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  • Lokajit Tikayatray

How to Increase Salary Without Frequent Job Hopping


A person with a goggles holding a fan of cash to his face

The pursuit of money is universal and essential. It reflects our need to be rewarded for our hard work and dedication to our occupations. This is especially true in the fast-paced, high-demand field of software engineering.


If you’ve been putting your best foot forward, working tirelessly for your company, it’s only natural to seek a proportionate salary. The good news is there are strategies available to you to enhance your income without falling into the cycle of changing jobs every couple of years.


Switching jobs frequently might initially seem an attractive proposition to increase your income as a software engineer. However, the salary growth resulting from job-hopping often doesn’t keep pace with the time and effort invested in your career in the long run.


Besides, after a few years in the software industry, frequent job transitions can become taxing, professionally and personally. It not only impacts your resume but also hampers the comprehensive knowledge you gain. As the complexity of the work grows with your experience, these transitions become increasingly challenging.

Let’s face it — job-hopping isn’t exactly a thrill ride for most of us.

So, what’s the solution? How can you maximize your salary without resorting to frequent job switches?


1. Aim High From The Start

The best time to negotiate your salary is when you’re joining a new company. You should not compromise on your starting salary unless it’s your first job.


This is something I learned from my experience. Don’t go job hunting in a hurry. If you’re hard-pressed to leave your current job for any reason, you cannot bargain the best deal. Your priority will then be getting out of the present company instead of getting an incredible offer.


Instead, give yourself a few months while looking for a job change. It will provide enough time to interview with as many companies as possible. Select only the ones that meet your salary expectation along with other criteria.


The importance of a substantial starting salary cannot be overstated. Many companies offer increases based on set percentages. So a higher starting point can lead to faster growth in the long run. If you begin with a lower base, even continuous double-digit salary hikes will have minimal impact, leaving you in a perpetual game of salary catch-up.


2. Learn to Market Yourself

There is an old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This proverb rings particularly true in the corporate world. Your achievements and contributions can be easily overlooked unless you’re vocal about them.

The decision to work hard, smart, or a combination of both lies with you. But, a crucial factor often escapes attention — “visibility”.


There is an old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This proverb rings particularly true in the corporate world. Your achievements and contributions can be easily overlooked unless you’re vocal about them.


Remember, this is not about boasting or self-promotion but about ensuring your contributions are seen and recognized.


Employees believe their work should speak for themselves, and management should automatically recognize their efforts. But the harsh reality is if you don’t make your accomplishments known, it won’t translate into good appraisal or salary hikes.


The importance of visibility struck me during the early years of my career. I had a technically exceptional colleague. But, despite his remarkable work ethic and stellar performance, he was not receiving the sort of appraisal he deserved. On closer examination, I realized his low profile, not his performance, was impeding his progress.


The goal is not to toil away quietly in a corner but to ensure that your efforts contribute visibly to your team’s and your organization’s success. Adopting this strategy can significantly improve your chances of getting a more favorable appraisal and, consequently, a higher salary increment year over year.


3. Maintain Patience in Difficult Times

The road to success isn’t always smooth. There will be periods of economic downturn or financial struggles when salary hikes are hard to come by. For instance, the recent pandemic resulted in many employees receiving no raises. During such times, showing patience and resilience can be rewarding in the long term.


This behavior doesn’t go unnoticed and could yield more significant rewards in the long run. When the company sees that monetary gains do not solely drive you, they’re more likely to invest in your growth. Remember, no leader wants to foster an employee who would jump ship for a minor salary boost.


Your mature handling of situations during difficult times can lead to more significant rewards when the situation improves. It also provides the right signal to your leaders that you’re dedicated to the organization and are focused on collective success.


4. Establish Yourself as an SME

Having the right business acumen is invaluable in increasing your value for the organization. Take the initiative to understand your company’s business inside and out, including its functional intricacies. Aim to become a go-to source of advice and support for others — the Subject Matter Expert (SME) people turn to when they need assistance or guidance.


