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General Discussion => Welcome and General Discussion => Topic started by: rob in cal on February 09, 2019, 03:54:17 PM

Title: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: rob in cal on February 09, 2019, 03:54:17 PM
   I'm intrigued about high income earners, say people making over 125 k a year.  For those not in specialty positions which took lots of schooling to get there, is it competitive to keep your job? Do you face tough performance/sales quotas?  Is there a threat from a younger worker taking your job at less pay, or your job being outsourced? Do you find yourself working much harder than you did when you had a much lower paying job?   
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: singpolyma on February 09, 2019, 04:25:53 PM
No. I expect industry, company, skill, and other factors to matter much more than compensation when it comes to job security.

Data point: I gross (Canadian $) 150k/yr in salary alone (currently estimated to be over 1M total compensation for this year) and am virtually untouchable.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on February 09, 2019, 05:10:18 PM
It is interesting but in working with people, Iíve come to learn thst very successful people donít try to hold onto their job, they set themselves up to be replaced so they are free to take on bigger and better roles. If you make yourself irreplaceable, you canít be moved up. Donít let insecurity and fear guide you. Do great work, train successors and keep aiming higher.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: use2betrix on February 09, 2019, 05:33:22 PM
My belief is that any loss of my job would be solely due to my own poor performance. Holding myself accountable for my success is a huge part of what got me to this point ($300k-ish at 30 years old with an associates degree). Could something happen 100% out of my ownership? Sure, but honestly itís very slim. Unless a company completely goes under or something crazy, if you make yourself valuable enough, they will keep you around.

I work much harder now than when I was younger. Not physically, but the mental work is unreal. I have to be available a ton to keep projects going. Iíll take calls at night or holidays if I need to, again, it makes me valuable. The last 6 months Iíve honestly been doing 4 peopleís jobs. They just gave me a $15/hr raise without me asking, so how do I really complain. I was venting to my boss one evening about some issues and then we both laughed when I said ďhow do I really bitch that much when you just throw more money at me.Ē Lol. My bosses treat me very well and I am very appreciated. We just filled two of the positions I had basically been covering so that helps even though my main responsibility will be getting busier.

I have a lot of anxiety about work. Tons. As much as it sucks, again, I feel like it is a huge contributor to my success. It makes me remember important things and cover all tasks.

As an example, during a kickoff meeting last week the contractor casually mentioned a spec they planned to follow which did not align with our companies. I put a huge stop and we are working to resolve that. In the long run that one spec they changed would have cost our company approximately 1.2 million dollars over the following year. No one picked up on that other than myself and there were a lot of high level people in that meeting.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: HBFIRE on February 09, 2019, 07:28:42 PM
No.  Most stable high earners in general bring real value to a company.  Such employees are hard to find and companies will do what they can to hold onto them.  Usually these types of workers would earn far more running their own businesses, and the companies they work for understand this.   If you want to be valuable and indispensable, approach your work as if you're part owner of the business.  Or, start your own business.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Severian on February 09, 2019, 08:26:38 PM
   I'm intrigued about high income earners, say people making over 125 k a year.  For those not in specialty positions which took lots of schooling to get there, is it competitive to keep your job? Do you face tough performance/sales quotas?  Is there a threat from a younger worker taking your job at less pay, or your job being outsourced? Do you find yourself working much harder than you did when you had a much lower paying job?   

At the moment my salary is about 130k, so I just squeak by your high-income test (I consider my salary kind of low for what I do.) There's a lot of politics where I work, but I'm not very threatened by it because no one else there could even begin to work on the critical features I've implemented. It helps to be very good at what you do, I suppose. I think my employers ought to fear me leaving a lot more than I fear losing my job.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on February 10, 2019, 04:46:17 AM
I share Severians sentiment, and ironically salary.

I do have very high sales target (realistically unattainable), but outside of my direct revenue generation, bring a ton of value/indirect revenue to the company. I fear not losing my job, because there is very little work-life balance here, and it would likely be an improvement anywhere else I went. I'm also a bit jaded with enough FU$ to last over a decade, and could easily absorb a pay cut for more free time.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: merula on February 10, 2019, 06:39:42 AM
I'm not at your threshold in terms of salary, but I'll answer for my company.

I work for an insurance carrier. Insurance, as an industry, is very risk adverse and doesn't want any part of any lawsuits, so it is virtually impossible to be fired. (The one person I know of that was actually fired assaulted a coworker.)

However, it is possible to be managed out. I'll use the example of an old boss of mine. Things were going great, got promoted into a fancy VP job, and then there was a reorganization. Now, instead of being a VP of the stuff he liked, he was a VP of stuff he didn't like. So he majorly slacked off (getting in at 10, hours on lunch, leaving at 4, refusing meetings, etc). That went on for over a year before another reorg meant his job went away completely.

He was offered a non-VP job, but refused it as beneath him, and so he ended up at a not-as-prestigious company because they'd give him a VP title. I sometimes wonder if he changed his work habits there.

For the record, there's no specialized skill or degree required for insurance. The VP above never went to college, started in the mailroom at 19 and worked his way up. I have a business degree, but I work with a lot of people with liberal arts degrees or no degree.

There are some roles in my company that are being outsourced to India, but that hasn't caused any layoffs that I know of; more that they're not replacing retirees and those that remain have part of their job as supervising the outsourced work.

Similarly, there's no concerns about younger, less experienced people taking over jobs. I am one of those people, relatively speaking; I'm early-30s, and 20-30 years younger than anyone with my title in my group. I almost certainly get paid less in salary, but I'm a high performer, so I get a larger chunk of the bonuses.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: MayDay on February 10, 2019, 06:59:55 AM
I'm in engineering.

I've seen older engineers who are in it for the pension, slack off and either barely skate by other demoted. I doubt they'd get fired unless they did something really bad but they could absolutely get laid off or further demoted.

These are people who aren't particularly good at their job. I've never seen it with even middle of the road engineers, just the bad and lazy ones.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Gone_Hiking on February 10, 2019, 09:01:06 AM
My belief is that any loss of my job would be solely due to my own poor performance. Holding myself accountable for my success is a huge part of what got me to this point ($300k-ish at 30 years old with an associates degree). Could something happen 100% out of my ownership? Sure, but honestly itís very slim. Unless a company completely goes under or something crazy, if you make yourself valuable enough, they will keep you around.

In general, it seems to me that this observation holds true, unless the company needs to cut staff.  I experienced a layoff engineered by a multinational pharmaceutical company that largely cut higher-compensated and older employees.  Having said that, high-performing employees are more likely to do what they need to do to get back to their previous level of seniority.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: undercover on February 10, 2019, 09:23:40 AM
I don't believe anyone is as valuable as they say they are. If you think you're not expendable, you're joking yourself. Everyone is replaceable, and of course that's only becoming increasingly true as time goes on.

That said, replacing someone has a cost and that's why I don't think you're any more likely to lose your job in a position making $200k than you are making $30k other than your own mental fortitude.

Sometimes income is correlated with amount of work but often times not really.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: HBFIRE on February 10, 2019, 09:37:52 AM
I don't believe anyone is as valuable as they say they are. If you think you're not expendable, you're joking yourself. Everyone is replaceable, and of course that's only becoming increasingly true as time goes on.



As a business owner with employees, I can tell you this is totally inaccurate.  Employees that bring real value to a business are very rare, and a business does whatever it can to hold onto them.  These employees are what drive a business by either saving costs or increasing revenue.  Unfortunately, these employees usually get a better offer from a competitor before too long or start their own businesses.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: jlcnuke on February 10, 2019, 09:40:34 AM
I don't believe anyone is as valuable as they say they are. If you think you're not expendable, you're joking yourself. Everyone is replaceable, and of course that's only becoming increasingly true as time goes on.



As a business owner with employees, I can tell you this is totally inaccurate.  Employees that bring real value to a business are very rare, and a business does whatever it can to hold onto them.  These employees are what drive a business by either saving costs or increasing revenue.  Unfortunately, these employees usually get a better offer from a competitor before too long or start their own businesses.

And the business moves on without them, and likely replaces them with someone else... meaning they were expendable...
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on February 10, 2019, 09:42:45 AM
There are a lot of variables to this question from size of company, profit margins etc.. as to what Companies will do or not do in retaining employees. A person making 60k for Company A might be more Valuable than a person making 200k From Company A but if overstaffed in said department than still might be fist to be cut. With a smaller company could just come down to overall payroll. I agree anyone that thinks there not replaceable is foolish but there definitely is more tolerance for the better performers as it should be. With unemployment being so low and it being hard to find quality people right now I think employees have a bit of an upper hand but I am not insinuating in all businesses or companies.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: HBFIRE on February 10, 2019, 09:49:01 AM

And the business moves on without them, and likely replaces them with someone else... meaning they were expendable...


Not at all easy to do for some businesses.  I can tell you this first hand.  Sometimes it even causes the business to fail.  And in the cases where they are able to move on, it might be in a less  efficient manner.  To clarify, by "expendable" I mean a business won't willfully let a valuable employee go as it's basically throwing money away.  Sure, if a real valuable employee leaves, usually the business can recover with a lot of expense and time, but its not something the business wants to have to do.  This is why if you're an employee that brings real value to a company, you have quite a bit of safety.  If you're a person that directly drives revenues or reduces costs due to a specific skill set, you have high value.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: undercover on February 10, 2019, 11:35:21 AM
I don't believe anyone is as valuable as they say they are. If you think you're not expendable, you're joking yourself. Everyone is replaceable, and of course that's only becoming increasingly true as time goes on.



