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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    2
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    Asking for a raise

    Hi all!
    I'm posting this not to talk about exact dollars, but rather how I should go about asking for a raise. Advice from owners and techs/installers welcomed.

    First about me. I used to work for a HVAC wholesaler. Started in the warehouse and then drove a truck for almost 4 years before snatched by a customer. Been with this shop for 5 months and am very happy. After 4 months I got a van and gas card and started doing new home construction solo. Setting furnace, ductwork, vents, flexducts, fireplaces and gas piping.

    I took a dollar pay cut to learn the trade, and with my 6 months approaching I did some research to see what other companies were paying. Most starting wages are 3-5$ higher than mine. So I intend to ask for a 4$ raise.

    I don't think it's unreasonable as my work looks good. Only issues I've had are some gas leaks but have been able to locate and fix them too.

    My last job had scheduled reviews every year and your raise was given based on goals accomplished and managers opinion of you (around 1-4% raise).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Medford, N.Y.
    Posts
    5,860
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    I gotta give this here info some thought. 6 months hey?!

    I'll be back cause i'm headed to a Margaritaville/Yukon Jack 5 day Moment. I'm outta here for a little bit. 6 months huh? BEER TENDER ANOTHER BAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    US of A
    Posts
    5,188
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    I hope things go well for you but I believe the best thing that job has to offer is experience. When you have enough of it you will be able to make much more at most any place.
    Signature removed Violated rule #15

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    663
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    Six months is not enough time.

    No matter how good you are, you still have a lot to learn.

    Wait for yearly review.

    $4 dollar raise? Good luck with that. See what someone else will actually offer you for comparison.

    That being said, I don't know your market.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    N. FL.
    Posts
    8
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    Hello,
    First of all let me say PATIENCE! I have over 25 years as a Worker Bee, Then I got my Masters and went all in. (15 years more) Not saying you need that much Patience, but your not past your first year in. It sounds like they see something they like and You will Definitely be in a better position after you get more Seasoned in the Trade. Duct Rough, Fab, Installs etc. are all Very Important to Master. MASTERING them will give you the confidence to Own your Career rather than just working for the Man. Although, If your not making a living wage that is different, ask and you shall receive. Absorb All that you can from everyone willing to share their Experience. Develop your Service and Diagnostic Skills. Common Sense and Diagnostics are more Valuable in this Industry than most any other. It is a Very Diverse and Satisfying Trade. Best of Luck!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    2,742
    Post Likes
    What was the company policy and what did you discuss when hired? This is the most important point and completely overlooked especially in blue collar jobs. I'm a 1 man (and a part time guy) business so I don't have to deal with this.

    With many white collar jobs, all of this is spelled out in the interview-sign on bonuses, reviews, raises, regular bonuses, promotions, etc., even exit strategy and severance pay-and agreed upon before being hired. Unfortunately in the trades, many people are just happy to get a job and try to negotiate later.

    Did you boss say there would be a 6 month review?
    If so, then get a review of how you are doing. See what they are happy with and what they want you to improve.
    If they want you to improve on certain things, see if they offer training. Usually if the boss is happy he will offer an amount for a raise. It takes some real tact to bring up what you think others are getting, so you have to have your facts and be confident with that part of the discussion. Go too far and you may anger the boss and start the wheels in motion to end your employment there. Seems like if what you say is true, you are doing well and hopefully your boss agrees and is amenable to your request...if your self-evaluation equals his evaluation.

    Here's a key concept when negotiating...If you're not happy, tell him where you want to be, and why, and what do you need to do to get there. Put it back on him why he can't give you want you want.

    That alone will tell you what the future probably holds for you, and you can decide if you need to start poking around the other shops to make a move.

    Like a game of chess, think of every variation of the conversation, what he could say and how you would respond. Practice out loud to make sure it's a win-win for both parties.

    It also depends on the boss. When I was a carpenter, each employee was given a self evaluation sheet to fill out prior to the review meeting-where you talk about what you accomplished, what are your goals, etc. Really seemed like giving him ammo for the review meeting. My boss had this game where he only talked about any bad things, the employee has to talk about all his good things. He low balls a raise, you go high, see if you can meet in the middle.

    After one of these meetings he asked me that if I was going to ever quit, would I come talk to him first. I asked why, which confused him but he gave the usual mumbo jumbo about how great I am, wants to keep me, etc. I said something like this (can't remember exactly as it was almost 30 years ago):
    "If I work for a person and they know how valuable I am, and underpay me, that's not the type of person I want to work for. And even worse, if I work for a person and they are clueless to how valuable I am, and underpay me, then that's definitely the type of person I wouldn't want to work for". He respected that comment.

    Keep in mind this boss was a honest, smart and straight up guy, and really liked, understood, and appreciated employees who made him money. But he is running a business. I never complained about money outside of that review, was always well paid, right up until I left to take over the family business.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    2
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEusaPA View Post
    What was the company policy and what did you discuss when hired? This is the most important point and completely overlooked especially in blue collar jobs. I'm a 1 man (and a part time guy) business so I don't have to deal with this.

