* Salary compression is real: most companies are not going to keep giving you raises to match what the market would give you for your skills. They would rather you leave and take all of the institutional knowledge with you than pay you the amount you could get elsewhere. Even if that means hiring someone else at market value.
* Don't get comfortable at a company to the point you're not getting new experiences and learning new skills. Don't become a dinosaur.
* Even if you don't want to become a manager, when the time is right and you have the right skill set, demand a title with "architect" or equivalent in it. Titles are B.S. but people listen to developers with "architect" as part of their title. I insisted on the title and now I'm being recruited for much higher salaries even though I had the same responsibilities as a "senior".
* Good local recruiters are your friends. They can tell you salary ranges for a job and they do a lot of the hard work for you.
* know how to calculate your contract rate if you're doing contract work. Your rate will be different if you are a W2 contractor vs a 1099 contractor. Take into account self employment taxes (1099), the lack of PTO, the time between contracts etc.
* Whether you are a contract or perm, realize that you are still your own company. Your employer is your customer. Do you your best work but never feel a sense of loyalty that keeps you from jumping ship for higher pay. They don't have any loyalty to you.
>They don't have any loyalty to you.
Companies preach "family" and "loyalty". DO NOT BUY INTO THIS MENTALITY. They're not going to hesitate to fire you if it means they can maintain their bottom line.
>Even if you don't want to become a manager, when the time is right and you have the right skill set, demand a title with "architect" or equivalent in it. Titles are B.S. but people listen to developers with "architect" as part of their title. I insisted on the title and now I'm being recruited for much higher salaries even though I had the same responsibilities as a "senior".
Title's probably aren't going to be given without some other political reasoning. They have to be claimed. Same goes for "Director", "Head of", and "VP" titles. Titles are rarely assigned based on merit, so stop trying to earn them.
Additionally, I'd like to add the following advice:
Don't take compensation as equity these days. It's the same as taking your salary based on lottery tickets. Especially heed this advice for "nothing" equity offers of ~1% of common stock. It takes a really large exit for that 1% to turn into something meaningful for you. AND that's assuming there are scraps left over for the common stock holders.
My god, that's a spot-on piece of wisdom if I've ever heard it. Some titles like Principal and Architect can be earned through hard work and exemplary performance. C-level titles and Director/VP almost never operate on merit.
Indeed. It's great to love your work and even your job, but never forget that this love is 100% unrequited.
I'm cautious of the word "Architect" — even though I've had it in my job title in the past, and still believe that it can mean something. Unfortunately, it's also a word that's inserted into so many unrelated jobs titles (Enterprise Solutions Architect, Information Architect) — if you need to get beyond senior, and have influence over the wording of your title, then Principal and Staff are useful words — until they too are devalued
It is easier to get "hired" for new technology stacks because some people in the company already know you, instead of random HR guy that doesn't care about technologies used in side projects, only what was used on your very last project at work.
There is certainly no one-size-fits-all advice here!
I'd add one more - if you ever get a good client (freelancing, even when you are full time) keep them happy. A client who doesn't come up with billion changes, pays on time, doesn't micro manage etc is really worth working with, even if the work itself might not be super interesting.
If you tell your employer you're leaving for more money and they get angry (assuming you didn't just consume a bunch of money in training), that's a sign that you made the right move.
A manager once asked a director for a training budget for his employees.
His director asked "what if you train then and they leave?"
The manager replied, "what if we don't and they stay?"
I would be careful with this advice. It might get you a cushy job and a higher salary at bad companies, but I think it's bad for your career in the long run.
In my experience most "architects" don't do any real work while cooking up a bunch of "best-practices" that sound good in a vacuum but either fail completely or create a big unnecessary mess when it comes to actual implementation.
In my experience, real practitioners who are actually worth paying attention to usually have the title "Lead", "Manager", "Director", or "Principal".
I would rather be called a "lead" than "principal". A "principal" is seen as an individual contributor, an "architect" is also usually an individual contributor but could also be someone who interacts with various departments to get stuff done.
However, sometimes even horrible recruiters can help you get a foot in the door somewhere. This is especially true with temping: you show up and start working right away with a minimal interview process. It's a great way to subvert corporate HR machines and get in the door and start making connections.
If you're looking for a new job of the type that recruiters may have, submit your resume to them and let them spam it out for you, but be firm with them when they want to waste your time by sending you to something that you know is a dead-end, or when they're trying to set up "check-ins" or other meetings that don't have a client/potential employer in attendance (do note that most will want to meet you once to look you over and make sure they won't be embarrassing themselves by sending you to an interview, but once the relationship is established, resist further recruiter-centric time waste).
moc.liamg AT hcselftrebor reverse that.
If you have to wade through traffic to get to your place of work, figure that time into your rate.