Steve Jones - Editor (12/12/2008)
I'm not sure you need to change ladders. Making big saves, however, does make you look good, it's remembered, and it might mean that at review time you stand out and get the biggest raise.
If only in practice that were always true. Unfortunately, companies just are not that perfect. This is even more true when changes are rolling through the company, which many are happening these days. It is rarely, "what have you done for me", but rather, "what are you doing
for me". Loyalty from an employer has always been rare, and is even more so now.
I still say, I'll give them all I've got (within reason), and usually stay on even when it is not great. I do not care much about money, as long as my family has basic needs (plus a little extra) met.
However, the historical fact is that changing ladders remains the fastest way to change your pay by more than 15%. I have only personally experienced one exception (sort of) to that in 25+ years of employment, but that only happened because of a company buyout. I went from hourly with horrendous over-time, to salary... but effectively the increase was only about 5% overall... once the OT was considered with salary. And since the OT didn't stop it was even less. So I guess effectively
I personally have not experienced an internal
increase effectively breaking 10%, let alone 15%. And I am not sure I have ever heard of any either. I am not saying it doesn't happen; only saying it is considerably rare. On the other hand, I have twice increased over 10%, and once over 15% while changing "ladders". (Granted, the big jump was leaving military service after nearly 10 years, and going into civilian IT sector... that 28K~32K was poverty, and IT careers started around 45K to 50K.)
Just to get perspective on numbers (dropping trailing digits):
50K to 60K is 16.7%
60K to 70K is 14.3%
70K to 80K is 12.5%
80K to 90K is 11.2%
90K to 100K is 10%
100K to 110K is 9.1%
110K to 120K is 8.9%
(Amounts considered are in the USD pay range for IT based jobs of less than "Director/Department" title).
My point here, to stay on topic, is that citing potential pay increases for saving the day as a reason to hoard all the nearly useless antiquated IT paraphernalia over 7 years old just doesn't equate. There are a plentitude of other ways to save the day, that will garner far more notariety and employability, and won't fill up half my basement and my all of my storage site.
Versioning over time, for both hardware and software, must have a sunset. For me, 7 years (and at the long end, 10) should be as far as it goes. Value beyond that would be very hard to prove, unless it was and is still the "current" system in use. But the costs of maintaining will eventually climb higher than the costs of upgrading. The headaches, hassle, the lack of plug-and-play, and many other head-bangers push the issue.
By the way, would anyone like a case of 1 and 2 mb RAM sticks (and the mammoth towers they came in)?
Or, any of 50 network cards, all old, and various types?
Or 4 HP3LJ printers (1 with MICR!), or 6 other brands in various stages of operability?
SparQ, JAZZ, ZIP, SuperFloppy, 2nd Gen Tape, or any of many 250/500 mb HD drives?
I can't even recycle the miles of cabling (CAT 2/3/5/5E/cable/antenna/phone/etc.); they want the insulation stripped off first!