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The Almighty Buck IT

Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral? 495

Posted by timothy
from the for-an-honest-day's-work dept.
greymond writes "I was originally hired as an Online Content Producer to write articles for a company website as well as start up the company's social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter. With budget cuts and layoffs I ended up also taking over the website facilitation for three of the company's websites (they let go of the current webmaster). During this time the company has been developing a new website and I was handed the role of pseudo project manager to make sure the developer stayed on course with the project's due date. Now that we're closer to launch the company has informed me that they don't have the budget or staff in place to set up the web server and have tasked me with setting up the LAMP and Zend App on an Amazon EC2 setup. While it's been years since I worked this much with Linux I'm picking it up and moving things along. Needless to say I want to ask for more money, as well as more resources (as well as a better title that fits my roles), but what is the best way to go about this? Of course my other thought is that I'd much rather go back to writing and working with marketing than getting back into IT."
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Getting Paid Fairly When Job Responsibilities Spiral?

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  • The main issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 12, 2010 @08:38PM (#32553584)
    In this economy, You are pretty replaceble, according to what you say your skills are. So you are behind the eightball.
    • Re:The main issue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tsm_sf (545316) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:46PM (#32554432) Journal
      He's basically stated that his company isn't willing to pay the going rate for the work he does. They could certainly fill his position, and they might get lucky with some bright kid fresh out of school, but if his boss is competent he'll know that anyone willing to take a cut in pay will also move on at the earliest opportunity. He's not going to get fired for asking for a raise unless there are large problems with the company or the employee.

      He could probably go for a minor raise, but the opportunity is ripe for picking up a few quality of life perks. Something that costs the company nothing, like a new job title, would be perfect. Maybe try to weasel some time to work from home or flex hours, or maybe just a new chair.

      Being able to point to a spreadsheet showing the increase in workload would be pretty handy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The going rate for what he does is what the company can get away paying someone to do the job. Look at the situation through the lens of game theory. You have one actor, the company, whose best interest is to keep their costs low and profits high -- one way of doing that is to lower overall personnel costs by having one person take over the responsibilities of three or four. On the other side you have the employee, who has described their case above. Currently the company is able to have a large win becau

        • Re:The main issue (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13, 2010 @03:59AM (#32555350)

          Your argument seems to be that the employee is getting paid appropriately because that's what the company is paying him and he hasn't left yet. It's not a very useful analysis of the situation.

          • Re:The main issue (Score:4, Insightful)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @10:38AM (#32556758) Journal

            I believe his argument is more like what happened to me:

            - You open your mouth and ask about getting paid for the overtime you're working (i.e. getting paid for the new tasks they keep piling on you)
            - They don't want to pay you, so they find an excuse to get rid of you (watching CNN while eating your lunch)
            - You get replaced by another guy who doesn't mind working 50 hours and only paid 40.
            - And then you end-up sitting at home.

            Just be happy you have a job. There are various ways you can "compensate" yourself for the increased workload, without pissing off the boss(es) by asking for a raise. Like taking full advantage of the free printers to run-off resumes and look for a new job.

      • by forkazoo (138186) <(wrosecrans) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:36AM (#32555440) Homepage

        He could probably go for a minor raise, but the opportunity is ripe for picking up a few quality of life perks. Something that costs the company nothing, like a new job title, would be perfect. Maybe try to weasel some time to work from home or flex hours, or maybe just a new chair.

        When I was last in the corporate world, we strictly acquired perks like nicer chairs and our own white boards via commando-style raids. We would actually have strategic planning meetings for the raids. The 8 pm Network Operations shift change was our standard time, and the 5th floor our standard target.

        That said, the OP will never get what he's worth at his current job. He deserves it. A great boss would give it to him, but it'll probably never happen. He's in the corporate equivalent of the "friend zone." His best hope for exploiting the situation is to get as much experience as possible, and the most inflated title possible, and try and use that as leverage when moving on to the next job.

        I was hired as a data entry grunt for my first job as a programmer. I got something like a token 50 cent an hour raise for the move because management valued me, and appreciated the fact that it turned out I was more skilled than they initially expected when I was hired for the grunt job. But, there was no way they were going to double my salary after I had already demonstrated I was willing to do higher level work for the entry level pay.

