how long to wait for a raise, pushing back a start date, and more

It’s short answer Sunday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. How long should I wait for a raise?

About 4 months ago, I scheduled a meeting with my boss to discuss my salary after finding out that I am greatly underpaid (by about 25%) according to multiple market resources as well as my employer’s salary structure (currently being paid at the minimum of my job grade’s range). I have been with this company for about 4 years now since getting my undergrad degree. About 2 years ago, I accepted an internal position of a higher job grade and have received “exceeds expectations” on all of my annual performance reviews with the company. During my employment, I also completed an MBA degree from a highly respected university. My boss constantly praises how great of an addition I have been by bringing valuable knowledge and resources from my prior position that did not exist in the group before. He has also said how the group has now been able to take on a substantial amount of added work and responsibility because I have been a “huge upgrade” to the position.

In our meeting, I laid everything out in front of my boss, including my performance reviews, the added-values I bring to the team, and the sources showing that my salary is not even in the 10th percentile of peers similar to myself. He said he agreed with everything that I presented and that he would try and get my salary more in-line with where it should be. I have remained patient and not brought the issue up since, but he has mentioned on two separate occasions that he’s still working on it. I’m wondering if it’s time to move on to a different company or not. I love my current job, but I’m concerned about whether or not I can realistically expect to ever get my salary in-line with what market data suggests if I stay with this company; I can’t really expect a 25% salary increase, can I? And does this process generally take this long or am I just being dragged along?

My first thought is that I should go out and interview elsewhere at the very least to get a written offer to see if my company will match it. At the same time though, I don’t want to go through that hassle and use another company that I have no real intentions on joining just to show prove my point.

Start job searching. If you find something you prefer, you can take it. If you don’t, you’re no worse off than you are now. But meanwhile, yes, follow up with your boss and ask for a timeline for getting this addressed.

But don’t plan on taking an outside offer to your boss for a counteroffer, not unless you’re prepared to be told to take it (or to be retained but then pushed out in the following year, which often happens with counteroffers).

2. Getting my employer to cover a $100,000 executive MBA program

I work for an arms-length government body in Canada and my employer has an education policy where they agree to pay for any related post-secondary education, provided the employee signs an agreement to stay on for 1 month for every $1,000 paid. I’m looking at an executive MBA program that allows you to work while in school and costs $100,000 for the 17-month program. However, if my employer pays, this would be an 8-year commitment after the program. This is a fair bit of time to commit to my organization! I’ve only been here one year but I just received excellent performance reviews, so I feel that I would be able to get this approved.

Would having an exec MBA be worth guaranteeing my current employer over eight additional years of work? While I enjoy the job very much right now, I know this may not always be the case. If you have any insight into additional factors I should consider, that would be appreciated.

No. You never want to be stuck anywhere for eight years or face having to pay back tens of thousands of dollars. But it might be moot because I’m skeptical that a government agency will pay $100,000 for your education (it certainly shouldn’t — there’s no way to justify that to taxpayers); check to see if there’s a limit on what they’ll pay. Your alternatives would be to pay more of it yourself — but that’s if you do it at all. I’m generally skeptical of the value of these programs, particularly at that price.

3. How can I turn down a job at a place I might want to work in the future?

Even though I am happy in my current position, I recently interviewed and was offered a job at a competitor company for the exact same job and title as my current one. I only applied to the new place because the requirements for the position matched my resume perfectly, the company was less than 2 miles away from my house, and I thought I could get a somewhat larger salary. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do the exact same work, for a much shorter commute.

The problem, though, is that the salary range is only $1,000 more than my current salary, and they probably aren’t going to negotiate with me. I definitely would love to work at this place, but I’m very motivated and driven, and after learning that there would be a tiny salary increase, I decided that it doesn’t make sense for me to take this position. I feel like it would hurt my career to make this lateral move, especially because I have already invested a year’s worth of time into my current position and might get promoted soon since the senior analyst post above me is empty, and the title will be mine whenever my boss deems fit.

How do I decline the offer without burning bridges? Do I tell them the truth, that this lateral move doesn’t make sense for my career path? Or do I give them some fake, diplomatic answer? There aren’t that many companies to work for in my industry (only 4), and this truly is a company I could see myself working for, later down the road when I am a manager or higher. How do I leave on good terms with them, so maybe if I re-applied for a higher position in the same department, they don’t remember me as the person who turned down their offer?

