Author Topic: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war  (Read 4886 times)

LibrarIan

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tl;dr - I got a rolling raise/bonus schedule to get me up to six figures.

I'm a software developer, but I don't have a CS degree or any formal training. My current employer (CE) had a special hiring program that I used to get in and learn how to code. That was in 2012, and they knew that since I was depending on them, they could pay me a lot less than other developers. Fast forward to two weeks ago and I'm making good money, but I didn't realize how much I could be getting for my knowledge in a specialized area of software.

To make a long, stressful story short, I got scouted by a prospective employer (PE), launched a bidding war, and had to balance some family issues.

- PE calls me up, offers me $25k more than I'm making now. They're in a new city.
- I notify CE, they ask me to stall while they come up with a counter.
- I go on a long weekend out of town.
- Meanwhile, PE badgers me asking me to accept. They're on a deadline and need me soon.
- Eventually, PE gets worried that I'll decline and they up their offer an additional $20k for a total increase of $45k.
- I notify CE of increased offer.
- Initially, my wife was excited about things, but then the reality of having to move cities hit her hard. We're planning on children soon, and she wants to be near all the grandparents.
- Now I'm stuck. The new money is amazing and I don't think CE can match, so I'm torn between what to do. My weekend turned into a mess of stress.
- I call my CE and let them know that if they cannot at least match the first offer, I will for sure walk. Now I'm all talk with CE and still stalling PE.
- I return to the office yesterday (Tuesday) and learn CE's counter, which is the following:

  • Immediate promotion, $20k pay bump
  • Guaranteed $5k bonus in November
  • Normal raise/bonus/profit sharing stuff next year like always
  • Another $10k pay bump to my base pay in summer 2020
  • A guaranteed $5k bonus in fall 2020
  • Normal raise/bonus/profit sharing stuff the next year

CE wants to give me what I want, but spread it out a little so they ensure I stick around. Kind of a win-win, and I end up sort of in the middle of PE's two offers. I also don't have to move, which makes my wife very happy. I got really lucky that things worked out.

But now I'm going to be making over $100k/year! This is a figure I never dreamed of because I didn't realize how in demand my skills were and how much people like me are worth. And as a side bonus for those around me, now that CE knows what people are paying for what I do, those in my office who do the same might have reevaluated pay structures as well. I may have just gotten others a raise accidentally.

Now my wife and I are getting serious about house hunting and getting real plans together for future kid(s). I'm on the moon right now.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 10:20:09 AM by LibrarIan »

Bird In Hand

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 06:25:01 AM »
That's amazing -- congratulations!  :)

Lordy

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 07:58:23 AM »
Nice!

Seems like you will have a lot of room to increase your savings rate :)

belly05

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 09:33:20 AM »
wow sounds like that situation worked out beautifully for you!  Great job keeping your cool and going back to CE with the 2nd increased offer! 

Trifele

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 07:31:25 AM »
Great job @LibrarIan!  Congratulations!!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 08:49:04 AM »
After a lifetime of writing software, I have found that I learn a lot in the first two years of a new job. Then it just becomes routine and the learning stops.

So, my (career-wise) advice to you is to take the new job. Working with new people and new domains really increase your skills.

LibrarIan

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 09:08:27 AM »
After a lifetime of writing software, I have found that I learn a lot in the first two years of a new job. Then it just becomes routine and the learning stops.

So, my (career-wise) advice to you is to take the new job. Working with new people and new domains really increase your skills.

Fortunately, the promotion also means some new opportunities in terms of learning. The long-term goal is get me in a position of leadership over this application rather than just a normal developer on the project.

FireAnt

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2019, 09:28:05 AM »
AWESOME! What a great feeling!

Tyson

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 09:35:46 AM »
After a lifetime of writing software, I have found that I learn a lot in the first two years of a new job. Then it just becomes routine and the learning stops.

So, my (career-wise) advice to you is to take the new job. Working with new people and new domains really increase your skills.