        So, in conclusion, it is a tactical error to do all the work you can without getting any of the money upfront; and the fifth floor will never muster adequate defenses to be able to repel (or even track) an elite squad of NOC monkeys.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mr. Freeman (933986)
          "When I was last in the corporate world, we strictly acquired perks like nicer chairs and our own white boards via commando-style raids. We would actually have strategic planning meetings for the raids. The 8 pm Network Operations shift change was our standard time, and the 5th floor our standard target."

          In most of the companies I know, you'd be written up or fired within 8 hours of pulling such a stunt.
          • Re:The main issue (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tsm_sf (545316) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @05:08AM (#32555560) Journal
            In most of the companies I know, you'd be written up or fired within 8 hours of pulling such a stunt.

            Weird. I could see a manager telling kids to settle down and put the shit back. I could also see the manager telling the boss that kids need to blow off steam when they work their asses off. Writing someone up or firing them seems more like an ego move than business sense, but then it seems like a lot of people want to be businessmen more than they want to do business.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Narpak (961733)
        [quote]He could probably go for a minor raise, but the opportunity is ripe for picking up a few quality of life perks.[/quote] What might be considered is asking for official courses in as many areas under his responsibility as possible. While it isn't as good as a raise, increased expertise and understanding would benefit the company, and at least having (recent) documentation that he really do know these things can only help when applying for future jobs.
    • Re:The main issue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by XopherMV (575514) * on Sunday June 13, 2010 @02:13AM (#32555058) Journal
      In this economy, You are pretty replaceble, according to what you say your skills are. So you are behind the eightball.

      That may have been true at the beginning of the year, but that's not the case any longer. Of the nine developers in my department, four have found new jobs within the past month. Another has threatened to leave and accepted a counter-offer to stay with the company. People are sick of the BS they received from management over the past year and are ready, willing, and able to jump ship now. Expect a lot of churn within companies over the next several months until this all settles down.
    • Re:The main issue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @03:05AM (#32555210) Homepage

      Replaceable, in what way?

      Sure, someone could fill his shoes. That's a possibility, but it's slim: there is usually a lot more to an IT job (whether it's developer or sysadmin) than just what the job requirements demonstrate.

      A professional position of any complexity has a non-trivial amount of daily tasks, procedures, and general business process which need to be understood before a person can fully and successfully "fill" the position. Sure, you might be a "Linux Administrator" or a "LAMP developer" but chances are the environment you're coming into is not identical to the one you're coming from: the administrator(s) and developer(s) did things differently. There will be varying degrees of documentation, thoroughness, stupidity, and so on.

      All that takes time to acclimate to and adjust for: it takes a lot longer if you're an idiot. Many environments can 'skate by' with an idiot at the helm for some time, but eventually it will catch up. Hiring someone who isn't an idiot will (typically) cost quite a bit of money (even in this economy).

  • by AnAdventurer (1548515) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:27PM (#32553990)
    I was in the same spot, hired as a web content person, next thing I knew I was IT manager for the corporation doing PC support, hands-on sever, PBX, twisted pair, web development and CSM rec, integration and more. I was working 60-80 a week and after 6 months I got a "good job" and no raise, another 2 months and I had to ask for a raise. I got a big "why and NO", needless to say my enjoyment of my job went to zero and it showed. I was asked to resign 3 weeks later. They has to hired 2 people to replace me.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:42PM (#32554406)

      Understand it and plan for it.

      Keep your resume up-to-date and USE it. Shop yourself around at least every year to see what you're really worth and what job skills you should be working on.

      The good thing about situations like that is that they look GREAT on your resume. Just work on the narrative and explain how you took on more responsibilities as the needs of your employer changed.

      • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @08:01AM (#32556084)

        Understand it and plan for it.

        Keep your resume up-to-date and USE it. Shop yourself around at least every year to see what you're really worth and what job skills you should be working on.

        The good thing about situations like that is that they look GREAT on your resume. Just work on the narrative and explain how you took on more responsibilities as the needs of your employer changed.

