April 2nd, 2021

Knowing Your Value - Friday Notes 141

Big topic of discussion in a Slack channel I'm involved with is how to ask for and get a raise. Since I manage a few people, and have helped coach many people at many levels of companies to raises, let's talk about how to think about asking for a raise and selling it to your company.

The first thing to remember is that you don't deserve a raise because you've been at a company for a certain amount of time. Yes I know many places work like this, but it's dumb and doesn't reflect reality. You also don't deserve a raise because you added a kid to your family. Sure your boss may sympathize with this event and the extra needs it brings, but that doesn't change anything for the place you work.

The main thing that matters is the value you bring to the company. Let's say you're just getting started as a Jr Developer. You can sort of build a WordPress theme, but others need to check it and you have lots of questions throughout. The other developers you work with give constructive feedback on how to build your themes better, and help you level up.

You become more valuable to the company, and are worth more, when you can build that theme on your own with a bit of feedback because we all always do something wrong. Heck, I make mistakes or didn't know about some new nuance of HTML/CSS/PHP and need to revise what I did after 12 years of building WordPress stuff.

It's also important to remember that you bring different value to different positions. As a WordPress developer, I bring lots of value. If we were working in React or Laravel, I bring less value to the table. Not as little as someone just getting started, but less than I do to the WordPress space.

You're value to a company is, at least in part, dependent on the skills you bring to the table that are specific to the projects they work on.

If you have a good boss, they should be able to tell you how to become more valuable. If I'm presented with a Jr Developer, I'd tell them that when they can build a Theme that's compatible (in general) with the Theme Developers Handbook they have moved past Jr and are more valuable. We can talk about a raise.

Things that Reduce Your Value

There are also many things you can do to reduce your value. One great example I've heard on many teams I've helped is "Web doesn't optimize images. Ask design for a copy that is web friendly."

When I hear someone I'm in charge of say that I actually hear "I worth less because I won't take 5 seconds to optimize an image. You should pay me less because it takes more work for you to keep me organized".

By no means am I saying that you should always be doing the jobs of others, but if you have the image and design just forgot to optimize one. Do the damn work.

I'll be starting up some streaming next Friday 2 - 4pm Pacific. If you want to talk more about this, or other topics you can watch for that link and hop on the stream.

I Shipped

Monday I talked showed you how to set a keyboard command in Chrome to send stuff to Craft.

Today I'm reviewing a book called Normal Sucks, because being normal does suck and no one is normal. The reason we define "normal" is mostly so that we can tell ourselves we're inside that group and point to others that are outside. This way no one looks at us.