At my last job, I negotiated like a boss coming into my role. I managed to be rewarded with a base salary of $190k–even though it made my hiring manager clearly feel uncomfortable–and I regretted that negotiation every day on the job, feeling like I couldn’t live up to that value. That job lasted less than two years.
In my current role, I was fortunate to have a hiring manager who knew me from a prior position, and I trusted he would get me the best / fair offer possible. Could I have pushed for a few thousand dollars more a year? Sure. But would leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The comp package was quite attractive–base salary a lot less than I had been making, but I knew making less would me feel more comfortable in my position. With bonus and such, the comp would be about the same as my prior role — but bonus isn’t real until it happens.
Now that I’m in this position and people seem to actually like me and my contributions (I still have a lot to prove but it’s going well thus far), I’m committed to not asking for a raise. Ever. Maybe that means I’ll be compensated less than my peers-especially my male peers–but I don’t care. I’m fortunate enough to be making what I’m making, and with the full package, to me, it’s quite a lot. I’d happily accept a raise if offered, but I’m not going to ask.
My new plan is that if in three years, I haven’t received a raise or promotion, I’ll leave to find a new job. At that point, my experience should earn me a higher compensation going into a new role. If not, then I stay and just remain happy with what I have. I’ve gotten over thinking I’m ever going to be able to afford a house here, so what’s the point of negotiating for more compensation? I’m really trying to do my best at doing a good job and being known in my organization for being a great team player and an excellent contributor — maybe that will pay off, maybe it won’t, but it feels like such a relief to know I’m never going to ask for a raise or a promotion.
Maybe I’m letting the women of the working world down, but I don’t care anymore. Perhaps I’ve plateaued in my career. That’s fine by me. Right now, I take home about $7.5k a month after taxes. That’s enough to afford our one bedroom apartment that’s $2500. Even if I made more, I wouldn’t have enough to feel confident I could afford 30 years of mortgage payments on a. house ($5k-$7k), so it’s pointless to push for more income. I do have a sizable stock package that could make things look a lot better in a few years… but if it’s not monthly income or guaranteed, it’s not real until it’s in my checking account.
I do wonder, though, at what point men typically ask for raises. I don’t want to know so I would do it — I’m just curious how often that really happens. We have an annual review cycle at my company and I’m sure at that point people go in with their best “why I deserve a raise/promotion” story (I’ll just try to get my full bonus, but not ask for a raise) — but, how often do these talks and negotiations happen outside of the annual cycle? How often do the negotiations work?
What I love most is being the person that adds the most value without asking for more pay. I might feel differently if I was incredibly under-compensated, but I don’t think I am. If I thought that, I’d probably just look for a new job. But I’m very grateful for my role and my compensation. Could I get more if I asked? Maybe. But it’s just not worth it. Not for me anyway.