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Career Doctor
Salary below 20K after working hard for 8 years in IT
posted on Thursday, 08 July 2010 11:56

I have got degrees of BEng and MSc in Hong Kong well known university.  My academic result is not bad and the comment from my boss is good but the salary is still under 20K.  I have a chance to be promoted last year but owing to top management repositioning, my boss dared not to request.

My company is a government-owned corporation and the job is stable (layoff is seldom).  I have been worked in the company for three years in the IT Department.  At the time I came to the company, my qualification was much enough to get a higher rank but as it is a government-owned corporation, they could only offer the post they had.  I thought it was fine as I was confident to get higher rank by working hard.

However, the reality is that you are lined in a queue (in a low priority if you are a supporting staff including IT staff).  Staff in other departments can be promoted easily while in supporting departments, you need to have faith.

Staffs in IT department have long working hours.  We usually need to work during non-office hour and be standby 24 hours from Sunday to Saturday with no extra compensation.  Actually, it is fine if there are rewards.  But, top management does not know our value.  Guys of other departments in the same ranks as I are not a degree holder.  A degree holder’s entry level of other departments is in a higher rank.  It is so unfair.

Recently, I feel desperate because of office politics.  Department was divided into two groups. One will have lunch with the big boss while another will not.  I do not refuse to have lunch with the big boss but I like to have lunch with another group (because our backgrounds are similar).  Finally, I choose to have lunch with peers and so I think my promotion is impossible.

Should I change my attitude in the company (but my salary is too low, worthy?) or I should seek another job?


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Anonymous's picture
Broken Dream
Posted Tuesday, 12 July 2011 12:08 AM

IT is a tough field. I regret working in the IT field too.
I believe it's even worse for university graduates.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Monday, 26 July 2010 10:43 AM

As you think you are academically well qualified, why don't you try to apply for AO or EO posts, or even police force? You got a bigger chance than fresh graduates as you are working in government environment already.

What have you done in your leisure time? Any study, volunteer work or part time work? You should expose yourself but not limiting yourself in office.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Saturday, 24 July 2010 01:42 PM

It's no longer qualifications after you've worked for 8 years. It's what you do and how you do it and how you market what you do. It's not about managing about your own work but how you manage down, up and across. How you communicate the value of what you do. It's also what boss you have as it sounds like your organisation is just not run very well.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Friday, 23 July 2010 03:25 PM

* I've filled the post of a clerical officer 10 years before. My predecessor, a F5 graduate salaried HK$36,000 monthly, was sacked by a govt org which shall remain nameless. I was a double-master degree holder with 4 subordinates before I joined this co.
* Nearly half of the dept was filled by over-qualified staff, all newly recruited. After 6 months, all these new staff quit for the reason that they were too humiliated, wishing no one knows they'd been worked there.
* After I had worked for a year, I quit.
* All the vacancies we left over turned into one-year contract jobs.
* We'd learnt that the co hired us only to create conflict of interest among the over-paid (note salary stated in point 1 above), under-qualified staff. WE'D BEEN USED.

Anonymous's picture
Posted Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:53 PM

IT in 8 yrs. below 20K is not too bad. I heard another govt org is also lower pay as below 20K with your similar quality. For you information, my company has just laid off IT staff. It is normal in HK reality.

Anyway, if you stay in the same position or job for more than a few years, you should consider changing job. However, in your situation, as you still have a stable job. No hurry but keep looking...

Anonymous's picture
Posted Monday, 12 July 2010 04:31 PM

If i were you, i already find a job five years ago.
Before you find a job, please ask yourself what is your value to the company?

Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Monday, 12 July 2010 03:39 PM

After working there for three years, you should know the characteristics and work style/life of those government-owned corps and companies, even semi or quasi governmental ones are the same. Even in the business / commercial world – hard work and contributions alone can't guarantee you promotion or salary increment. Your interpersonal and relationship handling and management skills play a far bigger role! And some luck's got to do with it too!

If that's the historical rule of the game, you can either learn to live with it, or to walk out. You can't on the one hand complaining about the unfairness and on the other enjoying its stability.

I've lost count how many times I've said this here before, no one nor any company would pay you a higher salary only because you're a degree holder, even an MBA has lost its magic. And it seems to me you're upset due to office politics rather than salary/promotion issues, am I right?

Have you tried looking for other jobs? Would changing your attitude towards management help? Do you really want to leave? Can you afford to lose this job? You are the only one who can answer these questions, so what are your thoughts? I'm interested to know.

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