The IT Salary Equation

The salary conversation.

Bring it on. I get it. Certain IT skills command a premium salary in the marketplace. But there is so much more to this conversation than base salary. I have this discussion frequently and I’ve developed what I think is balanced viewpoint.

 Some skills grow in demand as recapped by James O’Brien in this article on the The IT Salary ‘Wave’.  IT professionals need to do their homework on their full compensation package, soft benefits, and needed skills before making their case for a raise.

The bigger picture.

I advise colleagues to consider the bigger picture of their employment package when they ask me about their salary. They should consider the following:

  • Work from home days. Not every job type is eligible for this. What’s that worth?

  • Commute. For those who work close to the office, they should think about the trade-off of a higher salary if they had to spend an extra 20-30 minutes in their car each way to work. What’s that worth?

  • Culture. If you like the culture of your workgroup and company what’s that worth?

  • Boss. Do you like your manager. What’s that worth?

  • Training. Do you have access to training and research materials. What’s that worth?

  • Job Assignments. We all like a variety of job assignments. This is a tough one to tackle, and it takes intentional effort from the organization.

  • Industry and company. Don’t be fooled by salary surveys published online without considering industry and company size.

We have a choice.

At the end of the day we make a choice to get up and go to work each day. If we are not completely satisfied with our situation we are free to look for other opportunities. I know that everyone that works under me could leave the company and command a higher salary at other places of work. I admit that up-front. But I paint the bigger picture. That works for some and not for others. It’s all part of the equation. How do you solve it?


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