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How much am I worth??
8

How much am I worth??

How much am I worth??

(OP)
Good Morning All,

I am running into a personal quandry at work and could use some advice from some of my IT brethren.

I work at a midsized corporation, about 110 employees with about 90 supported pc's over 6 states. I am the only person in the IT dept making me the IT dept. This is my first job out of college and I live in Denver Colorado. I earned my degree in MIS/minor SCSI and I currently have my A+ and N+ with 2 years of Cisco Networking at junior college while getting my MIS. I hopefully will be getting my CCNA by August. I have been with the company for about 2 years now and I feel as though I am an asset to the company at this point.

I love my job, ive been you average geek since 15 yrs old and im 25 now. The problem I have is with my pay. I went out to eat with a buddy of mine who is also into IT and he remarked on how the pay was really good.... so I asked him what he was making. Now my buddy has a technical degree with no certs and is making around 48,000 a year which shocked me because I make around 36,000 a year. So I went to salary.com calculator and the base pay for IT im my area is about 55,000 a year which makes me think im getting shafted here.

Now im not big into pay and im not a greedy man by any means but I just dont feel like im getting my fair worth. So basically I want to ask for a raise but I dont know what exactly should I be asking for, my boss is a cheap skate and this company makes millions......

Any responses are greatly appreciated...

Antony

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_salaryresults.asp?op=salswz_psr&hdOmniNarrowDesc=IT%20--%20All&hdOmniTotalJobsFound=5&pagefrom=selectjob&hdZipCode=80207&geometrocode=51&hdLocationOption=0&countertype=0&jobcounter=1&hdJobCode=IT10000135&hdJobTitle=Systems%20Administrator&;hdJobCategory=IT03&hdNarrowDesc=IT%20--%20All
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Bring your salary research with you when you meet with your boss.  It helps to have documentation for him to see.  Also, be sure the research reflects the job that you do so you're comparing apples to apples.  

Another idea would be to find another job.  I'm not saying you need to accept another job, but interview for another job, get an idea of the salary you would make at this new job, and bring that info to your boss.  Let him know that you're seriously considering the new offer but that you would like to give him the opportunity to keep you around with a counter offer.

RE: How much am I worth??

Yes, bring your research with you and call the meeting with your boss.  Take the initiative yourself.

I did this once and the boss was very impressed with my documentation and got me a raise.

If you don't speak up, no one will.  Since you are relatively younger than I, it pays for you now to make the salary changes in order to survive in your future career goals.  I stayed at a company almost 18 years working my way through to Telecommunications.  I didn't press for additional salary very often and come to find out, now that I'm Telecom manager at a different firm, I was way underpaid.  You don't want your earnings to be capped because most likely new prospective firms won't want to pay you the bigger bucks when they see you've settled for smaller ones for a long period of time. Take my advice, just do it and quickly.

G

RE: How much am I worth??

I would think that you're probably underpaid, but I also think that you work for a small company rather than a mid-sized business.  When you're dealing with smaller companies like that you'll find that they tend to pay less.  Because of this they usually end up stuck with taking either lesser skilled people or serving as the career launchpad for up-and-comers.

You also might want to look at this:

http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/career-articles-technology_it_s_where_the_jobs_are-435;_ylt=AovtffwxG30qEUIibMS_8lLWn414

The reality though is that you're probably going to have to jump to another company to get the kind of raise that you're looking for.  Unless your boss thinks that they've been taking advantage of you for the past two years, they're not going to bump you by 33%-50%.  For most IT people the only way to see a significant raise is to jump ship and go to another company.  Most employers will only give a raise of 3-5% a year.  Jumping to another employer can net you several times that, especially if you are underpaid to begin with.

One more thing to keep in mind is that it's not uncommon for IT workers to spend their first 5-7 years out of school jumping around every couple of years.  Every jump is usually a pay bump and a resume upgrade, and it takes a few to go from the $36k "just out of school" salary to making $75-100k.  On the bright side, there is a serious shortage of skilled IT workers, so if you're good at what you do then you can do very well for yourself.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

(OP)
All very good suggestions, I will start to apply for other IT jobs in my range around my area for comparison as well as some documentation. I agree I would consider this a small company... and they due have a trend to underpay their employees. Kind of a bummer considering I really like this job but ya have to do what you have to do :)

Keep em comin

RE: How much am I worth??

If you don't want to "apply" for another job, you can do the research on Dice.com, Monster.com or JobServe.com or others and gather a bunch of job req's that have salaries listed for jobs that are similar in nature to what you're doing and use that along with your Salary.com information when you talk to your boss. You might want to check other sites in addition to Salary.com so you have a nice mix to show them, and they can't say you didn't do enough research.

It's all about researching and providing a detailed case to answer the obvious question "Why?".

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
Albert Einstein

RE: How much am I worth??

You don't want your earnings to be capped because most likely new prospective firms won't want to pay you the bigger bucks when they see you've settled for smaller ones for a long period of time.

The simple fix to that is to not tell your prospective employers how much money you make at your current job.  It's none of their business anyway.  Tell them how much money you want (and aim a little higher in case they counter).  If they ask about your current salary, tell them you're negotiating based on what you believe that you're worth under current market conditions, not based on how much the last company paid you.  Just make sure that what you're asking for isn't totally out of whack with the going rate in your area.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

I consider it a major red flag anytime a potential employer asks me about money. This especially applies to any employer who ask for a "salary requirement" or a "salary history" up front.

Most employers already have some idea of what they want to pay for a position. They have a certain amount of money in the budget and know what they paid the last person in the job. When they ask you, they are just trying to be clever. It is a no-win situation, and it tells me that they already see their relationship with you as a game that has winners and losers.

If you say something below their budget, they may just give you that. Or if you go too low, they might figure: "Well, this guy must not be any good." If you go high, it's also over.

