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Get the Raise — Determine your value and get promoted in tech

chantastic profile image Michael Chan ・1 min read

This week, three people asked me about salary negotiation.

I'm shit at negotiation

But I can tell you what I've learned in 10 years of full-time tech work.

Become visible.

Visible people find more opportunities than invisible people.

I've received exactly one raise that wasn't driven by me.

I was moved between teams and my new manager immediately bumped me up $10k.

Turns out he was embarrassed by how little I was being paid.

That was a wake up call.

That year I started creating training materials and giving conference talks.

I made industry relationships and asked them what their compensation looked liked.

I learned that I was still 25-35% under market.

So I asked for it and got it.

This would not have happened if I hadn't been proactive.

I would have remained unaware and waiting.

It's not a company's job to serve your career.

Companies exist to make money.

Part of that equation is keeping expenses low

And you are an expensive expense.

You need to be retained for as little as possible.

It's your job to set that number.

If you're waiting for a raise —

Expecting someone else to notice and evaluate your work —

Stop.

Be visible.

Meet people.

Ask them about money.

And go get it.

💸 @chantastic

P.S.

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Discussion (4)

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jorgecc profile image
Jorge Castro • Edited

Companies exist to make money.

In fact, legally it is forced to do that.

Anyways, some positions and salaries are reserved as the first-come-first-serve basis. If a developer doesn't complain, then it means that he or she is happy with their pay and the company is satisfied with it. Also, if you ask for a salary, and your performance is subpar, then it could backfire.

However, sometimes, we should understand that we are in comparison with our peers. We could be friends but at some limit. And what is the limit?. When we are fighting for a position. And, when are we fighting for a position? Always. Corporate Ladder is funny-.

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chantastic profile image
Michael Chan Author

These are excellent points.

Being silent about salary frustrations makes us complicit in our stunted progress.

And yeah, for people who are already giving 120% every day, it can be difficult to "hit the boost" when being reviewed for promotion.

Navigating all of this is so stick!

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

True, the most important thing that I learnt during the recent years is that you won't get what you don't ask for. So I started to ask...

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chantastic profile image
Michael Chan Author

So true.
Just getting in the habit of asking is most of the battle.
"What's next for me? How will we know we're there?"