Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web

Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Business Matters

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-13-2014, 05:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Great Plains, USA
Posts: 282
Default What Are My Artistic Skills Worth, and What Should I Accept?

My employer is notorious for his stinginess, telling new employees that they will get a $1 raise for every month for the first three months of productive employment, which they inevitably are disappointed to find is untrue; many have quit as a result. One time I was told I would receive a $4,000 bonus, and I waited a year to ask about this, to which he prolongingly gazed around then responded that this was undocumented and that he didn't recall it. He said I would get $2,000 after a client paid. When I found out they paid, I brought it up and he shouted in frustration at me, before apologizing for the "startling." I got the 2k soon after.

I work of a small, multimillion-dollar company that employs about thirty people, mostly immigrants, in the Midwestern United States. I started as an illustrator in late 2011 at $11/hr and now, as "Director of Creative Art," I'm paid $15/hr. I'm the company's lead illustrator and animator and currently manage the other two artists whom I taught to draw and animate in our chosen software. I work very hard trying to provide quality graphics and animations while accomplishing managerial tasks and keeping work flowing through. I'm also currently researching 3D graphics and teaching myself new software, as well as directing and storyboarding a video project. The quality standards I've set since my promotion are leaps and bounds ahead of what used to be acceptable, but the CEO has been so busy he hasn't seen my work. He's constantly taking trips to the Middle East where most of our business comes from.

In November I overheard the company's vice president talking on the speaker phone and saying "We have cheap people" in regards to the employees. He always leaves his door wide open and started speaking quieter as he made this comment, probably realizing it was foolish. But he was right.

Regardless, of my current wages, I want to be paid what someone with my skill set is worth, which I believe to be more along the lines of $20/hr. I know that my position demands skills that most others in the company do not, and the same goes for my two fellow artists. I plan to show the CEO our new animations and convince him that my fellow artists and I deserve more than a $1 raise.

Any advice on how to approach this, or as to what someone with my skill set is worth under these circumstances, would be greatly appreciated.
Ronald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
don Arnoldy
don Arnoldy's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 496


To a very great extent, your skills are worth what someone is willing to pay for them. Are there other companies in your area that employ people with your skills? Are they hiring? What do they pay? You work in an industry where commonly people have to change employers to get a big salary increase (its been that way since I started in the '70s).

If you were in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York; your skills would be worth substantially more—but there would be more competition for the available jobs, and it would cost more to live.

From reading your posts over the years, I can tell that you are dis-satisfied at your current employer and feel unappreciated. I don't know if that will ever change, even if you get another $1 or so an hour from them. You really should be planning your next career move.

don Arnoldy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,878

don: You really should be planning your next career move.
I agree. If nothing else, doing some research on what is available within your geographic area will give you info on the going payrate and what openings might be available. You may also want to think about how your skills might be used in a non-graphics environment--company(ies) whose major endeavor is something other than graphics work but which might have positions where you could use those skills?

terrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 296

Start looking for another job.
Kayza is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Also need to share my new skills... dacoyle Web Design 9 12-05-2012 04:09 AM
Amazing Photoshop skills BobRoosth Images 5 05-01-2012 01:11 AM
What's a G5 Mac worth? donmcc Hardware & Gadgets 13 07-14-2011 06:03 AM
ROR - worth looking at? john_b Web Site Building & Maintenance 3 04-20-2007 06:38 AM
What's it Worth? WizAlger Business Matters 9 02-03-2005 07:09 AM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2019 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.