        Exactly. This is why a title upgrade, even if you can't get a raise, is very valuable. Your resume will show advancement; and you can make a very compelling story around how you kept doing more and now were looking for the next opportunity (and more money). In this economy, guerilla tactics are even more useful - bide your time, build up your strengths, and attack when the odds are in your favor. Once the market picks up, you can decide what move to make; until then keep a paycheck and build your resume. Look for opportunities to add skills in areas where you want to work; look at them as paid training. Your present employer will probably never pay you what the going rate is, so enjoy the ride and develop the skills and titles to make the jump when you can.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I got a big "why and NO", needless to say my enjoyment of my job went to zero and it showed. I was asked to resign 3 weeks later.

      FYI, being fired had nothing to do with your perceived level of enjoyment. They didn't like you and were looking to get rid of you all along.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dcollins (135727)

        Disagree. This is a "Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence" situation.

        • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @04:03AM (#32555360) Journal

          Keep in mind they could have liked him but could not afford to have him quit if he *is* I.T. at the company. Employers sometimes fire based on someone asking for a raise because its a sign he or she might quit or the raise is too much and needs to be scaled back. Some I.T. departments fire employees who look for work elsewhere or interview because its a security threat with those who have confidential data and a history of an ex-worker abusing it. I am sure the lawyers advise to do this and I have read stories about this on slashdot and comments supporting this.

          Not all employers are like this but many are in this economy. Never assume anything when a poor sap losses his or her job. Half the time it is politics or some dumb reasons described above and half due to incompetence. If you're a teacher like your sig says you understand then. How many teachers in non-union or non tenured are let go?

    • by williamhb (758070) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:57PM (#32554506) Journal

      I was in the same spot, hired as a web content person, next thing I knew I was IT manager for the corporation doing PC support, hands-on sever, PBX, twisted pair, web development and CSM rec, integration and more. I was working 60-80 a week and after 6 months I got a "good job" and no raise, another 2 months and I had to ask for a raise. I got a big "why and NO", needless to say my enjoyment of my job went to zero and it showed. I was asked to resign 3 weeks later. They has to hired 2 people to replace me.

      So this is part of the issue: under those circumstances what you ask for is not a "raise" but an appointment to the position you are doing (which co-incidentally happens to come with a jump in salary). If they see it as "Joe Bloggs wants more money" they'll tend to say no. HR and management are well-practiced in trying to minimise salary creep across their organisations. If they see it as "Joe Bloggs is asking to step up to the next stage of his career, he's clearly been gaining the experience necessary, and if we say no he's likely to take that step up elsewhere" they are more likely to say yes. HR and management are also well-versed in how they are *supposed* to support career-development (even though it takes prodding to get them to do it), and the fact they have given you extra responsibilities suggests you are an employee they don't want to lose. Of course, you also have to be 'not bluffing' -- if they don't move on the appointment, don't be grumpy but just go elsewhere using the experience and skills they have given you. It's a small world, and you may well end up working for them again in a more senior role later.

    • by primerib (1827024) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @01:41AM (#32554900)

      When you ask for a raise or a promotion, you are upping the ante and entering into a haggling situation. You are implicitly saying "Scrutinize me and you'll find that my skills and contributions to the company far exceed my level of compensation, to the point that there's a real chance of another company offering me superior compensation". Remember, the vast majority of companies won't give a raise because it's the fair thing to do, they give a raise because it's a better value to secure that employee's skills in the workplace than to risk having them hired up by another company. That said, the best advice I've been given is to never ask for a raise unless you have a job offer from another company in hand.

      Beyond that, all the companies I've worked at as an adult have had an unwritten policy of saying "No, why?" to anyone's first raise request. This makes sense because for a good portion of people requesting raises you will be calling their bluff; they will either back down and take the same pay they had, or show through their actions that they weren't worth a raise at all. A select few will come back with a bargaining chip and an ultimatum ("This is what the market says about my value, and these will be the consequences of you not giving me a raise"), and ask for a second raise... In my experience, these are the people who actually have a real chance of getting a raise. Additionally, some of the companies I worked at had policies in place that required both HR and the employee's direct management to approve a raise, so there was no way they could say 'Yes' the first time someone asked.

      As it stands, you asked your company to intensely scrutinize your contributions to the workplace and then immediately showed them that your job at their company isn't important to you.
      If I were your manager, I probably would've fired you too. My logic would have been: "Hmm, so he asked for a raise because he must have received a job offer, and after the initial meeting he's no longer doing his work... That would indicate that he has accepted a position at another company and was using the raise question here as leverage for negotiations at his new job. He has no intention of staying, and his continued presence in the workplace is a risk to the company".