First, it’s always fine to turn down an offer if you decide it’s not to you. The only time it should cause bad blood with a company is if you appear to have been interviewing with no real likelihood of considering an offer or in order to get a counter-offer from your current company. But turning it down over salary is entirely legitimate. You can simply explain that you’d need to significantly larger increase in order to make a move so it won’t work out this time, but that you really enjoyed getting to know them and hope you might talk in the future.

4. How should I answer this employer’s question about a car?

I’ve applied for what looks to be my dream job. I had a great interview, followed up with personalized, handwritten notes to each person I spoke to, and a friend who works for the company said that they really like me for the position. Problem is, it’s a new position for the company (it’s growing) and they are rearranging the requirements for the position.

The HR manager emailed me this last evening: ”Thank you for your patience with our hiring process. As you know, this is a first time hire for us and we have been carefully evaluating and re-evaluating the responsibilities of the position. In all honesty, we have been struggling with the concept of this position. We thoroughly enjoyed your energy, enthusiasm and even the old school touches of your hand-written thank you notes. However, we have increasing concerns that the person in this role will need to have access to their own vehicle at all times. We understand that such a requirement can be an imposition to some of our most qualified candidates, but we wanted to give you the opportunity to decide whether or not this requirement was a dealbreaker for you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you might have. We would be happy to know your thoughts on this subject. We look forward to hearing from you soon!”

I live in a major U.S. city where it’s a hindrance to have a car, so I do not own one. I want this job so badly, but don’t know how to ask for them to keep those extra expenses in mind if the make me a salary offer. Should I mention it at all? What’s the best way to respond?

Well, you never want to start negotiating salary before you have an offer, let alone give them a reason to favor someone else (perhaps someone with a car) over you before they’ve made a decision. So at this stage your answer should only be about whether the car will be a sticking point for you, not about money.

If you’re open to buying a car if you get the position, then ideally you’d say, “I’m actually planning on buying a car in the near future, so this won’t be a problem for me.” That makes it a non-issue as they consider you for the role — because you don’t even sound like you’d be buying one just for this job (something that will make some employers uneasy), but that it’s already about to happen anyway. However, that takes away any power to negotiate more money based on the car requirement, since you’re saying you’d be getting one anyway.

So if the only way you’ll buy a car is if you get a higher salary than you otherwise would have required, then you can say, “I wouldn’t have any objection to buying a car if I were to be hired for the position” — and then you can try to negotiate for more money at the offer stage.

5. Do you have to be paid for your time in pre-employment training?

My husband was laid off a few months ago and recently received an offer to work for one of his previous employer’s competitors. I have a question about the new employer’s new hire process.

My husband is scheduled to start on May 28. However, this week he has been signing papers, completing fingerprinting and drug testing, etc. Earlier this week he completed a 40-minute information protection training for the company. This information protection training is something that is normally done on the clock (his old employer has the same training annually and all employees are required to complete it). Should he be compensated for the training?

If your husband were already an employee there, federal law would require that he be paid for mandatory training time. But because he’s not yet an employee, it’s different; pre-employment training generally isn’t covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, as long as the employer isn’t deriving immediate economic advantage from the trainees’ activities (for example, they can’t be waiting on customers or producing real work during unpaid training). The training you described sounds like it falls under this category, and thus he isn’t legally entitled to pay for that time.

6. Asking to push back a start date

What is your opinion on asking to push back a start date you supplied thinking that you would have time to move to the company’s location? I gave myself 3 weeks to find a place and move to location (which is approximately 3 hours from my present location). I found a place with a week and a half to remain, but am finding it hard to find a moving company that is able to move me with this notice. I was able to do a similar move a while back, but my parents were able to assist me, which it seems they wont be able to this time. What would you think if someone asked you to move the start date back after they agreed to the earlier one?

It depends on what signals you’ve been getting from the new company, and how far you want to push it back by. If they seemed very flexible on the start date when it was originally discussed, then I think it’s okay to ask if you can push it back by 1-2 weeks (probably not longer though), while making it clear that you’ll find a way to make it work if it will pose a major inconvenience for them. You could say something like, “While I’ve found a place, I’m having trouble finding movers to work within this timeframe. Would it be a problem to push my start date back by one week? If so, I’ll figure out a way to make this work.”

One option, though, would be to stick to your original start date and simply go back and move your stuff a couple of weeks later when movers are available.

