


By all means ask for the raise if you feel you deserve it. They can only say no, which will underline how much they value your contributions. Point out that you are now more knowledgeable in several fields and are more of an asset than you were before you learnt photoshop and everything else that goes into creating a site.

At the end of the day, don't expect too much though, making and updating a website on company time while being paid is a fairly minor duty, you can't expect the sort of money an outside company would charge. You need to show how those skills translate into an ongoing asset for the company.

I'm unsure if $13 an hour is a good sum for what you do in your country, but if you don't ask, you won't get anything if you're being treated as a peon. And even if you get disappointed, you will learn something. Your workmates are nice people and friendly enough, but you work for money and job satisfaction. You'd get a lot more of both with a raise, so ASK for one.

How much to ask for I can't tell you, my advice would be to find out a rough estimate of what people in similar positions make and ask for at least median of that. How to ask really depends on where you think it's most likely to be met positively. Your manager is the first obvious candidate, but if you have a good relationship with the boss you can possibly ask him/her direct. A lot depends on your confidence levels which you would be the best judge of.

With the translation project, translators are paid by volume and it's quite lucrative, but again, unless you're a qualified linguist or translator you can't expect to charge top dollar. I have done translations for employers and charged them as a one off fee, rather than a raise, because it's not an ongoing thing. But each time it was a nice chunk of pocket money and I didn't do it on company time. I calculated the charge the easy way, I looked up what the normal translation rates were and cut them in half since it was just one off jobs.

I dodged doing them on company time because I had other duties to perform, but in retrospect I think if they had allocated my duties elsewhere and allowed me to focus on translation I would have done it. I wouldn't have made what it's worth, but thats what happens when you're on company time. In my current work I get the same hourly rate whether they want me washing dishes, soldering capacitors onto a motherboard, or troubleshooting a GPS system on an aeroplane.


The best time to ask for raises would be during reviews. However if you plan to go there before hand be sure to bring a list of things you feel you done for the company. I recommend leaving personal feelings about the product aside and concentrate on exactly what you did for the company and why you feel you deserve a raise.


Yes, ask for a raise. It's a well documented phenomenon that women are much less likely to ask for raises it negotiate pay, which is part of the reason for their making less on men on average in a equivalent position. http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133599768/ask-for-a-raise-most-women-hesitate.

One technique I suggest for making it easier is to keep records of your accomplishments at work, or at least make a list before your discussion about a raise of your accomplishments. Show how you're regularly doing tasks much beyond your job description. Look up what the rate is for positions that are closer matched to the skills you use. In other words, come prepared with some convincing arguments, and don't be afraid to promote yourself.

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