On salary negotiating and reaching "prostitute milestone" number one21.09.2018
TL;DR: After 5 years of job
hopping advancement, I’m finally making as much (per hour) as entry level hooker. Read on to find why I prefer not negotiating the rate, and what would be my next professional target.
New opportunity ahead
I’m soon landing a new job in front-end development field, which both parties honestly hope to hold for a longer time. It’s going to be closer to my ideal of “the final workplace” (I’m planning to tell about the concept in the future).
For the first time, during recruitment I was asked about my “frequent” employer changes. I realized (and answered) that they were mainly driven by salary increase, yet I usually haven’t tried to make then-current company outbid the prospect one. I think such approach is good for the following reasons:
- They won’t match the rate anyway. At one company, I gained so much confidence that I treated every contract renewal as a negotiating exercise: I risked nothing by kindly asking (and reasoning) a better rate. That’s how I got 4% and then 11% raise year by year. Without this, I would still be fine working with them! Situation changed when I got an invitation from another company with an instant 25% increment (after aformentioned ones). In retrospective, waiting for the original firm to match the offer was waste of time. These two companies were simply operating at different levels of appreciation/productivity/prestige etc. so such request couldn’t be accepted without serious implications. Average single-digit yearly raise? No problem, that’s how the market works. A quarter at a time? That’s just demoralizing, eating too much agency margin, justified maybe only by putting me in more senior role and responsibilities. Note that what I’d need to fight for at the Company N, was the baseline pay (subject to future raises) at the Company N+1.
- Raise-or-quit negotiation feels like extortion. There’s rarely a “good” moment to go, and spicing things up with “I’ll stay if…” talk doesn’t help (How much your time-loyalty a raise buys the current company? How serious will the NewCo treat you when you’re so undecided?).
- I already imagined myself in the new place. This is purely psychological, and probably most important factor in my case. With different work logistics (office location and size, working hours etc.), new technology stack and plans for using greater money in mind, it’s hard to find motivation to stay even if previous points were resolved.
Friendship with React is over. Now Angular is my best friend!
Definition of “prostitute milestone”
We have “cosmic velocities” that indicate different speeds required to “beat” gravitation. Inspired by the physics term, I’m introducing two theorems of becoming rich. The first one goes like this:
If you earn at least the same hourly rate as a low-end sex worker, congratulations - you’ve reached The Prostitute Milestone Number One (courtesy of Michał Gurbiel).
I’m looking forward to getting to the second tier, which would be making as much per man-day as an average hooker asks for the all-nighter. It’s not that far away, although it will require running some side business. Let’s meet there :)