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SpatzieLover's avatar

My question is have you, been undersold or had your skill set diminished by others at work? If so, how have you handled it?

Asked by SpatzieLover (24520points) June 4th, 2014

We’re going through a career shift with my husband.

I’m noticing he’s being ‘undersold’ via his manager to the soon to be hiring team at the company they will be working for*.

I think the mgr. wants his ‘team’ of what he’s deeming “Level III Server Engineers” to be taken first (as he’s worked with them the longest).

My husband has as much or more experience as these other team members, but due to the way he came into the college (part time due to having to service other outside clients) he hasn’t worked 100% full time at the college with this team.

He still has one client (thankfully one with a BIG name charity in our locale…actually Nationally known) who is very willing to write a glowing referral. She’s promised to get it to him ASAP. ;)

My husband has
Client O/S – 16 years
Server O/S – 14 years
MS Office – 17 years

(Skill Set and experience puts him at Level III engineer) but was “sold” to the new hire as a Level II. This new hire, has taken the stance of taking the manager’s word for it (i.e. to help the transition along, wasn’t requiring nor requesting resumes or referrals). That’s where I have a huge issue with this. My husband was blind to what was happening.

*Quite technical, but they currently work at a college in the Information Services Dept, and will at the beginning of the year be employed by said college.

As a side note: Husband is an Aspie with ADHD. As far as we know, the hiring CIO is not privy to the info. The ‘underselling’ manager he works under knows. This may have been another factor.

I’m advising my husband to go not through his manager (as this manager may not decide to stay with the college), but to go directly to the person who will hire him with a resume and referral letter in hand.

What would you do/have you done, in this situation?

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3 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

I’ve tried to think through what I would do in your husband’s situation and I think it depends on a lot of other factors, but mainly

1) What the difference between the two positions is and what part of that actually matters to him.
2) How does he know what he’s being sold as?

Does a Level III Engineer get better pay? Is it a different role? Special projects? A sweet parking spot? Does he just not want to be passed over? All can be legitimate reasons.

Did his current manager let him know he’s being considered “Level II”, or is that just his feeling?

I’d make my case for the elements that were important to me, in whatever way best fits my skills, as soon as it didn’t seem inappropriate. I know that timing is vague, but I wouldn’t want that conversation to be my introduction to the new manager, but as soon as I knew we’d be working together, I’d take the initiative to try and set up a meeting to discuss how I can help them and put myself in for the position I’m interested in. It’s important that he asks for the role he wants.

That may be dropping of some glowing recommendations and highlighting why his experience is better served in the Level III role, and making sure his desires are known. Or it may be explaining how his experience with their range of services allows him to take on greater responsibility than he may have to this point. Whatever proves his point best.

What I wouldn’t do is compare myself directly to others on the team on experience alone, or at all unless it’s absolutely necessary. It simply doesn’t matter how many years he’s been doing it after a certain point. Saying John only has 12 years experience and I have 14 is like saying John is only 46, and I’m 49. Making it competitive also means showing you’re really only looking out for yourself. Show them growth and interest in expanding skills in areas that they need, make yourself an obvious choice, and let them make the decision.

I hope it goes well for him. Remember that the titles are just given names that don’t matter outside those walls in the slightest, and that there is a whole world of other jobs if he really believes he’s being slighted.

jerv's avatar

My last job paid me less than a Machinist 1 for doing what a Machinist 3 does; about half of what other places pay those who do what I did there. I now earn almost twice as much for doing less… and that is merely because I now earn roughly the median wage for the field, while also having actual duties that match my job description without having all sorts of free labor forced from me.

Of course, I got that job through an agency while I got my current job myself. If you want things done right, do them yourself.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Just a quick update: Husband is now in negations with both the college and his current employer.

His salary wasn’t really the issue. Obviously being paid what one is worth is ideal, however we are taking employment environment very much into consideration here, as well as growth potential.

In his field, the title does matter, especially for future employment. The difference between a level II and level III in both Network Engineering and Server Engineering is often the difference between $10—$20K in salary, along with vast difference in responsibilities (including leading projects, etc).

He’s worked diligently to keep progressing in his field. It appears, both parties in question have taken notice, thus the negation process. This is not occurring with co-workers on his same team.

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