Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

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Stahlmann
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Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Stahlmann » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:59 am

Hello,

I just plant the seed, will contribute more later. [hypomania kicked in, so I'm writing now... ARGH]

So... data points:
1) Salaries rankings are prepared by capitalists... so they have lowered expected values.

2) I just learned recently that playing "I wanna 5k USD, because I'm cool" will backfire, because HR discards, when candidate is over the budget. I was used to playing a fool..

3) Egg heads (economists, people from TV) are saying there is employee market in my country... Mean time average/median compared year to year rose by 20-30 PLN. So much win! So much oat meals!

4) My boss said that he is providing "The company academy", because knowledge of graduates is being dumped down... He says this is not case in other countries... He said "Who knows... [laughter]" [There are folks from more eastern countries atm]. How about on system level where he competes with other capitalists who have the same idea to take people from less developed countries... So smart... (1)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_wages

Yep, I read Mises/Stossel explanation that this is good for consumers... but for example check German Economy Minister comment on the fact that part of major automotive company was bought by Chinese folks... (really not major part, but like some percentage, but it allows them to have access to changing company or having votes in board. I personally don't get this magic, the same with The Gods taking over companies on Wall Street with 3-5% stake, like David Icahn [ I hope this the way to spell his name ]).


1 In the mean time he believes in Filipak s law - every task can be completed by finite numbers of graduates. This is a bit painful as... nowadays every company advertises as 'work in young dynamic team and face paced job'. I wouldn't mind working with 'stable, slow-paced, experienced team'. If you know how to spot such company, let me now.


Pause after socialist rant.


In my country they use management books from USA dated on 1990-2000. In these books is written, that year to year increase should be around inflation (so 3-4%). They believe in the same that this will be ' more rational ' to hire new person and offer 1,2X pay of last employee, and of course pay for his deployment. In the mean time, laid off employee finished on 1,06X wage (1,03 multiplied by 1,03). X is yearly salary for people with Y years of experience, Z skills. [So much rationality in human behaviour!] This brings us to next point...

So employees found the way to slave 2-3 years and then change the company. The situation of graduate can be different, because he knows nothing (on average). Those who change too often are called 'jumpers' and can be discarded. In EU some countries have different work culture, so they allow 'jumpers' (but you need knowledge to be able jump effectively) and it would be good to know language of the country you plan to work (it's not like in USA; 52 states with almost same language).

Of course, I'm not on the best curve (high X in absolute monetary term) so even 3% is a bit laughable. But better than nothing.

No mega corps here, so option to "stay in one and create the success for better future blah blah" isn't viable. Also I'm introverted. Found the guy from the same yearbook who played it (probably) pretty well... 3 Big Names Corps in last 3-4 years.

I think I will be talk over as introvert by my boss. This time I will have sheet of paper with what I accomplished.

I sit by older folks in work. The Biggest Boss said there could be raise by 200 PLN for folks with less than 1 year of experience. Well, it's an option... So I can end with the same salary as now -.-". I want to have at least 3k PLN to my hand. Now I have 2,5k PLN. Can anyone recommend me ladder in way I can negotiate salary? Of course, I'll be happy to have 2,7k PLN compared to current 2,5k PLN. Being in the zone where extreme cheap is the only option, really sucks. It even sucks more, because I from smart background, like from HS, where folks are clearing 5-7k PLN... I'm envy motherfucker and this part of life with sniffing somebody's butt begins...

Crazy (in terms of workaholism) guy from my yearbook (he focused on gaining industry experience) finished working here with 3,2k PLN for 160h work (for 4 mo.) (he was taking overtime), after slaving 1,5 yr with lower pay on "cheaper" way of employing (probably this 2,5k PLN). Management introduced "no more overtime" rule...

Other guy, slightly older with 2 yr experience finished with something below 3k PLN (he was last person who was in charge for shitty (because of client) project... the customer "killed" practically whole team of people who were in this specific project... I'm bit involved in it too).

New guy with 2-3 yr experiece received 3,5k PLN (Yep, I trained a bit my hearing abilities, such cases in open space environment).


