Salary Expectations…and Disappointments


You have eagerly awaited June all year. You have been a stellar employee. This year, you have not only met your job responsibilities, but you have also exceeded them. You have worked hard and you are certain that your hard work will pay off. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Hard work equals pay off? Your boss approaches you. You’re confident, as you should be. Why wouldn’t you be confident? You have done everything you were supposed to and more. “Congratulations,” your boss tells you, giving you a firm handshake, “we are giving you a raise.” Your face lights up. You’re elated. But, then he says, “You’ll be getting…,” and as he rattles off some numbers, your smile disintegrates. “THAT’S IT?” you feel like yelling, but you don’t. “Again, we really want to congratulate you. Good work,” your boss says, generically, “you deserve this raise.” You think to yourself: deserve what? “You’re barely giving me anything!” you want to yell. Instead, you shake his hand again, and walk back to your office. You’re disappointed, as you should be: you worked hard this year!

[creativ_pullright colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” text=”Review is often a disappointment.”]

Your expectations are high, for valid reasons, but they’re crushed as soon as your boss approaches to give you his supposed good news. Maybe you wanted a leadership position that you were qualified for, but just didn’t get. Maybe you wanted a raise, but there just wasn’t enough money in the budget. Maybe you wanted just a little more recognition and appreciation. Instead, here you are, feeling completely undervalued. Does the firm not see all of the hard work you’re putting in? Do they not understand the sacrifices you have made in order to put in this hard work? If they’re not respecting you now, might they eventually let you go? Worst of all, are you merely a standard employee…are you replaceable?

You begin to feel helpless. You begin to feel stuck. You will never get the raise you deserve. You will never be paid for overtime. You will never get enough vacation time to go away with your family. In her novel, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath wrote, “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.” Is that the key to your success? Should you lower your expectations in order to be happy? Maybe. If you do not expect that your hard work will pay off, you will not be disappointed when it doesn’t. But, is this really the best way to live? Instead, maybe you should look at this situation differently. Rather than alter your expectations, consider altering your bosses’ actions. Instead of lowering your expectations, let your boss meet them. Be happy not because you expect less, but because you are getting what you deserve. But, what if your boss cannot meet your expectations? While reducing your likelihood for disappointment is in your control and is thus the easier option, is it worth the cost of not getting what you know you deserve?

While many others are in your shoes: disheartened and undervalued, you don’t have to feel this way. Some firms, potentially including your own, do not have the budget to give you what you deserve, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t receive the benefits that you know you have earned. At PFS, we work to match you with a firm that WILL value you in the way that you are entitled to. What’s important to you? Is it that raise? Being paid for overtime? Not working as much overtime? An extra week for vacation? Please, tell us. We want to match you with a firm that will show their appreciation for your hard work.

Review doesn’t need to be a disappointment!

Instead of the conversation mentioned above, imagine this. June is approaching. Your boss tells you to come to his office. While part of you thinks, “here we go again…” remembering the trauma of your previous mismatched expectations and disappointment, the other part of you is still hopeful. Again, you know that you have done a good job. You have, again, both met and exceeded everything your boss has asked you to do. You secretly know that you deserve that higher raise, the vacation time, the pay for all that overtime you have been doing. “Come on in,” your boss tells you, as you look at down at your shoes, fearful of disappointment. “We are so proud of all of the work you have done here. You have exceeded our expectations and we could not value you more. In exchange for all of your hard work, we would like to give you a raise,” your boss says. You clench your teeth in anticipation, but as your boss recounts your bonus offer, your teeth unclench. Are you hearing him correctly? Are you really getting the raise that you deserve? Is someone actually recognizing your hard work and commitment? Are you finally working for someone who appreciates you as his employee? You shake your bosses hand; you are delighted: your expectations have been met.

You may be happy in your job. That’s great. We are genuinely thrilled for you. However, if you’re unhappy, if you have ever questioned your happiness, or even if you are happy now but later find yourself unhappy, talk to us. Let us help you find that happiness, that appreciation, that respect, and that raise. Consider this: is your firm giving you the compensation and respect that you deserve?