Finances & Money

I got a good review and a raise!

As of this month, I’ve worked for my current employer for 2 full years. In my first year, I got a combined 6.25% raise (some at 6 months and some at 12 months). This past Thursday, I sat down with my new boss for a one-on-one review (my company doesn’t have a formal review system), and we talked about my accomplishments, goals and areas of improvement.

Prior to the meeting, though, I had to summarize all my accomplishments since last May into a single document for my boss. Unfortunately, it was difficult quantifying my achievements since the last contract failed due to lack of funds. We never deployed anything, so what could I show for all my hard work?

And coming onto this contract, we were already almost done with development, so all I’ve done so far is create test scripts, and throw together documentation from a few other sources. I don’t feel like I’ve done much, but I was able to muster up enough BS that I could prove I’m valuable to the company. In fact, I almost turned in the sheet before I remembered that I’ve completed two semesters of graduate school with a 4.0 GPA! I guess that’s an accomplishment, right?

So what was my raise this time? Well, I was worried I would get shafted with a cheap 2-3% due to the economy, but since our company is a federal contractor, we’ve seen no decline in work (actually, it’s increased significantly). Also, my boss has her own discretion and is really only bound by the company’s required profit margin compared to the billing rate charged to the client.

Fine fine fine, I’ll tell you. I got a 4.5% raise. But that 4.5% put me past my goal salary for the year! Of course I can’t disclose my salary here because I have some coworkers that read it, but I’ll say that if I had to live on my own in D.C., I wouldn’t have to share a 3-bedroom apartment with a roommate in order to pay the rent, although I wouldn’t be paying down my debt very quickly.

So what will I do with the extra money? Well, nothing yet because I won’t see it start coming in for at least another pay cycle. We do have a planned vacation in November which will cost us a pretty penny (our first major vacation since our honeymoon 4.5 years ago), but we wouldn’t have to earmark this entire raise for the vacation fund since it was otherwise coming out of our extra debt payments.

So overall I’m pleased with the raise considering my own perceived lack of production in the past 5 months. In my conversation with my boss, we both agreed that I have a lot of potential on this contract and with the company, and she’s even putting me in for supervisor training. I told her I don’t want to be a project manager yet, but I’d be comfortable as a team lead or deputy PM, if needed. Only time will tell what my career holds for me!

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Clever Dude


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