You’ve worked hard to get where you are. You are a much better developer than when you started, back in the dark ages where we didn’t have these easy tools that the “kids who think they are so clever” do now. You’ve paid your dues. Why on earth should you accept less money on a new job that your last?
Well, in a perfect world you shouldn’t. In the real world, we are faced with the reality of some middle managers who do not understand tech, always under pressure to cut expenses, and like the newest buzz words of the month that they see on the CVs of the younger cheaper hires.
Economics lessons from the road
I learned a valuable lesson in career economics, far from the tech world and a full 20 years before I set foot in Silicon Valley for the first time. At the age of
When I asked him how this made sense he replied, “Most entertainers come back and do the same festivals every year. Each year they want a bump in salary from the year before.
This was 1989. I checked in on John a little over a year ago. Now in his 80’s the company is still going strong 30 years later.
It’s not what you make
The most important lesson I got from my time with John, is that it isn’t what you make. It is how much you keep.
A few years ago, I returned to a company to where I was making 105K and agreed to come back for only 60K. Why would I do that?
The trade off was that I got to work remotely. Living in the San Jose area was costing me in rent $27,000 a year for a two bedroom apartment. Living in Wisconsin was costing $7,200 a year for a 5 bedroom house.
So even though I was earning less, I was keeping more of my money.
Later, I relocated to my in-law’s house in Thailand. The savings just kept getting better. I didn’t have to pay rent here, but when I have in the past it was around $150/month.
I was keeping even more of my money.
Not to mention, the lifestyle was better. Coding in the morning, watching the water buffalo being driven home in the evening. We don’t live near the postcard picture places Thailand is famous for, but last year on the 4th of July, I worked out of a hotel room in Phuket, and we toured the islands on the 4th since the office was closed that day.
The company eventually started to crash, and most of the staff, including myself found themselves without a job the week after Thanksgiving.
During the year before the crash, I took the time to set up a few passive income sources, and while it wasn’t a lot of money, it did give us enough to live on.
Now I’m getting ready to accept another job that will pay even less, but… I’ll get to keep more, and I still have my passive income. The new job will give me a cushion and time to build up the side projects. It is also a bit of an adventure, and a chance to work with some of the best people in the industry, but I digress.
While getting a lower income may be a blow to the ego, it may be a boon to your wallet or lifestyle. What you have your company trade off on, will be