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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering whether I should change careers - it feels like I'm hitting my max Salary and its getting hard to push past that. Also I've stopped learning cause i've learnt most of it. I was toying with the idea of a career change to open up more opportunity to learn and earn.

I'm currently employed as a web developer, get paid in the mid 60s, 6 weeks holiday, 100% health coverage, 2% of my salary rsp, 5% of my salary bonus.

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions on how i can move forward? I had been toying with the idea of moving towards project management. Thats all i've come up with though.
 

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A few thoughts on this:

While I've made a few major career changes in my life and don't regret it, I'm also a proponent of growing within your job. You might feel like you've learned all there is to know about web development, but that can't be true: apart from the fact that web development is a constantly changing field as new technologies and standards evolve, there is always room for improvement. What if you stuck with your current job but sent benchmarks for improvements or efficiency, or spent time thinking about better ways of doing things?

Career development doesn't have to follow a ladder; you can grow laterally, not just vertically. It sounds like you have a pretty good gig, so I'd think long and hard before jumping ship.

That said, if you're a web developer and there's a project manager above you who's managing the projects you're working on, you could head in that direction if the idea of doing management truly interests you. But if you're just thinking "I want to make more money" and project management is the nearest handy choice of careers, it might be a mistake. Project management is hard work and not everyone is suited for it. It might be fruitful to spend a few months thinking hard about the kinds of jobs that interest you: look in the help-wanted ads in the newspaper or online and see which jobs sound exciting to you. You don't have to apply for them; you might not even be qualified for them. But if you're changing careers, you want to be sure you choose a career that's going to fit you.
 

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Keep in mind that everybody feels in a rut from time to time.

You have great benefits -- I wouldn't discount the value that those provide. (Not to say that you are.) And the salary is not into the stratosphere, but not too bad either. Even if you went back to university for a job that has more potential, you may end up starting at $15,000 lower, with 2 weeks vacation and inferior benefits.

So I wouldn't advise changing unless you have a burning passion for some other particular profession. Even then you may want to put your current salary on a spreadsheet (I would include the value of benefits), with estimated increases from now until retired and compare it to the profession you plan to switch to. Of course you would enter zero for any years spent studying. Even an eventually higher paying salary, may not compare once the early years of studying and the first few, typically lower paying, years in the new career come into play.
 

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You might also want to consult with a headhunter. This will establish the market value of your current skills.
 

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also, being a web developer, opens a host of opportunities for independent consultation activities. since there is high competition nowadays, the returns may not be spectacular but if you consider writing off part of your home, utilites, transport as expenses, then the returns would look better.

like lets say you make another 10k and you can write off all this as expense to earn that income, then the entire 10 grand is ur hand and is equivalent to getting a sal of mid 80s per se...
 

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I
I'm currently employed as a web developer, get paid in the mid 60s, 6 weeks holiday, 100% health coverage, 2% of my salary rsp, 5% of my salary bonus.
Underworld, if you dont mind sharing, how many years of experience have you had? That would give better context to your salary/benefit situation.

6 weeks holiday is almost unheard of I think - at least in the private sector. Are you working in public sector by any chance?

For a web developer (depending on years of experience and the type of skils) mid 60s are something I would expect for someone not too far from being a new grad (may be 2-5 years after graduation - all depends on skills and "luck" in someways how fast they can get to 60s range).

Also, let's not mix up between Web Developer and Web Designer.
 

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I think the OP has fallen victim to the over-used rhetoric phrase "Moving forward". That phrase is meaningless but is often used in business to fool workers into thinking that some offensive change is a good thing, because they said we were "moving forward". The gov't also uses it to pacify the masses. McGuinty said in 2003 he needed to move forward with the introduction of the Health Care Premium. Why didn't he say "We're raising taxes"?

Guys, I can drive my car into a lake and drown. But because I was "moving forward" when I did it, that makes it ok? C'mon.

Soooo what I'm saying to the OP is that you (IMO) need to be satisfied with what you've accomplished in your life. You are being VERY well compensated for what you are doing. It is hard to find web development work and when you do, the hard skills required are very specific to the company doing the hiring. The fact that you have such a job in 2010 puts you WAY ahead of the growing unemployment lines around the world.

I could go on and on about this. My point is that I've been down the exact road you are travelling and the best advice I could give you now is put the useless rhetoric out of your mind and enjoy NOW what you hav accomplished. The whole reason any of us goes to work is to keep food on the table, pay the bills, have fun and set ourselves up for eventual retirement. Is your paycheque meeting those requirements? Then, mission accomplished! Enjoy!
 

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^ I'll disagree. No harm in using a head hunter, if they can find something better for you. You seem to have a decent arrangement now, though, unless you don't value vacation.
 

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^ I'll disagree. No harm in using a head hunter, if they can find something better for you. You seem to have a decent arrangement now, though, unless you don't value vacation.
It fairly easy to evaluate vacation. If you make $66k with three weeks vacation then 6 weeks vacation is worth ((52-3)/(52-6))x66= $70.3k
but if you place a premium on vacation, it might be worth even more.
 

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It fairly easy to evaluate vacation. If you make $66k with three weeks vacation then 6 weeks vacation is worth ((52-3)/(52-6))x66= $70.3k
but if you place a premium on vacation, it might be worth even more.
Many employers won't pay out vacation. So, it's use it or lose it. If you don't value vacation, then this isn't a positive.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some very good thoughts in there.