Capitalists rates. I follow one discussion on industry internet forum. Of course, guys who make big bucks don't waste time for such things... anyway (googl translated); Well, I'm assistant of project manager, I'm posting more jobs in industry to rethink possible development:


https://zarobki.pracuj.pl/stanowiska/in ... r-mechanik
https://manager.money.pl/zarobki/asyste ... a-s52.html
http://www.pensje.net/ile-zarabia-asyst ... a-projektu

(I hope this pretty readable, what you have in your hands is liek 0,7 of numbers you see on charts)

Other interesting muses by some more experienced fellow mech eng.
Get down to earth. In the US, they pay designers barely above the national average, and Schlumberger, GE, Caterpillar or Boeing - 1.5 national average companies (https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-m ... KO3,22.htm) and in Poland they have to pay 2 averages for designing some primitive improvements? No way. We are not a green island, just the opposite - poor, backward by the red rothouse, an agricultural country with virtually no know-how in industry.
My observations in [Stahlman's metro area] (salaries comparable to Wroclaw):
- graduate: from the minimum (less often) to max. 4000 gross (rarely), usually 3500 gross,
- after 5 years, most 4500-5500 gross, 6000-6500 is usually a glass ceiling.

I omit the exceptions, although I know only one, in a Norwegian company, and is 7,200 gross, but work under extremely high pressures, at high pace and stress.
-.-"
The difference in earnings between a statistical constructor and a trader in the technical industry is not drastic, as it amounts to 20-30% (medians some 5k gross for the constructor and 6k gross for sales). Only a trader usually has a service car with fuel for private use, so all costs associated with it fall away, which is an amount of PLN 1500-2000 non-salary benefit depending on the class of the car (for which he is cut from gross salary 250 PLN for a car with a motor to 1.6 and 400 PLN with the engine above 1.6). C segment cars are still predominant, but more and more traders in the technical sector are driving D class cars. In Germany, the Passat is the standard for an ordinary dealer, in Poland more Octavia. This is also a smart play on the part of the company, because the exchange of Focus on Mondeo in long-term rental costs after tax optimization of some PLN 300 more, and gives a better ennobling and motivational effect than PLN 300 gross increase.
During the "my time" of looking for a job (2010), the national average was around 2,500 net and ranged from a minimum to a maximum of 2,200, most often 1800-2000 net.

Now you have a national average of around 3000 net, so I suspect that the most common starting amounts are in the range of 2000-2500, probably not more than 2700-2800 net.

I also think that the pathology proposing less than 2000 net is almost gone, since the cashiers in Lidl have "two in front of the account": mrgreen: BTW buddy after mechanical is the head of technical area in Lidl and has 6,000 net + Octavia: mrgreen:
The real value of an engineer in Poland is EUR 25-30 per hour. So many large companies pay for externali and internalomites who create a company and cut it forward with a net of 6, that's a lot of referring to these shitty medians. And patolka is that the political arrangements and protecting his heat kurwidolkow allows you to take student exterminals for this money .... only the student gets 3000 net.
I have already worked in 3 countries as an engineer and in 4 as a "litter" and in none of these countries I felt like I was being moved like in Poland. We have a shit mentality .... work culture above all !!!
I do not know that. I know which companies 5-6 years ago gave about 2800-3000 net or about 4000 gross for the start because of these years (which ended studies at the time) I have colleagues with whom I talk about earnings. As the competition increased, prices increased, I dare say that now it is over 4,000 gross. I will not write names but if you are from Wro, you certainly know these companies. None of my classmates who currently have 5-6 years of experience work for less than 4,500 net. The official forks in my position end at about 15k gross and you can go even higher and higher. And again you can complain about the statistics, but remember that the constructor proving to other constructors that they earn money should be happy that they earn their own nest - people after graduation work for 3500 gross (pity - in Lidlu you have 3,600) and you wages do not grow, because the employer is not afraid that everyone will be left behind. In Wrocław, people understand this, I think it does not seem to be enough - you do not get enough pay - you change your job for a better paying one. Every month, several people leave me - after all, they do not work for less money. Maybe soon the wave will begin to go to IT - it will only be interesting, how suddenly will it be who to do.
Well just no. To illustrate: assistant president and deputy chairman, vice president, it's completely different duties, responsibility and, above all, the cashier - the assistant will earn several times less than the president, and the vice president similarly or just a little less. Although some employers do not cognize these concepts and can write one and think the other. Koleżanka is the assistant of the president, she transfers papers for 2.5k in microfire, but on the stamp she has a vice-president ...