      • by Klinky (636952) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @07:09AM (#32555904)

        Maybe employers should be up front with people about their responsibilities and pay. Doing a Bait & Switch with job responsibilities and then ignoring these actions is just a way for the company to leech the most out of you. Frankly I think it'd be important to remind your manager of your job title before you start doing stuff outside of your job description. Companies will take, take, take & give as little as they possibly can in return.

  • by dugjohnson (920519) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:29PM (#32553998) Homepage
    You are the owner of a company called you.  You are experiencing feature creep from your main and only client, your employer.  Assuming you are still responsible for what you were originally hired for, you need to point out that you are now being asked to do a lot more than you originally signed on to do, and that you need to reach a new understanding that will work for both of you.

    Be professional.  Be firm.  You might want to read some back blogs by Bob Lewis, as he covers this kind of stuff all the time.

    A couple of examples
    http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/when-raises-dry-negotiate-hard-get-what-you-deserve-404
    http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/be-your-own-boss-even-if-you-have-boss-037

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:30PM (#32554002)

    Then tell them "More money or I go. Yes, I know that I'm basically what the whole thing hangs on. I'm your project manager, your web monkey, your server manager, your everything, basically. So, let's discuss my payment, title and other job perks".

    But phrase it nicely. Managers don't like to have a dagger at their throat. Even if they basically handed it to you.

  • by masdog (794316) <masdogNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:34PM (#32554014)
    Dust off your resume and start updating it. You probably won't get more money or a new title unless you threaten to leave. At that point, they'll look to replace you anyway, so you might as well find a new job.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      Might as well either way. This company is going to be out of business within 24 months. It's dead already it just hasn't realized it.

      Every dieing company always finds one poor sucker to actually run it as long as it'll go. The engine is dead you're just out behind pushing it.

      I had a friend who asked for an extremely meager pay raise and change in title. Not even an improved title, just a title he liked better! Like Programmer vs Developer type title change. They both denied his raise and then also den

  • Just ask. (Score:3, Informative)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:38PM (#32554038) Journal
    You and your client need web servers to launch the site. It's as simple as that. Tell them that if they can't afford cloud-based hosting, the alternative is a local solution that YOU (or whoever you hire) will be fully responsible for, from software maintenance all the way down to help desk support. Make sure they know that this is MUCH more expensive (because you WILL charge them accordingly for this, right?) and is not recommended (because I hope you value your time).

    If I'm reading the problem right, I find it very irresponsible that the client went ahead with a website redesign project without thinking this far ahead. I hope they didn't rely on you to provide everything, because that definitely tells me they were looking for someone to abuse.

    Either way, you need to be confident and ask for what you want. At this point and with this predicament, it would be more expensive and less wise for them to find some cheaper, so you have the leeway to do this.

    I speak for the rest of us freelancers when I wish you good luck in getting it done!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:44PM (#32554062)

    Company hires person in low-to-moderately paid job. Responsibilities and workload increase. Salary does not rise to certified-external-hire level. Details to follow.
    Basically, this is what happens regularly.

    Now, where to go depends on how you assess your position.

    Firstly, does the company tend to give people promotions and raises informally, kind of like a surprise, or is it a structured process? Both can happen, but companies mostly only prefer one.
    In the former case, there's a 1/3 chance it's coming and they want to see how you handle things - in this case you could drop some very small hints. It's a 1/3 chance they have forgotten about it - in this case you could drop some very small hints, and you might get it. It's a 1/3 chance they simply don't care.
    If it's a structured process, you are obviously not getting it without banging the table.

    Because your odds are slim, let's consider banging the table. If you do this, you should be very aware that it COULD lead to you not working there any more. In the eyes of the bosses that be, you used to do one job (marketing and writing) and you are doing less of that and more of another, which does not qualify in itself for a raise. So consider - how employable are you? How easily could you get a job if you needed one? If the answer is "pretty good" and "pretty sure", then that's great. I should point out though that online content producers are usually 15 a dozen (in my view) and what you can hire interns for cheap as chips - so if you MUST move, could you find another job doing that at your current salary? To be honest, 'writing articles for a webpage and setting up facebook and twitter' sounds a bit weak for a full-time well-paid job if it's a small company.

