Leap And The Net Will Appear

As I was going to my yoga studio the other day, I came across this sign and it really made an impression in my mind.

The act of leaping should be interpreted as having the courage to try something new. Finding comfort in an uncomfortable state is how we progress in life as individuals. The leap can be as small as eating something you’ve never tried before, or as big as quitting your job to open your own ice cream shop (one of my friends did this – @rollingdeepicecream).

In my specific scenario, taking a leap was having the courage to speak to my boss honestly about my salary and compensation. Having a discussion with your employer about your income is incredibly uncomfortable, but is a conversation that needs to take place.

To leap is to have trust in your abilities to persevere through any difficulties that may come your way.

Just be sure to ‘look’ before you leap.

I Leaped!

For my readers that don’t know, I have been working at investment banks in the Information Technology department for the past 5 years.

This past week was comp (compensation) week, where employees, like me, are told their yearly raise and bonus (or lack thereof). I was expecting great news as I felt that I had delivered loads of new work on top of my normal responsibilities.

I added value whenever I had the chance, worked independently, and had a great attitude – most of the time. I even took on additional responsibilities from people that had left the firm.

I was given a 3% increase in my base wage and a $700 increase in my bonus. This may or may not seem good to a lot of people. Personally, this increase was insignificant and did not reflect the additional work I had done in the past year. Considering inflation is around 2%, my real wage increase was around 1%. Needless to say, I was incredibly disappointed.

I explained thoroughly to my boss all the new responsibilities I was handling successfully but was met with a stern “There will be no change in these numbers”.

All of a sudden, my boss, who I respect greatly (and I thought respected me) turned into a heartless managerial robot. There was no effort in explaining why my raise was so insignificant, instead, he made a comment along the lines of why I should be happy with a raise that barely beats inflation.

The lack of a merit-based system in the corporate world is precisely what makes millennials loathe the typical 9-5 job. People that perform at half the capacity get promotions not based on output, but on experience and political know-how.

It was at this point that I mentioned I had another offer for %20 more. I was metaphorically prepared ‘to leap’ and move on to a new firm. I had been in contact with many consulting firms and got a general feel for my market value.

I highly advise everyone to constantly seek their true market value by job hunting year round. This may seem tedious but knowing your market value will give you a good anchoring point for your salary.

The $25,000 Difference – Health Benefits

This competing offer is semi-real (my interview is next Monday, May 15th) and is a consulting position without health benefits.

My boss brought up the real reason I couldn’t make any more money, which was that the health benefits are equivalent to $25,000 worth of compensation to the corporation. WHAT!? Are you f*cking kidding me?!

At best, the health care benefits I receive add up to around $2,000 a year, not $25,000. I am a 26-year-old who is in great shape. I don’t have the same health issues as the average middle-aged employee in the bank.

With this pure difference in value obtained, there is no way that my boss and I would ever see eye-to-eye on my compensation.

The unwillingness for my company to pay me my market value is precisely the type of mentality that is wrong with large corporations. They believe every person is a ‘resource’ who can easily be replaced.

Loyalty to a specific company only benefits the select few who get chosen for the ever elusive promotion. For everyone else, we must wait patiently until someone dies, quits, or retires in order to get promoted.

The other option is to take a stand and fight for what you deserve. Not every request for a higher wage is met with as much resistance as depicted in this post.

My girlfriend recently asked for a pay raise and received a %33 percent raise by writing a well-worded email. The key is to have the courage to take that first step and leap! The net will appear.

I am not going to wait around for someone to die, quit, retire, or make a new job for me.

I am ready to leap, I hope you are too.

-Jack

10 comments

  1. Hi jack,

    I work in a small/medium sized business that is becoming larger and more corporate with every year that goes by and am increasingly seeing the problems you talk about here and in your other post about corporate life.

    Last year we were told that the yearly inflationary pay increases are stopping altogether and adhoc pay increases are available to anyone who works hard enough to deserve it. Sounds great in principle, hard work will be rewarded right? Alas no, it just means all the pay increases now go to those who are the chosen ones from Upper management and the rest of us are screwed. I see this as increasing inequality in our workplace even more and creating a few big winners with the rest losing out and it is actually deincentivising most people (I know many who’ve worked their butts off for 18 months and have been denied any pay rise) , which is exactly the opposite of the (if you are to believe them) desired effect.

    Luckily I’ve been in the game long enough to spot this a mile off and downed tools long ago – actually that makes me sounds lazy, I work hard but only do the least amount necessary to get my work done, there is very little incentive to go above and beyond when they can just turn around and deny you the payrise anyway .

    Yes I may be part of the problem but I’m only playing by the rules they set out.

    Good luck with your new endeavour!

    1. Agreed agreed and agreed.

      With such an unrewarding system, it seems obvious that employees will try to get away with doing as little as possible.

      I wouldn’t (and i dont) feel bad about slacking off at work if you know there is limited opportunity to grow.

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