My $100 increment for 2019

It was performance review time. It happened in 1Q 2019. I had worked in this new company for almost a year, as a engineer. It was a relatively small company but it was in an interesting field so I made the move to join them.

Before giving us our bonus letters, my boss called me into his room. After the usual small talk, he got down to business. “So, you’ve been with us for a year now. How do you think you did? How much do you think your increment will be?”

I thought, well if he’s asking me to guess, he must be quite confident about the figure he’s offering me. At that split moment, I decided to guess the increment I thought I deserved, while keeping in mind that I was already underpaid compared to my peers. “Hmm, 10%?” I was hopeful and grinning.

Guess what happened next. His initial smile wiped away from his face. He started to look really serious. “Your increment is 2%… and it is very good already! We cannot expect so much!” He looked at me like I was from another planet, like I said something totally ridiculous.

Maybe I started work in Apr 2018 so my increment was pro-rated. Maybe my performance was really just so average.

But 2%. Nevermind that I KNEW that the company was earning so much on each unit we manufactured. Nevermind that I KNEW our sales team was laughing all the way to the bank. Nevermind that we busted our asses working, dealing with night calls, building the team.

It is so comical that the imbalance was so great – If we didn’t manufacture anything, would our sales team have anything to sell? The product practically sells itself. In that moment I thought to myself, manufacturing is really not the way to go. If this is the mindset for manufacturing managers, it must be really difficult to retain people in the manufacturing sector. My $100 increment is going to motivate me to find other ways to escape.

You can see my career progression since I’ve graduated. It is not a pretty picture. Who knows where it will go from here on? Stay tuned, folks!

How was your career progression like? Or your increment this year? Feel free to share and discuss!

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