Some employers do not allow employees to talk about salary. If a potential employer asks you about salary, just say that your current employer does not allow you to discuss that. However, you shouldn't take a job with such a company anyway.

This is one place where governments and often colleges and universities are about the only honest ones left. When you apply for a government job, they generally give you the salary upfront. They let you decide if the money is acceptable or not. This is how honest companies deal with the salary issue. Instead of being coy about it, they are honest about it.

Never accept a counter-offer. Once you have given notice, you can never take it back. People who do accept counter offers don't stick around much anyway.

Don't waste your time with Monster, Dice, and etc. Get out and meet people. Find a place where you really want to work.

I don't know how long it will take you. I recommend you only interview for jobs that are really good ones. Contrary to what some people say, there is certainly no shortage of technical talent out there (at least in Austin). There are still plenty of people who are unemployed and plenty who are  underemployed.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Finally, I advise against the want ads, Craigslist, etc. Keep in mind that many of these ads allow the employer to hide his/her identity.

Back in 2001, I noticed an ad in the Sunday paper. I thought: "Gee, that looks like my company." I didn't respond to that ad. I later found out that my employer was advertising that job.

Of course, if an employer tries a stunt like that, you should get out anyway. Some employers may not be looking for a new employee--they may just want to know if any of their employees are looking.

Employers also ask for "salary requirements" just because they may be doing a salary survey.

I really think you should find a place where you really want to work. Go after that employer. Find people on the inside there who can really help you.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

2
It is a virtual mindset of business life that companies will always think of you as "the guy they hired" rather than "the guy you have become". As a result (as was disclosed above), they bump your salary, at best, 5-7% per year (and that's if revenue has been good during the current year for the company).

Therefore, your best way to boost your salary is "job jumping". When I worked at Oracle, I felt that they underpaid me; they used "economic conditions" as their excuse to not pay what my market would bear. After several years of loyal service to Oracle, my next job interview, I gave the interviewer "The Flinch Test" and quote double my previous salary. They not only did not flinch and agreed to my request, but they also threw in 20K shares of stock options at well below market value.

If an interviewer asks you your "salary requirements", tell her/him the amount you want, which represents the "going rate" (or higher) for your job based upon your research, and not some salary number based upon your current salary. (Remember, you are not the same guy you were when you started several years ago at your current company.) Then, no matter what they counter with, do not accept that amount immediately...Instead, ask them, "What other compensation-package components are available to make package more worth your consideration. (See other threads in this forum for other compensation-package components that you can request that can significantly increase the total-package value of your compensation.)

FYI, the highly skilled IT tech that I just hired (just across the mountain from you to the west from Denver) I am paying $75K, and I believe that is fair and reasonable compensation (rather than simply a "low ball" to get the guy as cheaply as possible). I want my people to be happy and willing to stay for an extended period of time.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
[I provide low-cost, remote Database Administration services: www.dasages.com]
A fo ben, bid bont.

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:


It is a virtual mindset of business life that companies will always think of you as "the guy they hired" rather than "the guy you have become"

Great statement.  And it's not (necessarily) your boss's call.  Politics and company rules can go a long ways trumping your boss's ability to promote you or give you a hefty raise.

As an example, I got a job several years ago as I was completing my degree which started as a "show us what you can do" position that turned into a highly-visible/highly-important development position within a year.  A few months after I left, I was offered almost double to come back--with a better job title, but doing mostly the same type of work.    

Also be ware if you go on any interviews to get offer letters for more pay, that it sometimes looks bad to the prospective employer.  You don't want to burn any bridges with companies you might really want to work for in the future.  I would personally feel bad going on interviews with no intention whatsoever of considering the position.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

I consider it a major red flag anytime a potential employer asks me about money. This especially applies to any employer who ask for a "salary requirement" or a "salary history" up front.

I suppose that you prefer to be paid in peanuts rather than money?  Here's a news flash for you, if you are looking for employment then financial compensation will play a major role in whether you take the job (or whether they offer it).  There's absolutely nothing wrong with providing your salary "requirements" to a prospective employer.  All you're doing is saying that "this is how much I believe I am worth."  It's the first step in ANY salary negotiation.

It can also save you a lot of trouble.  As you pointed out, most employers have a salary range in mind for the position.  Likewise, most job candidates have a salary range in mind for taking the position.  If your requirements are higher than their pay scale then there's no point in interviewing with them, is there?  So would you rather waste your time interviewing and negotiating with a company only to find out that there's no way they can pay you what you need, or would you prefer to be ruled out from the beginning?  Because even if there's a slight chance that you might be able to convince them to hire you at your requested salary, you'll have an awful time trying to get raises because you will have already maxed out their pay scale for that position.

Contrary to what some people say, there is certainly no shortage of technical talent out there (at least in Austin).

Good for Austin.  Apparently they're the exception to the rule.  By the way, I didn't say there was a "shortage of technical talent."  I said that there was a "shortage of SKILLED IT workers."  An unemployed/underemployed IT worker is not the same thing as an unemployed/underemployed SKILLED IT worker.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

The only long-term arrangement for both parties that is successful is this:  They pay you what you are worth, then you give your best effort to do what the job description says.

Right now the company is biding its time and getting whatever they can from you before you figure it out.  Do you really want to work for a company like that?  You are probably at %50 -%60 of what you should be paid.

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

I want my people to be happy and willing to stay for an extended period of time.

That's great. It's a shame you are in such a small minority.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

(OP)
So after some serious research and listening to your opinions. I have come to find out that im pretty underpaid at this point. I have setup some 3 interviews with reputable companies, one of which has asked me to provide my current salary....

