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How do I ask for a raise?

I suppose maybe I should start with *should* I ask for a raise? A little bit of background: This is my first IT job, hired on as an IT Intern part time as I finish my bachelor's degree at WGU. I've been there since February. A little after a month, the IT Manager (the only other IT employee) quit very suddenly. There was no two week notice, more like 2 days, and even in those 2 days he tried to cram as much training into me as possible as I was going to be supporting the whole plant entirely alone until they hired a new manager. This guy had been the ONLY IT manager ever since the plant first switched from typewriters to computers.

Needless to say, he knew all of our systems like the back of his hand, quite often he built them from the ground up. So while I do get some assistance from Division and Corporate IT, the help they can provide me is limited because there are many things in our environment they never even knew about. It wasn't until he left that I really realized just how many plates I had to keep spinning, how many critical systems were being held together with spit and string that I had to shore up, and how many demands both plant management and division IT management were going to hand to me, how much SOX testing was going to take over my life every quarter, how often I'd get called on nights and weekends to fix a serious issue.

But I did it. There were very long hours and a lot of stress, but I basically got a crash course in everything and managed to keep everything going relatively smoothly. Both plant management and the Division IT manager have given me stellar feedback. I'm actually pretty happy with the situation, as being dumped straight into the fire served me well, gave me an opportunity to rapidly expand my skill set, got my name and my face known throughout the company as the green kid who managed to keep a plant running solo.

They hired a new IT manager two months ago. I assumed the level of responsibility assigned to me would reduce as the new manager came in and took on the higher level tasks, but this was not the case. He was an external hire, and had a hard time adjusting and learning the environment, and relied on me heavily to teach him. I also started running into a problem of users still coming to me for everything because they felt he was rude or dismissive, and I found out recently that users have been very vocal to upper management about how unhelpful he is and how much they preferred dealing with me.

He just quit. Pretty annoying, since I'm not looking forward to the increased hours interfering with adequate study time again, but I do see the upside. I do also recognize that he may have done me a favor. By appearing as difficult and inefficient as he did, and by giving up after only 8 or so weeks on the job, he has made me look even better by comparison, and reinforced the idea of how much of a valuable asset I've worked to make myself to the company. I can keep this place running until they find another manager, and I anticipate the new manager will likewise need to take the time to learn the environment, so my workload will stay heavy for the foreseeable future.

When the first manager left, one of the very last things he did was to encourage me to ask for more money once he was gone. I didn't listen the first time, but this time around, I realize the leverage I may have in this situation.

So, should I ask? How do I go about it? I don't want to come off as opportunistic; I'm just looking to have my pay adjusted to be in line with the responsibility placed on my shoulders. Any tips, advice, etc. How much do I ask for or how do I determine what I'm worth?

This post first appeared on Recent Blogs Posts - IT Certificatio, please read the originial post: here

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How do I ask for a raise?


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