Never follow STEM paths for money or ladies! They won't come!


It's not possible to deliver such rant in fast-paced talk, where ability to walk over the other side is based on ability to have smarter answer... and I'm the person who has less experience in such thing.

Don't know how to answer to the fact I was completing my duties (standard The Boss answer).

I consider staying for 1-2 years gaining experience and moving somewhere else. Currently 6 mo. experience in one place (this pretty long compared to fellow millennials :lol:, yep, I read topics of other young dogs).

I think I'm good at finding such data provided above, but I'm completely suck on smart decisions in life... ARGH.


Yep, I'm pretty harsh when it comes to rating job as part of life...:
1) The world needs a bit of communist revolutionist..
2) Yep, I'd sit in front of the computer and shit pot, if I could so so. But this not an option :lol:
3) Can't live with the fact for example Mr Andrew is living on better standard than 50-70% people I've met in my life...
4) Yep, I believe that market solutions aren't the most effective... so much effort is put in (fiduciary) competition... even The Titans of Economy like Keynes [not so many multimillionaires even here, with such great company of really smart folks...] said that combing profit motive and human greed won't yield good results... As physicists have there better opinion than cynic, bitter, mollycoddle please have a look on "Why socialism?" by Albert Einstein.


What do you think? What are yours experiences?

EDIT: Something went wrong with formatting... Why fancy quote won't work :( I wanted to have more answers with fancy formatting :lol:
Last edited by Stahlmann on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:51 am, edited 4 times in total.

Scott 2
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:33 am

Within a single company, you'll be hard pressed to gain salary increases via pure negotiating tactics, especially as a junior employee. Barring an extremely small company, your boss's hands are tied by those above, and so on. Nobody is going to put themselves on the line for you.

I think it's better to optimize your variables for the system that exists. Some considerations:

1. Work for a company in a high margin industry. Some industries just have bigger profit margins. They can afford to pay more.
2. Work in a high value profession. The programmer earns more than the janitor.
3. Work in a growing company. They will give better raises to ensure retention and have space for promotions.
4. Big raises come from promotions, not performance. Exceeding "acceptable" performance does little for your pay.
5. If doing overtime, make sure it is the activities of the level above you. Otherwise you're just working for free.
6. Rather than chasing excellence, put your energy into managing perceptions (relationships). People promote those they like and trust.
7. Depending on your field, additional credentials might help. This is not a sure thing at all.

Jumping companies every 2-3 years is certainly a strategy. It is tolerated in tech. As an introvert myself, I've never been a fan of the approach. Upkeep of a public professional profile is time consuming. Every jump requires rebuilding relationships, re-proving yourself (longer hours), resets benefits (profit sharing / time off), and comes with risk of being the new guy when business slows down (first to go). For me, the chance at extra money is not worth the stress.

Stahlmann
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Stahlmann » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:45 am

