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I am an IT Consultant, and have only been one for about 6 months. We get contracted to different clients, where the client pays a daily rate for us. More experienced, senior consultants cost more. My consultant rank is the lowest as I am new.

I was having a one-to-one chat with a client of mine recently; they mentioned, whilst referring to me, that it was great that the company sent a more senior member. Now, this is fine, it was a nice compliment, but it revealed to me that I am actually being contracted as a consultant of a higher rank, i.e: they pay more for me. This is not an assumption: my client actually admitted this.

When the time comes and I feel confident to ask for a promotion (i.e: higher rank and higher salary), can I mention this? Or do I ask for a promotion now since they clearly regard me as someone who is on that level?

It feels uncomfortable bringing this up as I am obviously not supposed to know this kind of information.

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It's not important what they are charging for your services and bringing that up would not likely result in a raise.

What could help however is that the client obviously thinks you are performing at the senior level. So you could bring up that the client said they were happy with your performance and that they felt as if they were getting senior level performance from you.

Of course a written note from the client on how happy they are with your performance will go farther than an anecdote about a conversation you had. I always pass anything positive my client says in writing on to my boss, so when it is raise time (and keep them in a separate email folder), he can see what good things the client sees in my performance. It is nice to be able to point out in your self appraisal that you have gotten X number of pieces of written positive feedback from your client(s).

  • That is a really good advice. +1 – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Sep 16 '16 at 17:23
  • I agree. Duties vs dollars, PERCEIVED value by the client vs actual rate. 100% agree. – Chris E Sep 16 '16 at 17:35
  • I agree with you but I have a question. Ignoring what they charge for me, they are still "advertising" me as a more senior consultant which means they must think I am at that sort of level. Is that still not something to keep in mind and somehow touch on with them? – turnip Sep 16 '16 at 17:53
  • @SomeGuy the fact that they "sell you" as senior while you are not seems like good marketing from your company's behalf. Now your job is to use this good review in your own negotiation. – Mr Me Sep 19 '16 at 13:55
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You can mention it, but it's not going to get you anywhere with your current employer. A lot of this stuff has to do with the company creating, as Christopher Estep pointed out in the comments, a perceived value.

Actually, all the stuff you heard about senior vs junior consultants costing the client more could be totally fabricated. The actual facts, well, could be sort of skimpy. I don't know exactly how much the client told you, and if it was a result of you saying you weren't a senior member. Some firms will play a "game" with both the client and the consultants they send out. A little misinformation goes a long way.

Your best bet at this point, because you are new and have no leverage, is to ignore this little fact until you DO have some leverage. Leverage means you have become a key player in some way and are not easily disposable. Without that, attempting to do a money-grab might be a really foolish choice for you.

  • Yes, I worked in a company where everyone from the highly skilled server guys to unqualified guys doing cabling were 'senior engineers', it's about how much they can charge the customer. – Kilisi Sep 17 '16 at 1:25

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