So a few months ago I went in for my annual review at work, and got nothing but praise. I know I’m smart, and quite capable at what I do. I’m also taking on way more work that I think they expected me to. All my feedback was super positive. The only “needs improvement” point at all was that I to take a course that gives me a better grasp of the industry, which is something I had already mentioned I want to do this year. So, a stellar review all around. At the end of it, I took a deep breath and asked for a promotion, saying that I think my work has been really good, and that the work I am doing now can’t even compare to the work I was doing 6 months ago, let alone in 2008 when I got my last promotion. (You can get raises without getting a promotion (and I have) – there’s a tier system in place.) He said that sounded possible, and he’d take it up with HR at the meeting a week later.
A month or so goes by, and on Tuesday, I got my letter. I got a good bonus, decent options, and a kind of crappy raise. The worst raise I’ve ever received in my 6.5 years with the company. I know everyone got low raises, but it’s clear that I didn’t get the promotion. So I stewed all week, and on Friday afternoon finally went to talk to my boss about it. I brought my letter, a print of our my raises and salaries since I started, and just sat down and asked. Said that it’s not really about the money, but that yeah, I won’t lie, more wouldn’t hurt. (I make less than every single other person on the team, by a fairly large margin.) Said that I think my work has been excellent, and far above the C grade I’m currently at. The new reports I’m now taking over for an engineer alone would put me over, let alone all the other stuff I do. (I know what most admins do, and I’m doing so much more stuff than most now.) So I calmly explain that I understand if this is what is, but I’d like to know why I didn’t get the promotion. Also, that I was told by the head of HR when I moved in to this role that I wasn’t eligible for a raise or promotion at that time, but should see something that reflected the different job at bonus time. He looks a little uncomfortable, which is fair, because SO WAS I, EEK. But he said he’d take it up with HR and get an answer for me next week. And you know, if I don’t get it, fine, I guess. But I need to know why, because I’m very good at what I’m doing, as it turns out, and they couldn’t replace my workload at my salary easily. And I’m worth it, damn it! I’m doing work for 6 leads, one main team of 20, sporadic work for another ~30 people, and ad hoc projects from everyone. Engineers are occasionally handing me reporting and number crunching tasks. Sure, I still buy the baby cards and order stationary, but I’m also doing travel arrangements for ~250 people a week. And so on.
Anyway, it was fucking hard, but I’m really proud of myself. Even if nothing happens, I put myself out there and it was hard and good and important. So. That’s my victory of the week.