1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How much do you earn/should I earn?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by sotu1, 30 Apr 2013.

  1. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,726
    Likes Received:
    456
    I feel compelled to chime in after recent replies about people not being satisfied with where they are in their career, what they earn for their age and this seeming to have turned into a bit of a career discussion thread.

    I am on the second rung of the ladder in one job (primary school IT Tech) after 12 months and will hopefully be here for the foreseeable future, although it's only properly secure until September of 2014. I'd like to think I can continue to make myself indispensable to them though, hopefully ensuring a long and healthy period of employment. The salary isn't fixed, I am contracted here for 30 hours per week but get paid for every hour I work, which is often well over 30 and sometimes as many as 50. It's likely that the principal will budget my hours closer to 40 if I am here for the 14-15 academic year seeing as I started on 15 per week in 2012. My new hourly rate here with the promotion is just over £9 but I have been contributing 5.5% of my pay to a pension scheme since I started the post in Sep 2012. I'm also what's called a "multi-jobber" here because I have a total of three posts, the other two are one hour per day each and are paid at a slightly higher rate than my tech post.

    Even though I've been in business for a few years now, I feel like I'm still stuck on the bottom rung of the ladder in my other job, working stupid hours just to fit everyone in, pay the bills and try to expand my business a little every year, all the while battling to get people to pay me for work done. I honestly haven't got a clue what I earn per year, I just know that it's not consistent but is enough to contribute to a savings account, pay the bills and keep the car on the road every month. The annoying thing for me at the moment is that I might "earn" a lot this month and get paid for it in February!

    I'm happy enough to chip away like this until I finish my part time degree in another couple of years though, at which point I feel like my business needs to be earning me a 30K salary with my part time school job on top of that, or I need to be throwing in the towel for both and going to interviews for EE jobs with the same combined salary off the back of my degree and years of experience.

    Bottom line? I'm not 100% happy with where I am for being 25 and I certainly feel that I'm not earning what I'm worth at the moment, but I have two jobs which I still love doing, earn a decent living and am always working towards goals in both, which is better than being on unemployment benefits and being a drain on the public purse or not knowing what I want to do with my life :)
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2014
  2. isaac12345

    isaac12345 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    20 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    427
    Likes Received:
    3
    Speaking of buying houses,http://www.positivemoney.org/issues/house-prices/ . I also recently read(will post source as soon as I find it) that it now takes much longer and more family members to pay off mortgages than it did around the 60-70s. If so, that's certainly not progress.
     
  3. gagaga

    gagaga Minimodder

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    193
    Likes Received:
    10
    Agree - the other thing to remember is that the sacrifice is temporary - once you've got the deposit and bought, you don't need to save for it anymore and can spend the money on stuff that matters to you.

    I did the hermit thing in my mid 20s and stretched myself to buy (the market back in '98 was similar to today, just picking up from a fall). It got to the point over the past few years where I was paying £385 a month to buy a flat that would cost £1500+ to rent (in London) ... buying effectively locks your rent for the period of the mortgage and makes it near zero after. That's now gone and paid off and living in a 4 bed detached in London with a mortgage about the same as renting a 1 bed.

    I think things have changed a lot since I graduated in the mid-90s. Back then we went out for a meal maybe 1-2 times a term, takeaways no more than once or twice a month and generally just living like a hermit. Students now seem to largely have lifestyles not a lot different to someone working which creates an expectation that after graduating and getting a job it can somehow step up to 110%... I'm not surprised people say they can't afford to save.
     
    Bede likes this.
  4. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

    Joined:
    24 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    2,390
    Likes Received:
    63
    Fair enough. However not everyone has that amount of self control when they are under stress or feel depressed; which can happen in a dead end job with looming global government policies curbing investment. Retail therapy is very common amongst the people I know.
     
  5. mucgoo

    mucgoo Minimodder

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    1,602
    Likes Received:
    41
    Imputed rent. Your still paying through having a large part (large majority?) of your wealth locked up in the house. Obviously that has been great over the past 15 years, even more so in London, but you can't assume the same going forward.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2013
  6. alexdcd

    alexdcd Laptop Specialist

    Joined:
    24 Feb 2006
    Posts:
    60
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just thought I would chime in with my findings being a fairly recent graduate.

    I also graduated late getting my degree aged 22

    I studied Product Design in Derby and graduated in 2011 with a 2:1, I attended a graduate showcase in London and was offered a Job from someone walking around the show.