Fortunately, the promotion also means some new opportunities in terms of learning. The long-term goal is get me in a position of leadership over this application rather than just a normal developer on the project.

One thing I did - used my employer to get a degree.  Every time I had "career/personal development" goals for the year, I enrolled at school and took classes using my employers education benefit.  So you might check to see if they offer $$ for education like that.  It might not help you get another pay raise, but it will definitely help if/when you get laid off or decide to look elsewhere.  And hey, it's free money!  If they offer it. 

LibrarIan

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2019, 11:39:07 AM »
One thing I did - used my employer to get a degree.  Every time I had "career/personal development" goals for the year, I enrolled at school and took classes using my employers education benefit.  So you might check to see if they offer $$ for education like that.  It might not help you get another pay raise, but it will definitely help if/when you get laid off or decide to look elsewhere.  And hey, it's free money!  If they offer it.

This is a really good idea. Thanks.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2019, 01:16:56 PM »
Congratulations!

*Internet High-Five*

Money Badger

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 04:42:33 AM »
Awesome!   IT headhunting fees are 15-20% of the salary so they're FAR better off stepping up to keep a good (fully trained) employee vs. starting over with a newbie.   Great job knowing your fair worth and respecting the investment they made hiring you as well!

BobTheBuilder

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 09:32:16 AM »
Just a loud Yeah!

ender

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2019, 06:28:34 PM »
I've wondered about what my current employer can do to retain me more firmly as a software engineer too...

I make pretty decent money but have been there more than 3 years already.

Sawedoff

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 08:50:53 AM »
That's awesome! Glad that worked out for you, and your company was able to show you how highly they valued you.

Rosy

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2019, 11:37:16 AM »
Sweet deal, the best of both worlds - no move required and a substantial raise kicking you over that 100K salary goal. CONGRATS!:)

I do second the poster who said it is a good idea for your type of job to get experience at another company, alas with that offer and your desire to stay near the grandparents it is a win-win for now.
Do see about more free education though, you are in a field where you can't afford to be stuck in a niche that may go away in the future - broader experience is always better but for now, together with your niche experience, it makes you more valuable.

Good luck with the new baby and the new house - stay mustachian and prosper:) 

EscapedApe

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 09:47:03 AM »
As a new software engineering grad, this is really encouraging. I'm looking forward to building my skills and driving my income ever upwards the way you have. Thanks for the impromptu pep talk.

Car Jack

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 11:45:27 AM »
So will that new Porsche be silver or red?

Only kidding.

Zamboni

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2019, 05:27:34 PM »
That's a wonderful happy ending! Congratulations on your promotion and huge bump in pay!

ysette9

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2019, 06:45:34 PM »
One thing I did - used my employer to get a degree.  Every time I had "career/personal development" goals for the year, I enrolled at school and took classes using my employers education benefit.  So you might check to see if they offer $$ for education like that.  It might not help you get another pay raise, but it will definitely help if/when you get laid off or decide to look elsewhere.  And hey, it's free money!  If they offer it.

This is a really good idea. Thanks.
This is fantastic advice. Iíll add that do as much as humanly possible towards your degree BEFORE kids. Work and school is hard. Add a baby to that and it will be downright impossible.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2019, 07:00:46 PM »
This is IMO, but... if your current employer isn't keeping your pay up with what you're doing and market, then there's minimal reason to stay with them vs another offer. Now, if you don't want to move/etc, then that's fair to decide to stay put, and potentially stay. But your current employer has already told you "hey we'll only pony up when we have to" so that's your signal to put on your walking shoes.

FunkyChopstick

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2019, 07:36:08 AM »
This is fantastic. It is always good if you know your true worth and to keep your employer aware that your in the know. Kudos for making out like a bandit. A well deserved bandit!

Cannot Wait!

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Re: For the first time in my life, I was the subject of a bidding war
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2019, 07:52:25 AM »
You are in perfect position to increase the savings rate rather than the lifestyle creep!  Do yourself a favour and don't even LOOK at the houses you can now *afford*   :)
Congratulations!