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When it comes to salaries, I'm not average


When it comes to salaries, I'm not average

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Andy Warren
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item When it comes to salaries, I'm not average

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Jeff Moden
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The bad part about this advice is that I've heard it from a whole lot of people and they're correct... they definitely not "average" . They're actually quite a bit below average, which is pitiful to begin with according to the interviews I've conducted or have witnessed over the last decade.

The first step in negotiating a salary is all that happens during the interview. If you have to tell someone that you're not average, it's because you actually are "average" or worse and did nothing to prove otherwise during the interview.

--Jeff Moden

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Rod
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Very good topic, Andy. I've often wondered how much I could make, given my education, training, skills and years of experience. I remember learning of Payscale and Saral.com years ago. I got onto Payscale to try and learn what I could make, in other locations. At the time I was looking at some senior developer jobs in NYC. I found that given my education, training, skills and experience that they pay range that Payscale gave me was, well let's say exuberant. We got to the point of talking about salary and I told them the range the Payscale gave me. I never heard back from them. Either they thought my requested pay range was way out of line, or they realized that they couldn't get this hobo from NM as cheap as they wanted to.

Since then I've considered the estimated pay ranges reported by Payscale, and Salary.com, to be off by a lot. I'd love to know if others experiences using Payscale.

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Eric M Russell
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First, the market for skilled labor, especially technical professions, is perhaps the best example of what is called by economists an "in-efficient market". It's the exact opposite of the stock market or retail stores setting prices for the same brand X widget.
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/efficient-market.html

Even if you are an exceptional DBA, you may find it impossible to sell yourself as such to many prospective (or current) employers because they're simply not interested in an exceptional DBA. What they really need (or think they need) is someone to maintain the status quo or at least improve things to the point where users (at least the users they care about) are not complaining. It's like a restaurant trying to sell upscale $10 burgers to a customer base where the median household income is $32,000, and you're struggling to compete with the local McDonald's dollar menu. It's not that your burger isn't worth $10, it's just that you're in the wrong market.



"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Jeff Mlakar
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I really like the assertiveness of "I am not average". Simple and powerful. This is good advice for those mid / upper career level.

It is hard to sell for those with little experience but I think even they can benefit from this advice. After all a certain % of your team is going to be rockstars and the rest just keep the lights on. A young ambitious person may capitalize on this if they got the right stuff.
Rod
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Eric M Russell - Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:01 AM
First, the market for skilled labor, especially technical professions, is perhaps the best example of what is called by economists an "in-efficient market". It's the exact opposite of the stock market or retail stores setting prices for the same brand X widget.
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/efficient-market.html

Even if you are an exceptional DBA, you may find it impossible to sell yourself as such to many prospective (or current) employers because they're simply not interested in an exceptional DBA. What they really need (or think they need) is someone to maintain the status quo or at least improve things to the point where users (at least the users they care about) are not complaining. It's like a restaurant trying to sell upscale $10 burgers to a customer base where the median household income is $32,000, and you're struggling to compete with the local McDonald's dollar menu. It's not that your burger isn't worth $10, it's just that you're in the wrong market.


I hadn't thought of that, Eric. Very good points! And since I wasn't in NYC, it was impossible for me to have learned through local groups or contacts why negotiations suddenly ended. They may have lost someone who did average or even below average work, but were good enough to keep the lights on, so to speak. So I may have priced myself out of that job opportunity because of that. Thanks for the input.

Kindest Regards,Rod
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Doug Dodge
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I have always thought of "average" as being the best of the worst and the worst of the best. Having said that, I'd agree with the prior comments, each reflecting the various issues folks have encountered.

Thinking about this process recently I have concluded that the current approach, as generally understood, is going to need to change at some point in the near future. One of the reasons come from a great book I am reading, "The End of Tech Companies" by Rob Thomas.

