I am working at a strictly development web agency. I took this job in order to build my development skills and for the past year that is pretty much all I’ve been doing—but of course there is always more to learn.
Recently my boss has been assigning me more and more in house design work. I certainly don’t mind doing it, I love design too and I think I am pretty decent at it. I am passionate about usability and flexible design and fonts and all those wonderful things.
But they haven’t been able to afford giving me a raise. I would like to be paid accordingly for my improved development skills and my design skills. They are saving heaps by having me here instead of contracting out any design work.
What am I here for if I am not building my development skills and just churning out template after template? Currently 20% of my work week is taken up with these tasks.
Should I talk to my boss? Are my expectations unreasonable?
You should be paid for what you produce. However, the economic climate (especially in the design industry) has been particularly hard hit. Even corporate level designers are taking pay cuts, etc. My office hasn’t given raises in 2 years, compound that with increasing health care costs and things change a bit. We’ve laid people off so our work load has certainly increased along with that. But, I have a job, I have insurance, I can feed my family.
To your situation, I’d bring it up with your boss but you’ll want to tread lightly. Realize that you’re probably not the only one not getting raises, and find out when you expect to get one.
As Nurb has highlighted. I would use caution approaching this issue. In the past two years, I’ve taken on more responsibility due to the current economic climate. 60% of my workload is well outside of my job description. My only resolve to fix this matter is to suck it up and take it, while looking for another job. This will keep me employed and eventually lead to the correct salary adjustment for my skillset.
Agreed. I am in the same boat as Boosted. My boss recently left the company who was our design “champion” and because of that I have taken on much more responsibility than before. I not only champion design in our department but do a great deal of work managment and design direction which is way outside my job description. Here in corporate we have pay bands which means you have a certain number of steps of pay in your level. I hit the top of my pay band 2 years ago. In this economic climate we are not promoting people, raises are hard to come by and like mentioned before if you have a job you are lucky. I just look at it as if you are going above and beyond, people are noticing, and when it comes time to think about promoting people you will get noticed. Also you are building your skills and it allows you to look for that job that you really want.
I have learned that other employees here have gotten pay cuts as well so I’ve decided to approach my boss and instead ask how I can help in these super slow months, and be patient regarding monetary rewards. Hopefully works picks up for everyone soon…
I think almost everybody is in that boat these days.
Nobody is doing well enough to be giving raises like they deserve, if at all. At my job health care has gone up, 401k matching is gone, bonuses are gone or at a minimum, raises don’t exist and headcount has been reduced on top of a near hiring freeze.
The economy sucks…one bright side to look at it is to use your design sensibilities to see if you can’t find some ways of either bringing in some extra income or finding ways to save more money. I recently figured out that if I bought my daily bottle of Pepsi in bulk at Sam’s Club, I could save $300 a year alone. Finding a couple ways of saving those pennies ultimately can wind up boiling down to the difference the 3-5% raise you might get (minus taxes) would make.
If you’re doing a good job and people know it, when the business comes around you’ll get what you deserve hopefully.