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Understanding Your Value

By Steve Jones,

Many of us work for some organization and get paid to do so. We might work for ourselves or others, but every so often we hope to get some renumeration for our efforts. For most of us, we negotiated some pay rate and then hope to get annual raises the reflect our work product.

The interesting thing that I've learned in many years of changing jobs and negotiating pay is that many of us have no idea what others doing similar jobs are being paid. There isn't a set scale of pay, unlike many other industries, and since our jobs can vary dramatically from organization to organization, despite having similar titles, we may learn that our compensation deviates dramatically from others in similar situations.

Last year SQLServerCentral ran a salary survey and then released the aggregated data. This was a quick attempt to help you understand where you might stand relative to others, and it was very popular. Brent Ozar took our survey a step further, with a more detailed set of questions and data. This year Brent has beat us to the punch, with a new survey for 2017. I encourage you to participate and help build a useful data set. I plan on doing our own in the new year, probably this month, and hopefully we'll have two good sets of data that you can review and analyze.

Most of us are data professionals, and we know that having more information helps us to make better decisions. Filling out these anonymous surveys can help others understand where they might stand relative to you and vice versa. This is the type of data that can enable you to better negotiate your own pay in the future. After all, there's nothing like presenting some data professional specific results to management to help your case that an adjustment might be needed.

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