1. Work for a company in a high margin industry. Some industries just have bigger profit margins. They can afford to pay more.
-> will publish something later
2. Work in a high value profession. The programmer earns more than the janitor.
-> same as above
3. Work in a growing company. They will give better raises to ensure retention and have space for promotions.
-> interesting point... but how do I spot such companies?
4. Big raises come from promotions, not performance. Exceeding "acceptable" performance does little for your pay.
-> the second sentence is very novel to me... hmm.
Are there any fancier ways to get promotions without increasing responsibility or going up to managerial roles? Yep, this probably sweet spot and everybody wants to be here...
5. If doing overtime, make sure it is the activities of the level above you. Otherwise you're just working for free.
-> Wow! This struck me. I did something different in the last 6 mo. Hmm. At that time I thought I could earn a bit more money... It's difficult to find side hustle after entering professional workforce.
6. Rather than chasing excellence, put your energy into managing perceptions (relationships). People promote those they like and trust.
-> Heard about it. I was asked to work here. Hmm, my direct boss is constantly busy (he was the 2nd person in company so he believes in "success" etc.). Busy in the sense it's hard to talk to him, because he is constantly engaged in something.
7. Depending on your field, additional credentials might help. This is not a sure thing at all.
-> What do you mean? EDIT: Well, I mean examples, because everything can be packed into "fulfilling your duties".

EDIT: Finally, there is proper formatting in first post. Don't write [i, because algorithm makes this into italics automatically.

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Chris
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Chris » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:31 am

Stahlmann wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:59 am
This time I will have sheet of paper with what I accomplished.
That's a good start. It's not sure to result in a better outcome, but assuming your boss does manage many employees, it is important to show the value you are bringing to the company, and to differentiate yourself from your peers. Or more directly: remove pain points that your boss has. If your boss sees you as the person who makes his life suck less, he has personal incentive to make sure you stay happy. Ramit also has some good advice on negotiation.

But as Scott 2 alluded to, it is difficult to get a big money increase out of your current position. In my own experience, being very cognizant about my own employee-manager relationship, presenting the value I bring to the company, getting top ranks on performance reviews.... only resulted in eking out few percentage points more than my peers. In the shorter (1-3 year) term at least. In the medium term, it did set me up for promotions, which is where more substantial increases came from. Not super, but substantial.

It's really only when you have a strong negotiating position that you can get big jumps in salary. And as an employee, your strongest negotiating position is leaving the company. Example: after months of negotiation with one employer, showing displeasure with the annual salary increase, and demonstrating the discrepancy between the adjusted salary and the market rate, I informed my boss that I was leaving the company. Magically, one day later, he produced an offer with a 30% salary increase. Funny what upper management can produce in one day that couldn't be done for months, isn't it? You need to be willing to walk.

Finally, if there is a hard ceiling on salaries in your country, you might consider alternatives to making more money:
  1. Leaving the country
  2. Joining a startup company that offers equity in the company. It's not a sure thing, but it's a lottery ticket where your effort has some effect on the outcome.
  3. Go in to sales or sales engineering... some job where you work on commission. Not optimal for an introvert, engineering sales often entails working with other engineers, which is more agreeable than say, selling cars or something.

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FBeyer
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by FBeyer » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:38 am

Chris Voss - Never Split the Difference.

Have fun.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:36 pm

As stated above, try to find a job in a high profit margin industry. They can afford to pay more.

Employers use the strategy of trying to lowball everyone, then give them incremental 3-5% raises or less from that low number. The best way to make a big jump is to change employers. If you think you can leverage another job offer, think again. At best, they will give you the raise, backfill you, and fire you 6 months later. You can be sure your replacement has also been lowballed.

When a prospective employer asks me how much I make at my current job, I simply lie. Corporate America (or Corporate Poland) does not deserve the truth.

The most valuable thing I got from reading The Four Hour Work Week was nothing written by the author himself, but this book I found in his recommded reading list:

“The Secrets of Power Negotiating” by Roger Dawson

(Regarding the author of 4HWW, I definitely “killed that Buddha” and discarded what I considered not useful ;) )

P.S. You’re going to need to get over all that communist/socialist stuff. I’m not just saying that because I’m not sympathetic to it. It simply is not helping or will help you.

