Got a 20% raise… Should I be satisfied? Am I

Hello, I really do not have many others I can talk with about this who can relate. And anonymity helps.

Tl;dr – Everyone says the finance department pays everyone based on Robert Half Salary Guide. Should I be offended if I am not being compensated with my current job title/duties in relation to the salary guide? I'm guessing others are, so why am I not? Just got a 20% raise, but should I be adamant to get more, or should I be grateful and wait until next raise rotation in a year?

I will try to tell my story of how I got here and give the full scope of my recent career choices.

11 years in IT.

I left my last job a year and a half ago as I was severely underpaid for what I had initially been hired to do. Hired as “IT Support Technician” with “Help Desk” like job duties for $58K + 3% bonus and 3% 401K. Turns out my boss had zero IT knowledge so I came into an absolute nightmare. Example – First week was spent building an imaging server since they had been imaging via USB, building a new WSUS server since old one was built horribly and had never worked (all PCs hadnt been updated in years) and fixing NTP on network (bosses current fix was to manually set the time on DC every other day for years). Boss had been hyping me up that since I was doing engineer level tasks and was saving $50K annually from MSP expenses over the last technician, that I would get a great raise. They gave me a 3% raise in my annual review. Boss said he was pretty upset that CFO only gave 3% to me.

I had already had my eyes on a nearby company that a lot of buddies work at and praise as the best place to work in the area, with great pay. Applied for Help desk Tier 3 and they offered me a 65K salary (52K base pay + 13K gauranteed bonus). Excellent benefits + 12% 401K contribution. I read over my employers employeed handbook and measured the time to my 3% bonus. I told my boss that if I could get the 3% bonus, I would put in a 30 day notice (when the bonus is given). Otherwise I would put in a 2 week notice. He agreed to the bonus for 30 day notice deal. One week later, my boss approaches me with an offer from the CFO. Stay and they will increase my base salary by $20K. I declined and he told me he doesnt blame me.

Get to my new job and kicked ass in my job and personal life. Got associates degree in Cyber Security, Sec+, Ec-Council ECES. 7 months and was promoted to a new team with title IT Facilities Systems Architect. However, salary did not change. Was told by my boss that raises are given in December… and its January. It is now Oct 2022 and I am approaching bachelors in Cyber Security, get isc2 SSCP and CySA certs. Currently the owner of 10 different systems at work. Boss approaches me and said that those who were promoted without a raise this year got their raise. 6.5K to base salary and 6.5K to bonus. Putting me at 58.5K base and 19.5K for 68K pay. Boss did mention that he put in for me to get a 30% raise, but they only gave 20%. He asked me if I was okay with that. My response to him was how I left my job before and was offered a 20K raise to stay and that the amount still had me 10K below my new pay. He said that he understands and will try to push for me to get another raise when everyone in company gets raises in March.

The thing is, I believe my boss. I believe he put me in for 30% and I was shot down to 20% raise. And I believe he will try to get me more in March. Look, I currently love my job. My coworkers are great, boss is great, the company is great, I complely understand my job and enjoy it. But it kind of kills me to know that I bust my ass every day doing work that would be considered to $94K on Robert Half's Sys Admin/Sys Engineer work. While getting paid 7K below the lowest pay rating for a System Administrator role. According to Robert Half, a brand new System Administrator who needs constant supervision should be paid 75K. I am well beyond that and my boss is already talking to me about possibly being a Team Lead for the Architect team as I am the one who does most of our System Engineering tasks (which avg pays 113K according to Robert Half).

It is a rough one, because like I said. I really do enjoy my job a lot. But, if the company is going to announce that they follow Robert Half and then severely low ball me according to the pay graph. Do I have a right to be upset? I was really blindsided by this raise and could not raise these flags to my boss before they gave me this raise. Should I just make the Robert Half pay scale difference visible to my boss in March? I dont want to feel unappreciative of the raise that I was given. But also kind of feel like it was long past due. Any comments or thoughts on how I am reacting to this given situation or any advice in general is much appreciated.

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