7. Fired after working all day

Can my boss allow me to work all day, then fire me?

Yes, but you need to be paid for the day you worked.

{ 62 comments… read them below }

  1. EJ*

    #1 – I’ve been warned to be very careful about using salary comparison websites. Since their source of traffic is people worried about their salary, it can be in their interest to inflate them a little. Your job search will be a better indication of your market value, if you get to an offer stage.

    1. The Snarky B*

      That’s only true if the company is giving you hard numbers first though. Often, they’ll ask you what you’re looking for or what you made at the last place.
      OP, make sure you’ve done outside research on salary from places other than Glassdoor, etc.

    2. periwinkle*

      It sounds like the OP’s job has a specific pay grade, which would in turn have a specific pay range, and the OP is at the bottom of that range despite having skills/knowledge that the boss praises as valuable. In theory, as long as there’s money in the manager’s budget, it should be a matter of clearing the increase (as long as it’s within the pay grade’s range) with whoever has ultimate control of the manager’s budget and then submitting the paperwork to HR.

      It’s possible that the OP’s responsibilities have increased to the point that the position itself merits a pay grade increase; such re-classification is likely to require a lot of bureaucratic wrangling.

      So perhaps the manager is waiting on HR to process the pay increase. Or the manager isn’t prioritizing the pay raise. Or the manager is getting the runaround from the higher-ups. Meanwhile, the OP is continuing to be paid at the bottom of the pay range.

      OP, I’ll echo the recommendation that you look for another position – *not* as a bargaining chip, but to see what else is out there. You may love the job, but it doesn’t love you back enough to pay you appropriately – and may have happily allowed you to linger at the bottom of the pay scale if you hadn’t spoken up. It’s a business decision to the company, so it should be a business decision to you.

  2. Ali*

    The price of the program in #2 just screams diploma mill to me…of course I could be wrong, but that’s the first thought I had.

    1. Jen*

      $100,000 does seem very high. Unless it’s a top business school in the nation, I would not pay that much for a graduate degree. I am looking into getting a master’s degree (my work would pay for it) and it would only cost $25,000 and I’m looking at a school in my area with a good reputation.

      1. Jen*

        Should also note it’s a non-profit private university – don’t do any for-profit schools for an MBA.

      2. K.*

        Sadly, it’s not uncommon. I have known *plenty* of graduate degrees (MA, MFA, MBA) to run $25,000 – $49,000 per year, which makes it pretty easy to get into the $80k – $100k range in 2-3 years.

        (Sticker price on my master’s was $45k per year ten years ago, although much of that was defrayed in my case with stipend / assistantship / etc.)

        1. periwinkle*

          Our flagship state university offers a well-regarded MBA program available as full-time, part-time (evening and weekend classes), and executive. Tuition for the part-time program comes out to about $77k for the full degree. Their EMBA is designed for, well, executives; the typical applicant has at least a decade of professional experience and “significant” managerial experience. The cost is just under $100k, and I gather most EMBA students have their employers footing the bill.

          8 years is a long time to commit to an employer without knowing that you’ll actually benefit from 8 years of working there. Maybe the OP could get a partial tuition coverage to lessen the “we own you” period?

    2. Andrew*

      Canadian EMBA costs can be very high (except in Quebec where most costs are heavily subsidised by the govt.). Toronto-based schools charge tuition that ranges from around $80,000 up to $110,000.

      1. Alicia*

        I am thinking along the lines of the Queens University EMBA. Very well-recognized program and that is the going rate – if you’re doing just a regular MBA (not executive) then this number ($100k) would be absurd.

        1. Zahra*

          Yeah, what’s the difference between an EMBA and a MBA? Couldn’t a part-time MBA program do just as well?

          1. Anon1*

            They are different beasts with different targets. An Emba is targeted at either current managers or execs with lots of experience. Some alsowork with highly skilled non business people moving or who want to move into a business role. Senior engineer who wants to be ceo at some point. A friend did the queens one about 8 years ago. He was being groomed for the CFO spot at a pubco after the current CFO retired. The other students all had similar very successful careers before they took the Emba. Queens might be one of the top 2or 3 embas in Canada.

      2. Another Emily*

        Canadian here with a general comment on your employer’s policy of paying for “related post-secondary education”. This is an awesome policy and very generous. But I think there’s a spirit to the “related” aspect of this as well as the letter of the rule. Do you actually need an EMBA program to enhance your job skills? Is the price tag justified not only for your employer but for you? I’m not saying that you should or should not do an EMBA, but I would give this price tag a big side eye before asking my employer to pay for it.