Stahlmann
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Stahlmann » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:36 pm
When a prospective employer asks me how much I make at my current job, I simply lie.
Pretty beyond my my Overton window, do you mean this in form of question like "How much do you want to earn?"
Or like balant "How much do you earn in your current gig?" :o :o :o

I'll check the books... but there's always this question if somebody who worked for FBI would share his secrets or Why These Books Have Such Important Titles. Too many times I was sucker in my life... I'm on level "reading summaries will make me smarter". This could be found in the internet... So maybe if you shared 1 thing that changed your perspective, I'd be glad to read this.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:43 pm

When interviewing, you will be asked by a prospective employer how much you currently earn. The proper answer is (what you actually earn) multiplied by (a significant multiplier). I misrepresented my income at my previous employer by a multiple of 1.7 (I said I was earning 70% more than I actually was) when interviewing for my current job. So it was on my current employer to beat that number. I made 125% more in 2017 than in 2016 by simply leveraging competitive firms against each other and misrepresenting my salary.

I also listed “4 years of project management experience in X industry” on my resume even though I had no such experience. What’s the worst they can do? Not hire you? Or fire you 6 months into the job? Oh no! By that time, you should be lining your pockets and saving your dough with ERE-like frugality. Do you know where I learned to be a project manager? On my current job, after previously lying about having project management experience.

I did this in a job that supposedly requires a STEM field degree with nothing more than a Bachelor of Arts. Now, I am a born actor and a trained one at that, so if you are lacking that natural talent (you profess to being an introverted neckbearded virgin), I doubt a sales job is for you. I’m not sure cracking open the texts by Stanislavsky will help you, but try and channel this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iBp2bWAIX1Q

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eCWU3a4MhqI

Stahlmann
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Stahlmann » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:02 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:43 pm
When interviewing, you will be asked by a prospective employer how much you currently earn.
I just thought there are questions which can't be asked, because some Important People in capital country passed a law to make market more competitive etc. (asking about marital status is "illegal", but how can this be checked...) [well, I know there is huge discrepancy
between what I want and what I do... but asking women if they plan to have kids or pregnant is pretty harsh... anyway coming back to my "future" MONIES MONIES MONIES]. I know people can talk about whatever they want to...

Thanks for insight on this very serious question.

Additional info:
In my country salaries aren't shown in ads (in my industry at least and many other). [don't want to "complain" 52321th time about other people cases, I hope I made small progress :lol:]

I made 125% more in 2017 than in 2016 by simply leveraging competitive firms against each other and misrepresenting my salary.
Good! I will try this. Need to make some story to deliver this. I think I could leverage of knowing German (some folks were impressed by the fact I did very easy talk with some suppliers from DE).
What’s the worst they can do? Not hire you? Or fire you 6 months into the job? Oh no! By that time, you should be lining your pockets and saving your dough with ERE-like frugality.
I heard about this tactic.. Even to the point that everybody is made(=pressed) to lie :lol:
I did this in a job that supposedly requires a STEM field degree with nothing more than a Bachelor of Arts.
You must be kidding :o :lol: Is this kind of playing corporate game possible?! Will check your journal for consistency. I hope you aren't professional troll like me :lol: (unfortunately I don't get paid for my hustles in the Internet).

I need to work out on smaller things ASAP, like stop blushing/being very nervous after not being able to deliver tasks. Any comments on "removing" such feelings of remorse? I eequest for guidance, dear Corporate Players :)

I need to bump this topic of Scott2 (not sure about on author) about "What do you enjoy in work aside work itself?".


I need to put my laptop on ERE-style made up standing desk now... 7h left to meet The Man again.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:21 pm

IIRC I remember you mentioning familiarity which Nietzsche. Revisit and reread. That will prepare a mental framework. Corporations are “legal entities” and have rights of persons, but these so-called persons act like psychopaths. You do not need to feel guilty when dealing with them. Wear the black hat. You can put the white hat back on when dealing with individuals. You owe corporations nothing, other than that which is necessary to continue being employed and procure future employment.

If you want to practice not blushing, start approaching women in public. Ask 1000 women on dates, even if it means you are rejected 1000 times, it will dull the sting of rejection. You can become indifferent to the judgements of others. (Just make sure you don’t get arrested. Approach but be polite.) This is a practical exercise that fits the mental framework. I’m sure there are other ways.