As a business owner with employees, I can tell you this is totally inaccurate.  Employees that bring real value to a business are very rare, and a business does whatever it can to hold onto them.  These employees are what drive a business by either saving costs or increasing revenue.  Unfortunately, these employees usually get a better offer from a competitor before too long or start their own businesses.

Depends very highly on your definition of "real value". Let's not kid ourselves and think that we all know what the market wants at any given time. Cutting costs and raising sales is not enough in today's world. Look at all the hugely successful businesses that went out of business because they had the wrong people and made the wrong decisions (Good to Great is a good book illustrating this). I highly doubt they knew at the time that the people in their organization weren't providing "real value".

Point being that even as a business owner, you're not always the best judge on what needs to be done any more than anyone else. It is simply hard to replace people you perceive as valuable, but it doesn't make them any more valuable. What you perceive as rare does not mean it's actually rare. Rare is subjective.

But I do agree that most companies think like this and is why inevitably few companies risk changing things up or are willing to replace someone.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on February 10, 2019, 12:20:35 PM

And the business moves on without them, and likely replaces them with someone else... meaning they were expendable...


Not at all easy to do for some businesses.  I can tell you this first hand.  Sometimes it even causes the business to fail.  And in the cases where they are able to move on, it might be in a less  efficient manner.  To clarify, by "expendable" I mean a business won't willfully let a valuable employee go as it's basically throwing money away.  Sure, if a real valuable employee leaves, usually the business can recover with a lot of expense and time, but its not something the business wants to have to do.  This is why if you're an employee that brings real value to a company, you have quite a bit of safety.  If you're a person that directly drives revenues or reduces costs due to a specific skill set, you have high value.

All that says to me is that the business did a poor job of planning. If youíre entire business is wholly dependent on one or two people, that business is vulnerable. As soon as you have ďinvaluableĒ people, then start a succession plan, as a way to train someone to take over or to ensure that if someone left, you can replace the person. Also, if that person is so invaluable, they should never leave because of a better offer, pay them more! If s business owner is too cheap, arrogant or short-sighted than those are the causes of failure moreso than losing someone irreplaceable (when, at some point thst person would leave, even if it was just death or retirement).
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Severian on February 10, 2019, 03:02:37 PM
And the business moves on without them, and likely replaces them with someone else... meaning they were expendable...

Yeah- I'm not irreplaceable, and I wasn't trying to imply that I was. If I decided to leave my current job the business would carry on. They have plenty of money at the moment, so they could find someone to do what I do. It would be expensive though, I think. There's a lot of competition between employers in my industry right now, and salaries for people with my skill-set are often quite a bit higher than what I'm making at the moment.

They're getting a fairly good deal on me, because of geography and also the fact that they're not my only source of income. I have another 60k guaranteed to come in this year without me doing anything (unfortunately a one-time deal) and a company I work on on the side that... well, we're going to launch our first product this year, after years of work, and we'll see how that goes.

I insisted when I was hired here that outside of the occasional emergency I was going to work 40 hour weeks, and that I would be allowed to work on outside projects on my own time. There has been some tension over that since, because they would really like me to work more, but I've stuck to my guns on that for the most part (there have been a few times when I've worked >30 hours in a weekend because there was a solid reason I needed to, like delivering a sudden ask to an important prospect in order to close a sale, and I figure that sort of thing just comes with the territory in this industry.) This is one reason I don't negotiate my salary more aggressively. I don't want to have that conversation again at the moment.

So I'm not irreplaceable. But the cost to my employer of replacing me would be significant. The cost to me of losing my job would be that I might have to relocate and work more hours, but I would probably wind up making significantly more money. Possibly quite a lot more money. It's not that I'm irreplaceable. It's that the cost to my employer of me leaving would be much higher than the cost to me of losing my job. It helps that I live on about 25k a year too- if I were suddenly unemployed I would be able to be fairly choosy about my next job, because even if it took a year for me to settle on one it wouldn't dent my savings all that badly.

And that's the nice thing about living modestly- knowing that I can go without a paycheck for quite a while is a powerful negotiating tool. It's one thing to pretend you can walk away from the table, but quite another thing to actually be able to.

Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: use2betrix on February 10, 2019, 04:34:53 PM
I donít think anyone here thinks they are irreplaceable. I do think several posters here are very very wrong by seemingly insinuating that a person can be replaced easily (or not easily) by someone else of the same skill set and income. Can some people? Sure, but certainly not all.

I work in a very niche and skilled position. Yes - thereís tons of people that ďdoĒ what I do, but many will not be on the same level. I came onto a billion dollar project last winter that was 85% complete and the person I replaced (who had 20 years more experience) completely messed up huge costly parts of the job and I came in and turned it around. I received countless compliments, references, and outside job offers due to my work on that project. Not many people understood the systems and were able to take the steps I took to fix things.

Sure, everyone is ďreplaceableĒ but someone would be way off to think that there arenít valued employees that excel so much that companies will do a LOT to keep those employees.

Granted, if youíve never been one of these employees itís be hard to really understand.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: alcon835 on February 10, 2019, 04:51:40 PM
I make just above your income requirement and I'm a bit underpaid for my industry (though there are reasons for that and some negotiations in place to get me higher).

Regardless, I'm not in danger of losing my job any time soon because of my industry. And if I suddenly lost my job, finding a new one would be relatively easy. Like others have said, I don't believe anyone is irreplaceable, but I do believe that hard work reaps rewards. I strive to work hard and keep bettering myself and in doing so I've found myself becoming more valuable year-over-year while also keeping myself very employable no matter what my situation.

And due to the FIRE lifestyle, even though I'm not at my FI goal, I do have plenty in the bank to cover any temporary lapse in pay.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: singpolyma on February 10, 2019, 07:21:28 PM
Employees that bring real value to a business are very rare, and a business does whatever it can to hold onto them.  These employees are what drive a business by either saving costs or increasing revenue.  Unfortunately, these employees usually get a better offer from a competitor before too long or start their own businesses.

Or you pay them so much that the FIRE ;)
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: HBFIRE on February 10, 2019, 08:07:16 PM

Granted, if youíve never been one of these employees itís be hard to really understand.

Precisely
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: EnjoyIt on February 10, 2019, 10:41:22 PM
It is interesting but in working with people, Iíve come to learn thst very successful people donít try to hold onto their job, they set themselves up to be replaced so they are free to take on bigger and better roles. If you make yourself irreplaceable, you canít be moved up. Donít let insecurity and fear guide you. Do great work, train successors and keep aiming higher.

This right here.  Those people that work hard at keeping their job eventually fail.  Those that work hard in helping their people succeed get promoted.  Great leaders do just that.  They improve the people around them and succeed because everyone succeeds. Good leaders give a shit about everyone and not just themselves.

On the same note, the higher up the chain you go, the more responsibility you have.  In a sense that makes keeping your job more difficult.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Rubyvroom on February 11, 2019, 02:43:14 PM
I am in Finance. I would say that it is definitely not difficult to keep my job, though the higher up I go in my career the more difficult it is to find similar high paying roles, so you start to feel the golden handcuffs. Every company needs a bazillion analysts, but only a handful of Directors, VPs, etc.

I am in my late 30s so I am not really at risk of a younger worker taking my job, though I do think quite often about how technology will likely replace at least half of my job sometime in the next 10-20 years.

I definitely am not working harder than I did when I had a much lower paying job, and I don't get chased to put in a lot of OT because nearly every boss I've had in my career has told me the same thing - that I get more done in a shorter period of time than most of my colleagues. I put in OT whenever it is critical (maybe 2-3 weeks out of the entire year, by my own choice, not "mandatory"), but otherwise I work 40 hours a week.

Also, for those chasing high salaries, coming from the perspective of a female in Finance, ALWAYS negotiate a higher starting salary than you believe is "fair." The gender pay gap is very real, and you'll often be surprised by how much money you'd leave on the table if you "go with your gut" on salary negotiations.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: therethere on February 11, 2019, 03:01:14 PM
DH and I are both in engineering. In the 12 years we've been out of school, there has only been two years where both of us were employed the entire year. Defense industry is boom or bust and has layoffs every 1-3 years in our experience. So for middle of the road engineers, I would say it can be depending on your industry.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Schaefer Light on February 11, 2019, 03:09:20 PM
I think you are more likely to get caught up in a layoff the more you earn.  If your company wants to cut costs, then the higher salaries are going to be more heavily scrutinized (especially in middle management positions).
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: londonbanker on February 11, 2019, 04:10:33 PM
It is interesting but in working with people, Iíve come to learn thst very successful people donít try to hold onto their job, they set themselves up to be replaced so they are free to take on bigger and better roles. If you make yourself irreplaceable, you canít be moved up. Donít let insecurity and fear guide you. Do great work, train successors and keep aiming higher.

Thatís exactly how I have always approached my roles. Today, I am in a low stress position working 40-45h a week and earning over $500k a yr.
50% of my time is spent driving business through teams and thinking strategically, and 50% is spent on developing my direct reports and their teams for them to be better at and more empowered in what they do.
I am sure that colleagues in my position in the same company are probably more stressed about their role than I am, and spend less time developing and chatting w their teams...
Making myself ďredundantĒ from the doing and being a great leader, coach and mentor, while developing myself, will hopefully help me progress and take more responsibilities so that I can continue to empower, energize more people to be better at driving our business together etc etc...

