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December 16, 2013


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Congrats on the new job this year.

What I'm learning from your journey is
1.) Work hard
2.) Look for opportunities
3.) Understand requirements of next levels of promotion and improve on them.

Thanks for sharing.

@MITM Thanks. It has definitely been an interesting year with the new job and new home.

And your summary sounds about right; I would just throw in "have some good fortune" to round it out. :o)

The jumping around thing may start to catch up with you. I would imagine if you try it again, the next prospective employer may question whether it is worth trying to hire you if you don't intend to stay long. Just a thought.


Agreed. As I mentioned in the interview, they were not all intended to be as short term as they turned out to be. The IT world does tend to have more hops than many other fields because skills can grow stagnant when remaining at any place too long. However, my intent is to grow further within a company, particularly as I have made the shift away from day-to-day coding.

My current position is for a minimum of two years from my perspective since I will need to be here at least 2 years or will have to repay all relocation benefits. My plan is to stay longer than that, though. I made this move for the initial change in responsibility and the growth potential, so I would like to see where that leads.

Where did you relocate from? More generally, what location were all your other jobs in?


I moved from another Midwestern suburb that had about the same cost of living as my current location. Neither location was/is a suburb of Chicago.

Congrats on parlaying the job hops into an increased salary during a difficult economy.
Staying on the AD side while acting as a business liason will definitely keep you relevant to both sides of the house. Not sure if you're interested in going back to school, but a biz background might help get you to that CTO/CIO role or find a mnetor in this org that can help wiht that. Any time you can focus on WD, strategy and production you will be in demand for higher level skills. Good luck.

typo.. I meant AD, strategy and prod.

Great stuff SFI #9! I'm on a similar trajectory and hope to continue to be as successful as you have been.

From your 2009-2010 contract to hire role - how did you and what did you do to get a $32k (~33%) salary increase? negotiate (any tips here)? show your worth? or was it mainly because you knew their negotiating range?

@indio Thank you. I have been considering my options lately; I have not ruled out going back to school, but it is also not in the current plans. My current position has a relatively flat org structure within our group, which has allowed me to be involved in many non-technical conversations involving overall strategy, finance, etc. I am working on absorbing as much information as I can during those times.

I am also in a very different industry than I was at previous roles, so I'm learning a lot on that front. I'm hoping that a better understanding of our industry and overall strategy coupled with my technical knowledge will help me bring a lot more business value in the future.

I wouldn't worry too much about jumping around at all. Stay a couple years at each place is just fine. I've been doing that my entire career (longest stay 3.5 years). It is really the best way to get a jump in salary. Great job, keep it up!

@sf Thanks! And good luck on your career path as well.

For that 2009-2010 role, there were quite a few variables that worked in my favor. One, I already mentioned, was that I knew the approximate rate the company was paying out. A second part was the number of hours I was working as a contractor; although my rate times 2,000 hours would be ~$98K, I was actually making closer to $140K because of the number of hours required for the job. There were many weeks of 60-70 hours, which, as a contractor, was all billable. Converting to an employee, I wanted to make sure I didn't take a huge hit in overall compensation, so I asked for what I wanted in order for me to join as an employee. If they decided not to offer me that, I was happy to continue on as a contractor.

The final piece was that I quickly became the technical leader for the team (not by title, but in practice). I was the last person to join in a team of 10-12 developers, but 6 months after I joined the project, I was the one making the trips to customer sites in order to plan and integrate systems. I always took a big picture view of applications, so I had a good understanding of how our system worked and what the business needed rather than just know how my code worked. That obviously played in my favor as I was the first contract developer to become an employee. And at a healthy salary. :o)

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