Background: I work in a manufacturing factory (large company, revenue over 16 billion) in Connecticut, United States where I am a quality supervisor overseeing inspection on 2nd shift. The annual revenue of the building is approximately 150 million where every part needs to go through inspection (my department) prior to leaving the building (Final Inspection).
My first shift counter-part just left to another position, I had 2 counter parts on 1st shift however one retired a year ago and they hired a replacement a few months ago who quit within 2 months. The retired counterpart did a slightly different job where it does not add a lot of work to my job, the other (who just left) directly copies my position. I work normally 3 pm to 1:30 am to cover 3rd shift, I understand that I work way more then I should to cover but at the moment I am content with that at the moment. I currently make 70,000 a year (10% bonus for 2nd shift on top).
I have been talked to by my superior's boss (Quality Manager) multiple times in the past 3 months about me eventually working first shift taking her position. I have told him many times that I do not have any current plans as I wanted to finish my degree however I am open to negotiation. I am finishing my degree online on 2nd shift and have another year and a half, I am happy where I am at (my co-worker does have her degree).
I have learned my old co-workers pay and is significantly more then me (approximately 50%). We are not hiring at the moment due to COVID-19. The quality manager has a temporary fill-in in the 1st shift position, talking with him he will not be in this position long and they do not have another potential interim supervisor. Without my degree (will be finished in Dec 2021) it will be difficult for me to get a similar pay / position. After I receive I planned to look around for a new job at that point. I have multiple certifications that I worked on my own time including Military Experience (I have ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, AS9100 Lead Auditor Training, working on ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, ETC.).
I have been told by many other co-workers (including some in Quality) that I am much more reliable in my position and receive many compliments about that. By not only co-workers but also higher-ups.
My current plan (if / when asked) is that I am asked to work her position I would like her pay. I understand the situation and believe that I definitely am in a favorable position. They will not be able to hire a replacement and when they were able to for the other position they were unable to for an unforeseen amount of months. I do not want to be greedy and burn bridges. I am more worried myself for how to deal with negotiation, I severely doubt they will take my first offer. I am happy to stay at my current position on second shift and have no obligation to take it. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you all for your assistance.
Sounds like you've got a potentially good opportunity in the future.
What you need to do now is 3 things:
1. Position yourself to ensure you're seen in a good light by everyone. This does not mean go out of your way to do additional work. It means doing your current work as flawlessly as possible.
2. Prepare for the discussion. Understand what is happening within the quality department and within the plant. Being on 2nd shift, you have a disadvantage in that you're not around when the key decision makers are, except for the start of your shift. This means there may be things you don't know about, So rather than assume things (what people were paid, what their workloads were, etc), try to find out what has changed since these people left to cover off on their jobs.
3. Prepare for a negotiation. Know what you want and what is the minimum you'll accept in terms of workload increase vs pay increase. Plus understand the implications to your degree completion as well as the opportunity for career advancement, as mentioned earlier.
There are may nuances to these three steps and I'd be happy to have a 30 minute conversation with you to help you get covered.
Pease feel free to reach out to me directly at 484-895-9789.
And if not, good luck!
Joseph, the disparity in salaries is confusing. Please make certain the source of your input is infallible. Such a difference would not be warranted by having a college degree. Many positions I’ve seen that do not specify a degree generally look for X years’ experience and X-~1-2 years including the degree.
That said, I’ve never felt that making a case based on someone else’s position was a prudent approach. Rather, it is “what you offer” that makes the compelling case for increased rewards. In your case, there appears to be s a lot of objective evidence as to the soundness and recognition of your work.
Given the “complex times”, the rewards might not be immediate but try to gain an understanding of what lies ahead from an advancement and career development perspective to include potential salary actions. I would not play hardball, but rather discuss what the shift change and related extra duties means to your career advancement.
Lastly, I have found a really solid correlation between the fact that reward/success always seem to follow hard work.
I offer another opinion: In this time of Covid, if the answer to your request for pay increase and workload is a negative, then you are in a precarious position for them to start looking for a replacement who will accept less. I suggest that if you are unhappy with the work load and the less pay, you look for something else while you still have the comfort of a paycheck. The best time to look for another job is while you already have one and its never a good idea to suggest to a supervisor that you would like to be paid the same as her and its never safe to overestimate your own importance because the workplace is not where everyone is a friend. Beware of the sharks and there will be many. I can read a bit of cautionary intuition in your questions-use it wisely,
First off, thank you for your service.
Regarding your inquiry, I would suggest that you keep it simple. I don't think you have to wait until you complete your education to ask for a promotion. It sounds like to me you are already a valuable member of the company. If you want the job, go for it.
Knowledge is power but what you do with it is crucial. I would suggest that when you ask for the pay raise, you try to keep the specifics out of the conversation (if possible). Talking about who makes what is a good way to get off on an emotional tangent. Simply ask to be considered for the role, point out your value and state your price. Don't negotiate. Make it seem more like an offer. Like you are doing them a favor (because you are).
Lastly, find a way to bridge the gap. Identify a colleague you can mentor as a replacement. Don't give them a reason to decline your offer.
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