If I get fired or if my company goes bust (despite being a fortune100 company), well... why do you think I am working forwards FIRE

A job is a job at the end of the day, you lose it and you still live :-)
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on February 11, 2019, 04:31:55 PM
I make over $500k. I've worked for companies that have five tiered rating systems. At no time has my performance ever fallen below the second from the top tier (minus right after promotions, where you're expected to sort of "reset"). I work hard, & I don't think I'm irreplaceable. But, some roles are a lot harder to fill than others. It took two years to fill a people manager role on my team. I'm in a niche part of an industry, combined with a lot of experience built up over years. I also have the big people management side down (teams of 20+, managing managers), which combined with the niche industry skills, are hard to find. For an exact candidate match (e.g. someone who does something very similar to what I do), there are maybe 20 people. The company I work for works hard to retain those people they've recruited.

I'll also add that the company I work for has an incredibly rigorous hiring process. To the point that, generally, once you've been hired, you're tremendously skilled. They aren't exactly looking to get rid of you. Anything could change in our industry, financial changes, etc that could require a downsizing, but it's not top of mind currently.

Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Sultan58 on February 11, 2019, 08:55:54 PM

And the business moves on without them, and likely replaces them with someone else... meaning they were expendable...


Not at all easy to do for some businesses.  I can tell you this first hand.  Sometimes it even causes the business to fail.  And in the cases where they are able to move on, it might be in a less  efficient manner.  To clarify, by "expendable" I mean a business won't willfully let a valuable employee go as it's basically throwing money away.  Sure, if a real valuable employee leaves, usually the business can recover with a lot of expense and time, but its not something the business wants to have to do.  This is why if you're an employee that brings real value to a company, you have quite a bit of safety.  If you're a person that directly drives revenues or reduces costs due to a specific skill set, you have high value.

I think we get your point, but the fact is, they often still walk every day for better offers, and what could be done to keep them is not done. If you won't counter offer--you just placed a set value on them. 
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: obstinate on February 11, 2019, 09:37:43 PM
For me, it is easy. I work, to be honest, not that hard. I work an eight hour day, and almost never work weekends. I continue to get strong performance reviews for reasons I donít entirely understand. Sometimes I think I suck and maybe itís just that everyone else sucks even worse. But I do enjoy what I do and I try to do it well, even though I fail.

But my company is notorious for not being very aggressive about getting rid of people. So maybe itís just that. Maybe Iíd have been let go somewhere else. Or maybe not.

Ftr I make about $600k each year and Iím in the 30-34 band.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: FIRE 20/20 on February 12, 2019, 08:10:07 AM
I don't believe anyone is as valuable as they say they are. If you think you're not expendable, you're joking yourself. Everyone is replaceable, and of course that's only becoming increasingly true as time goes on.

That said, replacing someone has a cost and that's why I don't think you're any more likely to lose your job in a position making $200k than you are making $30k other than your own mental fortitude.

Sometimes income is correlated with amount of work but often times not really.

In my medium-sized town my company has about a hundred openings, and has for the last year.  I'd guess there are about 4 other companies that are of similar size plus a lot of smaller companies all fighting for talent.  There simply are not enough people out there with the qualifications to come even close to filling all the jobs, so we're holding on to extremely low performing engineers and paying them a lot of money as well.  In fact, even the borderline incompetent engineers can probably hop to another company and get a significant raise if they wanted to.  While it's true that everyone is expendable, when I FIRE in a few months there won't be anyone to take my place because where I live there are many hundreds or a few thousand open jobs going unfilled.  As for income being correlated or uncorrelated with amount of work, I think it's a lot more about supply and demand.  Does a professional athlete do more work than a <insert common low-paid job>?  Whatever job you put in there, the answer is almost certainly no.  While STEM degrees and engineering knowledge aren't as rare as first round draft picks, there certainly is a lot more work than qualified people to do that work.  I certainly know that I don't do nearly as much work as the average teacher, but I earn a whole lot more because there are just fewer people with my experience. 
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: jlcnuke on February 12, 2019, 08:30:57 AM
I don't believe anyone is as valuable as they say they are. If you think you're not expendable, you're joking yourself. Everyone is replaceable, and of course that's only becoming increasingly true as time goes on.

That said, replacing someone has a cost and that's why I don't think you're any more likely to lose your job in a position making $200k than you are making $30k other than your own mental fortitude.

Sometimes income is correlated with amount of work but often times not really.

In my medium-sized town my company has about a hundred openings, and has for the last year.  I'd guess there are about 4 other companies that are of similar size plus a lot of smaller companies all fighting for talent.  There simply are not enough people out there with the qualifications to come even close to filling all the jobs, so we're holding on to extremely low performing engineers and paying them a lot of money as well.  In fact, even the borderline incompetent engineers can probably hop to another company and get a significant raise if they wanted to.  While it's true that everyone is expendable, when I FIRE in a few months there won't be anyone to take my place because where I live there are many hundreds or a few thousand open jobs going unfilled.  As for income being correlated or uncorrelated with amount of work, I think it's a lot more about supply and demand.  Does a professional athlete do more work than a <insert common low-paid job>?  Whatever job you put in there, the answer is almost certainly no.  While STEM degrees and engineering knowledge aren't as rare as first round draft picks, there certainly is a lot more work than qualified people to do that work.  I certainly know that I don't do nearly as much work as the average teacher, but I earn a whole lot more because there are just fewer people with my experience.

In general I agree with the principles of supply and demand, but in practice I think the availability of talent, or lack thereof, is very location dependent. We've hired engineers for jobs that pay much less than their degree would normally command (and which realistically doesn't even need the degree) because they want to stay in this area and it doesn't have the abundance of STEM jobs available found in some other areas.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: big_slacker on February 12, 2019, 08:50:08 AM
I'm in engineering and over $200k. The short answer is no. I'm not egotistical enough to think I couldn't be replaced but the company I work for and most of the industry realizes that proven performers in specialized fields at a certain level are not that easy to come by. So they try very hard to retain them once they have them.

On the flip side, I wouldn't feel comfortable taking my foot off the gas when it comes to impactful work, constant learning of new skills and work discipline. I don't think I'd get fired if I did, but I wouldn't get as nice a bonus, might get relegated to the 'do not promote' bucket and so on. I see a bit of that in some people around me.

Quick edit on some of the other Qs.

Not sales related so no quotas. I do have deadlines but I generally help scope the projects I do. Sometimes timelines change but all in all it's not unreasonable. Hours wise I don't track and focus on meeting daily goals. Less than 50 for sure, fairly often less than 40.

As others have said I'm not worried about younger folks 'taking my job', I mentor them so they can. I'll either move up or move on when the time is more or less right.

Outsourcing has been tried in our company and it's swinging back the other way due to quality issues and a focus on small teams owning their work soup to nuts.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 12, 2019, 09:53:40 AM
I am a mechanical engineer. I make slightly over your threshold (hopefully will increase towards the summer with a job change). It is not competitive to keep my job. I am not working much harder than when I first started at 40k almost 20 years ago. Not in sales, no quotas of any kind. Just delivering projects and as a senior engineer and a project manager the biggest issue is getting other people to do their part. No threats from younger engineers yet. I am currently at the height of my career, plenty of opportunities and interest out there in my field (I am in Houston but not in Oil&Gas so it helps a lot). It is not a specialized field, just not as in demand by engineers as O&G probably because it pays less. And with that comes more stability in general.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: dogboyslim on February 12, 2019, 11:35:24 AM
It is not hard to keep my job.  I'm a middle manager with ~30 people in my team in the financial services industry.  I work with the really technical folks.  My value is that I speak IT, Data Scientist and business.  I'm also very good at laying out projects.  Why I got and keep my job is that in addition to the required skill I am tireless when it comes to connecting staff and their work to company objectives (keeps folks happy or at least happier with their work) and identifying development opportunities for them so they can handle a wider variety of roles.  Part of my value is that I'm not afraid to call BS on the office politics even from leaders higher on the hierarchy than myself, and I let little political digs roll off my back and just keep finding ways to complete objectives.  A working rapport with the regulators helps to smooth the timelines for our product deliveries also.

I don't think I'll likely ever go higher in the org, mostly because I don't want to.  My take home is similar to BlueHouse , not counting LT incentives, DC Pension or 401k matches.  I'd be very happy if I had someone on my staff to replace me.  Right now I have 3 with the talent, but not yet the experience.  I'm working on it and should have them ready to go within 5 years.  At that point I may move on or I may stay put and help them move up in other areas.  The education and licencing requirements for my position are undergrad degree in a specific set of technical fields, a couple of industry specific licences which require regular CE.  I work 40-50 hours a week and get 4 wks paid vacation. 

The biggest downside for me is the random nature of when things will become urgent (due to company president's whims) and the need to always be connected, even when on vacation.  By far the most difficult part of my job is dealing with people issues.  Keeping the screaming finger-pointing executive away from my staff, explaining to someone with multiple policy violations from the prior year that their self accountability is not above target, and firing people that I genuinely like, but who cannot or will not complete the job to the expectations of their position.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: mm1970 on February 12, 2019, 12:19:08 PM
It is interesting but in working with people, Iíve come to learn thst very successful people donít try to hold onto their job, they set themselves up to be replaced so they are free to take on bigger and better roles. If you make yourself irreplaceable, you canít be moved up. Donít let insecurity and fear guide you. Do great work, train successors and keep aiming higher.

Pretty much this.

I'm not quite at your threshold.  I guess I'm not worried because I'm massively underpaid for what I do.  But also, I'm an engineer. 

