03 June 2018

increasing salary with number of years of experience

Over the last 3 months at least 5 colleagues have asked me questions related to how to keep their salary growing as experience under their belt keep growing. Let's look some of the questions I encountered over lunch breaks, commuting in cabs between home and office and other networking events:

  • My experience is growing but my salary is not growing, any suggestions from your end?
  • How is the job market now I have 8 years of experience in IT?
  • Will I get a job when I try to change the company?
  • I'm a lead now with 10 years of experience under my belt, leading team of 6 junior people and my Manager has 40 people under him.

    With this prevailing ratio in the software industry, as years rolls and I become more experienced will I get position for my experience?

May be after reading this blog post so far, it might have also ringed similar questions in your mind too. Keep reading further, I will try to answer these questions over next few paragraphs.

I really understand the concerns people have behind these questions because I too had such questions in my mind 2 years back.

Now let me try to my answer to these questions.

Experience v/s Exposure

As years goes by, yes you will definitely become more experienced by a mere number of experience. But you need to ask yourself can I do more complex tasks now comparing to 2 to 3 years back? Please understand you need to gain expertise in whatever you do as become more experience any field.

For instance, let's consider Software Developer job. In first 1 - 5 years you are expected to do programming more, later over 6 - 9 years you are expected to take design components, do POCs, etc. And over 10 years & above you are expected to design solutions and provide architecture guidelines etc. Please note here as years of experience goes you need to build different skills set to grow your career and hence the salary.

That is why with more number of experience you need to gain more exposure as well to salary raise.

Understand value addition

As years of experience grows you need to add more value to keep getting salary raise. Just because you are there in the company for long years no one keeps giving good salary raise.

For example with 12 years of experience you need to talk comfortably with the leadership team on newer technology developments and how can some of them be adopted in the company to improve operation metrics, KPIs(Key Performance Indicators), reduce costs, etc

Turn the problem upside down. For a moment think you are running a business and would you give salary what you are expecting to person with the same skill set as you.

Skip level manager should know you by name

This is not a step but you could use this as a yardstick. You report to manager/lead and then you manager/lead reports to his manager. Your manager boss is your skip level manager. You need to be active and notable in your area of expertise so that your skip level manager knows you by name.

To gain attention with senior management start giving tech talks in your organization, introduce tools which can reduce development efforts. You need to have such an expert level such that your manager should refer you to other people to solve their issues /problems.

Invest in training

Especially in IT industry you need to keep upgrading your skill set. There are lot very good training platforms available in the market. Below are few such training platforms online.

  1. Pluralsight
  2. Lynda
  3. Coursera
  4. udemy.com

Spend some bucks, buy subscription and go though courses. It’s like sowing high yield seeds for better crops later in the season.

Networking

  1. Be active on LinkedIn which is a professional networking site. It’s worth spending 2 -3 hours every week.

    Follow the people whom you know are getting good salary. See whom they connect to and what they follow on the site. Especially see what new skills they are adding to their resumes of late.

  2. Subscribe to sites like infoq.com, medium.com, msdn monthly magazine etc for your area of topics.

    Read at least 2 -3 article published on these sites every week to get good grasp on what is going on in your area of work.