Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm doing a bad job. Can I still get a raise?

This article from the Evil HR Lady made me think about how many new librarians who may find themselves in this position: they were hired to replace a retiring librarian who had been with the system for a long time. Like an experienced chef, he/she kept all of their recipes in their head and has now departed with them--but the patrons still like the cooking.

Sadly they may not feel like they are doing a good job, when there is nothing they can do about the nostalgia that the patrons had for the old librarian. This is not a feeling that you can fix--you can only make new memories. I hope they are better ones, but some will suck and possibly hurt your feelings.

Lucas' advice for getting a raise based on over work seems sound, but it is going to take some gumption to go into the supervisor's office and ask for additional training for something that you were hired to do--and what you feel you need more training for. If this is the case, be sure to ask for something that develops your duties--you learned about general collection development and now you need funds to go to a conference that is specific for YA materials. Maybe you need more training in developing reading skills or reaching newcomer patrons. But make sure you ask for training in something that is step two in the process and not the stuff you should have known.

It is also incorrect to value your salary as the same a person who just departed after 20 years--most people will get raises based on duration of service, if only to keep that person in the position. And it sounds like she worked hard for the money and they needed to keep her. You are not yet entitled to the money to entice a long-term, knowledgeable employee to stay. You are entitled to more pay if you need to assume more duties than you were originally hired to perform.

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