It seems to me as thought my current boss thinks of me as "the guy they hired" and will probably refuse to give me the going rate. This makes since to me because I am at a small company as well as the first "IT guy" they have had. I am more that willing to stay with the company as they grow with hopes of being compensated at a later date, but this is not a certainty.

I hate to low ball my self so I will go to these interviews that I have setup and see what "true" market value is for my services. Even so I would be willing to accept 45,000 - 50,000 as opposed to 36,000 as not to scare my current employer away. If they scoff at this offer then obviously not only do my employers have no idea what market rate is on an IT guy.

I will keep you all updated





 

RE: How much am I worth??

Some things I've learned by going through this process several times in the past 18 months is there are ways around giving them a number when asked "what are your salary requirements." Simply say something like "salary isn't my most driving factor. If the position, company, environment and benefits all come together then we can work through the numbers." There are many ways to say things like that, but this is a brief version. It does work and if the company does give you a hard time about this, then I'd be very weary about them. A quality manager will understand this comment. The other way to get around it if they must have a number is to give them a larger range. If you truly want $50k, then give them a range of $45k - $60k. It's large enough to give you plenty of wiggle room and most likely won't exclude you from consideration.

I've been lucky in my career that I've had a great boss that went to bat for me and doubled my salary in 3 yrs. After only 4.5 years in my field, my salary is 2.5x what I started with in 2004.

If you want to stay away from the job boards like Dice and Monster, try contacting some reputible recruiting firms in your area. Companies like TEKSystems and KForce are just two of the many that are of any quality. Stay away from the "fly by night" recruiters though. LinkedIn is also a great place to network, if you haven't already checked it out.

Good luck.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
Albert Einstein

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

So after some serious research and listening to your opinions.

I have some doubts about this research. There is the saying that you can make numbers mean whatever you want them to mean.

Quote:

I have setup some 3 interviews with reputable companies, one of which has asked me to provide my current salary.

The company which has asked you to provide your current salary is not reputable. "By their deeds, you shall know them." You can disqualify them right now.

More importantly, it is very possible to interview too much. Working full-time and looking for another job can burn you out very quickly. Since you are already working, you can afford to be selective. You definitely should be.

You also shouldn't waste your time with the likes of companies like ...recruiting firm...

Is your salary really the only thing "wrong" with this job? Or are there other reasons you want to leave?
 

RE: How much am I worth??

For once Shoalcreek and I are in agreement, don't waste your time with ...recruiting firm....  I did several contracts with them when I first got started consulting and had nothing but problems.  They may be big, but they are not an IT consulting firm.  But regardless of which division you work for (and they're all staffed from the same office) they will treat you like a $10/hour office temp.  I also wouldn't go by their salary guide either, as they tend to underpay.

We're also in agreement on the idea that you should pass on the company that is asking for your current salary info.  That's none of their business.

I do tend to disagree with SANEngInCO's suggestion of specifying a salary range.  In most cases if you say that you're looking for $45k-$60k, they're going to offer you $45k because you've told them that you will take $45k.  When you ask for more they'll say, "but you said $45k."  Not that you can't negotiate up, but it's harder in that case.  If you ever have to give salary requirements you should do two things:

1.  Figure out how much you want for the job($X), and the minimum you would take for the job($Y).

2.  Tell them that you want $X + some extra.  That way if they try to negotiate you down you can end up close to what you really wanted.  There's also the chance that they'll simply agree to pay you $X, and that's fine too.  Under no circumstances should you go under $Y.

If you can't get the pay that you want then try to negotiate for some non-salary compensation.  You could go for signing or performance bonuses (with clearly defined and achieveable goals of course), or more vacation time, etc.


________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

I would not count out recruiting firms.  Some companies will not post all of their open positions but instead ask the recruiting firm to find qualified candidates.

RE: How much am I worth??

I agree with RiverGuy.  I am currently a contractor working at a large company.  This company counts on a select few recruiting companies to supply it with contractors.  Many departments within this company are at their max headcount for full time employees, but still need help, so they have no choice but to bring contractors on board.

RE: How much am I worth??


I agree: don't count out recruiting firms completely. Especially at your second-job-out-of-school level. My best jobs so far, both full time and consulting, I found through recruiting/consulting firms. Some companies just don't do the initial candidate prescreening or don't advertise/recruit directly, but instead rely on a recruiting company of their choice to do it for them.

My current job hires both directly or through recruiters. It's just that somehow it never even occurred to me to look that way - and was I wrong. A recruiter matched me with this job, and he was right, it's like it was tailored for me.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote (title):


How much am I worth?

About $4 worth of chemicals.  That's all any of us are worth. ;)

 

Just my 2¢
-Cole's Law:  Shredded cabbage

--Greg  http://parallel.tzo.com
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

I would not count out recruiting firms.  Some companies will not post all of their open positions but instead ask the recruiting firm to find qualified candidates.

That's true that many companies do not post all of their open positions. Often such positions are filled solely by the use of referrals. If you treat your employees well, your employees become your best recruiters. If you don't, then your own employees may very well tell people to stay away.

The good companies don't use recruiting firms. For starters, they have low turnover rates. They have employees giving referrals.

Think about this. Acme Computer is a lousy place to work. Acme hires a recruiter, Smith and Jones. Acme has to pay Smith and Jones to market their company. If a company has to pay for marketing, it has a problem. This is because Acme has become the company where nobody wants to work.

Recruiters don't work for you. They do not care about you. And most of them in my experience don't know enough to come in out of the rain. They seem to be people who couldn't make it in a real human resources job and couldn't make it in a real sales job.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

gbaughma,

Actually we are individually worth (probably more dead than alive) alot to the spare parts companies.  Do you know what a kidney is worth (well not my kidney but maybe yours).  It's gone from a cottage industry to big business.  

