5 Rules to MAX Out your earning potential

Follow these rules and you'll be on a path for massive salary growth

It works. I've seen several top IT friends do this

  • Rule 1 - Make yourself irreplaceable

  • Rule 2 - Always be upgrading your skill level

  • Rule 3 - Develop your people skills

  • Rule 4 - Build your network

  • Rule 5 - Work on hard things

#Rule 1 - Make yourself irreplaceable

A Data Engineer friend of mine (let’s call him Peter) took a job with a small company that had been plagued by data problems. Data stored in silos, slow processing, etc.

Realistically, the company had never had a professional data engineer before. The current setup had been created by a succession of professionals from other disciplines.

Within a few months Peter had completely transformed their data pipeline. He moved it all to one provider, which streamlined everything, making it fast loading while reducing costs.

After 7 months, he delivered this line to his manager.

“I want to stay. I like working here but this other company just offered me XXX. What do you think?”


Manager: “oh, that’s a lot”

Peter: “yeah, again I’d prefer to stay here, but I have a lot of bills. Can you match that?”

Manager: “I’ll get back to you”

The next day, he got his pay rise. He later found out that management was terrified to lose him, knowing how much they had suffered before he arrived.

Peter now has a system of only looking for work in smaller sized companies, where he can make a massive impact. Where he makes himself irreplaceable, or at least very hard and expensive to replace.

The larger the company, the harder this strategy is. But as a general rule, if you provide massive value that can be attributed to you, then you’ll be rewarded.

If you have skills that are easily replaceable, then you need to fix that.

Do you know how hard it is to get great data people!

#Rule 2 - Always be upgrading your skill level

The way to provide massive value, is to have a deep and diverse set of skills.

Being great at Power BI is one thing. Being great at Power BI, SQL, Data Factory, Synapse, Databricks, & Python is a completely different story.

Companies rarely hire for one skill. Or if they do, you can’t rock up to work and say, “oh sorry, I don’t do SQL that’s not my responsibility”.

Always be upgrading your skills. Organizations want problems solved, becoming an expert in your stack of technology will propel your career to the stratosphere.

#Rule 3 – Develop your people skills

Do you know what happened to Ignaz Semmelweis?

In 1847 he discovered that when doctors cleaned their hands before touching patients, infections and death rates in hospitals plummeted. His discovery saved countless lives.

He’s famous right?

No, he died friendless, at the age of 47, a broken and bitter man.

Why? Because his social skills where that bad. He alienated and made enemies everywhere he went.

Regardless of your technical skill level, if people don’t like you, you’re not going very far in life.

The first step is to be aware of how important this is.

Pay attention to:

  • How you interact with people.

  • How people respond to you.

  • How you like to be treated yourself. This is the starting point for how you should treat others.

Are you creating allies or enemies? You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but the more people who would back you in a disagreement the stronger you are. You want people to defend you when you’re not there.

Recommended Reading:

#Rule 4 - Build your network

I wish I had really understood how important this is, earlier in my career.

People had told me this 20 years ago, but I never actually acted on it in a serious way.

So, let me try and get this in your head.

Your network is very f*cking important!

It provides you with a continual stream of opportunities. The larger your network the bigger your stream.

  • References

  • Job opportunities

  • Problem fixers

  • Recommendations

  • Comradery/Friendship

  • A place to stay

  • An event to go to

  • An introduction to new people

This also means you have to actively help your network.

Do favours for people with no expectation of getting anything in return.

#Rule 5 - Work on hard things

“We choose to go to the Moon and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills”.

1962, JFK.

This is the exact mindset you need when choosing projects to work on.

Doing hard things forces growth. It forces you to look for new ways of solving problems, to connect with more people, to stretch your imagination, and use every cell in your body to do what has to be done.

This forces massive growth.

There will be failures, but even through failure you develop an inner toughness and a repertoire of lessons learnt.

Choose projects that will lead to the largest growth.

All the best, Shano.

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