    At 22 I was offered £1400 Per Month or £16,800 PA
    This increased after I made an impact in the business 6 months later.
    I took on extra responsibilities and was given credit for such.
    (Age 23)My pay increased to £2000 PM or £24,000 PA
    Fast forward another 6 months and this increased to £2200 PM or £26,400 PA
    This salary stayed stable for 12 months and then the business went tits up - we lost a very valuable client.
    This may seem a lot for a graduate, but you have to take into consideration a £900 per month season ticket (train) that consumed a lot of the salary. - Yes I am crazy enough to spend 4 hours a day on the train.
    This was due to the fact that house prices in London are ridiculous, and i could never consider wasting money on rent in London.

    I am now 24, and work in Birmingham, and thus have cut my season ticket by two thirds, but have taken a cut in pay to £25k. There is a benefit to all of this - I still do the job I enjoy, I have more regular hours, I travel less, I am provided with training and I will be gaining experience that is not possible in the Capital.

    I Imagine that 40K would be achievable before reaching 30 years old in London, although you cannot get over the cost of living, so at a national comparison, you will more than likely be on the equivalent of 30k.
     
  7. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

    Joined:
    14 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    6,665
    Likes Received:
    911
    Too goddamn right, I've got a Philosophy & RS degree and looking back I have absolutely no idea why I did it. I asked my crippling debt, but it doesn't seem to know either.

    Anyway, this thread and the numbers it contains depressed me. I'm on 12k and I work in IT.
     
  8. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

    Joined:
    7 May 2011
    Posts:
    10,517
    Likes Received:
    217
    You could easily have a live and save a decent amount each month for a deposit.

    You can't have it both ways, you either buy the things that you want or cut down on that and save.
     
  9. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

    Joined:
    16 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    12,998
    Likes Received:
    609
    Well said.

    Having just been down this road (in London of all places), If people really want to own a house, they are going to have to make some (serious!) sacrifices. Expecting to save enough for a house deposit in a year is not a realistic strategy for anyone except the super rich.
     
  10. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

    Joined:
    14 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    6,665
    Likes Received:
    911
    Which is an ironic situation for first-world citizens to find themselves in, given that many of them could probably build a house in that time, with a little education and research. I know the discussion isn't specifically about the property market and the building trades, but it's worth pointing out that nobody should feel bad for finding themselves screwed by England's house prices. It's a systemic problem, not a failure on the part of those individuals: we're all getting ripped off.

    What I'm getting at is that, while it's useful to be a hard realist about what can and can't be done, I think it's unfair to imply by tone that the system ought to be this way and that people who're disappointed to find property so difficult to attain are entitled or unrealistic. Though I realise, Parge, that you probably weren't implying anything of the sort.
     
  11. RinSewand

    RinSewand What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    11 Sep 2006
    Posts:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    80
    Thought I'd chime in a little here as a few posts have motivated me a little further to doing something about my job.

    I left uni with a degree in Computer Networking, and got a job as an IT Tech at a high school on £14.5k a year. Worked there for a year, and was persuaded to apply for an IT Officer job for the council, which started out on £27k, and over the past few years has increased through the band to £30.5K. The job covers mainly project work, with some second line, first line, server, and networking stuff. I've also got an effective 'team' of two people working under me as well, though officially have no management role over them. I'm currently 26, and living in the north, so there's no London weighting with that.

    Salary wise I can pay for what I want, I've enough saved for a house, and I'm on my way to affording a new car, so I appreciate I'm fortunate in that!

    The bad part; I've nowhere to go from here. I'm at the top of my scale, there's no training, and no posts above me to move into. I need to go and qualify myself with a few professional qualifications, but I'm not sure where to aim at next...
     
    boiled_elephant likes this.
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,726
    Likes Received:
    456
    It hasn't been the 7 months I'd hoped it would be...

    I need to bump this thread if nothing else, to vent a little frustration. I know before I even start that this will be a long post, but I’d appreciate some advice if you have a few minutes free to read it.

    If you read my post above from the start of November 2013, you'll gather that I was fairly happy with my two jobs even though I wasn't as far on in my career as I wanted to be approaching 26. Sadly, in the past 6-7 months, things have changed a bit. Instead of moving a little further forward, I feel like I've taken a few steps back, and now I'm totally conflicted about what to do next.