    With many white collar jobs, all of this is spelled out in the interview-sign on bonuses, reviews, raises, regular bonuses, promotions, etc., even exit strategy and severance pay-and agreed upon before being hired. Unfortunately in the trades, many people are just happy to get a job and try to negotiate later.

    Did you boss say there would be a 6 month review?
    If so, then get a review of how you are doing. See what they are happy with and what they want you to improve.
    If they want you to improve on certain things, see if they offer training. Usually if the boss is happy he will offer an amount for a raise. It takes some real tact to bring up what you think others are getting, so you have to have your facts and be confident with that part of the discussion. Go too far and you may anger the boss and start the wheels in motion to end your employment there. Seems like if what you say is true, you are doing well and hopefully your boss agrees and is amenable to your request...if your self-evaluation equals his evaluation.

    Here's a key concept when negotiating...If you're not happy, tell him where you want to be, and why, and what do you need to do to get there. Put it back on him why he can't give you want you want.

    That alone will tell you what the future probably holds for you, and you can decide if you need to start poking around the other shops to make a move.

    Like a game of chess, think of every variation of the conversation, what he could say and how you would respond. Practice out loud to make sure it's a win-win for both parties.

    It also depends on the boss. When I was a carpenter, each employee was given a self evaluation sheet to fill out prior to the review meeting-where you talk about what you accomplished, what are your goals, etc. Really seemed like giving him ammo for the review meeting. My boss had this game where he only talked about any bad things, the employee has to talk about all his good things. He low balls a raise, you go high, see if you can meet in the middle.

    After one of these meetings he asked me that if I was going to ever quit, would I come talk to him first. I asked why, which confused him but he gave the usual mumbo jumbo about how great I am, wants to keep me, etc. I said something like this (can't remember exactly as it was almost 30 years ago):
    "If I work for a person and they know how valuable I am, and underpay me, that's not the type of person I want to work for. And even worse, if I work for a person and they are clueless to how valuable I am, and underpay me, then that's definitely the type of person I wouldn't want to work for". He respected that comment.

    Keep in mind this boss was a honest, smart and straight up guy, and really liked, understood, and appreciated employees who made him money. But he is running a business. I never complained about money outside of that review, was always well paid, right up until I left to take over the family business.
    Thanks for all the responses guys! Was not expecting that. I guess I wasn't clear too in my effort for brevity. It was understood I would have a review "around 6 months "and probably be in a van "around 6 months". The other new guy who started before me got a raise when he got his van at 6 months.

    They knew I was taking a pay cut but promised if I performed to pay me more. I'm asking for 4, but realistically would be happy with 2 and ecstatic with 3. If I get less than 2$ I will probably stick it out for the full year then look around at other shops.

    I don't want to leave but I've got a wife and 2 babies to take care of as I'm sure many of you do too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Gladstone, Oregon (Portland)
    Posts
    1,526
    Post Likes
    Main thing is enjoying what you do and who you do it with and for. The money will come if you look at it this way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    9,646
    Post Likes
    You may do great work, you may not, we don't know, at 5 months you may not know. At 5 months I would not have put me in a truck to run my own job let alone a newbee. Nothing against you, there are a lot of details involved in this industry. Some bosses don't care about those details and just want the job done to get paid. I want all those details taken care of because those details make the difference between a bad job and a good job, or a good job and a great job. The also tend to make a difference on how many calls you have back on the system and how hard they are to work on when on that call.

    I don't know what you are being paid and haven't seen your work. Maybe you need a raise, maybe you need more training. The bottom line is it comes down to what the boss wants. If you can live with it great if not walk.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    75
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    6 months in the van and already wants 40 an hour? lol

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tx
    Posts
    1,322
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    Quote Originally Posted by superheatmaster View Post
    6 months in the van and already wants 40 an hour? lol
    Since I retired has the industry got this desperate to actually solo a guy at 4 months with no real training or prior experience in our business other than a delivery driver ?

  12. Likes lions_lair liked this post
  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    On the water but near the hood
    Posts
    1,808
    Post Likes
    Ever think of the direct approach? Tell your boss what you want and ask him what milestones you need to meet for him to agree you deserve it.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Current whereabouts unknown
    Posts
    692
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    I too started out doing new construction. A motivated guy can learn to do that job in months, and get pretty good at putting the cookie cutter systems together. The problem is, there isn’t a whole lot of profit per new home that gets completed. You can probably get another buck or two per hour out of your boss with out much trouble, but the wage ceiling for residential new construction is not very high, you won’t make the money you really want until you start branching out into tougher installations and service work. No matter what you can get out of your boss now, start planning to step it up, either in this company or jump ship to learn it somewhere else. If you’re going to work for somebody else, you need to be able to make them some serious money if you expect them to pay you serious money.

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