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Bon Journal

Mark your salary to market

Equally shocking to the newcomer was how some colleagues got to fly up the career ladder. As fast as someone could get fired, someone else could jump from manager, skipping director, to vice president.

Suddenly the company finds you indispensible. The models you created to support certain long term deals are incomprehensible to anyone else. Those deals are now bringing in the big bucks. Or those deals are in big trouble. Or simply, they can't do without you, as long as the deal is alive.

So her boss told her the secret to success. Make yourself indispensible. [Translation: get yourself into a situation where you are badly needed because no one else can understand or want to do your work. Don't share knowledge or give away information.]

And when she asked how she could get a raise, he replied, "Find out what you're worth in the market." But this means going out job-hunting.

She was confused. The mere act of looking for another job implied that she was no longer loyal to the company. But this was not true. How could her boss suggest this?

The company advocated marked-to-market (MTM) accounting. This means that you don't know what you're worth until you find out how much people are willing to pay for your services. In other words, the market decides your worth.

In case of the manager who jumped a grade to vice president, it might seem that the management valued his services highly. But as it turned out later, he had merely come back from a conference and announced that a rival company was prepared to double his salary.

8 December 2001 Saturday

part one
Dream job come true
part two
A generous beginning
part three
Witness to departures
part four
Make the deal, restructure later
part five
Mark your salary to the market
part six
First mover advantage
part seven
Believe in the dream
part eight
Intelligence over wisdom
part nine
Into the lioness' den
part ten
Options translated
part eleven
Forward learning curve
part twelve
Land of the big egos
part thirteen
Click with the clique
part fourteen