    In that last post I mentioned how my contract was for 30 hours per week (5 of which were supervision) and I got paid a lot of overtime for working as long as was necessary to do everything required around the school each week. That changed in January when my boss, following pressure from the board of governors, asked me to stop working overtime on an “as needed” basis and stick to my contracted hours as much as possible, requesting overtime in writing to him and my line manager 24 hours in advance. As well as that, I was given 9 timetabled hours of ICT class supervision per week, which left only 16 hours per week for ICT technical work, which was to be allocated to me on a task by task basis by my line manager to ensure that the most important issues were addressed first. I didn't like it at the time, but I went with it.

    A few weeks ago, I lost even more hours when my 5 hour supervision post was taken over by someone else - in all honesty the way this was done was not legitimate and when I questioned my boss about it I was not satisfied with the response that I got, but again I didn't feel like arguing about it so I let it go. Mum (who I should mention is the payroll manager for all staff in all of the schools for the district I work in) was less than pleased about this as well, but the boss agreed to find me another 5 hours for my contract somewhere else to make up for it as soon as possible. I settled for that.

    In the middle of all this over the 6 months since January, the preparation for, installation of and aftermath of (bugs, staff unfamiliar with new software etc.) our new computer system took place. That was on top of the other day to day things which still needed to happen, like those 9 hours of ICT class supervision. I did it all in as close to 25 hours per week as possible. A very busy, shattering 25 hours. Some days I was there more than 5 hours, but I only got paid for 5. Some days I stayed on into the evening and late at night to get things done knowing I wasn’t going to get paid for it. For about 3 months I was coming home from work so tired I felt like I'd been there for 10 hours instead of 5.

    So in summary, I went from 25 hours contracted at T2 (increased from 15 hours at T1 as advertised when I applied) and 5 hours at SA1 (not advertised at the time I applied) to doing a lot more work in 25 hours per week and honestly, being more stressed about the whole thing. The staff didn’t know my situation had changed, so most of them still expected the same level of support and help as I’d been providing before, and some of them didn’t take it well when I had to tell them to send their requests through my line manager for him to allocate to me.

    Now, things have changed again. In my post from November, I said I hoped to be contracted for more hours in the 2014-2015 academic year, but after a couple of meetings with my boss last week, it seems the budget for next year isn’t as healthy as it should be for a school which is growing at a fast rate. We’re opening with 450 pupils in September compared to just over 400 last year, and failing a natural disaster, will be over 500 by September 2015, adding more classes every year since I started in 2012. What was also mentioned in those meetings last week was the possibility that I may not stay at 25 hours per week next year, depending on the budget. More than anything, this part irritates me the most. As it is, 25 hours isn’t anywhere near enough to do everything that I need to each week, especially when the class supervision is taken out of it. That hasn’t happened every week since January because some of the classes have been taking part in lots of other activities, but it happened more often than not. In an effort to alleviate my frustration and the stupid hours I’ve had to work to do everything else outside school, he has agreed to let me work the 25 hours in 4 days per week for the foreseeable future, giving me a flexi day to attend to my own clients during normal business hours.

    Last week Mum drew my attention to an advert for a full time, permanent, secondary school ICT technician. I applied for it earlier this week. Here’s where I’m conflicted; I don’t want to leave my current job. I like the school, the staff, the pupils and pretty much everything about it, including my boss and that he’s flexible. There’s no denying that he’s been good to me either; he allowed me to work as many additional hours as necessary to get the school’s ICT equipment and program in shape for over 12 months and gave me a promotion after just 1 year in the job. I did everything possible to make myself indispensable.

    The only reason I applied for this other full time job is because my own business hasn’t grown any since I wrote that last post in November. Now, having read this post so far it shouldn’t be too hard for you to figure out why that is. I’ve been working my ass off trying to keep the school in shape and haven’t had the time or energy to do anything drastic elsewhere. There’s still the old problem of clients not paying in a timely manner; I still have to chase business customers for several months before getting paid which has been making my cash flow bleed this year.

    My boss knows that I’ve applied for the other job and thinks that I have a good chance of getting it given the experience level and qualifications that I have, but I’m not sure I’ll take it if I get offered it. What worries me about it is the lack of flexibility it will carry with it. I’ve weighed up the pros and cons of leaving/staying and at this early stage, I don’t have a clue what I’ll do if I am offered it. The school I’m in at the moment needs an ICT technician and as you can gather, needs one who is there more than 25 hours per week. It’s a full time job that I’ve been doing my best to carry out in a part time post. Ideally, I’d want him to make my post permanent and bump me to at least 30 tech hours per week. Apparently he’s not in a position to do that at the moment because of the budget situation, but the place won’t survive without an ICT technician if I leave, and the advantages of trying to keep me are plentiful, mainly that I’ve now been there for two years and know the building, staff, pupils, network and whole school in general inside and out.

