How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by SavingWithBabies » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:32 am

I haven't quite reached two decades. Unless you count flailing around trying to figure things out after dropping out of college. That took 5 years. Then another 5 years to get a 4 year degree (there was a year of no college while working full time to get state residency for reduced tuition). So that was a decade. Then I graduated in 2007 so we're a couple years over a decade post college degree.

My work itself has stayed similar. I've been an individual contributor working on software -- lately with some technical leadership (but not people management). Mostly web-based projects. I've found the surest way to increase my compensation has been to switch employers and that has worked up until recently. Now I either need to step up my negotiating game or I've reached the upper limit of what I can reasonable expect while still being an individual contributor (and not living near and working at Facebook/Apple/Amazon/Netflix/Google -- I could definitely earn more at one of those but cost of living would increase and quality of life would likely be lower).

I put my salary history in my journal and I'll probably get it wrong here but it roughly went something like:

$50k -> $55k/$60k -> $58k/$80k -> $140k -> $180k -> $165k -> $160k (1st full remote, LCOL) -> $175k (2nd full remote)

I think around $160-180k is max for me at this point. I suspect I could squeeze out more with harder negotiations but not much more. If I want more now, I have to make a name for myself (speak at conferences, make popular open source software, etc) and then leverage that to get roles with more business input, start my own things (and get very lucky) or move to one of the big names mentioned above (and learn to be a tiny cog). At this point in time, I think it's best to stay on the path I'm on until I either get to FI/ERE or the path ends (then decide what to do next).

I have been fortunate to be on the lucrative side of the tech divide. I only got here because of personal interest. I understand theoretically why my time has the value it has. In practice, I've grown disillusioned by software development. Mostly around the business side of it -- after trying my own thing, I can see how critical the business/growth/sales side of things are. I think most of my employers have had a poor return on the money they have spent on my time but it is not for lack of effort on my part -- more so that their businesses didn't realize the theoretical benefit/value they could have. So that is why I'm somewhat skeptical that my high income will continue although part of me suspects the majority of businesses fail to get the value they could get out of their employees due to poor alignment and/or management and/or ???. So perhaps things will not change. I don't know.

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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by latearlyFI » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:10 pm

Here is an article about Accenture automating many white collar jobs away, but they are thankfully retraining some... ... -28800182/

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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by prognastat » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:48 pm

I've only been in the job market for about 9 years, unless you count some very basic part time jobs done as a kid like delivering newspapers/working fast food and if I counted those then the amount my income has been increased would be a ridiculous comparison. So don't have that much of a track record, but in those 9 years I've about quadrupled my income though at the same time my working hours have also increased by about 25%.

This hasn't been staying in the same job though and has been with 3 different companies and going through 8 positions. So can't really say how my income would have grown in that time if I had been in the same position with the same company for the whole duration. It would probably have been far less as in general my annual increases without promotions has been ranging around 3-6% which would only have been about a 1.5x increase at such a rate.

I know though that between outsourcing and increasingly automation has taken away part of jobs I've worked. I started in call centre work and at first a lot of it got outsourced, but more and more basic things are being automated such as the robo caller answering and getting basic information from customer's up front(this used to be done by employees but is now rarely done). Systems that walk employees through troubleshooting using logic trees allowing lower skill employees to complete what would previously have been higher paid more technical work. So not only is it that jobs are disappearing, but it's also allowing higher paid jobs to become lower paid positions where employees are the front end for the software and likely eventually will be mostly/entirely replaced.

Also I'm just as "guilty" of reinforcing this as when I go to the grocery store in most cases I end up going to the self checkout as this is often faster and doesn't require interaction with another person when I don't want that. That's a place where it's been obvious what the effect has been where it used to be that there were no self checkout aisles and all checkout aisles had employees in them and now more and more of the checkout aisles are self checkout and of those that aren't most aren't staffed most of the time. If a robo call system got good enough to understand me as well as a person and was more efficient at taking care of my issues I would probably prefer that too.

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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by latearlyFI » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:58 pm

SavingWithBabies - I think you've done really well, congrats! Seems IT was the best industry, do you think it still is? I've been thinking of doing a coding course but have no idea where to start or whether everyone else is having the same idea.

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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Lemur » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:11 pm

Was U.S. enlisted military for a while so you can look up my pay at E4 if you really wanted too. Outside of that, I became a budget analyst / contractor / data analyst. Did an internship at $15 an hour...than salaried at $55k. Jumped and got to $58k...argued for more to get $65k. Still realized I was vastly underpaid so jumped again to a big4 company and now making $90k. At this point, I haven't even worked full-time for a decade (started at 18). Considering myself lucky I'm making much more than the average wage ($53k or so last I remember reading?) so that is pretty much my benchmark I think.

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