If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll be able to vouch that I don’t tend to stay in one place or one job for very long. Since 2014, I’ve worked for 4 companies, held 6 positions, and moved 10 times. I saw a friend this spring and she congratulated me on staying with one job for over 2 years. While slightly rude, she wasn’t wrong. This job is the longest I’ve stayed in one job in my entire career (if you exclude the military, which I do since I was forced to stay in for 6 years). When all is said and done, I will have held this job for 2 years and 9 months.
A different friend suggested the reason I stayed for so long was due to all the upheaval and uncertainty in the other facets of my life. While that was certainly part of it, the people I worked with and the job duties were a much bigger reason why I stayed. I genuinely enjoy being around the vast majority of my coworkers on a day-to-day basis. The responsibilities of the position played well to my strengths and the challenges posed kept me engaged.
There were a few things that bothered me about the job. And, now that I think about it, those things weren’t even really about the job itself. I started the job in December of 2019 with a salary of $76,000. Currently, I make $80,400. An extra $4k in pay a year is nothing to sneeze at, and I’m grateful I got raises, but my salary was not keeping up with inflation. There was also absolutely zero room to negotiate for a higher raise, which led to a little resentment.
In addition to paltry raises each year, there was also no immediate career progression plan. I came in on one rung of the ladder and there I would stay unless I took on a lot of work and proved my worthiness to move up in advance.
I knew I didn’t want to leave the company this time. I’m not vested in the 401(k) or pension, and I think my company is a great employer that is doing very valuable work in the US. I talked to a few different people in my division about what I might do. Most of them were able to commiserate with me but didn’t really have any advice to offer. One of the managers not only offered me some advice but told me about an upcoming opening on his team and encouraged me to apply for it.
So, I did.
And I got the job!
It was my first time interviewing for an internal position, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. One of my friends at work is a senior manager, so they gave me the list of questions commonly used in internal interviews, did a mock interview with me, and helped me hone my answers. I don’t think I would’ve been anywhere near as prepared without that experience, so I’m incredibly grateful they took time out of their busy schedule to help me when they didn’t have to. I definitely owe them dinner or drinks sometime to express my appreciation.
There are a ton of things to look forward to with this new job! I’ll be going from the IT Support world to the mysterious and complicated world of IT Security. My job will be to travel to clients in our district and evaluate their IT environments for excess risks. So, I’ll get to travel to new places within the Midwest, talk to new people about IT, and write reports. All things I like to do, and I’m good at doing all of those things!
The job listing stated the position would be a level 5 job, but candidates with less experience or who were missing qualifications could be offered a lower level position. Since I don’t have much IT Security experience and I don’t have a CISA or CISSP certification, I didn’t qualify for the level 5 position. However, I do have a decade of IT experience and a lesser certification so they offered the position to me as a level 4. I’m currently a level 3, so this is a rung up the ladder and pay scale for me. My current pay scale tops out at $113k while my new pay scale tops out at $152k. That’s a lot more room to move up! There is an established career progression path for this new job. If I pass the certification exam for the CISA and/or CISSP certification, I will move up into the level 5 position which means my pay ceiling will be even higher!
I was expecting to try to negotiate with HR for a 10–15% raise for a salary over $90k. I was very pleasantly surprised to be offered $106,500 instead! I didn’t expect to be earning six figures anytime soon, so I played it cool and immediately gave my verbal acceptance. I’ll have a few posts coming up on the new salary and the potential for all the things I can do with an extra $26,500 a year in income when I get a few paychecks under my belt and can wrap my brain around my new income level. If anyone has any advice for higher-income earners, I’m all ears!
Since I’ll be traveling part of the time, I’ll have a new schedule. Currently I’m in the office 2 days a week. My new job only requires me to be onsite 4 days a month! And, if I’m traveling to a client, those days count as onsite. It could be a while before I’m needed at the office, which is precisely why I’m also losing my desk. Considering I don’t need to keep miscellaneous IT equipment on hand for people at my desk anymore, I’m not too upset at losing a spot of my own when I’m rarely going to be there. It does mean I need to figure out what to do with all my desk decorations, though! When I’m on the road, I’ll be getting per diem to cover my food expenses. It’s not going to be glamorous business travel like you see in some jobs. I’ll usually be driving in the company car with my coworkers to the site de jour, which are more often than not smaller towns. This means we’re going to be staying in basic hotels, not the Four Seasons, so I’m not sure how much I can take advantage of the travel with credit cards and memberships. I’m a tiny bit concerned about traveling while gluten intolerant, so I expect to travel with some food of my own in case I can’t find a safe restaurant to eat at. Finally, we’ll be on a 9⁄80 schedule. This means I’ll complete 80 hours of work in 9 work days instead of 10, so I’ll get every other Friday off! I’m stoked at an extra 24 days off to do things like run errands and schedule doctor appointments during the work day. And, of course, 3‑day weekends are easier to get some travel in over the regular short weekends.
I’m grateful I live in such a wonderful building that has such a strong community in it. I would not be able to take on a job with travel requirements and have a cat without having neighbors who are not only willing to look after Bartholomew, but are eager to do so. They love him just as much as I do, so I feel confident about leaving my fur child in their competent hands.
There are so many things to look forward to with the new job! I’m stoked to get started!
As always, thanks for reading! Please drop any advice for me in the comments on being a high-income earner if you have it!