Early in your career, your skills and market rate improve so quickly that a single employer just can't keep up.
You'll be twice as good at what you do next year. And you'll be even better at picking up new technologies. Repeat this four times at four shops in four sectors and get demonstrably good at lots of stuff. Build artifacts you can point to that prove how good you are.
The sad truth is that no matter how good your first few jobs are, you can't keep them (unless you got hired by Google or Facebook right out of school, in which case you can ignore all the above and coast along until you vest.) The company that hired you as a new grad for an entry level salary will never give you 50% raises four years in a row. The market as a whole will do that though.
Early on, it's all about building up your market rate. Get that up to where it belongs fast. Then find the place you want to get comfortable.
There are lots of reasons to bust out of local maxima besides "chasing money". (Which, incidentally, nobody but computer programmers uses as a term to describe negotiating a fair market rate for one's work. Everybody else would call that "not getting taken advantage of.")
Build up that network by helping new startups with tasks they are working on. If you help...10 startups over the next 5 years, you will build a larger network and be more valuable than just meeting people at networking events.
One of those company's may turn into something and you can get in early. If not, you will have advocates in your corner that will make introduction to others.
Get out there and do the work, make friends that are working on interesting project, provide value, they won't forget it when it comes time to ask for something in return.
Find out what you want to be an expert in. Only experts are hireable in the long run.
This industry is about both what you can do and who you know. They both take time, and the latter usually only comes with additional effort outside your employment.
With this in mind, you can start taking actions towards that goal and trying to get close to it each day.
I'm applying this right now and it has been helpful, since I already know what I want to be and where do I want to be, so I'm working towards that. Also dedication and setting priorities, giving up and sacrificing stuff that get me out of my path for stuff that bring me closer.
Hope this helps.
I'd recommend books on business, books on sales. Also, books related to the technologies you want to master.
Can't agree more with this. And there are all kinds of ancillary benefits. Read more, and you become a better writer almost by osmosis. Read anything and everything; there's almost nothing that is so dreckful that there aren't nuggets of useful information buried within - I've probably learned almost as much history from the reams of historical fiction and political thrillers that I've churned through for pure entertainment. I don't think there's a faster, more economical way to amass knowledge.
Also, if you have to, you can withdraw your contributions (but not any gains) without penalty - since a Roth is post-tax - so it can serve as a savings account, one with considerably better rates of return than the abysmal interest a regular savings account provides.
Nobody grows exponentially in a vacuum. (Except marshmallows I guess)