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May 15, 2009


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The commenter knows what he/she is talking about. The biggest increases come before you start working for a company. Try to get whatever you can when negotiating your starting salary, and get it in writing! Once you're in the door, nothing is guaranteed. I've noticed a disturbing trend throughout my career: other companies' employees appear more attractive than a companies' current employees. Apparently, familiarity breeds contempt!

I'm starting to think the same myself after stalling out at $180k base. And, something I learned only after joining the company, is that to get to the "Architect" title is essentially impossible for those already within the company. It requires sign-off by the CEO whereas a VP can approve someone being hired at that rank. Argh! I'm just below Architect and it looks like I'll have to switch companies to make the next move up. Which means sitting on my hands for a few years while my green card comes through.


It sure gets more difficult when you get to the top end of the salary band as it looks like you've achieved. Congratulations on that, by the way.

The key will be look at the compensation and bonus structure of the top management of any company you look at. If they are public, this information will be in their annual report. If they are private it is harder but you can always ask directly only once they are certain you are the one for the job.

Remember it's like the law of the jungle. The CEO gets the lions share, and everyone else has a lower compensation with the exception of the lucky sales guy who can beat the CEO on commission but not year after year!

Keep in mind when times are tough (like now) it's not uncommon for the CEO and senior mgmt team to take salary freezes and even pay cuts. You have to stay positive through this period.


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