Stahlmann
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:10 am

I've got a bit of sleep. I just realized I spent yesterday's afternoon on connecting with people who worked and left my company (but I me and collaborated with them here).
One guy said that they will offer me X and... I take this or I can have empty fridge :lol: (this was the case after first 3 mo.)... Such insight.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:27 am

It’s a numbers game. As I suggested to speak to 1000 women to get over blushing, speak to 1000 companies and ask for a big number from each. It only takes 1 to say yes.

Scott 2
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Scott 2 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:35 am

For credentials - you can chase certifications or advanced degrees.

Certs - A cyber security guy might go after a Security+, for instance. Or a project manager a PMP. Degrees, an MBA is most common.

For the most part, unless a position requires the professional credential by law (doctor, lawyer. professional engineer, etc.) I've seen people without the same credentials do the jobs as well. Credentials can make getting respect easier at the start.


When interviewing, part of your job is to learn about the company. They will have public information that lets you guess as to their trajectory. You can also ask about these things during the interview. What sort of growth rate are you experiencing? What's the plan for the division over the next 3-5 years? Etc.

I personally would not be comfortable misrepresenting my compensation looking for new work. I would make sure to understand the full value of my compensation and compare accordingly. Benefits and perks are about 1/3 of my cost to my current employer. So were I to take a pure contract position, I'd see current salary + 50% as an equal offer.

I would also account for work culture. Is this a 40 hour per week place or a 70 hour per week place? That information can be hard to get at w/o seeming lazy. But I'd take a lot less money at a 40 hour per week place.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:13 pm

It’s whatever you are comfortable with. Technical training and certifications/degrees/rubber stamps can only help.

But personally I wouldn’t think you have to sit in a job interview like a Catholic confessional booth. Multinational corporations destroy the environment, exploit people and resources ruthlessly. Perhaps once upon a time they were beholden to communities and individuals, but no longer.

Do what is necessary. All is fair play.

Stahlmann
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:46 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:21 pm
IIRC I remember you mentioning familiarity which Nietzsche. Revisit and reread. That will prepare a mental framework. Corporations are “legal entities” and have rights of persons, but these so-called persons act like psychopaths. You do not need to feel guilty when dealing with them. Wear the black hat. You can put the white hat back on when dealing with individuals. You owe corporations nothing, other than that which is necessary to continue being employed and procure future employment.
Well, teacher of my native tongue (gender: women) said that folks who "created" late XIX century "negative" philosophies were dreamy, not down to earth, weak guys with big glasses...

Guess who wears big glasses? :lol:

I was sociopathic on some internet communities, but this is difficult to write down in CV :lol:

I didn't tried this in real life.

PS. I can't grow my beard :lol:

Anyway...

[small talk in the morning with The Boss, trying to present my self in good light; style of convo as we say in our language: "average but faithful" and trying not to show my "claws"]

...time travel forward...
- I offer you 2,8k PLN.
- How about 2,9k PLN?
- 2,8k PLN is the max what I could take from My The Boss [Well..]
- [pause] OK... [in my mind: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/ori ... 095655.jpg]


If everything goes well, I'll have this salary net from the next month on 3 yr "pernament" contract (I doubt this...). I also take "first" 3 days paid vacations to obtain 9 total free days.


If only The Boss of The Boss of my The Boss won't come with any excuse... (such things exist even in small companies).

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Negotiating raise - experiences, techniques and more

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:56 pm

You don’t need a beard. I am clean shaven.

I am intentionally using provocative language because you need to be shaken from your doldrums. The corporations are gaming people. All I am suggesting is that you level the playing field. That does not mean you are a sociopath by doing so.

There are no guarantees or promises in life, but especially not in the corporate arena. The only kind of job security is being able to walk out of your current job and being able to land another one. “Job security” as people have come to know it (specifically, the lie being fed to them in corporate speak), is folly.

I do not consider a philosophy that affirms the ultimate terror of the universe and is life-enhancing to be “negative.” But I will go ahead and call Herr Marx, a spendthrift blowing his inheritance and mooching off of his uncle, “delusional.”

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