        1. MrsKDD*

          This. Also, as a Canadian taxpayer, I nearly turned inside out when I saw that a government employee wanted to ask their employer foot the bill for $100, 000 degree, which would be us tax payers paying for it. Sure, pay for a program that will enhance your job skills and the workplace, but $100k and then to to another organization. GAH!!

    3. Jessa*

      yeh that sounds like an awful lot of money for a Masters. Is this some kind of combined Masters through to Doctorate programme?

    4. Anonymous*

      Executive MBAs generally come with some perks – everyone gets an identical new, high-end computer for school, there are special projects / trips built in (possibly international), and the courses are arranged to accommodate the schedules of current executives.

      The price tag tends to keep out applicants who don’t already have a fairly good position with an established employer who will pay for this sort of thing; the opportunity to network is considered part of the value of the program.

      In our area, there is one school that offers a regular MBA for about $25K and an executive for $100K. I’m not sure whether the perks are worth the value, but that’s something each individual / employer must decide.

      1. Zahra*

        OK, so the comparison goes like this:

        Regular MBA: 25k
        High-end computer with software: 10k (that’s an almost fully decked out gaming Alienware laptop, plus 2-3k worth of software)
        Trips overseas: 10k/each
        I’m not counting so much the schedule, since most universities do have evening/weekend classes for a regular MBA.

        The networking opportunities better be golden AND exclusive to be worth the rest of the EMBA cost.

        1. Anonymous*

          I think the point is that at that price point, only people in senior positions (“executives”) will have their employers pay for it. It’s like membership in a private club – you’re buying into the social group more than anything else.

    5. Anonymous*

      I don’t understand why if you don’t know about something you just blurt out the first thought that comes to mind. Particularly when a minute on Google could inform you.

      Sorry that sounds harsh – but please think about it.

    6. Erik*

      Many MBA programs are in the 100K range. I’m “only” spending 70-75K on mine from a good private school, which relatively speaking is a bargain compared to many others.

      Try paying 180K for Wharton’s EMBA, and 150K for UC Berkeley. Those aren’t diploma mills.

  3. Sourire*

    #7 – Isn’t that a fairly normal way to handle a dismissal? I feel if like it it is done at the end of the work day, the firing would be much less likely to disrupt the rest of the office.

    1. Sourire*

      Wow, I have no idea what happened to my sentence structure there. Should read, “I feel like if it is done at the end of the work day…”

      1. JM in England*

        Surely the person being fired would feel more upset (and more resentment) if it were done at the end of the working day, especially if the firing was unexpected. Wouldn’t it be better to do it at the beginning of the work day?

        1. JM in England*

          Have just seen MovingRightAlong’s comment below, and agree that it would be worse having the firing in the morning and then having to work the rest of the day under a cloud. That said though, doesn’t a firing mean that you have to vacate the employers premises immediately?

          1. Ruffingit*

            Generally, yes you do leave immediately once you’ve been fired. In my experience, when people have been fired, it’s done on a Friday at the end of the work day. I’ve seen many employers do that. Presumably because the office will then immediately close for two days and it gives two cool off days for anyone who might think of coming back to do damage to the place, etc. I am sure there are other reasons for it, but that is one that comes to mind.

          2. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Usually if you’re fired, you leave immediately. Often with layoffs, though, you continue working for some specific period of time.

            1. Ruffingit*

              True. I was given two weeks notice of a layoff by a previous employer. That was appreciated. But then, I had worked for them for quite awhile off and on (contractor) and they knew I wasn’t the type to be vengeful toward them for the layoff. I can imagine that whether you give layoff notice or not is dependent on many things, one of which is how well the person is likely to take the news.

            2. Elizabeth West*

              When a coworker and I were let go, we had to leave immediately and it was right after lunch. Both our positions were cut. But I guess they called it layoffs to unemployment–I don’t know about him, but I had no trouble getting it.

              It was a Thursday–I’m surprised they didn’t do it on Friday, but I’m glad, since it gave me a weekday to get stuff started and not have to wait all weekend thinking about it.