While my job isn't hugely technical anymore, my engineering and industry knowledge makes me far more successful at this job than the last guy who had it.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: OurTown on February 12, 2019, 01:47:42 PM
As my first boss used to say, "No one is indispensable.  Especially you."
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: WSUCoug1994 on February 12, 2019, 02:53:45 PM
I find this thread very interesting.  I am in professional services (100% commission) and I have been in the industry for 25 years and at my current company for 20.  The whole point of running a services firm is to hire young talent and train them to replace the more senior partners as they retire (in a perfect world).  So our whole model is to develop the next generation of leaders.  I am in the top 10% of performers in my firm globally and I have been for at least the last 10 years and I happen to have a specialty that most people don't want any part of but is in very high demand.  I am also in a leadership role.

What is funny about professional services is that if you look across most pure-play professional services companies and you look deeply into the personalities of the top performers they are highly insecure about their job and often have a fairly large but fragile ego.  Less so about losing their job but really being obsessed (to the point of being insecure) about servicing their clients.  In our business you are only as valuable as your last project.  So it is important to do the best work for the best clients which will get you more work at other best clients (if that makes sense).  It does have a recency effect because we get awarded work by doing recent and relevant work at other companies that our clients respect. 

So I am busy developing my successors, I am not insecure about losing my job (although that could happen) but I am obsessed and highly insecure about any of the 10-12 projects I have going on going bad.  In this particular industry (or maybe just our small fraction of the industry) it pays to be insecure and I am sure that could easily translate to some kind of job insecurity although not a real concern for those highly paid and senior partners.

This job on average comes with 70-80+ hours a week, a heavy travel schedule, 24/7 availability expectations, an incredible high level of stress/satisfaction, intellectually difficult problems to solve and often ends with severe burnout.  But there is simply no ceiling on compensation - if you want to make $500K or $1M or $5M it is really up to you and how much time and energy you want to invest and the sacrifices you are willing to make.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Neo on February 12, 2019, 07:24:42 PM
First I am stunned by some of the salary/earnings figures in here. Some of you guys and gals are really making a boatload. Second I have found that literally nobody is irreplaceable. Most people who think they are would be surprised at how little their company's operations would suffer if they left or got laid off.

I work at a large bank and my company does routine RIFs (reductions in force) as part of its operating model. I dont stress about it because I have other income streams which I created due to the existence of these RIFs. My boss and 7 other people in my division just got let go recently with no warning. None were poor performers. It can happen to anyone and to think otherwise is naive.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: FIRE 20/20 on February 12, 2019, 08:13:47 PM
   I'm intrigued about high income earners, say people making over 125 k a year.  For those not in specialty positions which took lots of schooling to get there, is it competitive to keep your job? Do you face tough performance/sales quotas?  Is there a threat from a younger worker taking your job at less pay, or your job being outsourced? Do you find yourself working much harder than you did when you had a much lower paying job?   

I realized I replied but didn't answer the questions. 
For those not in specialty positions which took lots of schooling to get there, is it competitive to keep your job? No - not at all.  As long as I don't commit fraud or something similar I can stay as long as I want.  In the 19+ years I've been with the company they've never laid off any engineers.  There are a decent number - 5%? 10%? who are incompetent or nearly so.  But the company gets paid if they're working - even if it's just "work" that causes re-work - so they all stay.  I've tried to get rid of a few but everything is set up to keep them employed.
Do you face tough performance/sales quotas?   Nope.  I have worked only 2 full pay periods (80 hours in 2 weeks) since last June.
Is there a threat from a younger worker taking your job at less pay, or your job being outsourced? None.  The work I do cannot be outsourced.  By the time a younger person got to my level they'd make the same amount I do, so that isn't likely either.
Do you find yourself working much harder than you did when you had a much lower paying job?   No - I work a lot less now.  This is due to two factors. First, I had to work hard earlier in my career to get to where I am but don't want to move up any more so I stopped working hard.  Second, I now understand the game.  I can put in a tiny amount of effort in the areas that are important to leadership to make sure I'm seen as a top performer, and I am vastly more efficient than I was when I was starting out.  While I cannot say, "Iíd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work" - I can say I do not need to exert any significant effort to get all of my tasks completed to top tier standards in under 40 hours per week. 
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on February 12, 2019, 08:21:21 PM
First I am stunned by some of the salary/earnings figures in here. Some of you guys and gals are really making a boatload. Second I have found that literally nobody is irreplaceable. Most people who think they are would be surprised at how little their company's operations would suffer if they left or got laid off.

I work at a large bank and my company does routine RIFs (reductions in force) as part of its operating model. I dont stress about it because I have other income streams which I created due to the existence of these RIFs. My boss and 7 other people in my division just got let go recently with no warning. None were poor performers. It can happen to anyone and to think otherwise is naive.

Not sure who you are addressing with this comment, but I agree that anyone can be replaced. The question is how expensive will it be for the company to replace you, how long will it take to find a replacement, and how much will the company have to pay to train & hire your replacement. That's assuming the company would like someone to continue doing the exact job you do now. There are other ways to solve staffing gaps - you can consolidate teams, shuffle work around, etc. I've RIFd & fired plenty of people before. On the performance side, I think the question from the original poster was trying to understand how people retain the job they have. Performance is certainly a factor to that. Of course, if your company is laying off an entire division, your personal performance is unlikely to matter.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Archipelago on February 12, 2019, 08:41:28 PM
I'm also stunned by the earnings people are reporting here. I'm 24 with 2 years of experience. I make $52k at pretty much entry level. I also make another $45k in side hustles. Altogether I make $95,000-$100,000 annually working 50-60 hours a week. It's fascinating how people make 4 or 5 times that working 40 hours a week, under fairly low stress.

Interesting thread, following.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: big_slacker on February 13, 2019, 06:06:41 AM
I donít think anyone here thinks they are irreplaceable. I do think several posters here are very very wrong by seemingly insinuating that a person can be replaced easily (or not easily) by someone else of the same skill set and income. Can some people? Sure, but certainly not all.

I work in a very niche and skilled position. Yes - thereís tons of people that ďdoĒ what I do, but many will not be on the same level. I came onto a billion dollar project last winter that was 85% complete and the person I replaced (who had 20 years more experience) completely messed up huge costly parts of the job and I came in and turned it around. I received countless compliments, references, and outside job offers due to my work on that project. Not many people understood the systems and were able to take the steps I took to fix things.

Sure, everyone is ďreplaceableĒ but someone would be way off to think that there arenít valued employees that excel so much that companies will do a LOT to keep those employees.

Granted, if youíve never been one of these employees itís be hard to really understand.

I alluded to this in my post. Replace the position yes. Replace the effectiveness, not so much. There are about 2300 or so folks with the cred I have working in the US (not that you can't do the job without the cred, but lets say so for the sake of argument) and maybe 10-15% of those are real rockstars. These are the folks that will do things like the example above, making serious business impact. Captain save the day.

So you've got under 400 people nationwide that will do an awesome job at this particular niche and you've got one on your team. You know recruiters are contacting them constantly, friends/former coworkers are calling wanted them to come work again, etc. You damn sure are going to be paying retention bonuses, raises, promotions, unofficial vacations and on and on. Things can change of course, but these people are not short of opportunity, they'll just leave and be fine somewhere else.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: lukebuz on February 13, 2019, 06:44:23 AM
I'm also stunned by the earnings people are reporting here. I'm 24 with 2 years of experience. I make $52k at pretty much entry level. I also make another $45k in side hustles. Altogether I make $95,000-$100,000 annually working 50-60 hours a week. It's fascinating how people make 4 or 5 times that working 40 hours a week, under fairly low stress.

Interesting thread, following.

Remember, this is the Internet.  Unverifiable identities and people living in fantasy-land.  The "trix" guy above is virtually certain to be a troll.   

Are there 30 year olds making $300,000?  Sure, but they created something (think Zuck).  They don't work for someone.  Also, what $300,00 professional says stuff like this?

"I was venting to my boss one evening about some issues and then we both laughed when I said ďhow do I really bitch that much when you just throw more money at me.Ē Lol."
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: brute on February 13, 2019, 07:08:13 AM
Eh, one of those "you're expendable" people here. Here's the deal. I got fired (not the good kind) from a job in 2012. 30 minutes later, the company called and asked me to do "one last thing". I refused. They then began paying me 3x my old rate. Eventually I got tired of them, they spent over $12M trying to replace a small portion of what I did, failed, and were bought by another company. The old power structure is gone, the CEO and VPs jobless. So, I mean, I guess I'm replaceable. But not in a way where the business survives.

My last company, I heard the same thing. I left, and the project failed. There's someone in my old position, but they're on the way out. No project, no money, no job.

Oh yeah. The one before that, they've hired 26 people to replace me (thats 26 people to fill what I did alone). They can't match what I did. So there's that too.

"Everyone's replaceable" is what grumpy people with mediocre skills tend to say. It's true mostly, but the best of the best can leave a crushing vacuum when they move on.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: SwordGuy on February 13, 2019, 07:51:10 AM
It is interesting but in working with people, Iíve come to learn thst very successful people donít try to hold onto their job, they set themselves up to be replaced so they are free to take on bigger and better roles. If you make yourself irreplaceable, you canít be moved up. Donít let insecurity and fear guide you. Do great work, train successors and keep aiming higher.

That's great advice.

And remember, every person you mentor into a better job is an ambassador for you at whatever companies they later move to.   


Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: HBFIRE on February 13, 2019, 10:28:48 AM


Are there 30 year olds making $300,000?  Sure, but they created something (think Zuck).  They don't work for someone. 



This is very untrue.  There are many 30 yr olds (and younger) making this income (and much higher) in CA working for companies.  Certain skills are extremely valuable in today's market.  I have several friends in software earning double+ this amount.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: itchyfeet on February 13, 2019, 11:08:37 AM
The incomes stated here are pretty incredible.