Jim C.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Tony,

At some point you will have to decide what's more important to you,  the money or the security.  Most of us are worth more if we go somewhere else.  Are we going to like were we move to, people, work, commute, environment, comp.  Make yourself happy were ever that path takes you.  You are the only one who can make that call.

Jim C.
   

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

If you treat your employees well, your employees become your best recruiters.
So what happens if they don't know anyone with this particular skillset? Or if they refer one or two people because they are friends, but that's not enough to select a truly qulified candidate?

Quote:

Acme hires a recruiter, Smith and Jones. Acme has to pay Smith and Jones to market their company.
No, no, not for marketing. It is just plain wrong statement. They pay for sifting through tons of resumes, prescreening and preselecting resumes, for doing background check, if required, and then for submitting only a smaller batch of resumes to the company to work on.

Quote:

This is because Acme has become the company where nobody wants to work.
What if Acme is a nice small but growing company that cannot afford to keep a full human recources department, but still is quite an attractive place to work for many people (those who prefer to be a big fish in a small pond)? How would these people find out about that small company?
(But even the best companies have to pay for marketing of their products. Does it mean that they have a problem? Well, of course, if they didn't pay for marketing, who would have known their product?)

Quote:

Recruiters don't work for you. They do not care about you.
Of course they don't. Why would they? They work for themselves. What's wrong with it?If they are doing any good, and find the best qualified candidates for the company, evrybody will be happy: the company will hire them again and again, they will make money, you will get a job you want but didn't know about or couldn't get into otherwise. If they don't know what they are doing, they wouldn't stay in business for long.

Quote:

And most of them in my experience don't know enough to come in out of the rain.
I've met several quite good ones.

Quote:

They seem to be people who couldn't make it in a real human resources job and couldn't make it in a real sales job
Ha! If they are good, they make much better money than in a "real human recources" job. And yes, they ARE in a REAL sales job.

RE: How much am I worth??

4
After I moved to the area where I now live, I had a lot of difficulty finding a job.  I had no business contacts or friends in the area to go through.  In addition to job boards, classified ads, craigslist, etc., I registered with just about every temp/placement agency.

In the nearly 3 years that I've been here:
(I can't tell what the rules are for naming recruiting firms, so I'll just name them.  It seems that you can name them if you're saying positives, but not if you're saying negatives.  Each of these is a little of both.)

I found one job through craigslist.  It was a miserable place to work, and we parted ways after 6 months.  I also had about 5 interviews that never developed into anything.

TekSystems did a thorough job of assessing my skills, and had several promising leads for me, but nothing ever even made it to the interview stage.

Manpower did some assesment of my skills, and found me a great 3 month gig.  I loved the job, but I was only filling in for a person who was out on leave.  The pay was decent, but a little below average.  There were about 2 other interviews that never materialized.

Robert Half interviewed me about my skillset, but didn't do any testing of it.  They sent me out on several short-term gigs ranging widely in pay.  Mostly, the jobs were enjoyable, but only had temporary needs.  I am currently working a contract-to-hire position through them, and I absolutely love the job (the pay is on the lower side, but there are many other factors that make it worthwhile).  There was also 1 interview that went nowhere.

None of the other agencies did any assessment or got me any interviews or work.  However, I was speaking with some smaller recruiting companies where my contact knew my work from when they previously worked at another company.  Unfortunately, the only times they had promising opportunites were when I was already in a position elsewhere.

All recruiters that I've worked with seem eager to contact you when they have a promising lead, but when they don't have anything for you (or when a lead falls through) they can be rather difficult to get on the phone.  In general, the industry is a mixed bag.  (In defense of the recruiters, my skill set had gotten a bit out of date, and there isn't a lot of demand for my most developed skills.  I'm not the easiest candidate to place.)
 

RE: How much am I worth??

I agree KornGeek. I will add that it is not unusual at all for recruiters like the ones you mentioned to completely abandon people even if such people have done a good job for them.

One recruiter sent me out to Dell in 2005. Dell has a rule that ends your contract at 270 days or 1450 hours. I got another contract at Dell in 2006 through a different recruiter. Obviously Dell was okay with bringing me back on. But the recruiter that had sent me to Dell for the first contract has not contacted me even once for an interview, even though I had done a good enough job to get back on with Dell for a second contract in the same building and with some of the same people.

You also mentioned another problem with recruiters. For every contract that they actually get, there are about ten contracts that they think they will get. I've also been contacted about contracts by as many six recruiters--all calling wanting to submit me for the same contract. This also tells me that there is no shortage of technical talent.

There are probably way too many recruiters out there.

The system would work much better if it was like the system that is in place for actors. I know quite a few actors here in Austin. An actor signs with an agent. That agent finds the actor work and takes a cut. Agents do act as screeners, just like recruiters do. The difference is that agents sincerely do care about the business and are sincerely interested in helping their talent succeed. The result is that the most talented and hardest working people do end up getting ahead. And the acting business is a lot more saturated than IT is.

Quote:

What if Acme is a nice small but growing company that cannot afford to keep a full human recources department, but still is quite an attractive place to work for many people (those who prefer to be a big fish in a small pond)? How would these people find out about that small company?

These small companies generally don't use recruiters anyway. I am also willing to bet that most recruiters don't have any interest in doing any business with small companies anyway. They want big contracts, and most small companies don't want to pay them. Most of the companies that use recruiters here in Austin are companies like Dell, AMD, and Motorola.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

For once Shoalcreek and I are in agreement, don't waste your time with ...recruiting firm....  I did several contracts with them when I first got started consulting and had nothing but problems.

What is the difference between a consulting firm and a recruiting firm? I have generally used them interchangeably. Perhaps, I am mistaken.

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

What is the difference between a consulting firm and a recruiting firm?
A recruiting firm find jobs for others.
A consulting firm finds jobs for itself.
 

--------------
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RE: How much am I worth??

