Dutch Lock Down Day Seventy

[You’re Welcome]

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

Happy birthday to ME!
And everyone else born TODAY!
Happy birthday to All Of Uuuuuus!
Happy birthday to ME!

In the Netherlands, if it’s your birthday, you bring a cake to work to share with everyone. It’s kind of nice – to encourage others to celebrate your day by bribing them with cake – I’m doing the same, but also a couple of friends (we’re allowed to have three! whole! people over as long as we maintain the 1.5 metre rule) are each bringing cake as well, cause #CAKE

My cake to YOU, Warriors, is to share how I tripled my income.

This is not a guarantee or a guide for tripling YOUR income, although, I’m super keen to hear about your thoughts / experience / criticisms as well. It’d be cool if we could put together a guide for career growth from this.

At least in this specific instance.

But first the news:

First, it’s important for context to read the original post here on GroningenRain.nl “Workin’ NINE to FIVE. What A Way To Make A Livin’!” – if you’ve already read it or don’t want context, feel free to skip to the jump.

Photo by Meghan Rodgers on Unsplash

How I Tripled My Income

The short version is that I 1) realized I was underpaid and 2) fixed it.

Which is SO MUCH EASIER said than done. It took me literally GIVING BIRTH TO TWINS to realize how underpaid I was and part of that was because of initial negotiations, part of it was because of company policy (per the local incomes) and part of it was luck.

Know Your Worth

If you want to figure out how much you’re “supposed” to be making, sure, check out payscale or glassdoor but then talk to other people in your industry with comparable experience both at your own company and at other companies. This requires a LOT of research and is a bit of a pain in the ass because there’s such a taboo about compensation.

#StopThat

By the way, you don’t want to listen to your friends about this, “how much am I worth, best friend of mine?” Because they’ll tell you you’re worth the sun and the moon and a million billion monies. I mean, it’s good for the ego and if you need that, go for it, but you want to talk to people in your network who barely know you but who are willing to talk numbers with you. You want to ask acquaintances. Preferably acquaintances with their own wildly successful massive companies.

Know Your Boundaries

By figuring out your goals and parameters, you can focus your job search. And, more broadly speaking, figure out what you’re willing to do to obtain that goal.

Sure, I could’ve mined bitcoin or switched to sales or robbed a bank, but I wasn’t willing to do that.

I knew I wanted to stay within open source. That I wanted to continue developer advocacy. And that it’d be super keen if I could stay within the python / openstack / cloud communities that I know and love.

Also, I figured out EXACTLY why I was making the amount I was making. I learned So Much about location based compensation and how little the average ICT’er makes in the Netherlands.

Which totally makes sense for the average local.

Who doesn’t have extensive student loans.
And three kids.
And full time daycare.

I interviewed with a few local opportunities and even made it to the final offer. And … the offer was lower than I was making already. It BROKE my heart to turn it down.

Engage Your Network

Publish on your personal blog. Shout it on your social accounts. Flag yourself as ‘looking’ on LinkedIn and everywhere else.

Tell your boss.

Almost every single job I applied to came from my network. I received negotiations training from my network. I was mentored from my network.

And the job I’m starting in June?
Started with an introduction from my network.
Yes, I DO owe you a super fancy Dutch liquor, J!

Focus

This is the key, I think; at least it was for me.

If you WANT it, you HAVE TO make the time.

My full time job outside of my full time job became ANYTHING that got me closer to my goal. Polish the portfolio? Yup. Follow up with outstanding applications? Definitely. Keep building that professional network? YESSS!

Watch a movie just for fun? Nah. Read that sci fi book for the enjoyment of it? Nope. Eat bonbons and lounge on the couch all weekend? NOOOO.

Now, and this is super important, this is not to say that I abandoned self care rituals. The things that keep me healthy like sleep, exercise, meditation, and such – those were more important than ever. But it meant that I was particularly critical of my down time.

Get Back Up

It’s incredibly painful to Not Get The Job. Especially over a long period. Especially if you make it through to the final interview. Especially if you get the job offer and it’s a pay cut. Or otherwise not quite right. And you’ve been searching for months and are so angry and frustrated that you could scream.

#ItMe

It’s okay to feel that anger and frustration.

It’s okay to not be okay.

But.

After you take some time, move forward. Get back on the horse. Take another step.

Get back up.

Always.

Except When It’s Too Much

Okay, but also? Seriously. Take care of yourself.

At one point in the search COVID19 happened and I decided to stop applying, stop interviewing, stop actively working on my portfolio and reading industry books and sharpening my skills and Simply Survive.

That was a bit extreme, sure, but other things could’ve happened that would’ve also been understandable to pause for a bit longer. Only you know when those moments happen. Only you know those answers.

Only you know you.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Happy Birthday!

Okay, but seriously, let me know if this helps, Warriors.

Again, NOT A GUARANTEE!

But if it helps?

Awesomeness.