I am on a high salary, but some numbers of this thread. wowsers!

I could be fired at any moment I suppose, but feel pretty confident that wonít happen any time soon. I donít feel the threat of competition.

I donít work any harder now than I did when I was young, I am generally in the office from 9am until 7pm 5 days a week, and take every one of the 6 weeks of holidays that I negotiated to receive each year.

Advice I received from my first boss was ďmake it so the company doesnít need your job and Iíll promote youĒ. I delivered on the challenge by automating most aspects of my job, and my boss stuck to his word and increased my salary by 50%.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Roboturner on February 13, 2019, 11:16:22 AM
No. It sure seems like it's nearly impossible to get fired in most jobs, especially something like engineering, unless you are actively terrible. With boom or bust cycle industries like O&G, there are frequent layoff troughs, but as long as you're in the top 50% or so of performers, you should be able to land on your feet.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: londonbanker on February 13, 2019, 05:02:17 PM
Eh, one of those "you're expendable" people here. Here's the deal. I got fired (not the good kind) from a job in 2012. 30 minutes later, the company called and asked me to do "one last thing". I refused. They then began paying me 3x my old rate. Eventually I got tired of them, they spent over $12M trying to replace a small portion of what I did, failed, and were bought by another company. The old power structure is gone, the CEO and VPs jobless. So, I mean, I guess I'm replaceable. But not in a way where the business survives.

My last company, I heard the same thing. I left, and the project failed. There's someone in my old position, but they're on the way out. No project, no money, no job.

Oh yeah. The one before that, they've hired 26 people to replace me (thats 26 people to fill what I did alone). They can't match what I did. So there's that too.

"Everyone's replaceable" is what grumpy people with mediocre skills tend to say. It's true mostly, but the best of the best can leave a crushing vacuum when they move on.

If I make over $500k being completely replaceable, and you claim you are irreplaceable - or ďbusiness crushing replaceableĒ, I sure hope you are getting paid a lot more than I do... If not you probably should seriously reconsider the arrogant style of your post...
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: SKL-HOU on February 13, 2019, 06:25:33 PM
Eh, one of those "you're expendable" people here. Here's the deal. I got fired (not the good kind) from a job in 2012. 30 minutes later, the company called and asked me to do "one last thing". I refused. They then began paying me 3x my old rate. Eventually I got tired of them, they spent over $12M trying to replace a small portion of what I did, failed, and were bought by another company. The old power structure is gone, the CEO and VPs jobless. So, I mean, I guess I'm replaceable. But not in a way where the business survives.

My last company, I heard the same thing. I left, and the project failed. There's someone in my old position, but they're on the way out. No project, no money, no job.

Oh yeah. The one before that, they've hired 26 people to replace me (thats 26 people to fill what I did alone). They can't match what I did. So there's that too.

"Everyone's replaceable" is what grumpy people with mediocre skills tend to say. It's true mostly, but the best of the best can leave a crushing vacuum when they move on.

If I make over $500k being completely replaceable, and you claim you are irreplaceable - or ďbusiness crushing replaceableĒ, I sure hope you are getting paid a lot more than I do... If not you probably should seriously reconsider the arrogant style of your post...

If what he said is true, he must have been so unbearable that he ended up being fired at all costs. That was my thought. But you make a great point.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: use2betrix on February 13, 2019, 07:46:16 PM
I'm also stunned by the earnings people are reporting here. I'm 24 with 2 years of experience. I make $52k at pretty much entry level. I also make another $45k in side hustles. Altogether I make $95,000-$100,000 annually working 50-60 hours a week. It's fascinating how people make 4 or 5 times that working 40 hours a week, under fairly low stress.

Interesting thread, following.

Remember, this is the Internet.  Unverifiable identities and people living in fantasy-land.  The "trix" guy above is virtually certain to be a troll.   

Are there 30 year olds making $300,000?  Sure, but they created something (think Zuck).  They don't work for someone.  Also, what $300,00 professional says stuff like this?

"I was venting to my boss one evening about some issues and then we both laughed when I said ďhow do I really bitch that much when you just throw more money at me.Ē Lol."

You can call me a lot of things but donít you f**** ever call me a ďprofessional.Ē
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: brooklynmoney on February 13, 2019, 09:19:58 PM
I always say to my best friend when I am telling her about my insane schedule or some high pressure situation at work ďthey donít give it to me for free.Ē I find my job almost all consuming at times. Itís hard to keep because itís hard to make myself not quit or get fired all the time. I do like my firm but my profession is always on the list of top most stressful occupations and Iíve been at it for more than 20 years.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: FI-King_Awesome on February 13, 2019, 09:34:27 PM
I always say to my best friend when I am telling her about my insane schedule or some high pressure situation at work “they don’t give it to me for free.” I find my job almost all consuming at times. It’s hard to keep because it’s hard to make myself not quit or get fired all the time. I do like my firm but my profession is always on the list of top most stressful occupations and I’ve been at it for more than 20 years.

Similar situation. I’ve sacrificed the last 10 years, traveling 80%+ globally, and living on multiple continents.  It may sound nice to an outsider, but it effectively means not having a personal life.  Transient friendships, missing every birthday, wedding, funeral, and giving up hobbies, vacations - the list goes on.

On a positive note, the job itself is incredibly rewarding (read curing cancer level) and expenses are very limited, which has contributed to a high savings rate.

That said, at 40, with nothing to show but a stack of cash, I wouldn’t recommend anyone following in my footsteps.  It may sound like cursing in church, considering the forum, but money isn’t everything - it offers a level of comfort, confidence and a sense of relief. But happiness will come from other sources, starting with yourself.

Good luck
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: brute on February 14, 2019, 05:30:08 AM
Eh, one of those "you're expendable" people here. Here's the deal. I got fired (not the good kind) from a job in 2012. 30 minutes later, the company called and asked me to do "one last thing". I refused. They then began paying me 3x my old rate. Eventually I got tired of them, they spent over $12M trying to replace a small portion of what I did, failed, and were bought by another company. The old power structure is gone, the CEO and VPs jobless. So, I mean, I guess I'm replaceable. But not in a way where the business survives.

My last company, I heard the same thing. I left, and the project failed. There's someone in my old position, but they're on the way out. No project, no money, no job.

Oh yeah. The one before that, they've hired 26 people to replace me (thats 26 people to fill what I did alone). They can't match what I did. So there's that too.

"Everyone's replaceable" is what grumpy people with mediocre skills tend to say. It's true mostly, but the best of the best can leave a crushing vacuum when they move on.

If I make over $500k being completely replaceable, and you claim you are irreplaceable - or ďbusiness crushing replaceableĒ, I sure hope you are getting paid a lot more than I do... If not you probably should seriously reconsider the arrogant style of your post...

If what he said is true, he must have been so unbearable that he ended up being fired at all costs. That was my thought. But you make a great point.

Sorry you got flustered by my usefulness. Carry on.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: dude on February 14, 2019, 06:41:48 AM
I'm also stunned by the earnings people are reporting here. I'm 24 with 2 years of experience. I make $52k at pretty much entry level. I also make another $45k in side hustles. Altogether I make $95,000-$100,000 annually working 50-60 hours a week. It's fascinating how people make 4 or 5 times that working 40 hours a week, under fairly low stress.

Interesting thread, following.

Remember, this is the Internet.  Unverifiable identities and people living in fantasy-land.  The "trix" guy above is virtually certain to be a troll.   

Are there 30 year olds making $300,000?  Sure, but they created something (think Zuck).  They don't work for someone.  Also, what $300,00 professional says stuff like this?

"I was venting to my boss one evening about some issues and then we both laughed when I said ďhow do I really bitch that much when you just throw more money at me.Ē Lol."


 In the investment banking/hedge fund/Wall St world, $300k at age 30 isn't even all that much money. And no, they didn't create shit -- they move other peoples' money around and siphon their take off the top. I've known many of these people.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: brooklynmoney on February 14, 2019, 08:06:35 AM
I always say to my best friend when I am telling her about my insane schedule or some high pressure situation at work ďthey donít give it to me for free.Ē I find my job almost all consuming at times. Itís hard to keep because itís hard to make myself not quit or get fired all the time. I do like my firm but my profession is always on the list of top most stressful occupations and Iíve been at it for more than 20 years.

Similar situation. Iíve sacrificed the last 10 years, traveling 80%+ globally, and living on multiple continents.  It may sound nice to an outsider, but it effectively means not having a personal life.  Transient friendships, missing every birthday, wedding, funeral, and giving up hobbies, vacations - the list goes on.

On a positive note, the job itself is incredibly rewarding (read curing cancer level) and expenses are very limited, which has contributed to a high savings rate.

That said, at 40, with nothing to show but a stack of cash, I wouldnít recommend anyone following in my footsteps.  It may sound like cursing in church, considering the forum, but money isnít everything - it offers a level of comfort, confidence and a sense of relief. But happiness will come from other sources, starting with yourself.

Good luck

Good luck to you as well. My travel isnít even nearly that intense, so you have my sympathy. Iím in the same situation as you in that Iím in my 40s and feel like Iím just waking up to whatís important and feeling like Iíve neglected those things. Good news for us is we have time to make different choices if we want to.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: tedman on February 14, 2019, 10:15:18 AM
My mom is one of the smartest people alive in her profession, which honestly sounds ridiculous to say, but if we listed out her academic achievements, titles and practical things she did in her career in finance itíd be staggeringly long. In fact if you bank today something she created (with others of course, but as she would say ďsuccess has many fathers and failure is a bastardĒ) forms the basis of a good amount of transactions going on.