    You could also ask for an agreement that you will do ONLY this from IT and then no more IT tasks. But in that case you also risk not working there any more - because there might be a reason you have been asked to do more IT instead of articles. If they tell you "well, we didn't like your articles to be honest, but we feel you can add value doing IT", would that crush you completely? Would you be able to face them again?

    Lastly, you could ask for a title upgrade only. This is the safest bet. What you decide for the title would A) let you find a better job elsewhere than you otherwise could, B) let you influence somewhat the path (e.g. the title 'Head of IT developments' may land you interviews for other jobs than 'Online Production Manager' C) your title itself should act subtly to influence whether you get more or less marketing/IT tasks going forward.

    So the answer is, it very much depends on the details that only you know.

  • Ask for it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nordaim (162919) <nordaim@yaPOLLOCKhoo.com minus painter> on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:47PM (#32554084)

    I've been in this situation more than once. Each time it happened I worked with my direct manager to figure out the best solution whether that was a higher salary, better benefits (vacation, flex hours, compressed work week), or other, more ephemeral, perks like a new job title. Of the 6 times I was in this situation, 3 of which were at one company, I only walked once.

    However, in order to be able to walk that meant I always had an escape plan. Even when I was elated about a job and would go home floating on cloud 9 there were always options in the back of my mind of where I would go. I continued to job hunt: sending out my resume, talking to HR at another company, or networking with friends in the industry at least once a week. Plus, even when my budget was tight, by force of will alone I kept an emergency fund that would let me float for a while without racking up my credit cards.

    Never let yourself get in a place where a company, or anyone for that matter, can take advantage of you without recourse.

  • i, uhhh, concur (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:49PM (#32554094)
    Of course my other thought is that I'd much rather go back to writing and working with marketing than getting back into IT.

    Wrong thing to say to this crowd. Although, honestly, I completely agree with the sentiment and feel that you'll probably be better off in the long run if you do that.

    And another bit of advice: don't even think of trying the pseudo-blackmail suggestions that have been modded up so far. You'll find yourself out of work before you know it.
  • by gink1 (1654993) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:57PM (#32554150)

    It seems that ever since this "Great Recession / Depression" started that a lot of things have changed.
    Our Fearless Leader has been trying to convince us it's all over now, but the EU would no doubt disagree!

    The outlook for Corporations has improved though and some are hiring key people they can find now for some slots (but pay is not too good).
    For most though, they have learned they can make a lot of money without their former staffing.

    So individuals are doing more, often much much more for the same or less money. Grab a better position if you can, but it might be tough to get the next one. DO NOT do what a friend did and quit before securing the next position. Several of my Professional friends have been out for about 2 years now. I can't understand how they are surviving!

    I was quite fortunate to find an Engineering position right at the start of the Recession and have held it.
    It's a great position - great work, learning many skills and much programming.
    After putting in the required long hours, I actually received commendations for my efforts.

    I received a raise after that, but my manager told me he had to fight tooth and nail to get me 3%.
    It was eye opening and after reflection, I consider myself quite lucky.

    The #1 Goal of ALL Corporations is to maximize profits. Why wouldn't they take full advantage of the current employment situation?

  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv@gmCOFFEEail.com minus caffeine> on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:04PM (#32554180) Homepage

    Take a few hours to basically put together a report of how long all this is going to take and over estimate. Overestimating is important here. When you explain this to your boss, don't say I can't do blah, say this is what I can do. They may ask for more, say that's impossible. When they push, and they will, give them a little, just enough to cut into your overestimate then hope they take it. If they push and try to make you do 60-80 hours, you are fucked. Dust up your resume. But if they accept your logic and push the schedule or hire someone then logic wins.

    Your company is fucked right now. They somehow got into a situation where they need to meet a goal without proper resources. So they are trying to squeeze you for all they can and you let them. The above is what you should have done originally. Now that they saddled you with this they are glig to blame failures on you. You always need to know what you can and can't do. They have no money to fulfill your requests but if you push back politely you might find something. However I doubt this. If they were good managers they wouldn't be in this situation.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:14PM (#32554254) Journal

    This is the most basic part of being employed. You walk into your manager's office, close the door, point out how many new, important, and unwanted responsibilities you now have.