What is the difference between a consulting firm and a recruiting firm? I have generally used them interchangeably. Perhaps, I am mistaken.

The comment that you quoted me on was edited by Tek Tips after I posted it.  It named a particular recruiting firm and the name has been redacted.  If you look at your post just above mine, you'll see that something similar happened to your post.

But to your question, recruiting companies are really nothing more than temp/placement services for IT jobs.  Some may call themselves "consulting" companies, but they typically have nobody on their internal staff who isn't sales/recruiting and payroll related.  They provide workers to fill a slot.  Because of that they deal in commodities and pay people like they are commodities.

Consulting companies, on the other hand, are consultative.  By that I mean  that they typically aren't just trying to find a body to fill a position (though there may be some of that going around).  Instead they are trying to find a solution for a customer's particular need.  They typically have an large internal staff with wide-ranging technical and management skills.  Maintaining a pool of highly skilled technical workers with experience that is in demand is key to a consulting company's success, and their pay and benefits usually reflect that.

For example, a large customer may need to do an Active Directory migration or consolidation and not have enough available staff to do that and maintain their current workflow.  That company can design and manage the project themselves, and then go to a recruiting company to find extra workers to help with this temporary staffing need.  They can also go to a consulting company where the consultaning company provides project managers, engineers, and other workers who work with the company's IT staff to determine a project scope, deliverables, timelines, etc and provide technical expertise that usually is not available to the customer.  The consulting company is responsible for executing the project successfully, as opposed to providing "grunts" to do all of the work.


You also mentioned another problem with recruiters. For every contract that they actually get, there are about ten contracts that they think they will get. I've also been contacted about contracts by as many six recruiters--all calling wanting to submit me for the same contract. This also tells me that there is no shortage of technical talent.

Actually it tells you two things:

1.  There is a lot of competition among recruiting companies in that market space.  Usually when you're dealing with a large customer (like Dell, since you mentioned it) every recruiting company in the area will have a business relationship with that customer.  When the customer has a requirement for more staff they usually submit the req to their vendor management group, who then sends a copy of the req to every recruiting company that they have a relationship with (it wouldn't be fair to do otherwise).  So now you'll have a dozen or more different companies competing for the same position, and only one of them is going to get it.  The recruiters don't believe that they're going to get every contract that they get a req for, they just have to come up with one or more candidates for each req.  I suspect that you're under the impression that because the recruiter is trying to fill a req that they have already been exclusively awarded that position (which may be the way that the recruiter represents it), but that is almost never the case.

2.  The fact that you've had six different recruiters want to submit you for the same contract indicates that there isn't a plethora of highly skilled candidates just waiting for work.  If there were then you probably would have only been offered the contract once or twice.  But what you're describing is 6 different recruiting companies competing to get the same 1 qualified candidate.  That indicates fairly clearly to me that there aren't enough candidates to go around.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

I guess things must work differently in the US - In the UK you get a form (called a P45) from your old employers which you hand to your new employers. This goes via the payroll department to the Tax office.

And it lists how much you were paid, so if you 'invent' a new salary you'll surely be found out!

Fee

"The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea." Isak Dinesen

RE: How much am I worth??

Yes, in the US it works differently.  If a potential employer asks what your old salary was you have no obligation to tell them anything.  You can choose to tell them something, but if you do I would recommend that you tell them the truth.  If you make something up and they somehow find out that you lied then you may find yourself unemployed.  It's along the same lines as lying on your resume or job application.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

I have no problem simply saying:

Quote (Santa):

My salary requirements are <amount>.
...and my "salary requirements" don't have to relate to what I am currently making. The company then has the option to meet those salary requirements or to make a counter offer that may be less. I then have the option to counter their counter offer with the suggestion to consider some non-salary compensation to sweeten the total-compensation package enough to make it worthwhile to continue the discussion/negotiation.

If they choose not to pursue the non-salary discussion, then I have the option to thank them for the interview and leave.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
[I provide low-cost, remote Database Administration services: www.dasages.com]
"Beware of those that seek to protect you from harm. The cost will be your freedoms and your liberty."

RE: How much am I worth??

Antony,

First, congratulations with your certifications.
The value of a job is depending on different factors.
The actual market (is there a high demand for people with this skills ?), your position in the company (everyone can be replaced, but somethimes it is very difficult to replace someone), experience level, is it a week or strong company (financial healhty), average wages for your profile, age, negotiation skills, your boss ...
You have many plus (certified, as one person responsible for many "clients").
There is a min : it is your first job (don't expect to get paid at a maximum). People can also exagerate about their wages. In Europe wages are between ranges.

Make a balance for yourself (Am I wort more, can I get paid more in another job ?).




 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

The comment that you quoted me on was edited by Tek Tips after I posted it.

There has been a lot of that going on lately. If there was a private message system here, I would tell you how I really feel about it. It's unfortunate because providing real examples would be the best way to differentiate. I've also seen entire posts deleted.

It sounds like to me that a "consulting firm" has a manager managing at least one project. However, the project manager doesn't go on site. By this definition, I suppose a "consulting firm" could also just be a "service company."

Quote:

For example, a large customer may need to do an Active Directory migration or consolidation and not have enough available staff to do that and maintain their current workflow.

I have been called by recruiters for these types of projects. The example I mentioned when I got called by about six recruiters was a Groupwise-to-Exchange migration for a large state agency.

It seems like the boundary between "consulting firm" and "recruiter" is very blurry and murky, in my experience. The only other difference I can think of is that recruiters will call you for short projects (one day or one week), while consulting firms will call you for longer ones.