She eventually reached a point where there was one equivalent of her at major banks, and so she moved two times in the 90s (making people upset at the place she left)and eventually the bank she was at bought a bank she previously worked at and they canned her entire division letting the purchased bank take over that area.

Sheís a wonderful person, but sheís not often wrong and that grates on people especially in a place where everyoneís ego is suitably high related to their compensation (right or wrong, personally I think wrong and she gets super mad when I say how pointless I view most of what wall street does).

Irony of ironies, it really had little to do with her but more about ďinstitutional bankingĒ being viewed as old and stodgy and costing profit margins, and everyone equivalent to her went along or was fired.., and the banking meltdown happened. I am in no way insinuating she could have stopped it alone, but her and her cohort and their underlings managing their teams all could have but it was conform or get out.

Other than the founder of a company, she performed such an important task, and was paid handsomely but nowhere near others at her level in different roles, some guy got a 100 mil!! bonus one year. All that and she was still let go so to speak (she does all non profit charity work now).

So I agree some people really are indispensable... but youíre only the rock of Gibraltar if you own your own company.

FWIW I never had any idea how much she made until recently, she would probably be more commonly regarded as a boglehead (sheís been in Vanguard since the mid 80s, along with most of her colleagues which REALLY tells you something about wallst)... and I got help buying a place and the rest she is donating (I think she may leave me money to pay for grandkids schooling, since I am not an Ivy leaguer -the only one in my family to my eternal shame-) but she truly would have done the work for far less, though she would never accept below market cuz who really would, and I wonder how many people that are so vital to businesses fall into that category. Want to be paid market rate or maybe top for it but itís not fundamentally about the money. She had fuck you money by 40 and worked until 49.

This is why I own my own company (along with being an academic fuck up) and I do that and work a 9-5 until I can do my own thing full time.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on February 14, 2019, 11:22:22 AM
As folks said up-thread, I certainly am not so egotistical to think that I'm not replaceable.  On the other hand, I worked pretty dang hard in my early career for only decent money.  Nowadays, I make good money and am treated well and it does not seem too difficult to keep my job.  In fact, most of the time I feel like I'm doing much less than I am capable of, especially when I have a day like today when I'm challenged on my core skills.  But I continue to challenge myself during slower periods by working better with my French colleagues (learning the language, exploring Paris (and soon greater France as the weather improves), taking culture and history courses, watching lots of YouTube videos by Paul Taylor :)
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Dr. Pepper on February 14, 2019, 09:25:54 PM
I feel like it's not hard, but in my line of work your only as good as your last year of volume(cases) when it comes to employment. So it's a continuous struggle to maintain that mix of volume and complexity. Also to keep up with all the advances in the field. Marketing yourself to peers to drive referrals, giving grand rounds, etc. Developing new skill sets (robotics).  But it's a passion so it doesn't feel like work, even though it is.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Severian on February 16, 2019, 06:46:51 PM
The incomes stated here are pretty incredible.

They're not really, at least within certain contexts. They probably do seem high to people not familiar with those contexts. If you're young and you want to make that kind of money you probably can if you set your sights on it.

I make 130k at the moment, but Facebook tried pretty hard to recruit me a few years ago. I'm fairly senior, so if I'd gone to Facebook I would have expected to have started at something like 3-400k in total compensation. I think even fresh out of school programmers make >250k in total compensation at Facebook. The big companies have money and they're willing to spend it on talented people. I don't happen to want to work for Facebook though.

At the time I was running a little software company and making > 10k a week in good weeks, but never less than about 6k. I made some odd decisions, that came to an end, and... well, I'm happy enough to take 130k as salary while I regroup and work on a payout I hope will be in the seven figures. If that doesn't work out I'll either go back into having a little company or looking for a higher salary- 130k isn't very much in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, you'd be surprised at how many people make quite a bit of money. Sure, within the context of the average business 500k is a lot of money. But in the the context of really successful businesses 500k is the kind of money they lose in their couch cushions. If you want to make a lot of money it's best to be near or in those very successful businesses, I suppose.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: okonumiyaki on February 17, 2019, 02:23:05 AM
I would say - yes it is hard to keep your job at those levels.  Because to be good, you have to give it your almost all.

I was made redundant in 2015, after deciding to take on the Chairman/ CEO over what I considered flawed strategy, and, obviously, failing.  The redundancy package was nice though

I found an equivalent job, but my heart is not in it (to do the hours & the travel & the networking - and doesn't help that the guy that hired me has left, and I am a long way geographically from the people who matter)  So I have just handed in my resignation

My father was OG FIRE (he retired aged 52)  He said two things that stuck:

- he felt sorry for people with hobbies, as it meant that they didn't get the satisfaction from work he got (as a research scientist)

- when I asked why he left relatively early - he said it was because he realised that he was waiting for the working day to be over, so time to go fishing instead

I am now at that stage.  So yes, it is hard to keep your job
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Bloop Bloop on February 17, 2019, 04:02:52 AM
Eh, one of those "you're expendable" people here. Here's the deal. I got fired (not the good kind) from a job in 2012. 30 minutes later, the company called and asked me to do "one last thing". I refused. They then began paying me 3x my old rate. Eventually I got tired of them, they spent over $12M trying to replace a small portion of what I did, failed, and were bought by another company. The old power structure is gone, the CEO and VPs jobless. So, I mean, I guess I'm replaceable. But not in a way where the business survives.

My last company, I heard the same thing. I left, and the project failed. There's someone in my old position, but they're on the way out. No project, no money, no job.

Oh yeah. The one before that, they've hired 26 people to replace me (thats 26 people to fill what I did alone). They can't match what I did. So there's that too.

"Everyone's replaceable" is what grumpy people with mediocre skills tend to say. It's true mostly, but the best of the best can leave a crushing vacuum when they move on.

If I make over $500k being completely replaceable, and you claim you are irreplaceable - or ďbusiness crushing replaceableĒ, I sure hope you are getting paid a lot more than I do... If not you probably should seriously reconsider the arrogant style of your post...

There are different types of replaceable. As an individual I am entirely replaceable, in that, though talented, I offer nothing special that a suitably trained above average intelligence person couldn't offer. Fortunately, my industry has artificial barriers to entry which means that even if there were a lot of said replacements, not many of them could be 'recruited', and the ones that are usually end up taking my approach of pumping up our fees as high as possible.

So my advice is, in order to make yourself irreplaceable, try to work in an industry in which you impose high, artificial barriers to entry and form a de facto cartel.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: njmoney on February 17, 2019, 06:42:50 AM
Now, no.  In the past, yes.  I work in the food industry making about $175k.  When I worked for larger companies it was all about profit margin.  When investors put pressure on the company to increase profit margins the easy way to do it was through layoffs.  After many rounds of layoffs over the years they had made the companies so lean that they just started getting rid of the highest earners regardless of performance.  You were just a number on a page.  Eventually my level was going to be the next to go.  So, I left.  This story is true of most of the big food companies today.  I work for a small food company now where there is less mobility but more security. 
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: big_slacker on February 19, 2019, 06:42:02 AM
The incomes stated here are pretty incredible.

They're not really, at least within certain contexts. They probably do seem high to people not familiar with those contexts. If you're young and you want to make that kind of money you probably can if you set your sights on it.

I make 130k at the moment, but Facebook tried pretty hard to recruit me a few years ago. I'm fairly senior, so if I'd gone to Facebook I would have expected to have started at something like 3-400k in total compensation. I think even fresh out of school programmers make >250k in total compensation at Facebook. The big companies have money and they're willing to spend it on talented people. I don't happen to want to work for Facebook though.

At the time I was running a little software company and making > 10k a week in good weeks, but never less than about 6k. I made some odd decisions, that came to an end, and... well, I'm happy enough to take 130k as salary while I regroup and work on a payout I hope will be in the seven figures. If that doesn't work out I'll either go back into having a little company or looking for a higher salary- 130k isn't very much in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, you'd be surprised at how many people make quite a bit of money. Sure, within the context of the average business 500k is a lot of money. But in the the context of really successful businesses 500k is the kind of money they lose in their couch cushions. If you want to make a lot of money it's best to be near or in those very successful businesses, I suppose.

I don't know that $250k total comp at FB for direct from college coders is really true, even in the bay. I'd say $120k base is more realistic, IDK their bonus/stock structure though. Happy to be proven wrong, but knowing other big tech salaries I don't think FB pays THAT much more than AMZN, MSFT, etc.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: bryan995 on February 20, 2019, 09:53:45 PM
I don't know that $250k total comp at FB for direct from college coders is really true, even in the bay. I'd say $120k base is more realistic, IDK their bonus/stock structure though. Happy to be proven wrong, but knowing other big tech salaries I don't think FB pays THAT much more than AMZN, MSFT, etc.

https://www.levels.fyi/SE/Google/Facebook/Microsoft
$250 TC is not impossible for a new grad, from a top school - but is rare.  This person would have to be exceptional.
I read a post the other day of a PhD intern at MSFT making $22k/mo because they had allowed him to work overtime, ha!
 
A lot of compensation numbers are skewed over the past few years because of the stock gains.  Suddenly your 400k RSU package turns into 800k and now you are making 160K base + 200k stock + 40k bonus per year.  Start jumping ship every 2 years and now you can add a 50-100k sign-on + 30k relo into the mix. 
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: obstinate on February 20, 2019, 10:20:58 PM
https://www.levels.fyi/SE/Google/Facebook/Microsoft
$250 TC is not impossible for a new grad, from a top school - but is rare.  This person would have to be exceptional.
Very rare. Not quite winning the lottery rare, but quite rare nonetheless. Fewer than one in a hundred of new grad hires I would guess.

