Great write up. I have never lasted more than a year and a half at any place so the fact that you lasted 2 years is pretty amazing. Early on I found out that only guaranteed way to get a raise was to learn as much as possible and then find another job. The faster I did this the higher my salary got.
You mentioned this but in California employers are not allowed to ask for salary history but you can ask for salary range and they have to tell you. So if you're a programmer then California is a pretty good place to be because there is always a shortage of programmers and programmers have a pretty good bargaining position.
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