    2. The Other Dawn*

      We do ours at the end of the day, usually on a Friday. Unless it’s something that really can’t wait. By doing it at the end of the day on a Friday, we can generally avoid the issue of other employees milling around and gossiping about what did or didn’t happen. There are always certain employees who use something like this as an excuse to rehash every single perceived wrong done to them in the past.

  4. Anonymous*

    #4 Off topic, but this phrase sent up a red flag for me: ” In all honesty, we have been struggling with the concept of this position.”

    If they are not clear as to what they want – or if all involved parties are not in agreement about what they want – how are they going to measure the employee’s success in the position?

    1. EM*

      I think that’s typical for small companies. We don’t have actual “positions” but we know what type of work that we need more help with, and we know what degrees would be appropriate. If we interview someone who really blows us away, we may re-think what we’re looking for.

    2. Chinook*

      I am currently in a position, as a contractor, where they aren’t too sure what they see the position as being because it is new and requires me taking a number of small tasks from other positions to both centralize them and free up the other employees to focus on their main tasks. When I asked how they knew if I was being successful, I was told it would show in my position then becoming justifiable as an employee position because of what I am giving others time to accomplish while nothing falls through the cracks.

      Now, if those was an already existing position, then I would be worried, but when it is something new, you need to understand that the parameters are fluid.

  5. MovingRightAlong*

    To OP4, does you city host any car sharing programs such as Zipcar? Something like that may cover the needs of the position and could be worth bringing up during negotiations.

    OP7, I was laid off in the morning and then had continue working the rest of the day. I only wish they had waited until the end of the day so I could go home and collect myself before finishing out my work agreement. It’s a horrible, jarring experience no matter how it happens, but at least you have another day’s pay under your belt. I wish you all possible luck in your job search.

    1. Ruffingit*

      So sorry about the morning lay off, having to continue to work the day thing. That is REALLY hard. It’s so much better for employers not to do that. And in fact, safer in general I would think because if you have someone who is a loose cannon and you fire them, but let them continue to work the day, who knows what damage they could do? Not that this was the case for you MovingRightAlong, just saying it as a general concern.

    2. Jennifer*

      Zipcar needs to have reservations made at least some days in advance in order to get the car. It is NOT a system designed to just snag a car at the last moment (and let me tell you, this is usually not doable). I say this as a Zipcar user, though there are probably more slots/cars available on a weekday compared to a weekend.

      As a non-car owner, I can tell you that these folks are saying that you NEED to have a car on you AT ALL TIMES in order to do this job, and either you get a car on your own ASAP or give up on this job. I doubt they’ll make any special financial bonuses for you since most adults have cars and they can hire someone else with a car as easily as breathing.

      1. Jessa*

        Not in some big cities with good public transportation and extremely expensive off street parking (thing New York City here, or Boston proper.) I know many, many adults who live in those areas who never owned a car. Even if they do have driver’s licences. In some cities the expense of a car can be completely prohibitive.

  6. Jamie*

    This is a fair bit of time to commit to my organization!

    True, but 100k is a fair bit of money to commit to any one employee. Why would any employer devote that much money into your development and not want to make sure they benefit?

    And I agree with the answer, maybe Canada is different but if this were my tax dollars I’d be outraged.

    1. Zahra*

      I expect most Canadians would be outraged too. As a tax-payer, I’d be happy to fund the cost of a regular MBA. The remaining balance would be paid by the student. OR, if my tax dollars paid for such a program and you left sooner than the 100 months, I’d expect a refund for the months not worked, with the same interest rate as a personal loan (so around 8-10%).

    2. Lynne*

      Canada is different, but not THAT different. ;) I just can’t see it. Even if they don’t have a formal maximum for the amount of tuition they’ll reimburse, I can’t imagine OP’s management will approve paying for this in full. Even if they wanted to, they’d be sensitive to the possible scandal implications.

      I mean, Library & Archives Canada is an arm’s length org, and people are not happy about its former head spending $4500 of its money on Spanish lessons for himself; it seems to have precipitated the loss of his job. If he’d paid 100K for an EMBA program, I think it’d be getting a lot more press.

      1. Anonymous*

        Agreed! Better hope the regular commentors at some of the major newspaper websites don’t latch onto this – you’ll have people throwing insults like there’s no tomorrow. While I personally think that if OP is ready to make an 8-year commitment, then spending the 100K isn’t a big deal (it’s still $1000/month of work), this has bad optics written all over it. OP, are you sure there aren’t part-time MBA opportunities in your neck of the woods (I mean, piece of ice floe, of course :) )?