I read a post the other day of a PhD intern at MSFT making $22k/mo because they had allowed him to work overtime, ha!
Sounds like fake news. When I interned at MSFT (mid 2000s) we were salaried and I can't think why they would have changed that.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: conwy on February 21, 2019, 02:55:58 PM
As a contract software developer, my whole career has been an unending series of moves up to higher and higher paid gigs, based on constantly changing combinations of factors such as skills and experience required, location, availability, impact of and funding for a given project, how much they liked me in the interview, etc. etc.

The hardest work has been either building the client's confidence and trust at the beginning of an engagement, delivering a particularly difficult piece of work or landing the next gig. It tends to peak at those crucial times and the rest of the time it's fairly easy and steady work. It definitely feels like work, but it's enjoyable enough often enough to be worthwhile.

I admit I feel a touch of envy looking at some of the upper-end figures quoted in this thread (300k+!!). On the other hand, I am grateful for the freedom, flexibility and variety contracting gives me. E.g. I can take several months off for holidays if I like, and come back with enough renewed energy and focus to score an even better paid gig. And of course my wages are paid entirely in cash, so I'm 100% in the drivers seat with how I invest my money.

There's sometimes a small tinge of sadness at leaving behind something I worked for months to create, but that's more than offset by the delicious freedom from any binding obligations (it's for a similar reason I was drawn to the idea of FI).

Still, even the distant possibility of netting 200k USD after tax/expenses in Silicon Valley is alluring. If I can just meet all the ridiculous visa requirements. You yanks call yourselves a "nation of immigrants"... yeah right!
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: mm1970 on February 21, 2019, 05:21:59 PM
As a contract software developer, my whole career has been an unending series of moves up to higher and higher paid gigs, based on constantly changing combinations of factors such as skills and experience required, location, availability, impact of and funding for a given project, how much they liked me in the interview, etc. etc.

The hardest work has been either building the client's confidence and trust at the beginning of an engagement, delivering a particularly difficult piece of work or landing the next gig. It tends to peak at those crucial times and the rest of the time it's fairly easy and steady work. It definitely feels like work, but it's enjoyable enough often enough to be worthwhile.

I admit I feel a touch of envy looking at some of the upper-end figures quoted in this thread (300k+!!). On the other hand, I am grateful for the freedom, flexibility and variety contracting gives me. E.g. I can take several months off for holidays if I like, and come back with enough renewed energy and focus to score an even better paid gig. And of course my wages are paid entirely in cash, so I'm 100% in the drivers seat with how I invest my money.

There's sometimes a small tinge of sadness at leaving behind something I worked for months to create, but that's more than offset by the delicious freedom from any binding obligations (it's for a similar reason I was drawn to the idea of FI).

Still, even the distant possibility of netting 200k USD after tax/expenses in Silicon Valley is alluring. If I can just meet all the ridiculous visa requirements. You yanks call yourselves a "nation of immigrants"... yeah right!
Making fun of Yanks?

Are you British?  I have a friend trying to get a British Visa...her husband is British.  She's currently in the US for a few months, separated from her kids...'cuz England ain't all that easy either.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: ender on February 21, 2019, 05:48:35 PM
I guess I qualify for this. Weird. But I guess I am a high income earner now...

I don't know that $250k total comp at FB for direct from college coders is really true, even in the bay. I'd say $120k base is more realistic, IDK their bonus/stock structure though. Happy to be proven wrong, but knowing other big tech salaries I don't think FB pays THAT much more than AMZN, MSFT, etc.

I think it's on the higher end but probably realistic.

I talked a fair bit to Google recently and their entry level total comp was pretty close to $200k between RSUs, bonus, and salary (and goes way up from there). iirc Google pays less than Facebook too.



   I'm intrigued about high income earners, say people making over 125 k a year.  For those not in specialty positions which took lots of schooling to get there, is it competitive to keep your job? Do you face tough performance/sales quotas?  Is there a threat from a younger worker taking your job at less pay, or your job being outsourced? Do you find yourself working much harder than you did when you had a much lower paying job?   

HAHAHAHAHAH. No one has addressed outsourcing.

Every time this comes up I remember all the companies I've worked with who have lost millions (or more...) outsourcing projects to "save money." Outsourcing is great for a very small number of things. Knowledge work so far has not been outsourced well, especially in the IT/software development worlds. There may be successes in other knowledge work fields but I'm not aware of as many efforts other than the tech world.

I quit my last job partially because we had six off shore consultants and I literally accomplished less because I had to babysit them. My boss at one point asked me somewhat rhetorically how many of me it would take to replace them... I more or less said "well maybe one?" which probably wasn't even really fair because I would have been able to do a good percentage of their "work" had I not had to manage them.

By the time I will care about outsourcing as a real job threat I will be FI (imo it's at least 10+ years for that threat to matter). There are many major issues related to outsourcing knowledge work to China/India (or elsewhere; those are the two most common ones).

So ironically the more outsourcing happens the stronger job security I feel.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Bloop Bloop on February 21, 2019, 07:28:36 PM
Most professional service jobs can't easily be outsourced. I don't see surgeons, trial lawyers, wealth managers, investment bankers getting outsourced.

Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: HBFIRE on February 21, 2019, 07:38:03 PM
To be fair, I think how replaceable you are depends more on the type of work you do (i.e. how specialized) than the income you earn. 
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on February 21, 2019, 08:12:38 PM
To be fair, I think how replaceable you are depends more on the type of work you do (i.e. how specialized) than the income you earn.

I think this is true. And, the sweet spot is both in a specialized field that pays incredibly well. The cost to replace those employees (and embark on a multi year candidate search) is cost prohibitive, so an employer will most likely try to retain you
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: big_slacker on February 22, 2019, 07:38:21 AM
I guess I qualify for this. Weird. But I guess I am a high income earner now...

I don't know that $250k total comp at FB for direct from college coders is really true, even in the bay. I'd say $120k base is more realistic, IDK their bonus/stock structure though. Happy to be proven wrong, but knowing other big tech salaries I don't think FB pays THAT much more than AMZN, MSFT, etc.

I think it's on the higher end but probably realistic.

I talked a fair bit to Google recently and their entry level total comp was pretty close to $200k between RSUs, bonus, and salary (and goes way up from there). iirc Google pays less than Facebook too.

I think it's POSSIBLE but definitely not the norm. Bryan995 posted that salary link from levels below. I'm right in the middle of that for one of the companies and it's spot on for total comp. It's also worth noting that the base pay and bonuses for all the companies are close, it's RSUs that make up the diff. Not that RSUs are bad, but everyone that works for these companies ends up with hundreds of thousands sitting there waiting to vest. It's a carrot, but it doesn't pay the bills. Saying you make $200k when you're making $120k base, not saying it's always disingenuous, but it's often fooling yourself, overly hopeful, etc. ;)

Also if you're working in a more toxic environment (AMZN, looking at you) they go even lower salary and higher RSUs but you've got to tough it out, many don't.

Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: ender on February 22, 2019, 08:04:45 AM

I think it's POSSIBLE but definitely not the norm. Bryan995 posted that salary link from levels below. I'm right in the middle of that for one of the companies and it's spot on for total comp. It's also worth noting that the base pay and bonuses for all the companies are close, it's RSUs that make up the diff. Not that RSUs are bad, but everyone that works for these companies ends up with hundreds of thousands sitting there waiting to vest. It's a carrot, but it doesn't pay the bills. Saying you make $200k when you're making $120k base, not saying it's always disingenuous, but it's often fooling yourself, overly hopeful, etc. ;)

No one is saying this.  As best I can tell, everyone is directly using base/total comp appropriately in this thread. If you read what I wrote I explicitly called out the factors.

The number that the recruiter gave me was $180k+ for L4 and $165k for L3 (using midpoints in those ranges and the lower end of the yearly RSU comp the recruiter guesstimated). There are other factors too, 401k match, signing bonus, etc.

Regardless, even at a higher end those numbers aren't high enough to make me consider moving to the SFBA anyways. Which is kind of crazy when I think about it.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: cats on February 22, 2019, 08:08:28 AM
Just over the cited "high income" cutoff, I don't really worry about keeping my job.  I've seen people at my company who were difficult to work with and not performing any better than me, and management has tried to manage them out in various ways, but actual firing is quite difficult to do due to various job protections we have in place.  Our company actually also publishes a little newsletter on bad conduct cases and what the outcome was for the employees involved, and it seems you only get terminated for things like physical assault, DUI or speeding ticket while driving a company vehicle, or blatantly falsifying timesheets.  Just being annoying or mildly incompetent isn't going to result in termination. That's not to say your job/work life can't be made unpleasant if management would like you to leave, but ultimately the choice is typically the employee's, because firing is bad for everyone's morale.

Amongst my friend groups, I would say the lower income earners seem more likely to lose their jobs with not too much warning (or maybe they tend to be less observant than the higher income earners), or over things like personality clashes (as opposed to the whole company is just doing poorly).  i.e. I know someone who's husband got fired for filling out a timesheet wrong--but the error was that he filled out LESS time than he had actually worked.  Not the sort of thing you would expect to lose your job over.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: dogboyslim on February 22, 2019, 08:26:31 AM
Still, even the distant possibility of netting 200k USD after tax/expenses in Silicon Valley is alluring. If I can just meet all the ridiculous visa requirements. You yanks call yourselves a "nation of immigrants"... yeah right!