I also think that the main reason why I got called by so many recruiters for that project was that recruiters are generally very lazy people. My resume has both the words Groupwise and Exchange on it. If they were letting a computer search for candidates instead of actually doing it themselves, that's probably why my name popped up.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

There has been a lot of that going on lately. If there was a private message system here, I would tell you how I really feel about it. It's unfortunate because providing real examples would be the best way to differentiate. I've also seen entire posts deleted.

Eh...I figured mine was a borderline post to begin with, since it was slagging a particular firm that I've had bad experiences with.

[i]
It sounds like to me that a "consulting firm" has a manager managing at least one project. However, the project manager doesn't go on site. By this definition, I suppose a "consulting firm" could also just be a "service company."[i]

It doesn't necessarily have a PM, a smaller project could just be staffed by a consultant or two.  The biggest distinction is that a recruiting firm provides bodies to do x amount of work, where a consulting firm is responsible for determining (with the customer, of course) how to get from point a to point b, including x amount of work, and is held accountable for the results.  A consultant has more responsibility for the work whereas the person from the recruiting/staffing firm just does what he's told.  You're right though, the line can be a bit murky which is why a lot of glorified temp agencies call themselves consulting companies.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

A consultant has more responsibility for the work whereas the person from the recruiting/staffing firm just does what he's told.

It sounds like the difference almost might be the type of work being done. I was once sent on an interview for a project that was nothing more than helping a company move hundreds or thousands of machines. My job would have been nothing more than opening boxes. I told the recruiter no, even though I was unemployed at the time. The job required no technical skills whatsoever. Being sent on that interview was an insult.

I also get calls for very high-level stuff. I have found that recruiters really don't make much effort to see if the person fits or not. I called for "monkey work" and for stuff that takes real experience.

I have done these opening-box projects for a couple days. It's interesting how many really experienced people I have met while doing them. Obviously, these people would rather be doing something else, as would I.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

It is a virtual mindset of business life that companies will always think of you as "the guy they hired" rather than "the guy you have become"


That's absolutely correct. The other factor is that they are often ignorant of the going rate of what you're doing. Say you grew with a company and were in charge of all their networking. You knew nothing going in, researched and grew with the network, got yourself a CCNA with your own money because they were too stingy to pay for testing. Now here you are with a good cert, work experience to back it up, they have no idea what it'll cost to replace you.

This happened at the dot.com I was at. They knew me as the $13/hr web monkey and had no idea what I'd been teaching myself since I started there. My position would be very, very easy to replace, right? Heh. Once I was gone, replacements wouldn't even come in unless they were talking $45/hr and up. Of course, this was the middle of the dot.com boom but we're talking replacement cost, not what the position should be wroth.  

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:


Therefore, your best way to boost your salary is "job jumping".

SantaMufasa is right about this. In 2 years and 3 jobs I have increased my pay by almost $20,000. By shear accident too... the last 3 places I have worked for were bought out, stripped down and laid everyone off.

However, there is a major downfall to this as you can imagine. Job hopping is expected right at first. After 10+ years of service in the industry, HR does not like to see short terms on resumes(I know, my HR Manager wife likes to remind me). You get too many 2 years or less and HR won't even call you back. Companies want devoted employees that aren't going to jump ship. They invest a lot of money into you and expect a lot of money out of you in return. They have to fill out an ROI when they create your position.

Recruiters are an excellent source for finding a new job with higher pay. They typically get paid between 5-20% of your first year's salary. It is in their best interest to get you as much money as they can from the prospective employer(s). They also have many job openings that are not advertised or posted. And don't pick just one. Get several of them working on finding you a position you like with respectable pay AND benefits. I have 7 different agencies that call me on a regular basis with job openings. I also have a lot of friends in IT that need jobs, and a lot of recruiters will pay you a "finder's fee" of $100-$500 if they place one of your referrals.


Oh and with all the certs you have PLUS a degree, you can easily make $60k a year.

"If I were to wake up with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am right now."

RE: How much am I worth??

As a general rule, don't bother with recruiters. They don't work for you. They don't care about you.

They are simply people who couldn't make it in a real HR job. If someone did a study on the average IQ of people various jobs, they would definitely find that recruiters have very low ones. Doctors and engineers would probably rate the highest.

If they need you badly enough, they will find your resume out there on one of the many job sites--Dice, Monster, Careerbuilder, Comptuerwork, Hotjobs. Dice seems to be the place they go most, based on some of the unsolicited calls I've gotten over the years.

Most employers see recruiters as a last resort when it comes to hiring. They certainly don't want to pay a fee to find someone. It's like a hiring a dating service because you can't find a date on your own. What kind of people use dating services?

It isn't enough to say that you want to leave a job. Is it really that bad anyway? You have to find something that you want to go to. Get out there and find places where you would like to work. You could even just do some cold-calling.

Imagine if you got into your car and said: " I want to leave here." Well, the car isn't going to go anywhere until you find a place you want to go to.

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote (shoalcreek):

As a general rule, don't bother with recruiters. They don't work for you. They don't care about you.
I disagree. The best job I ever had (here for 12+ years), I got through an agency.

The worst job I ever had, I got through an Internet ad (I eas there all of two minths before I went back to my current job). Never should have left in the first place.

Remember, all generalizations are false wink.

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
--Sleipinir214

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:


Most employers see recruiters as a last resort when it comes to hiring. They certainly don't want to pay a fee to find someone.
I disagree, at least for medium to large firms. It just takes up too much HR department time if you try and do it in-house.

I don't disagree most recruiting firms offer a poor service though (both for employers and employees).

RE: How much am I worth??

Not to mention that many companies only need staff on a temporary basis. Or they like the "try before you buy" staffing model.  There are many, many reasons that larger companies go though staffing firms.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

Here in Houston, TX it seems that way more than half of the IT positions on Monster.com are recruiter\placement agencies. And some of the other job boards as well.

