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November 14, 2013


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I loved this one! Great advice about salary negotiation - I am also a fan of Ramit's blog. I do think there are a few times when it is okay to accept a counteroffer, though - I have done so once in the past and it turned out great.

Well done and you are definitely on the right track. I've reviewed Ramit's blog before, but just didn't seem right for me. Seemed too much of a sales hack.

Interesting story, my experience was a bit different. I've had many managers over my 25-year career. One of my earliest bosses we hit it off from the get go, but in terms of raises it was nada. My next boss was a guy who grilled me when I first interviewed-- and I heard from another manager that he was the only one who opposed giving me a job offer. Well that guy got me the biggest annual raises that I had ever seen. Go figure. As for counteroffers, I went looking during my time between these two managers, and I got an offer for 33% more. When I handed in my resignation my manager's manager asked for 24 hours, and he came up with a higher number. I told him I had promised the last word to the other company, and they flew me in just to tell me that they stood by their original offer. So I took the counter and stayed. I lucked out because that other company went bankrupt the next year. It wouldn't have mattered, though, because an old colleague of mine had the same deal offered at that other company, took it, and when it went bust he did some stints at other competitors before coming back to our company over a decade later-- at the same level as me. So overall I'd agree with your message about never taking anything personally and never giving anyone else a reason to take anything you do personally. It all works out in the long run.

As for helping everyone around you, this approach has worked well for me over the years, but watch out when people start to dump on you. I'm all for sharing how I do things or bits of software I've written to make life easier for others. But when this encourages dependency, it's not a good thing. Making yourself indispensible is a great idea when you're young, but when early retirement buyout packages were offered not long ago, my application was rejected because I was too entrenched into the workflow and could not be replaced. It's a bit annoying when going the extra mile locks you out of a bonus, but that's life sometimes.

For a net worth target you might try Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas Stanley. His formula is age in years divided by ten, then multiplied by annual salary. If you're double that, you're doing well, but if you're half of that, then you have some work to do...

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