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I.T. job situation, I need advice.

By DoodinIT ·
Okay, I am going to try and give the shortest version possible. Almost two years ago I was hired by a company to take care of all of their I.T. needs (my starting title was Network Specialist). They were using a contractor to do all of the work before me and were paying on average $500k/year so they decided it would be best to hire someone full time. When I came to their company I was told I would just be taking care of the network and computers and they were giving me $15/hr plus time and a half for any calls I got after hours.

Soon after that we put into place a networked phone system with VoIP and I was soon in charge of the phone system as well. Next we came to my 90day evaluation where I was promised (when I was hired) that we would adjust my salary to what it should be and give me a proper title and job description. Did this happen? No. After several months of hitting them over the head to get this done, the President and VP met with me to discuss it since we also had to discuss the budget and plan I had put together for the year.
We had been discussing doing a website/intranet for awhile so I had put these in the plan as well since I have several years of experience in graphic design and web development (been working for several companies doing that as well as running my own company on the side for almost 8 years). They had also told me to do some market research and figure out what I should be making and what my title should be, they also realized that after all of the on call and overtime I had been pulling they needed to get me into a salaried position. After talking for awhile they decided it would be best to give me a base salary of $42k, $600 a week to be on call and $20.19/hr (my hourly rate when breaking down my salary) for every hour of on call work that I did (guaranteed salary of $57,600/year + an hours on call). They also promised me that they would allow me to do the graphic design for marketing and the website as side projects, done under my own company, and would be paid separately for these. They told me that at my 1yr we would reevaluate this solution. I agreed with this (my new title was also ?Sr. Systems Engineer?).

After awhile things became really hectic (we opened a 24/hr call center as well as 2 other branch offices) and my on call hours were screaming high. I tried to get with them at my 1yr to discuss a better way to do my position but they didn?t meet with me until several months later. The current marketing director had not allowed me to do any design work and I had been waiting on information from the VP so that I could do the website, so neither one of those side projects promised had been done yet.

Now, let?s jump forward a few months. The old marketing director was fired and so was the CFO. The new CFO, unlike the old one, actually understood the need for technology in the company and allowed me to purchase the equipment I needed to get the job done. Finally! However, the marketing director they hired they mainly hired her because her last name was extremely well known in the industry (because of her father). Several weeks later I saw some designs lying on the presidents? desk for a logo/business cards for one of our sub companies. I asked them about it and they agreed that I could give the designs a shot. Can you guess whose final design they picked for both? Mine. Did they pay me for it as promised? No.
I quickly reported to the VP/COO (my boss) that I had not been paid for the work as promised and that the marketing director loved my work along with everyone else and they wanted me to do the rest of the marketing material and finally get started on the website. The VP/COO told me they agreed and to submit pricing to them. I guess my prices were too high because the next thing I know the marketing director already has her best friend and her husband working on the marketing materials. I brought this to their attention and I asked them what was going on and if I was going to get to do the work for marketing and the website/intranet as promised. I also told them that I had an idea to save them a lot of money. For the last year I had been pulling TONS of on call and we all sat down and figured out what my salary is because of all of it. I was averaging $96,000/year (that?s almost $40k because of on call). I told them if they would just give me a proper job description, title and just give me a single base salary (I asked for base salary + being on call salary plus an average of my on call) instead of having a base salary of $42k and then another $15,600 for being on call plus the rest then I would be more than willing to do the website and intranet for free.

Next thing I did was I gave them a copy of a job description (Director of Information Technology) that would fit perfectly for what I was doing (I was setting up and configuring all network equipment, doing cabling, maintaining the network, software and phone system as well as anything else that was electronic ? including the 200 sprint cell phones we had. We have 5 branch offices over the state that are connected via VPN to our main office and I have to support all of their equipment as well). They said they wanted to leave my salary as it is and they did not want to put a ?director? in this position (even though they have like 6 other directors and I do as much if not more work than all of them). I didn?t fight this since I was making a decent salary for all that I was doing and because I had been promised all this other work (would be about $40k-50k/year of work on the side). Several weeks later I asked them what the plan was now and the VP/COO told me that the marketing materials were already being taken care of by another vendor and that they had given two other directors the task of going out and getting bids from other vendors so that another vendor could do the work because they say I am just too busy to handle these tasks (of course I think there is another reason behind it) but that she ?supposes? she can give me a different title. She decided ?Network Operations Manager?.