Bo  

Remember,
If the women don't find you handsome,
they should at least find you handy.
 (Red Green) www.redgreen.com
 

RE: How much am I worth??

I think the same can be said for most larger cities.  So refusing to deal with a recruiting/staffing or consulting firm can seriously limit your opportunities.  Especially if the largest companies don't hire directly (many don't).

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??


Techietony has told us all that she or he already has a job. When one already has a job, one should certainly not act out of a poverty mentality. At least in my opinion, when one already is employed, one should focus on quality jobs. And in my opinion, quality is a whole lot more than just salary. More importantly, a poverty mentality also makes you less attractive to employers and to other people who might help you.

You are more likely to get a quality job with the attitude: "I'm just testing the waters. You look like you may be a good fit." You are less likely to get a good one with the attitude: "I need a job now."

In my experience, a job isn't quality if it is through an agency. Going from a permanent job to a try-before-you-buy situation is just plain foolish.

Techietony has not told us what he is looking for in a job, nor has he told us what is important to him. Is he looking for just a job or is he looking for a quality job?


 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote (shoalcreek):

You are more likely to get a quality job with the attitude: "I'm just testing the waters. You look like you may be a good fit." You are less likely to get a good one with the attitude: "I need a job now."

"I'm just testing the waters" definitely is a red flag for the employer. If I were doing the hiring, that would be an automatic disqualifier. From the employer's point of view, the interviewee just told him he's not planning to stick around.

Quote:

In my experience, a job isn't quality if it is through an agency. Going from a permanent job to a try-before-you-buy situation is just plain foolish.

"Agency" does not imply "temporary". Ever hear of fee-paid agencies? The employee pays nothing; the employer pays the cost to the agency. In return, they expect to get a good fit.

What's "plain foolish" is thinking you know more about job placement, having done it occasionally for yourself, than a professional who places a hundred or more candidates a year.

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
--Sleipinir214

 

RE: How much am I worth??


shoalcreek,

In thread654-1465797: Dropping IT - What would you do?, you mention that you make about $42,000, $12,000 up from 1998. I am not sure what you do, but maybe you should start considering using services of a recruiter or a placement agency?

Mind you, they care about you much more than a permanent HR person. A recruiter/agency placing you will get a commission of about your one-month salary; a HR person will get their regular salary whether they hire you or not.

(Just for fun, estimate what a recruiter who places at least 2-3 people a month with as high salary as you are making now can earn a year? What if they place a 100 people a year at an average of $75,000? Now compare this with a salary of a regular HR worker. Do you think they would want to "make it in a real HR job"?)

Let's just say, for a similar period of time, they helped me much more than you were able to help yourself.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

but maybe you should start considering using services of a recruiter or a placement agency?

The assumption here is that I have never done this. You're being extremely presumptuous. Since you are monitoring my posts on here, I suggest you read all of them. Some of them are in this thread.

I have wasted hours and hours with them. They have proven themselves to be pretty worthless time and time again. I have found better stuff on my own.
 

RE: How much am I worth??


I don't monitor your posts (and you are being extremely presumptuous at this one, and a bit arrogant, too). The fact that I can remember some of the recent posts and find them (not a rocket science), doesn't mean that I monitor your activity - or that I am going to go and re-read all of them. Sorry, I really have other things to do.

Yes, I remeber you said that you used some of their services and have some negative experience - that doesn't mean that you can generalize all of them as bad and totally useless. They would all perish long ago if they really were all that useless.

After all, several more people here pointed out that they found good jobs through agencies (I did, several of them); and that avoiding them you are limiting yourself from a huge chunk of available jobs, since a good half of all ads are posted by recruiters/agencies, and some of the firms are not hiring directly at all; and that finding a job through agency/recruiter doesn't necessarily mean "temp" or "temp to hire", a lot of them are full time jobs with benefits.

As for the better stuff you found on your own, the "quality jobs"... Well, maybe it is indeed better for you. I don't know what you do.  

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

I have wasted hours and hours with them. They have proven themselves to be pretty worthless time and time again. I have found better stuff on my own.
Taking your advice and reading through your threads, I notice a trend.

You regret not behaving maliciously when leaving a job.
You recommend falsifying qualifications.
You suggest manipulation is a better career path than skill, talent, and hard work.
You ridicule your users.
You attempt to force your opinions on your users.
You complain about your users.
You see discrimination with minimal supporting evidence.
You jump to conclusions about recruiters in general based off of some bad experiences with some (for irony, see above point).
You display a generally negative outlook and attitude.

Perhaps the issue isn't just the recruiters.  You might be contributing as well.  

You also post some very good advice and show a lot of intelligence.  You seem to have a lot of knowledge to share, but often times what you say falls second to how you say it.  The way you carry yourself could make it very easy to dismiss your viewpoints (which I believe would be a mistake).

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote (shoalcreek):

The assumption here is that I have never done this. You're being extremely presumptuous.

No one said you have "never done this." However, I did say that compared to your limited experience, a recruiter hast a vastly superior skill set when it comes to placement matching. And, whether you think that is true or not, does not make it so. You do realize that the recruiters can't stay in business if they do not satisfy their client's needs?

Quote (KornGeek):

Perhaps the issue isn't just the recruiters.  You might be contributing as well.

And I agree 100% with that. Shoalcreek, perhaps it is your negative vibes coming across to the recruiters you've been in contact with that is partially to blame for your bad experiences with them. I suggest you consider that.

You know, most of the time, nice guys really do finish first (the saying to the contrary notwithstanding).

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
--Sleipinir214

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

No one said you have "never done this." However, I did say that compared to your limited experience, a recruiter hast a vastly superior skill set when it comes to placement matching. And, whether you think that is true or not, does not make it so. You do realize that the recruiters can't stay in business if they do not satisfy their client's needs?