Note: A couple edits for clarity
Eric M Russell
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Rod at work - Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:32 AM
Eric M Russell - Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:01 AM
First, the market for skilled labor, especially technical professions, is perhaps the best example of what is called by economists an "in-efficient market". It's the exact opposite of the stock market or retail stores setting prices for the same brand X widget.
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/efficient-market.html

Even if you are an exceptional DBA, you may find it impossible to sell yourself as such to many prospective (or current) employers because they're simply not interested in an exceptional DBA. What they really need (or think they need) is someone to maintain the status quo or at least improve things to the point where users (at least the users they care about) are not complaining. It's like a restaurant trying to sell upscale $10 burgers to a customer base where the median household income is $32,000, and you're struggling to compete with the local McDonald's dollar menu. It's not that your burger isn't worth $10, it's just that you're in the wrong market.


I hadn't thought of that, Eric. Very good points! And since I wasn't in NYC, it was impossible for me to have learned through local groups or contacts why negotiations suddenly ended. They may have lost someone who did average or even below average work, but were good enough to keep the lights on, so to speak. So I may have priced myself out of that job opportunity because of that. Thanks for the input.

Just like the DBA market, there certainly is a bell curve for IT recruiters and hiring managers too. In the past, I've had some inexplicable experiences while job hunting as well, and sometimes it can seem if the job seeker has stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone or become the subject to a "gaslighting" campaign.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
However, I always tried to maintain perspective, never allowing myself to extrapolate from one experience, because we really don't know what the hell is going on behind the scenes at the other end. Fortunately, I've never been out of the market for more than a few weeks. I think it has a lot to do with shrugging off the disappointments, staying positive, and knowing how to spot and work a good lead.



"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
Rod
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Eric M Russell - Thursday, June 21, 2018 11:44 AM
Rod at work - Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:32 AM
Eric M Russell - Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:01 AM
First, the market for skilled labor, especially technical professions, is perhaps the best example of what is called by economists an "in-efficient market". It's the exact opposite of the stock market or retail stores setting prices for the same brand X widget.
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/efficient-market.html

Even if you are an exceptional DBA, you may find it impossible to sell yourself as such to many prospective (or current) employers because they're simply not interested in an exceptional DBA. What they really need (or think they need) is someone to maintain the status quo or at least improve things to the point where users (at least the users they care about) are not complaining. It's like a restaurant trying to sell upscale $10 burgers to a customer base where the median household income is $32,000, and you're struggling to compete with the local McDonald's dollar menu. It's not that your burger isn't worth $10, it's just that you're in the wrong market.


I hadn't thought of that, Eric. Very good points! And since I wasn't in NYC, it was impossible for me to have learned through local groups or contacts why negotiations suddenly ended. They may have lost someone who did average or even below average work, but were good enough to keep the lights on, so to speak. So I may have priced myself out of that job opportunity because of that. Thanks for the input.

Just like the DBA market, there certainly is a bell curve for IT recruiters and hiring managers too. In the past, I've had some inexplicable experiences while job hunting as well, and sometimes it can seem if the job seeker has stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone or become the subject to a "gaslighting" campaign.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
However, I always tried to maintain perspective, never allowing myself to extrapolate from one experience, because we really don't know what the hell is going on behind the scenes at the other end. Fortunately, I've never been out of the market for more than a few weeks. I think it has a lot to do with shrugging off the disappointments, staying positive, and knowing how to spot and work a good lead.


Thank you again, Eric. My problem is I tend to think that if a job prospect goes south, its something I've done wrong. That's one reason why I find SQL Server Central and especially these forums to be useful. I can gain some perspective and realize there might be other reasons.

Kindest Regards,Rod
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Andy Warren
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Jeff, you're right that a lot of us are average. That's not bad, it's the nature of things. My premise is just a little different and that's whether you let them frame the salary negotiation based on average salary (not skill). The average they are using may or may not be a good number, and that number may or may not be one that you can live with. There's no perfect way to evaluate either your skill level or what you're worth, but it's helpful to try to assess both before the interview and if they disagree, at least explore why (even if its on your own after the interview). The technique I propose isn't one size fits all, just designed to get you thinking about that conversation. Are you negotiating or just taking what is offered?

Some companies don't want superstars...or more honestly, they usually don't want to pay for superstars. Or they don't know what they cost!

Rod, feeling that way is normal. Sometimes we miss the question, miss the cue to respond a certain way, seem to care about the wrong things (salary, benefits). Not all first dates lead to second dates! Is it you or is it them is hard to figure out.

Andy
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