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    How do I avoid a salary plateau?

    I started working my 1st professional full time job in January 2015. Since then, I've had the following raises:

    1. 3.5% (1 year)
    2. 10% (1 year and 5 months)
    3. 17% (1 year and 9 months)
    4. 5% (2 years)
    5. 3.3% (2 years 4 months)

    The 10% raise was a promotion and the 17% raise I orchestrated by getting a 50% raise with an outside job offer but instead accepting the counter offer at my current company, because it's many times better work life balance.

    I have a strong feeling that my salary will start to plateau, that is only receive yearly increases of tiny amounts.

    These are some things I think I could do to avoid a plateau:

    1) Seek outside job offers and try to get another counter offer
    2) Somehow get promoted again

    Other than that, do people have any other strategies for increasing salary?

    Or should I start looking at creating income outside of work, e.g. internet business, instead of getting meager gains in salary?

    #2
    If you can demonstrate that you are a difference maker for the company in terms of NET PROFIT, you'll never plateau.

    If you're in something like HR that can't demonstrate that, you're pretty well screwed.
    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

    Comment


      #3
      For me, without a college education, I was always looking for better work and to improve my salary/benefits, if you can get offers while having a job you are in excellent position
      retired in 2009 at the age of 39 with less than 300K total net worth

      Comment


        #4
        Your pay has gone up 44% in 2 years. That is very good. And you played the outside offer card and won, which means you provide value.

        You could try the outside offer play again, but that might not work twice.

        Is there room for growth (promotion)? Will the promotion bring extra work?

        Can you go on the web and see what your salary range should be? Or ask your employer?

        The best way to keep growing at your current rate is to get another job. But you said that would mean a poor work / life balance. Could you find another job that pays more with the same work / life balance?

        Comment


          #5
          Assuming a normal corporate type job.

          it's easier to get promotions in my opinion by shifting jobs and companies than it is working your way up 100%. I think it's because people tend to see you for what you do, not for what you are capable of doing. You can work your way up bottom to top, but that's going to take a lot of work and sacrifice, good networking, a bit of luck, etc. not saying that's bad, just easier to change jobs and get promoted that way.

          Stay at a company long enough to get promoted 1 step or so, then change jobs and go for a slightly higher or a higher position. Then repeat.

          Problem with shifting jobs to get promoted a lot is that your job record is going to show a lot of short stints, which some employers look down on because it means chances are you'll do a year or so, then look to move again.
          ---------------------

          My most recent job move from about a year ago netted me around a 17% raise. Now my old company is unofficially looking to hire me back, and chances are they'll come calling later this year once a wave of boomers retire out. the raise would probably be around 15%-20 of my current level. At that point, I'll look to stick around for the longer haul.

          -------------------------------

          creating income outside of work is another good strategy if you're the type to like to keep busy. 10-15 years ago when I was entering my professional career, my salary was ****, I had rent and expenses, so I started my own business to supplement the income.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ~bs View Post

            Problem with shifting jobs to get promoted a lot is that your job record is going to show a lot of short stints, which some employers look down on because it means chances are you'll do a year or so, then look to move again.
            You think this is still true? I used to heard this 10-20 years ago. I dont believe this holds any water anymore. Very few people are "lifers" from my experience. The ones that have been at a job for 20+ years are much much older.

            I can only think of a handful of people my age (34) who's hasnt bounced around. Most stay at a place for 4-5 years then move on for more money/better position.

            I think it also depends where you live. In large cities people can bounce around due to so many employment opportunities. In smaller areas...not so much.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
              If you can demonstrate that you are a difference maker for the company in terms of NET PROFIT, you'll never plateau.

              If you're in something like HR that can't demonstrate that, you're pretty well screwed.
              /\ THIS /\

              Although I would argue that you could be a difference maker in HR too. There are not too many positions where you couldn't add value for the company.

              Constant job jumping is something I see a lot of. Don't know when or why they started teaching this stuff but I don't believe it gets you ahead.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                You think this is still true? I used to heard this 10-20 years ago. I dont believe this holds any water anymore. Very few people are "lifers" from my experience. The ones that have been at a job for 20+ years are much much older.

                I can only think of a handful of people my age (34) who's hasnt bounced around. Most stay at a place for 4-5 years then move on for more money/better position.

                I think it also depends where you live. In large cities people can bounce around due to so many employment opportunities. In smaller areas...not so much.
                I had it brought up to me before during an interview, the interviewer was ok with it since I'm generally moving for promotion.

                To me, 4-5 years are pretty reasonable lengths of time to stay. It's when you start doing shorter 1 year stints that it raises some eyebrows.

                Comment


                  #9
                  as someone posted earlier.. you' ve been playing the game pretty well so far.. I wouldn't necessarily expect another 44% bump in the next 2 years ... but it truly depends on the type of work you do ..

                  also ..could you ever see yourself opening your own business in that field?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A lot is going to depend on the industry you're in. If you're in tech, it's not abnormal to job hop every few years, as it's an industry short on talent, and large on money.

