My employer says I’m aggressive. How do I negotiate a raise?

Globe & Mail – 9 to 5 – Sunday, September 10, 2017

THE QUESTION

I work in a large corporation with more than 25,000 employees and moved from Vancouver to Toronto 18 months ago to gain more visibility and to climb the corporate ladder. Employees here often go on extended coffee breaks and assignments are either undelivered, or late with no consequence. I recently had my midyear review and, despite a stellar review, I was told I was too aggressive and to lower my expectations of others. I make a mediocre wage in comparison to my colleagues.

I’ve been with my company for 13 years now and in my industry for 15 years. I feel that it’s time to call it quits and to do my own thing as I know I have what it takes. I’m looking to negotiate a 30-per-cent wage increase and have the ability to work out of Vancouver when year-end performance reviews take place. My management team will likely say no to my demands. Should I resign and offer to train my replacement? Or allow them to reconsider their position on how to deal with my situation? I feel they need a bit of a wake-up call.

THE ANSWER

You want to price yourself out of a job in hopes that the company will give you a package – is that what I am reading?

Hang on to your job for the moment and take the next couple of months to look at what it would take for you to start your own business. You have 15 years’ industry experience, you are motivated and ambitious.

Asking for a raise that you know would never happen could embarrass you and cause resentment and a negative reference if you do decide to leave or are terminated. Working in an environment that goes against your values and work ethic is toxic, so why stay? Your conditions could backfire on you. The company could just make your life miserable and force your hand to leave without severance.

When you are prepared to go it alone, resign; do not offer to train your replacement. In such a large company, there is not much likelihood of your situation being reconsidered.