Begin this transformation within your immediate team, then gradually spread your influence outward. The objective here isn’t just to become a repository of knowledge but to help as many people as you can. Forge alliances, cultivate your professional network, and strive to become a person of influence that others speak about in glowing terms.


Drawing from personal experience, the journey to becoming an SME is not a sprint but a marathon. It requires commitment, curiosity, and a willingness to learn continuously. Yet, it’s an investment that yields substantial dividends in terms of recognition, professional growth, and of course, compensation. As an SME, you become an indispensable part of the organization, warranting a salary that reflects your exceptional value.


5. Regularly Discuss Your Expectations

Never underestimate the importance of open communication with your management about your career aspirations and salary expectations. It’s essential not to assume that your manager will intuitively understand your unspoken desires. Transparent conversations about your future roles, salary, or promotions can make a substantial difference.

Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. If you remain shy about your ambitions, you risk being overshadowed by those who are more forthright about their own.

While these discussions don’t guarantee that the organization will always meet your expectations, they ensure that you’ve done your part in making your expectations known. Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. If you remain shy about your ambitions, you risk being overshadowed by those who are more forthright about their own.


In essence, it’s about advocating for yourself. Engage in regular check-ins with your manager, not just about the immediate work at hand but about your broader career trajectory and financial expectations. This approach will put you in a proactive position, enhancing your chances of achieving your desired career progress and financial rewards.


6. Speak Up if Unsatisfied

After initial reluctance, my colleague decided to try the suggestion and discussed it with her manager. The result — the manager agreed to talk to HR and increase her hike percentage. It all happened within the same week of appraisal.

Don’t hold back if your salary or appraisal doesn’t align with your expectations, even after regular discussions before the performance review. The importance of addressing concerns with poise and respect cannot be stressed enough.


One of my colleagues in the previous organization was unsatisfied with her appraisal. She got the best rating, but the increment was not proportional. While discussing, I suggested she set up a 1:1 with her manager and discuss the concern. Worst case, her manager can stick to the current numbers. At least she would do her part to speak up when unhappy.


After initial reluctance, my colleague decided to try the suggestion and discussed it with her manager. The result — the manager agreed to talk to HR and increase her hike percentage. It all happened within the same week of appraisal.


A crucial point to remember in such discussions is to refrain from threatening to leave the company, as this often tends to backfire. The essence here is ensuring that your requests are genuine and are not perceived as manipulative.


In my experience, I’ve found that conveying your needs and negotiating for a mutually advantageous agreement proves far more beneficial. So, don’t shy away from voicing your concerns. You’re more likely to see a change if you’re assertive and transparent in your communications.

7. Embrace Change When Necessary

There is a quote I love that says, “Change is inevitable, but growth is optional.” Embrace the inevitable changes, but steer them towards your growth.

You might wonder how embracing change fits into a narrative about increasing your salary without switching jobs. The reality is sometimes a change is required for your career progression. When such situations arise, consider looking for internal job postings first. This way, you can climb the career ladder while maintaining your association with the company.


The knowledge you’ve acquired within the organization will remain valuable, and your resume will continue to reflect your dedication and stability.


If you must change companies, ensure that you secure a high entry-package (as mentioned in the first point) and commit to the rest of the strategies in this article. Put sincere effort into executing the preceding steps, and you should find you don’t need to switch companies again frequently.


There is a quote I love that says, “Change is inevitable, but growth is optional.” Embrace the inevitable changes, but steer them towards your growth. This way, you ensure your career progression aligns with your salary aspirations.


Final Thoughts: How to Increase Salary

Are you still looking for the magic trick?


The magic lies in your effort. If you perform the actions to the best of your abilities, you can see the magic in your compensation package. It takes a balanced combination of hard work, strategic positioning, patience, networking, and clear communication to pave your way to success in this demanding field.


Don’t expect your salary to double in a year. But your work can bring you sustainable growth year over year. And you can see the results sooner than later.


Suppose you’re still not convinced of the effectiveness of the above steps, then follow what you feel is suitable for you — if that works out, fantastic.


But, if that does not work out or you get tired of jumping jobs, give the above steps a sincere try for a few years, and I can assure you of exceptional results.



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