Its only hard if you are a professional.  If you want to be a day laborer just walk in and start working for cash.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: big_slacker on February 22, 2019, 09:06:24 AM

I think it's POSSIBLE but definitely not the norm. Bryan995 posted that salary link from levels below. I'm right in the middle of that for one of the companies and it's spot on for total comp. It's also worth noting that the base pay and bonuses for all the companies are close, it's RSUs that make up the diff. Not that RSUs are bad, but everyone that works for these companies ends up with hundreds of thousands sitting there waiting to vest. It's a carrot, but it doesn't pay the bills. Saying you make $200k when you're making $120k base, not saying it's always disingenuous, but it's often fooling yourself, overly hopeful, etc. ;)

No one is saying this.  As best I can tell, everyone is directly using base/total comp appropriately in this thread. If you read what I wrote I explicitly called out the factors.

The number that the recruiter gave me was $180k+ for L4 and $165k for L3 (using midpoints in those ranges and the lower end of the yearly RSU comp the recruiter guesstimated). There are other factors too, 401k match, signing bonus, etc.

Regardless, even at a higher end those numbers aren't high enough to make me consider moving to the SFBA anyways. Which is kind of crazy when I think about it.

I wasn't calling out anyone on the thread for that practice, sorry if it sounded like that. It's what a lot of folks around here do though, especially the younger ones. :)

Signing bonus is something that should be talked about as well. It's common practice to job hop early in career (and sometimes later) to avoid stagnation. When that every 2-3 year job hop comes with $25k/$25k-$50k/$50k Cash/RSUs it becomes not insignificant.

I did want to address the Aussie VISA thing as someone with multiple folks in the family and many colleagues (including some from your country) who have gone through the process. Work with a legit company that sponsors and has established programs. Let the company know on hire that you plan on moving to the US. I know that my employer and several of the other 'big tech' companies want people working at HQ, not in a satellite office halfway across the world. They will try to make it happen and they have people to help with the admittedly PITA process.  That said the REAL dream is to have the SV salary but live in a cheaper locale. It will stunt career growth so this move is best done when you're happy at your current level and want to ride on the jawb till your chosen retirement age.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: twbird18 on February 23, 2019, 12:43:23 PM
I earn just over your cutoff. I work for the Federal government, not GSA payscale. It takes a not insignificant amount of time to get certified to do what I do so no, I don't have any concerns I'm going to lose my job ever.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: ender on February 23, 2019, 06:40:42 PM
Signing bonus is something that should be talked about as well. It's common practice to job hop early in career (and sometimes later) to avoid stagnation. When that every 2-3 year job hop comes with $25k/$25k-$50k/$50k Cash/RSUs it becomes not insignificant.

I did want to address the Aussie VISA thing as someone with multiple folks in the family and many colleagues (including some from your country) who have gone through the process. Work with a legit company that sponsors and has established programs. Let the company know on hire that you plan on moving to the US. I know that my employer and several of the other 'big tech' companies want people working at HQ, not in a satellite office halfway across the world. They will try to make it happen and they have people to help with the admittedly PITA process.  That said the REAL dream is to have the SV salary but live in a cheaper locale. It will stunt career growth so this move is best done when you're happy at your current level and want to ride on the jawb till your chosen retirement age.

Yep to all of this. Signing bonuses can be huge in the larger areas.

You don't even need a SV salary either in a cheaper locale. My current salary puts me over the OP's threshold (not really close to the SV salary range realistically) but I'm in a city that is right around middle of the cost of living for the USA (very average). It's nice to have a very nice house for $225kish and save a bunch of money trivially.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: FI-King_Awesome on February 24, 2019, 01:19:22 AM
It’s harder not to quit...
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: biggrey on February 24, 2019, 04:20:47 PM
Fun thread.  As I've told many over the years, there are a huge number of people making this type of compensation in the US and Canada alone, not to mention Europe and Asia.

Where I plied my trade, $200K was the low end and million dollar comp is commonplace.  But, you have to survive for at least a while at that level to make it worth it and get "freed".  Some do, some definitely don't.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: nemesis on February 27, 2019, 01:09:21 AM
Interesting thread.  As a high earner (make over $200k), I have invested in myself every day / week / month / year to add to my skillset.  I work in a technically demanding role but I also have excellent people and communication skills, which is pretty rare in most circles.

As a result, I am able to positively influence my peers / customers to achieve the results that the company desires, for a positive outcome for all.

Am I replaceable? Sure... but they would have to look long and hard for someone with my skills / talents / experiences / drive / motivation to provide the value that I deliver.

As a result I have not had to look for a job in decades, and I get approached all the time to consider joining other businesses.  The people whom I have worked with all know what I am able to deliver, and when they move on to new jobs, they convince their management to try to poach me.  That has worked a few times, to positive results.

So is it hard to keep my job?  Not really, I deliver way more value than my salary.

If I were ever to be unemployed, I'm fairly certain I could start a profitable business and grow it. But I like not having to work 24/7 and worry about cash flow like most business owners, so I'm content making decent money as a W2 employee.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: conwy on March 25, 2019, 02:58:34 PM
Making fun of Yanks?

Are you British?  I have a friend trying to get a British Visa...her husband is British.  She's currently in the US for a few months, separated from her kids...'cuz England ain't all that easy either.

Am I British?! Not even close! Australian. ;)

Nah I sympathise with your friend. Immigration laws are pretty ridiculous all over the world and Australia's far from exemplary.

However, I'm currently working in the UK. Luckily they have a special T5 Youth Visa that anyone under 30 can get, which I opted for. Canada and Ireland two other countries I know of that would allow an Australian to work there for up to 2 years, while under the age of 35.

I could work in the USA if I got an E3 Visa, but that would require a degree or 12+ years of experience, neither of which I have yet. I'm considering getting an online degree just to be on the safe side, as even with the 12 years of experience, there are no guarantees, and if I get rejected just once, then I'm subsequently barred from the USA for life (apparently).

Just wondering whether it's worth dropping $20-30k AUD on a degree just so I can work in the USA. The salary I earn in the US would have to be at least $20-30k AUD more than I could make anywhere else, for the degree to be worthwhile, and I'm not yet sure whether that could be guaranteed.

I can believe grads in Silicon Valley make $200k out of the gate - well-connected, top 10%, ivy-league, super-hard-working kind of grads. I don't know that a random developer from Australia (albeit very experienced, talented and with good references) could score that level of salary right off the bat. And on an E3 visa, it would be tricky to change jobs.

Still maybe it's worth a shot. Even if I just worked in the US for 1 year and then moved back, there'd be a certain prestige to having worked for a Valley tech company.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: effigy98 on March 25, 2019, 05:15:25 PM
No college or anything. University of Google search and learning on the job. Make 300k to 500k a year (depending on bonus) programming a couple hours a day. My company does layoffs yearly. Usually they layoff entire teams to avoid legal repercussions I am told. Targeted individuals are usually in middle management but I am not in management. There is a good chance I will be a part of one of those teams one day, but I have side stepped a couple now and got lucky. I think my skills and output has very little to do with getting the layoff and it is more luck based. I feel like my bonus is also based on luck and has little to do with anything I do. I really just focused on getting FI (which I did recently) and know that right down the street are 5 more companies hiring programmers (probably for more) so I am able to ignore or care about layoffs... FU money was the key and keeping expenses low.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Alchemisst on March 27, 2019, 04:25:57 AM
Lots of high salaries in here, would be interested to know what industries/ jobs these are
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Schaefer Light on March 27, 2019, 06:08:21 AM
Lots of high salaries in here, would be interested to know what industries/ jobs these are
And where they're located.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: brute on March 27, 2019, 06:50:57 AM
Lots of high salaries in here, would be interested to know what industries/ jobs these are
And where they're located.

Tech. Data Science specifically here. Jobs are concentrated in HCOL (Bay Area, NYC, Boston) areas, but you can find some good ones in places like Omaha, Huntsville, Albuquerque. The great part about tech is if you're good at what you do and have a bit of patience, you can often parlay that into a remote position, keeping your salary and living wherever you like.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: londonbanker on March 27, 2019, 05:37:44 PM
Lots of high salaries in here, would be interested to know what industries/ jobs these are
And where they're located.

Senior management in retail, UK
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: use2betrix on March 27, 2019, 08:25:52 PM
Lots of high salaries in here, would be interested to know what industries/ jobs these are

Oil/Gas/Power/Industrial Construction - LCOL southern U.S.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: gerardc on March 27, 2019, 09:28:42 PM

New grad with a bachelor degree gets ~$180k total comp, a PhD gets ~$230k straight out of school. That's what I got

Now at ~$370k/year. Not among the highest in this thread, but after only 4.5 years of work, I'm pretty much FI already.

So, I'm going on a 6 month leave soon. Oh yeah, I'm slacking big time. Currently working an average of 25h/week (actual focused work) and I get great performance reviews. I might try pushing the income ladder later but currently, I don't feel up to my potential.
Title: Re: high income earners, is it hard to keep your job?
Post by: Alchemisst on March 28, 2019, 03:44:57 AM

New grad with a bachelor degree gets ~$180k total comp, a PhD gets ~$230k straight out of school. That's what I got

Now at ~$370k/year. Not among the highest in this thread, but after only 4.5 years of work, I'm pretty much FI already.

So, I'm going on a 6 month leave soon. Oh yeah, I'm slacking big time. Currently working an average of 25h/week (actual focused work) and I get great performance reviews. I might try pushing the income ladder later but currently, I don't feel up to my potential.

PHD in what can I ask?