    How confrontational you want to get is up to you, and largely depends on how willing you are to quit. You can take the soft approach, and just say you think a raise is in order, or else you'd prefer to relinquish your new duties, and sit quietly, hoping he comes back with a reasonable figure. Alternatively, if it's worth playing chicken with your job, you can name a figure, and be intractable when he tries to say how little money they have, and names some lower figure instead.

    Personally, I'm a bit more of a pain in the ass... I don't believe in arm-twisting my employer every time they should be doing the right thing. If they can't figure out I've done a hell of a lot for them, and compensate me appropriately, I'm finding another job ASAP, and giving my two weeks' notice. Of course that invariably results in a counter-offer, but I simply turn them down flat, since they've shown their lack of respect for me every day up to that point. They're probably just looking to keep me on for a couple months, until they can find and train someone a bit cheaper, and then fire me without warning. Continuing to work for an employer who isn't doing good by you, without having to be asked (or threatened) constantly, is idiotic.

  • Get a new job (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:28PM (#32554354)
    The only way I've ever managed to get a proportional raise was to get a new job. Companies don't like to give out raises, and prefer to hire someone for more rather than promote from within. It's ass-backwards, but that's the way the world works.
  • Nervous breakdown (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dsoltesz (563978) <deborah.soltesz@gmail.com> on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:30PM (#32554362) Homepage Journal

    This is a nervous breakdown waiting to happen.

    Listen to the folks telling you to slow down and prioritize. Have a friendly talk with your boss about a promotion to go with the new responsibilities. Ask for help (even if you do not need it) from your boss prioritizing your responsibilities so you can get the most important things done in your 40 hours... this discussion will accomplish several things: your boss will understand exactly what and how much you have on your plate, you make it clear working more than 40 hours long-term is not desirable, hopefully some of your shit tasks get delegated elsewhere, and finally, you get some important satisfaction knowing you are making an effort to get control of the situation. Frankly, it sounds like you are on a sinking ship. If so, make a plan to get off the boat voluntarily.

    If the situation does not improve, this is headed a very ugly direction. Stress can destroy your health, and burnout can last for years (perhaps a lifetime). I don't have words to describe how painful and destructive stress and burnout really are. Just take my word for it: Don't go there.

    • I've worked for years in the ICT business, without getting serious compensation.

      I've felt the evolution of "love ICT" to "like ICT" to "work in ICT" to almost "hate to work in ICT" ...

      Maybe a good question is .. how to get rid of the stress, the burnout and the depression added to it?

      The best advice I can give in this; don't wait to long to jump ships when it gets ackward or you'll be the victim of it.

  • by melted (227442) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @12:01AM (#32554524) Homepage

    Learn to say "NO". Scale down your responsibilities. Be diplomatic about it. Basically every now and then ask your boss, "I have X, Y and Z on my plate but I only have time for two of the three. Which one do we want to drop, outsource, have someone else do?" That's how you get your life back—through careful budgeting and time management.

    Face it, it's better to do a good job on two things than shitty job on three. This is probably the reason why you didn't get promoted—as a rule, people don't get promoted for doing shitty work.

    Your task is to have enough diplomatic skill to explain this to your management without it reflecting negatively on you as a professional.

  • by tftp (111690) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @01:00AM (#32554726) Homepage

    Of course my other thought is that I'd much rather go back to writing and working with marketing than getting back into IT.

    If that's what you really want, then that's what you should be working toward. IT is a thankless, 24/7 routine where you do well if nothing happens; and since nothing happens there is sometimes a belief of some managers that you aren't really doing anything. Writing and working with marketing is far better in this aspect (and in many others.) Besides, if you become a reluctant IT guy you will eventually lose your writing skills; you won't be marketable for what you love to do, and you won't be a great IT guy either. You need experience in your chosen field if you want to develop professionally, and if you don't want a career in IT then don't go for it. If the company doesn't want you any more in the writing/marketing position then look for another job before it's too late.

  • Start interviewing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @01:22AM (#32554810) Homepage Journal

    I have three friends who have successfully gone the route of starting with interviews and letting the rumors start. If you can secure an offer from another company for significantly more you can either jump ship or let your current place match the offer. One friend of mine got a pretty significant raise this way, after having to suffer with a pretty significant pay cut last year he's above his original salary then bump all of his coworkers up too. He wondered the point of the salary cuts, when the company gave in so quickly to pressure.