    3. KarenT*

      Jaimie, that is what I came here to post. I am a Canadian and would be furious to learn my tax dollars are funding EMBAs for government employees.

      $100 k is normal for EMBA in Canada (for those who were wondering).

      One of the biggest perks of an EMBA is future career prospects (through the schools corporate/alumni connections). If you’re going to saddle yourself to the government for 8 years, what’s the point?

  7. Josh S*

    #3: Changing companies for small raise

    The problem, though, is that the salary range is only $1,000 more than my current salary, and they probably aren’t going to negotiate with me.

    Do you *know* that they aren’t going to negotiate with you, or are you making this assumption? You can always attempt to negotiate, and it would certainly be reasonable to say something like, “Well, I’m really excited about the possibility of working for [company], but in order for me to make a move, I would need the salary to be X.” (Or insert whatever better offer you’d need in order to make the move to be worth it.)

    Doing that has a near-zero risk of offending them, and if they fail to meet your negotiation, they’ll understand exactly why you didn’t accept their offer, and then you can go straight to AAM’s language without being even close to offending them.

    1. Vicki*

      Also, “for a much shorter commute.” — How much shorter?

      Keep in mind the cost of your commute, not only in $$ for transit or gas but in wear on your car (if you drive) but in stress and time spent.

      If you spend an hour each way on your commute, that’s two hours each day for which you are not currently being paid. Be sure to consider the value of that time when you calculate the difference in salary!

  8. Dan*


    Regarding #1, what’s the point of making a counter offer to an employee, and then pushing them out a year later? Why not just let them go now?

    1. Josh S*

      To give yourself/your company time to execute a search for a new employee to fill the vacancy.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yep — to give yourself time to prepare for their departure, rather than being caught off-guard for it. Often it’s not quite so premeditated as that, but ends up happening in the end — they think “oh no, we can’t lose this person, we need to counter-offer” … and then as it sinks in that the person wanted to leave, they start pushing them out, either overtly or otherwise.

    3. Anthony*

      I don’t think that it is normally a conscious effort on the part of the employer to push the employee out (certainly with some employers it could be though). There are a lot of factors that go into it. There could be lingering resentment from the management that the candidate went job searching in the first place (and a fear that they will do the same thing the next time they don’t get their way) or resentment from other staff members (the employees coworkers) who are still working for the same rate as before (especially if it is a substantial pay increase for staying). There could also be resentment from the employee themselves which ultimately affects their work, if the develop the mindset that the company truly doesn’t value them (since the only reason they increased their pay when there was a serious threat of them leaving), as well as if there were any other issues that caused the employee to be unhappy with thier job (other than money), they will still be there (and making more money won’t change those issues). In addition, there will most likely be increased scrutiny on the employee from higher ups (who will want to see evidence of the value of this employee to justify the pay increase). All of these things can add up to an uncomfortable environment for the employee, leading them to leave for a new job (either voluntarily or forcfully).

      1. Hrm*

        I get the AAM wisdom here, but spouse loves his job despite the fact the company notoriously underpays. He’s part of an autonomous mini-company owned by Cheap Conglomerate. But it’s an admittedly cool job, hard to come by, and he loves it. They tend to only shell out when someone has an external offer or is leaving.

        We had to make a relocation decision 7 years ago, and spouse only got a raise after saying firmly but politely that we would need to relocate based on my career if he didn’t get a raise. He got the raise.

        Two years ago, spouse got headhunted for a more lucrative job in the industry (different function but a common transition), told his boss that he was being offered unsolicited interviews with Teapot Co. and Teapot Inc. but that really all he wanted was a raise at his current job. Boss was thankful for the information and said that it would help him in going to bat with Cheap Conglomerate for the raise.

        He got the raise within 48 hours (from a company that has historically taken weeks….months….years…. to respond to raises requests) and is happy. Everyone’s job satisfaction with this company is high except for the salary increases and raise process, but they all pretty much accept that as a condition of working a job they love. If you get to a point where you need more money but want to stay, you have to begin taking steps to leave.

        Anyway, not the conventional storyline here, but it could be situational. Some places just have some fundamental dysfunction that just has to be accepted as part of the package.

        Perhaps a good reason to follow the advice not to do what you love — some of those dream jobs tend to have depressed salaries and some dysfunctional industries (hellooooooo journalism and academia….!). Anyway, if doing what you love came with big bucks and no baggage, I’d be working at a doggy day care.