You assume that I have "limited experience" because I disagree with you. I have been in the profession for over ten years now. I don't know what your experience is exactly, but it is a very safe bet that our experiences are different.

Many of the recruiters I have dealt with don't seem to know enough to come in out of the rain.

Quote:

perhaps it is your negative vibes coming across to the recruiters you've been in contact with that is partially to blame for your bad experiences with them.

When it comes to manipulating people, nothing is more important than vibe. Barack Obama is living proof of that.

Another thing Obama shows is that you have to believe your own baloney. If you don't believe your own baloney, nobody else will.

Many recruiters seem to have a pollyana optimism toward life. They really don't seem to have a firm grip on reality. I describe the vibe as: "Well, if I just pretend it's not raining, I won't get wet." When dealing with recruiters, this is the kind of vibe one has to show. Recruiters also actually believe their own baloney. It's a mentality I will never able to relate to, but it's certainly a role anyone can play.
 

RE: How much am I worth??

I have been in IT for 15 years. I've been working since I turned 18 (I'm now 53).

I still say you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Quote:

Many of the recruiters I have dealt with don't seem to know enough to come in out of the rain.

Either you are turning them off like a light switch, or you have been incredibly unlucky. I urge you to strongly consider the former as a possibility.

Quote:

If you don't believe your own baloney, nobody else will.

I'm sure Obama "believe[s his] own baloney," but I certainly don't. Therefore, that premise is false.

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
--Sleipinir214

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

...
Many of the recruiters I have dealt with don't seem to know enough to come in out of the rain.
...
When it comes to manipulating people, nothing is more important than vibe. Barack Obama is living proof of that.
...
Many recruiters seem to have a pollyana optimism toward life. They really don't seem to have a firm grip on reality.
...

Credibility levels critical!

Continuing to show a negative outlook (while amazingly increasing the negativity) and drawing politics into this (sex, politics, and religion seldom make for polite conversation) makes it difficult for me to take you seriously.  I believe you can be above this if you choose to be.  A person of your age should be capable of showing more maturity.

RE: How much am I worth??

Can we bring this back on track?  I really enjoy reading different well-thought, respectful opinions on this site. I think that we may begin to digress further if we don't steer this conversion back towards its original topic.

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote:

You assume that I have "limited experience" because I disagree with you. I have been in the profession for over ten years now. I don't know what your experience is exactly, but it is a very safe bet that our experiences are different.

Well, you've got me beat.  I've "only" been in the IT business for 9 years, but I am positive that our experiences are quite different.  I have worked with recruiters and consulting firms for a little over 6 of those years, and while there were some bad apples overall the experience was very positive.  I've never had any trouble finding work, and my salary has nearly tripled in that time.

Granted, I haven't sat back and let the recruiters do all the work for me.  I was 26 when I decided to "start over" again with a career in IT.  I started as a PC tech making a little over $30k, but I looked for every opportunity to further develop my skills and expertise.  Every time I moved to a new job I tried to make it a step above the last one.  Any time there was a project dealing with new technology I tried to get involved.  I always tried to put 100% into everything that I did and learn as much about technology as possible.  I never expected anyone else to provide me with training or other opportunities, I went looking for them.  And when those sorts of opportunities were available I jumped all over them and made the most of them.  Instead of focusing solely on learning the job that I had I also put considerable effort into learning the job that I wanted.

Of course there were occasional setbacks.  When that happens you can either choose to dwell on them and blame other people for the problems, or you can look for ways to avoid/prevent them in the future.  Everything that happened to me in those 9 years was an opportunity to learn how to be just a little bit better at what I do.

In summary:

I worked very hard at doing my job, advancing my career and bettering myself.  My employers over the years have recognized that and rewarded me.  Anyone can do the same thing, ANYONE.  It's simply a matter of having the right attitude and dedication.

And do you know what the biggest secret of them all is?  The average person in IT (or the workforce in general) doesn't have that attitude or that level of dedication. There are far too many people in the IT industry with a "9 to 5" mentality who are not willing to do more than the bare minimum to keep their jobs.  There are far too many people who expect opportunities or big raises to just be handed to them.  Next to them a truly driven, honest, hard working individual sticks out like they have a giant neon sign over their head.  If you're smart and a hard worker then it's easy to rise above the crowd.

This doesn't just go to ShoalCreek, but also to the OP and anyone else looking to make a career in IT:  It's your future, and it can be whatever you make of it.  Why would you want to short change yourself?

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: How much am I worth??

Quote (shoalcreek):

Recruiters also actually believe their own baloney. It's a mentality I will never able to relate to...

Then why do you advocate it?

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
--Sleipinir214

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Discussion of personal feelings/experiences with Recruiters has taken this thread waaaaay off topic and is no longer constructive here. I propose that if anyone feels strongly about further discussion on the topic of recruiters, that they start a separate thread.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
[I provide low-cost, remote Database Administration services: www.dasages.com]
"Beware of those that seek to protect you from harm. The cost will be your freedoms and your liberty."

RE: How much am I worth??


What is the "bare minimum" anyway?

I was once on a contract where I was hired along with another guy. He did start two weeks later though. They let me go after nine weeks. The other guy actually had the audacity to call off twice in the first seven weeks I was out there. The bum who called off twice was still there six months later.

And you are going to tell me that hard work counts for something? I also saw one guy who had been there for six years take about five or six smoke breaks on some days.

I don't smoke. I've heard that smokers are generally disadvantaged in the job market. This may explain why.

 

RE: How much am I worth??

Can we PLEASE move on?

The OP has had his question answered, and the pointless ramblings (of which, I'll admit, I contributed to) are doing nothing to answer the question.

So let's all drop it. Neither I, not the OP (I'm certain), wants to listen to this constant barrage of self-aggrandisement.

</rant>

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
--Sleipinir214

 

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