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November 21, 2013


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Well done. I'd probably be more comfortable changing jobs every 2-3 years since you are in tech. 5-7 years is a
bit too long.

Very nice! Good to see another woman in this series. I was just looking at statistics for people in the US with incomes over $100k by gender, and something like 75% are male while only 25% are female.

I need to work on having more networking lunches -- I liked your advice in this area.

I spent my working life as an engineer.
I started as an apprentice at a major aircraft company in England. As soon as the 5 yr. apprenticeship ended I married the girlfriend I had been with for 6 years and emigrated to Canada, with $450, where I worked for an aircraft manufacturer for two years. When the company lost its one and only huge contract we moved to Denver and I worked for a small aviation company. This job didn't have much future and I knew I needed to get an MS if I was to make anything of myself so we moved to California where I worked for Lockheed Missiles & Space company, they funded my MS degree and I stayed there for 32 years, received many promotions and raises, retiring at age 58.

Once you have three children and are living in a nice part of the USA that you really like and have a beautiful home I felt that there was far too much to lose by uprooting my family, disrupting their education and childhood and moving somewhere else. There were also great benefits by spending my whole career with Lockheed. I ended up with a nice 401K that they helped to fund. I also received a very nice pension and because of my long service we are in their retiree healthcare plan and have great coverage at a wonderful clinic for $326/month. I am now 79, my wife is 80 and looking back on my life I wouldn't change a thing. A side benefit was that my engineering skills helped me to become an outstanding investor and a multi-millionaire.

Thanks for sharing, and that's a nice net worth for age 32 BTW.

I agree with the part of trying to move around every 5-7 years in tech, although it could be 3-5 too. But it depends, like anything else. If you work for a large company and can move around a bit to broaden your horizons, that could also be an option. I've also seen the downside of staying as workers tend to get "institutionalized", to borrow from Morgan Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption. Either they cannot leave because of no better alternatives, or they find themselves in the job market post-layoff without necessary skills and/or connections.

Nice post! I am 31 year old male. I am in work force for 2 years now and married an year ago, no kids. Prior to that, I finished my PhD in engineering. I work in a large company and was wondering what additional advance degrees I might look for? Also, I have to be in the company for at least 3 yrs so that 401k is vested. Not sure about moving yet.

My boss is a good person. I go out with him for lunch etc and we became good friends. But when it comes to asking a raise, I am a little hesitant on how to ask the right way. You mentioned few books to read. Can you suggest some? Thanks for the post!

On books try my two favorites "Get Paid What You're Worth" by Robin Pinkley and Gregory Northcraft and "What's Holding You Back? Ten Bold Steps That Define Gutsy Leaders" By Robert J. Herbold

FMF has a great post about how to ask for a raise. Bottom line is that you must be able to make the case and show your value.

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