                    In the last 7 years my salary has gone from 70k a year to 140k by growing my skills and tactically switching jobs. Within the 3 jobs I've held I have gotten promotions as well, but ultimately making the leap to a new position has gotten the biggest gains. If your talent is in demand, companies know they have to pay top dollar to keep it.

                    I interview a lot of people, and I don't look down on people who job hop, unless it's something like every few months. I personally would rather have someone with a diverse set of experiences and environments. Some of our most "loyal" workers are also our slowest, whereas people who move generally do so because they're in demand and reach a level where the company can't afford to keep them. I can't be mad about that. It's the employees job to become more and more desirable. It's the company's job to find a way to keep them. If they leave for a more lucrative job we failed them as a company, they didn't fail us as an employee.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We found big jumps by taking moves to less desirable [lower COLA locations]. We made it a goal to increase our skill sets annually with a course, some type of new certification or published papers. We were active participants in two different community groups to build networks and better understand colleagues values.
                      Always, silently, make sure to protect your bosses backside and keep him from being left out-of-the- loop or ridiculed.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sethmachine View Post
                        These are some things I think I could do to avoid a plateau:

                        1) Seek outside job offers and try to get another counter offer
                        I would be very leery in doing (1). Knowing some HR (being in HR - this get documented and you either get to
                        1. do it once and the wolf has been cried
                        2. people know that you are now looking, so less willing to invest.
                        3. you get a counter offer that's higher, but you are unwilling to go - and your bluff get called. what do you do next?

                        Don't look for a new job unless you intend to pull through with your bluff.

                        A better alternative is to see if you can find a salary survey. Show them that you know your market rate.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Be sure to take on additional responsibilities, get training in emerging technologies and put that to use, and innovate as much as possible. You'll want to demonstrate value by being someone who cannot be replaced by a fresh grad.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by siggy_freud View Post
                            A lot is going to depend on the industry you're in. If you're in tech, it's not abnormal to job hop every few years, as it's an industry short on talent, and large on money.

                            In the last 7 years my salary has gone from 70k a year to 140k by growing my skills and tactically switching jobs. Within the 3 jobs I've held I have gotten promotions as well, but ultimately making the leap to a new position has gotten the biggest gains. If your talent is in demand, companies know they have to pay top dollar to keep it.

                            I interview a lot of people, and I don't look down on people who job hop, unless it's something like every few months. I personally would rather have someone with a diverse set of experiences and environments. Some of our most "loyal" workers are also our slowest, whereas people who move generally do so because they're in demand and reach a level where the company can't afford to keep them. I can't be mad about that. It's the employees job to become more and more desirable. It's the company's job to find a way to keep them. If they leave for a more lucrative job we failed them as a company, they didn't fail us as an employee.
                            This all very true, I'm in IT as well and I've more than doubled my salary in 5 years time by moving to different companies.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sethmachine View Post
                              I started working my 1st professional full time job in January 2015. Since then, I've had the following raises:

                              1. 3.5% (1 year)
                              2. 10% (1 year and 5 months)
                              3. 17% (1 year and 9 months)
                              4. 5% (2 years)
                              5. 3.3% (2 years 4 months)

                              The 10% raise was a promotion and the 17% raise I orchestrated by getting a 50% raise with an outside job offer but instead accepting the counter offer at my current company, because it's many times better work life balance.

                              I have a strong feeling that my salary will start to plateau, that is only receive yearly increases of tiny amounts.

                              These are some things I think I could do to avoid a plateau:

                              1) Seek outside job offers and try to get another counter offer
                              2) Somehow get promoted again

                              Other than that, do people have any other strategies for increasing salary?

                              Or should I start looking at creating income outside of work, e.g. internet business, instead of getting meager gains in salary?
                              This thread really interests me. My salary has increased about 48% since I first started about 6 years ago at my current position with a company I love. One was a bump in salary by about 15% in salary for all top performers in the company. This was followed a few months later with a very nice promotion around 10% increase in pay. I believe it was an effort to retain talent. This year the raise was something like 1.5%.

                              Based on www.payscale.com I was really underpaid given my experience and education level.

                              1. Have you compared your salary with those similar in your field?

                              I will say I’m thankful as this increase allowed us to buy a home, pay for a 2nd vehicle cash, invest more in retirement, and expand our family. The way I got promoted was through performance though. I guess that’s the “2. Somehow get promoted again” that you mentioned. I took on extra projects, went on company trips, and proved to my co-workers, boss, and other leaders that I could be a positive contributor towards the goals of our company.

                              2. What are you doing to get more training, show yourself valuable, and get noticed by peers/leaders?

                              To do what you did must mean you were really underpaid. Unless you are in specific industries like IT, you shouldn’t expect this kind of growth in your income every 2 or 3 years. You also need to be willing to leave if you try to get your current employer to match another offer and they decide not to.

                              You mentioned work/life balance as a priority… Are you willing to bet the farm on the possibility that another company will pay a little more but not give you some of the other benefits you obviously enjoy with your current employer? That’s one of the reasons I have stayed at my current company.

                              3. How important is work/life balance to you?

                              Best wishes!
                              ~ Eagle

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