    4. Mike C.*

      To give yourself time to write them up for a series of minor disciplinary issues like “bad attitude” and “not a team player” so you can fire them and contest their unemployment.

      Also their opportunity to jump at the other job is now gone at this point, so that’s a plus for a vindictive employer as well.

  9. Been there/done that*

    To Op # seven, this happened to me is well so I understand what it is to go through this. I wish you well your next job. Like AAM said, they have to pay you for your work. Good luck!

  10. Canuck*

    Further to the differences between a regular MBA and EMBA, often the EMBA targets people with a lot of work experience, but little or no formal education. So these folks would not be eligible for regular MBA programs based on lack of an undergrad degree; or their schooling took place 25+ years ago, or from a foreign institution that is not recognized in Canada. Many of these programs base admission on experience and employer support alone (and usually the GMAT is not necessary either).

    I can’t be sure, but it sounds like the OP in this case is not the type of candidate that EMBA programs are looking for. At my organization (a health authority in Canada), we have paid for such programs – but for people at the VP or C-level only.

    I would suggest the OP look at a regular MBA program that is offered part time or by distance (Royal Roads is a good example).

  11. Forrest*

    I have a question related to #6. I start my new job in a month but they requested my presence that their annual meeting next week. I’m ok with doing this but unsure how to ask if I’ll be paid or not.

  12. PEBCAK*

    #1) The sad fact of completing a part-time degree while working full-time is that you usually have to then go somewhere else to get the pay increase for having it. Start looking.

  13. LL*

    Hi there, in response to OP #1, I just have a comment. I love the AAM blog, but do feel a bit like there is a tendancy to recommend people to look for other jobs when they describe a problem at their job. It is generally good advice, but kind of a given in a lot of circumstances. What is more difficult is actually working within the situation to either get what you want, or make things doable. I would love to see more of a focus on what to do if you don’t want to look for other work, for example I actually think that OP #1 still has a good chance of getting that raise. There is a decent chance this is a win/win. I wouldn’t start looking for a job until I had at least another conversation with the boss……..

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I did tell the OP to follow up with the boss and ask for a timeline for getting this addressed, but it does make sense to start job searching meanwhile because if the boss is really committed to retaining the OP at a fair salary, it just wouldn’t be taking this long — or if it was, the boss would have come back to the OP to talk about it, not leave her hanging. This is not a company that cares that much about the issue.

  14. Anonymous*

    OP#1: I think the important thing to consider is what your priority is. What’s more important to you, to work at a job you love, or that your salary is consistent with market value?

    Were you happy with your job and salary before you did your research and found you’re being paid less than the industry average?

    Some companies just don’t have the budget to pay you more, so if they don’t offer you the raise you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t value you.

  15. anon for this one*

    OP #2: I am currently employed in a Canadian federal agency and can tell you there is no way that your employer is going to pay 100k for your MBA. Maybe because you’ve only been there for one year (reason enough for them to balk at sending you back to school, regardless of price), you seem to be unaware that the federal civil service is in the midst of waves of layoffs and cutbacks as part of a deficit reduction effort. No matter how excellent your performance, there just is not that sort of money available for education support, especially for junior employees — and as other posters have noted, this would be a wasteful expense and terrible optics even if the funds were available. There probably isn’t even 100k allocated to education and training across the whole civil service right now, let alone in your agency.

    Also, you need to read the education clause in your collective agreement more closely. Your employer will pay “up to” 100% of costs (though I have never known anyone to have 100% of costs covered – usually it’s a token amount) IF the education is directly and immediately necessary for your current position. An MBA is an optional degree (and as many posters have pointed out, really not a good investment anyway, at that price point). I’m not aware of any positions in the federal civil service that would require an MBA, and certainly none where they’d hire you and then pay for you to get one.

    Sorry to burst your bubble but you need to be realistic about this if you are putting energy and time into applying for this program expecting that it will all be paid for simply because you got one good performance evaluation after one year of employment.

    1. Brandy*

      I’d also suggest understanding what happens if you complete your progam, paid for (in full or in part, as suggested above) and then you leave prior to your 8-10 year commitment.

      I’ve known people to have their entire MBAs paid for (full tuition, full time- so over $100k here in the US). It was always private sector, not government, but these situations always had an “out”- such as a % of the tuition spent, etc.

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