    The only trick to it, is you have to be serious about taking the other offer. You must be in the mind set that you will walk away when deal doesn't meet your requirements, and it is important to think about what those requirements really are before you negotiate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MartinSchou (1360093)

      A friend of mine did something similar, but different.

      He took at 25% pay cut (from a very good salary mind you) just to get back to a 40 hours/week job again. The employer he was at offered him a raise to stay, but he made it quite clear that he didn't need more money - he needed more time for himself.

      And since they weren't willing to hire extra people to cover the 60 hours/week he was working, he left. According to him, the letter of recommendation he received wasn't really one. Just said he worked there f

  • what not to do (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John_Sauter (595980) <John_Sauter@systemeyescomputerstore.com> on Sunday June 13, 2010 @01:33AM (#32554862) Homepage

    I hope my story will serve as a cautionary tale. In 1995 I was hired as the junior person in a two-person IT department. My boss immediately began training me so I could cover for her during vacations and illnesses, and of course she covered for me.

    In 2005 she left abruptly. Because her departure was unexpected I naturally began to do her job in addition to my own, just as I did when she took vacation. I also asked for a temporary salary bump to compensate me for the added responsibility, until either (a) I got a promotion to the senior position and someone was hired into the junion position, or (b) someone was hired to replace her. Because of our longevity we were both at the top of our grade in salary, but the bottom of her grade was above the top of mine, so a bump to the bottom of her grade would have meant an increase for me.

    After six months of being rebuffed I concluded that they were happy with the status quo: they were getting what had historically been a two-person job at the price of one junior salary. I felt put upon, because I was no longer able to take vacation.

    Here is where I made my mistake: I became obstinate, and declared that I would no longer do the jobs that had historically been the responsibility of the senior person. Within a week I was unemployed.

    Be smarter than I was. There is some good advice in this thread, which I wish had been available to me.

  • by they_call_me_quag (894212) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @02:47AM (#32555160)
    (1)
    Every time your boss hands you some new responsibility ask him "which of my current responsibilities should I push to the bottom of my prioritized list so that I can take on this new responsibility?" Be persistent... he needs to provide an answer. Explain that you can only make a small number of tasks (1-3) your "top priority" and everything else will either get worked on sporadically or fall by the wayside entirely. Force him to prioritize... that's his job. Be sure to get this in writing (email).

    (2)
    Learn to tactfully say "no". I do this ALL THE TIME at my job. I explain that my primary duty is too important to the company for me to get distracted by some additional work. I simply refuse to be assigned the work. This only works if you are really good at your core duties and are not easily replaceable. It also help if you generate revenue. (Suck on that, developers).

    (3)
    Start looking RIGHT NOW for the job you really want. When you find it, drop this one like the stinking bag of shit it is. Life is too short to hate your job... you could get brain cancer next year and die within 18 months... why spend your time between now and then being miserable?
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Sunday June 13, 2010 @11:36AM (#32557058) Homepage

    I'm used to being on the other side of the table. Here are a couple of things people need to understand:

    I may be paying you all I can. In which case, there are all kinds of non-monetary things on the table. Days off, vacation, title, etc...

    I'm going to ask you what I'd like you to do, and expect you to tell me what you need to do it. More money, someone to take over task X, etc... Tell me. Whatever I'm asking you to take over is probably as important or more important than task X.

    Asking for more money isn't a firing level offense by itself. Lots of posts say asking for more money will get you fired. Not true. What will is asking for money and then telling coworkers, acting like you are on a one man strike, or not getting your job done to your usual level. Everyone wants more money. Management gets that. Asking for more money, then copping an attitude doesn't work.

    Understand your golden handcuffs -- there's a reason business owners spring for health insurance, options, 401Ks with vesting, etc... If you have benefits that are worth more than your pay (i.e. wife with cancer on company health care or ownership options), don't be shocked when that is pointed out to you... and be very scared if you are not reminded. I had one guy with $28,000 in 401K matching up in six months tell me he'd quite if he didn't get the raise. Remember, sometimes you are worth more fired.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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