Growing a decisive person off the current self, I’d like to employ all my decision making oompah-loompahs for something new each time.
Here goes a short list of life lessons learned with associated cost to help me say “Yes!” to a next educational venture.
-$1000. For negotiating with a person having no authority
I was working for IT company and received a sign-up bonus for a relocation program. They were delaying the relocation for months.
Then it was a time to negotiate my pay raise. Manager told me the bonus should be considered the raise. A few months later I’ve decided to quit the company which led me to the discovery that I have to pay off the bonus back (which makes it slightly different from a pay raise).
In the end I’ve never received the pay raise and had to pay back part of the bonus all because the true decision maker was up the chain and I’ve never had a word with him.
I had another funky salary negotiation less than a year ago where my suggested raise was lower than a pre-negotiated one. Funky!
-$200. For signing a contract due to a pressure
While trying to rent an apartment I became a target of a brokers scam. Discussing the contract at hand became quite heated when I was questioning the validity.
Signing that out of guilt was stupid.
Now I know that people selling decent things don’t need to scream.
-$400. For lending [all of my] money to a gambler
Yes, I know (:
What was cool – I’ve learned (as well as my girlfriend *wink*) what a birthday present for $2 can look like!
Also what I’ve discovered that lending sucks. Giving money to people (especially for a cause) works much better with regards to how I feel as a result.
-$500. For not knowing how to behave in large cities
I’ve been mugged once and had my Palm (if you know what is that) stolen once too. A few basic concepts from a $10 book are saving my neck for quite a while since that.
+$1000 x 6 mo + position I wanted. For learning about career management
My manager at the company from the above (the bonus guy) wasn’t willing to let me lead a team + salary was not negotiable.
So I went to explore the market (which was a new concept to me but suggested by a training I’ve attended).
As a result, I’ve got the position I wanted, lots of moments to learn from and a higher salary (for at least 6 months – that’s when next salary review was scheduled to happen).
x2 above the average rate. For learning about sales
One of the cool things I’ve learned from sales is about the importance of being a great fit for a customer: people can buy your service because you’re cheap or they can buy your service because you’re great fit for their problem.
I use this principle whenever negotiating a new consulting contract: being asked for a discount I suggest to use cheaper providers for the simpler parts of the work, while using my service for the trickier bits – everyone wins as a result. Potential customers can walk away – that is also ok.
-50% of savings. For favoring saving over investing
Ukrainian currency declined from 8 to 25UAH/USD. Traveling most of my time outside of Ukraine I spend in USD. Thus purchasing power of my savings declined a lot.
My skills on the other hand suffer less from political situation and the more of them I have the better is cumulative return.
P.S. Hint on how to adjust the numbers if you’re not from Ukraine
Average software engineer salary is $2000/mo(we don’t talk annual salaries here).
Average salary across the country was $400/mo in 2014(now it’s apparently declined because of the fx rate).
In my experience every trick learned saved (or would have saved if learned in time) me a few hours / a few bucks (feel free to convert according to your hourly rate).
So, why bother learning something from a $15 webinar, you say? (: