I need some job advice. Since 2002 I’ve been the computer guy in a small company that hasn’t thrived since I’ve been here. (No, it’s not my fault, smartasses.) When I arrived I was given a base salary and promised regular increases on a quarterly schedule for the first year I was here.
About nine months after I got here, I was ushered into the VP’s office. He laid it on the line: the company was struggling and instead of layoffs, he and the President decided on salary cuts. My salary was to be reduced to the level it was when I arrived, until further notice. I confirmed that this happened with other workers, and in any case this is a small company with lots of long-time employees, so I doubt strongly that they would lie. Also, in my job I’m able to see the numbers behind the financial picture and can confirm that the situation was dicey.
Since then the company has somewhat recovered, although we’re not yet thriving.
In April, my family grew by one. I’m being squeezed by new day care expenses, to say nothing of increased health-care costs, and there were some other unexpected expenses that I’ve needed to cover. The bottom line is that I need more money, and I’ve spruced up my resume and sent it out (no hits yet).
SO: do I tell my boss that I’m looking for a new job? We have a good relationship, she bought me a mocha last Friday. She doesn’t really understand too much about computers, so I get a lot of latitude. (Which I squander on this message board.) In terms of leverage, I’ve received some training on our financial software that nobody else in the company has, but unfortunately isn’t too useful elsewhere. The job is in the city where I live, so my commute is 10 minutes long, and I’m able to get to daycare quickly if there’s a problem. And it’s not like the job is stressful, aside from the problems that always seem to crop up on my days off. Careerwise, I don’t really have an overarching plan; I am not overly burdened with ambition. I’m mildly satisfied with this gig, and I’m unable to envision anything much better.
What I’m skittish about are two things. First, after I was hired another guy came in to take over another department. (He, like myself, were the only people in our departments.) He works here for three months, goes into the VP’s office, says “I’ve done this this and this and I want a raise or I’m walking.” The VP replies, “See ya!” without blinking.
So they’re not too receptive to playing hardball.
Second, I got this job in January of 2002, after being unemployed for three months. I had a mortgage and my wife was pregnant with our first child and I spent most days freaking out. This was the only interview I got in those three months, and I beat out 50 other applicants to get this gig. And the job requires me to be a utility player, taking care of a number of areas like desktop support, telecom, servers, and software support.
So I’m a generalist in a time when specialists get the big bucks, and I’m not totally convinced I’ll even be able to turn up another job that offers such side benefits. Like I said, I haven’t gotten any hits yet on the resume.
What say you, dopers? Do I tell my boss, “Hey, you should know I have my resume out”? I haven’t asked her yet simply about getting my salary restored. They probably won’t do it just because I ask nicely, I think I need more ammo. So the conversation might end up with me having to tell her I’m looking elsewhere, which is the question that begat this whole thread. Any other ideas on what I could say or do?