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Old 02-27-2015, 06:47 PM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Corporate job. 3 major promotions in the last 10 years. The first time was a 35% increase to move me to a higher level. The 2nd & 3rd time each came with a 15-20% increase.

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Old 02-28-2015, 06:04 AM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by younginvestor2013 View Post
I discovered that individuals at basically the highest promotable level (without being management or executive management, meaning there are multiple of them), make about 85% more in salary than I do. Granted, most of them have around 10-15 years experience.

Plus, I learned they make an additional 15-20% in bonus than I do.

I guess I'm just curious if each raise would be enough to get me to their pay level if I were to get to their level in today's dollars. Given that it would be 3 promotions "away", I would have to attain about a 28% pay raise on each promotion on salary alone.

Sometimes I think I am overthinking things and should just enjoy being in my mid 20s But then I don't want to underestimate my worth and prolong my working career either
Personally, if you truly have the salary/bonus information of your co-workers, I would use this information to jump ship at some point and negotiate a bigger salary at your next job.

I left my last job largely in part because a document was accidentally leaked out to me and 1 or 2 others that had salary information for everyone in our department. Once I discovered I drastically underpaid compared to my peers and those who have less responsibility than me my time there was numbered. I was already pissed I got promoted into a role that tripled my responsibility and direct reports with no raise, and finding out the salary information I did was icing on the cake. They refused to give me a raise into the appropriate pay grade for my post-promotion job. So ultimately the information I had about my peers salary was pivotal for me increasing my total comp by nearly 30% at my next job, which just happened to be at another firm. There are some other factors that weren't part of the initial comp package I negotiated that will end up making the job change a 40% total comp increase.

I'd stick around for 5 years or so (total) where you are and see what happens. If you see the promotions and raises getting you to a point where you feel you are being fairly compensated, and you like your co-workers and the company I'd stick around. But if you find yourself getting resentful because you are underpaid to your peers I'd move to another firm with a good solid 5 years or so experience.

Money isn't everything and good co-workers and the work itself are incredibly important to job fulfillment, but I have found it incredibly difficult to maintain a positive attitude about a position and a company, no matter how much I liked the job or people when I have known the salary information of my peers and that I am being underpaid in comparison with no plans to correct that.

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Old 02-28-2015, 08:47 AM   #23
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 422
For the OP --

Kudos for thinking about this stuff. In a later post, you used the word "trajectory" which is an important concept for a young dreamer -- what does my future wealth creation curve look like and how do I bend that curve?

Almost every company has a "career ladder" for each function. You move from "junior wrench turner" to "wrench turner" to "senior wrench turner" to "super senior wrench turner" as you improve your craft and mark time with the company.

In that light, your income trajectory is a conveyor belt moving up to the right at 2-3%/year with occasional 10% bumps from a promotion. You can plot with a degree of precision what will happen to your income.

But what happens to that curve if you take big risks along the way?

You introduce variability -- the potential for big moves up or down.

If you want to change your trajectory you have to take risks.

Risks can be starting a new business unit, fighting for the development of a product concept, figuring out how eliminate 1/2 the wrench turners, or just taking on some hugely visible "if we fail we go under" type project risk. That's when you get noticed, which is when good things happen. I would bet that those senior guys who are making way more than the conveyor belt increases justify all took and delivered on one or more of of those risks along the way.

To really bend your curve, you need to become a serial risk taker. Get off the conveyor belt mentality and think of it as leaping vine-to-vine through the jungle.

I've been a serial risk taker -- with successes and failures. The result is at age 43 I now earn 15x what I did when I started as a "Member of Technical Staff" 21 years ago. That's a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 13.5%. Of course, it wasn't a smooth income curve...I've had multiple 30%+ jumps...I also took a 70% pay cut once and had to rebuild my curve.

My suggestions for bending your curve:

1) LBYM -- create the personal financial capacity to take risks
2) Choose your risks wisely -- fight on favorable ground and don't just swing at every risk that comes your way
3) When you take the risk, fight hard to win. You won't always, but heart counts for more than people give it credit for
4) After you win, consolidate your position and bank the higher income

Sorry for the long post. Good luck. You'll do great.

Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity.
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