I have 6 years experience and yea I'm a developer not a designer (I'm software based). The only sucky thing is there is not lots of work in Calgary for web. Its not the core industry here. It worked fine for me in the UK as there is a LOT of work for web consultants in and around London/Cambridge. However I think the profession might be limiting my growth here in Calgary - hence the thought of getting into project management.

Looking over salary tools available on the web it seems that my pay is higher than normal. I'm just frustrated that it feels that i can't punch through to the next level of money.

I would agree with some of your points Royal Mail - in that I am reaching retirement goals on what I have, and yea in this market its a bit scary to go out and shake things up when there is the chance of not getting work again.

Regarding holiday - sorry I might have confused some - I get 3 weeks holiday, 1 week of holiday/sick time and 2 weeks if i work half an hour extra per day. Only 3 weeks of that have a monetary value, in that I would be paid 3 weeks of salary if i worked a full year and took no holiday then left.
 

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Perhaps some of the 'salary envy' has to do with the fact that you are living here in Calgary.

When I moved back here from the West Coast, I was quite comfortable earning the same as I did while in BC but after a few years and being surrounded by so many people with exorbitantly high salaries, it becomes very easy to feel a need to 'keep up with the Jones'.

I'll echo TRM's post to some extent, if you are living comfortably, enjoy your job, and are on pace to reach your personal financial goals, then don't sweat it too much.

You could always move into the O&G industry if you really want the money.
 

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I'm quite familiar with Project Management actually. To make the kind of money you make now, in that field, you would need to work for the gov't, a big company, live in a big city and work/commute to a city core and have a few years of real-world experience (backed up with values of projects managed) and training under your belt. Even if you get trained tomorrow, you are still (IMO) years away from achieving your present salary in a PM role. The competition for PM jobs is quite stiff and a lot of companies don't pay much for junior, inexperienced PM's.

If I was in your shoes (and I've been there), I wouldn't give up what you presently have for anything. I'm not sensing any job dissatisfaction (other than salary) in your posts and with the salary you are making and everything else, I really do think you've got it made.

If I could snap my fingers and make you a PM right now with compensation equal to what you have today, there are no guarantees that in a few short years you won't be where you are today, in that field. I don't know how old you are, but unless you get into the management-director-VP corporate ladder (a whole other kettle of fish), there is really only so far up the salary and job scale a "worker bee/line staff" type person can go in any company. It sounds like you've reached the top - enjoy and savour it! :)

If you want to PM me, I would be happy to answer any more detailed questions. I'm around all weekend over email.
 

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The only sucky thing is there is not lots of work in Calgary for web. Its not the core industry here. It worked fine for me in the UK as there is a LOT of work for web consultants in and around London/Cambridge.
I've worked on projects with a few web application developers who worked remotely; in fact it's probably more feasible to do application development for an employer or client in another city or country than it is to be a project manager and work remotely. I manage a number of projects myself and the staff who work for me are in another country; it works for my kinds of projects but would probably be better if I were physically on location with my clients and colleagues.

As long as you have access to the workflow/task management system and your employer or teammates are comfortable with having you attend meetings by phone or web-based conferencing, you might be able to cast a broader net and get a better salary by doing web development for a company in a different city or even another country. Overhead costs are lower and some companies face space constraints, so hiring remote employees can be an attractive option for them.
 

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...As long as you have access to the workflow/task management system and your employer or teammates are comfortable with having you attend meetings by phone or web-based conferencing, you might be able to cast a broader net and get a better salary by doing web development for a company in a different city or even another country. Overhead costs are lower and some companies face space constraints, so hiring remote employees can be an attractive option for them.
There are a number of web development companies in Puerto Vallarta. Doing the work there keeps them competitive and satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just to address those other questions: I'm 28 right now.

I guess this was also brought up by me thinking about MoneyGal's comments on investing in yourself and your career. Up until now I have been investing lots of time learning and becoming the best, but I realized a few months ago I can't really go any further education wise.

You make a very good point Royal Mail regarding salary and project management. I too feel that would require quite a few years of sweat and tears to get to where I am now. And only then I might be able to set the bar higher for earning.

Yea I can work on the side - infact I set up a company and became incorporated. I just find doing the work in the evening and weekends completely kills me, it seems too much.

Another route I could consider would be to do contract work - which offers a higher income, at the cost of security and holidays :s

Its a bit of a dilemma of what to do - as I know I am capable of more, but am still unsure which path to take. Maybe time will tell.

Thanks for everyones input - it has actually helped quite a bit :)
 

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There are a number of web development companies in Puerto Vallarta. Doing the work there keeps them competitive and satisfied.
Can't tell if you're joking or serious, but the better strategy if you want to be a remote employee is to find an employer in a big expensive city with a high cost of living. That way, unless they decided to pro-rate your salary based on your location, you can earn a salary in line with what people make in that city, even though you live in a city with a much lower cost of living. That's what I do, in fact. ;)
 

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Not all contracts pay better than what you make now. And none of the ones I've worked in the past allow you to work remotely. It is very difficult to find work that allows you to peck away on a computer from home. Companies love watching their employees and them working from home makes it difficult for them to do so.

Underworld, you are now in the "return on investment" stage of your life. Collect the salaries, forget about education and classes and ENJOY. :)
 
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