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August 06, 2008


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I tend to be like you and stick with one organization and try to grow with it or in the case of my current position have the company grow because of me. I've gotten decent raises every year - and I'm in line for another good one this year after taking on more responsibility. My review is due this month so we'll see how it goes.

I did get a good raise early in my career by moving from one company to another and then getting an offer from another firm and having my current employer at the time match that offer. I would guess they were at least 15-20% each time.

I agree that "job-hopping" is the best way to quickly increase your salary. I've never been at a company where they gave raises more than 5% annually. Over the past 6 years, I've been with 5 employers, and my salary has more than tripled in that time.
However, a key to this is networking. If you just apply for new jobs every year, you'll be labeled a job-hopper. While I think 3-5 years is a long time to stay at a job these days. (if you're in job-hopping mode) If it's early in your career, I'd say 1 to 3 years is plenty to gain some experience and do some networking. Always keep your eyes open for opportunities. This path is also not for those that are afraid of change.

I think it all depends on how happy the person is vs. how much money they want. Your advice is on the mark for someone looking to gain more money. Talking from personal experience, I've gained the highest bump in salary by moving to a different company.

I'm probably also the poster child of a younger generation not sticking in one spot for too long. At my former company, which I was at for 4 years, I had 3 different positions. They all came with salary increases. I finally left when I felt like the work was affecting my personal life, and still managed to gain a 15% increase when switching jobs.

I think I've made alot of significant jumps over the years, but probably will have hit a plateau in terms of salary jumps. I'll find out within the next 12 months, my company is relocating to a different state and I don't plan to move. Hopefully by then the economy and the job market will have improved to make it easier.

It does seem odd, doesn't it? Both on this topic and the places that give deals for new customers rather than older ones, the incentives are in the wrong place.

Companies that spend all this money training a person give them as little as they can once they're productive. Companies that give great deals to new customers, jack up the prices without end.

The only exceptions is when you're about to leave one-- then all the stops get pulled out. Then you see what you are worth to the company.

Your advice seems to be right on.

I agree with the point made wholeheartedly. I myself am practicing it though it does get a bit harder as you grow older.

Maybe it's because I'm in a different stage in my career (I certainly had a time in my career where I moved jobs or companies every 3 years or so, and always with a big salary bump), but I don't see a benefit in jumping to another company.

Since my current company has great benefits and I'm within 10-15 years of retirement with a vested pension, I think that I'd have a net loss if I switched companies now. On the other hand, a move to another division within the same company sometime soon is very real possibility.

More and more people jump from company to company looking for better pay. With less retirement programs being offered it is probably the best way to make the most money.

I tend to stay at companies I like for a longer amount of time (3-5 years), which I think is out of the ordinary for someone my age- late 20s. But that doesn't mean that I don't interview often. I go out on interviews with companies that I wouldn't mind working at and see what they're willing to offer, then I go back to my company and say, "Generic Inc. is offering X salary and Y promotion. I really like working here, but that's hard to pass up. Are you willing to match?" I've found most places are, and it keeps my raises/promotions above just a cost of living raise. And if they're not willing to match, I move to the other company.

My personal philosophy towards this is two fold:

First, if you work to develop the tools to generate more income for the company, then you will rise quicker and make more money than just developing any other skill.

Second, if you build your network so that your skills are always in higher demand than you can supply, you can force the price you demand to use your skills higher and higher to keep the two sides in balance.

This at least gives you goals you can focus on when evaluating what decisions would be best for you to make.

Agreed. I've been at the same place 15 years now and the raises are consistent but near the inflation rate, and I've been considered a "star" performer most of the time. People and situations have changed, so it's not as fun here anymore, so now I'm casting my resume out. If my friends are any indication, if I do a well structured search and find a good working environment, I'm likely to bump my salary much more than I would staying at the same place any longer. Come to think of it, I should've done this about 8 years ago, when the company culture really started to slide downward.

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