I personally think that my boss just doesn?t want to put me into an executive position such as a director or CTO because she is already furious that a 20yr old is making $96k/year and she has said several times that she wishes she could go back and do what I am doing for a living. My fianc? and the ones at the office (including the CFO and two other directors) think that I am being taken advantage of. They are always having me do things way outside of my job description and don?t want to pay me for it (the logos and business cards that I did as well as a blueprint the president asked me to do). I was trying to save the company thousands of dollars a year (which the CFO was happy with) by just giving me a straight salary and making me a director or CTO (like everyone other company pretty much has) as well as I will be doing the marketing designs and website/intranet within my job instead of a side project charge.
Did I mention that back when they originally agreed that I would be doing all of this they purchased all of the software for me (adobe and macromedia suites) as well as a really nice web server so we could host in house? The plans that we have for the website/intranet are not something that an outside vendor could even do (well I know they can but it would take them a lot of time and a lot of money) because of all of the integration with our network and industry software packages we need to have. Another reason why they originally wanted me to do it was because people can just walk down the hall or call my extension if there was a problem or if they needed an addition to the intranet or website done. Now they are completely blowing me off and having other directors that don?t know anything about developing a website/intranet be in charge of find a vendor to do it? It?s making me really frustrated. Not to mention we are in the mist of evaluating new software packages to replace one of our current ones. You would think that the task of evaluating new software packages would rest in the hands of the person in charge of I.T., right? Nope. They put a director in charge of this that has no idea what they are doing in regards to software. They should have put me in charge of it so that I could bring in the right people within the company that will be using the software so that we can make a good decision.

I really don?t know what I am looking for from all of you, I just needed to vent and maybe get some advice on what I should do. I am always pulling my hair out at work because of the way they are running their business. Last time I talked to my boss I told them that I would do the website and designs free right now so that we could just get it done and we could discuss compensation for it once we started to see a return. They said no. I was willing to do it free for the company (what I would normally charge 30-40k for) because I realize the need we have for it and just want what?s best for the company.

I am grateful that I am making what I am making and I am in the job I am at the age I am, however I also don?t think I should allow a company to walk over me. If I could find another job that paid similar I would be gone. For one, I think that my job should BE a Director or CTO. I am going to hire a person or two by the end of summer to assist me with all of the work which is another reason I should have a different title. The main reason being? The COO/VP and President are my bosses and they have NO clues about technology or anything related yet they are in charge of what I do. If I am truly in charge of I.T. in the company than I shouldn?t have to seek approval of my bosses when they don?t know anything about what I am doing. I am not saying that I shouldn?t have to run anything by them, I am just saying that I should be in the position along with all of the other people running their departments where I am the one who knows best about what the company needs therefore I should be in charge of it. Either I am in charge of I.T. or I am not.

Anyways ? I am almost to the point where I am ready to quit or just say screw it about the website/intranet and marketing designs and leave my salary as it is. I have bills to pay and for the most part like my job, just don?t like my bosses or how they are running their company ? so I wouldn?t like to quit but I cannot continue to be this frustrated. I figured I would vent here because I?m sure some of you have been in similar situations. Forgive any typos.

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by In reply to I.T. job situation, I nee ...


You asked for advice, so here goes...

It is clear from your post that you are a very smart, high energy, gifted person. But, you need to learn patience. You've got 45 or 50 working years ahead of you but you're rushing as though you've got 2 years left to live. At 20 years old you're making $96K and you want to quit?!

Your career is not going to always move forward. Sometimes it will move sideways. Sometimes even backwards. Sometimes you're going to work with or for dopey people. You have come a very long way in under 2 years. You've learned a lot. You're now making an outstanding salary. But, over time, you're not going to get everything you think you should nor every title or position you think you deserve. It just doesn't work that way.

I recommend you take a deep breath and count your blessings. Even though you think you know a lot, more than the managers you work with that are much older than you, there is still a lot more for you to learn in your current job.

You're going to do very very well! But, you need to learn patience.

Good luck to you.


