This post was spurred on by Lazyman’s recent post about how he increased his income 62% in 14 months. That got me thinking hey I’ve done pretty well for myself lately, maybe I can top him 🙂 So here goes.
Last November I was working for a consulting company and was pretty sure I was underpaid. Not seriously underpaid, but I knew I was a valuable employee and had the standing to ask for a raise. Long story short I got a $4880 (8.5%) raise. It was a little less than the $15k I was asking for so a couple months later I started looking for a job. I was extremely successful at this venture and got tons of job offers (man I was a wreck back then). I ended up taking a job on the lower end of the job offers because of the great benefits and work environment. Regardless it netted me another $11,000 (17.75%) in base pay, not to mention I’m eligible for 20% of my salary in bonuses each year and 9.5% 401k matching. Then 5 months after taking this job I got a promotion and another $7300 (10%) raise and am now eligible for 30% of my salary in bonuses. All in all that’s a 40% increase in base salary in 8 months.
I also started some side gigs on the internet which make me about another $3k a year, and because of all of my connections job hunting I have been able to earn another $2500 in about a 2 months span getting referral bonuses. Won’t count the referral bonuses as those are one time events, but I dont’ think I can overlook the potential bonuses in my job.
Assuming I only get 1/3rd of my bonus on average going forward (which hasn’t been the case last few years here have resulted in full to close to full payouts) that bumps my take home pay another 10% which results in a 59.89% increase in salary in just 8 months. (2/3rd payout would result in a 74% increase, full payout 88%).
Not to mention our annual salary adjustment is coming up in September and I’ll be eligible for a prorated increase there too 🙂
I guess the biggest thing to take away from this is not necessarily that the results that Lazy or I took are repeatable for everyone, they are however certainly attainable in one form or another by a lot of people. While salary isn’t everything when it comes to a career (note I took a job for $7k less a year during job hunt) it is very important. Especially when you are young, I personally think it is vital to make sure you are getting paid competitive market wage. Certainly each job has its trade offs and it may be worth your while to accept less money for a short period of time to gain valuable experience that will reap rewards down the road, don’t put up with making significantly less than market salary for very long.
In the same sense that you need to start saving for retirement early and investing as much as you can early on to take advantage of compounding – your career is the exact same way. The more money you make earlier on in your career the more powerful raises and COLA are and the faster your salary will grow over time. The faster your salary grows the easier it becomes to save and reach your financial goals. Your career/earning potential while not the most important part of a retirement plan is a VERY important part of it. Don’t get me wrong its not what you earn it’s certainly what you save when it comes to building wealth, but making more sure makes it a heck of a lot easier to save more.
So if you find yourself in a sitution similiar to Lazy or I where you know you are underpaid and can find a comprable job that will pay you a significant amount more stop wasting your time and switch jobs!