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by DoodinIT In reply to Patience

I think the same thing at times and have been told that many times. I mean, life isn't always fair right? I guess I should just suck it up and hope things get better down the road. After all, the VP and President always joke I'm going to end up running the company.


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Planning will set you free

by In reply to

Very close...

But, don't hope. Plan. Study what you can give and take from your current employment. Then make your plans. A man executing his own plan does not need to rely on hope and does not get frustrated.


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Are you serious?

by maxwell edison In reply to I.T. job situation, I nee ...

You said that you like your job, but don't like your bosses. Who cares? And that you don't like the way they run THEIR company. So go start your own company. It's their company to run as they see fit.

You're 20 years old, you like your job, it pays you $96,000 a year, and you're thinking about quitting.

Can you spell I-D-I-O-T ?

Your message sounds so far-fetched, that I have to question its legitimacy. If it is legitimate, you need a good hard slap up along the side of your head.

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Money or your sanity and health..decide what's more important to you

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Are you serious?

You sound like a one man IT shop, in which you are Jack of all trades and they are paying you quite well. But, they are overworking you like a dog and keeping you baited with the high salary. Have you asked your boss to get you an assistant or someone who you can train to relieve some of the workload? I'm not advocating you quit, as the decision is solely yours to make, but if they don't get you help, they will start abusing your willingness to work by piling more and more crap on top of you and then ***** about it when stuff isn't done and projects fall behindm if that isn't already happening. I was in a similar situation back in my early 20s' over 10 years ago, but I was not making the kind of money you are now and they ended up terminating me and because they gave my job to one of their thoughtful of those scumbags. Also, for someone of your age to be making close to what I was making a year ago, granted I am 32 years old and a senior systems engineer with over 10 years of experience, is a blessing and very rare in this industry. You are still young, so you may not need to worry about family obligations and mortgages, but having them overload you with this much work amounts to sheer slavery on their part and may impact your health if you don't get enough rest. Talk to your boss and make a valid case as to why you cannot handle it all by yourself, but be professional about it and state that being a one man show creates a single point of failure. What if you want to go on vacation? Who will back you up? You are creating a situation in which you have an invisible shackle on your leg and they cannot let you go because of the "what if" factor. What if god forbid you get hit by a truck tommorow? Where will they be and who will handle the IT functions? If they cannot see the case for getting you help, then start looking for another job, but realize that someone of your age making $96K is farfetched and nobody will offer you that kind of money again, unless you get lucky twice. You are a bright individual and very motivated if you are taking on this much, but you need to slow down before you give yourself an aneurism from all of the stress and craziness they are subjecting you too.

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by DoodinIT In reply to Money or your sanity and ...

You're right, I am a one man IT shop. I have been fighting with them for the last few months to allow me to hire someone to help. They finally saw the need for it this last business trip when things when haywire when I was in mid-flight.

Realize - I am not making a base salary of 96k. Once I hire someone, which I will, I will most likely be cutting down my on call and will be back to making $57,600.

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by billyboys In reply to

I believe your "EGO" is too big to work for this company. I think you will be much happier running your own business.

57K for somebody with 2 year experience, you are "very" lucky.

In many companies, they won't allow staff to do side job. You should be glad that you are making extra money doing the logo, web and whatever you were doing.

I would suggest that you gain the experience working with the company for another year or two. Ask them to hire a couple of staff under you. Make you the IT Manager....Then in two years' time, you can try your luck with other bigger companies.

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by DoodinIT In reply to Ego

I don't have 2 years of experience. I've got 8 years of experience. Also - I am not making any money for doing the logo/web or whatever. That was the thing, they promised me I would but they haven't paid me for it.

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8 years of experience? I didn't know this country allowed child labor

by Why Me Worry? In reply to

I don't know of any company in this country that would hire a 12 year old to work for them. Simply knowing a technology does not count as "experience". Experience means professional work experience and I doubt that at age 12, you were in charge of your "company" and filing corporate tax returns.

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by DoodinIT In reply to Are you serious?

It is infact legitimate. Yes - I know it is their company to do with as they please and I don't HAVE to work for them. I do run my own business on the side.

It's just the fact that I am being overworked, under appreciated and very frustrated.

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