    If I make it to and through the interview process and end up being offered this full time post, I don’t want to take it up in September only to realize before Christmas that it wasn’t the right move for me. I’ll have to wait and see, I’ll meet with my current principal again before the end of June when hopefully he’ll know more about his budget and whether or not he can keep me on or increase my contract hours.

    Other than the fact that this might be the longest post you’ve ever read on bit-tech, does anyone have any thoughts or advice?
     
  13. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    1,401
    Likes Received:
    75
    You say your boss is nice and is flexible.

    Well, who wouldn't be nice to you when their flexibility allows you to work extra hours for free?
     
  14. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,726
    Likes Received:
    456
    I only did that a handful of times and I didn't mind because he was doing me favours and treating me better than I could have asked for long before any of this happened. Additionally, we were having problems at the time which our contracted service provider was going to take days or weeks to solve when I could solve them in a matter of hours. I did them quietly, in the evening with only senior staff being aware that I was doing so. It saved me a lot of paperwork, phonecalls and dealing with people less qualified and experienced than myself in the long run. I've done this several times in the past couple of years but the most recent examples were the first time I didn't get the hours for it. It's frowned upon by the contractor, but they can't do anything about it except scold us, even if they do find out.

    The situation isn't really his fault, his hands are tied because of budget constraints and pressure from the board of governors, but I still want him to fight to keep me. I don't want to be a disposable part of the organization after the amount of work I've put into it for the past 2 years.
     
  15. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    1,401
    Likes Received:
    75
    Fair enough, I understand that the education sector is frustrating at the best of times.
     
  16. sonicgroove

    sonicgroove Radical Atheist

    Joined:
    16 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    2,450
    Likes Received:
    151
    For all the people who earn bugger all or are unhappy in their employment, please consider fostering as an option. I 'earn' over 50k a year untaxed and my job satisfaction levels are probably higher than 90% of the UK population. Of course you have to like kids and be prepared for a few surprises along the way but it is truly the road to happiness if you have the space and empathy to accommodate them.

    If anyone would like more info, please feel free to PM me. I appreciate that it's probably not for everyone but for those that haven't considered it before, I am living proof that it is a great way to improve not only a child's life but your own too.
     
  17. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

    Joined:
    3 May 2012
    Posts:
    5,271
    Likes Received:
    177
    Since you can't do all the tasks in the allotted time, you need to draw up a task list and put estimated hours against each task. Sit down with your boss, get him to prioritize them and go with that. Sometimes tasks will run over sometimes they will run under. Ultimately stuff will fall by the way side and as much as you probably don't like that happening its the reality of cutting hours. Its not your problem, you can only do what you can do in the time you have available. Keep a work log, so when questions are asked as to why stuffs falling a part you can cover yourself off. (These are the things I have done. This is the reality of how long it takes to do those things. This is why other things have not been done).

    When people ask you to do odds and ends, unless its a two minute putting the plug back in the socket job, I would explain that hours have been cut and refer them back to your boss to put it on his to do list for you. Don't do your bosses job for him. Let him deal with user requests, present him with the tasks, get him to make the decisions leaving you to focus on doing what needs to be done.

    As for your business. Personally I would be uncomfortable handing over the running of my SMB IT systems to someone of your age. It would be OK if you were part of a company where there were more senior IT people available. But a 26 year old on a part time, one man show? I wouldn't be keen. Now, maybe your an IT savant. Maybe you are better than the rest, but I think this is a customer perception you will have to deal with.

    If it were me looking to start up, I would take a few full time jobs at the start of my career(say 3 to 4 years at a time. Starting in early 20's), in as varied a set of roles as possible. Then, in the mid - early thirties (with some savings from those jobs) break off and start my own business on a full time basis, with a reasonable wad of savings and a strong CV to present to potential customers.

    If you get your hours increased or take the other full time job, how will you service your other existing customers? How can you grow your business if your focused on working for someone else? I don't see starting a business as a part time job.

    Anyways those are my thoughts on your situation. Hopefully things come right for you.
     
  18. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,726
    Likes Received:
    456
    As it stands, I already do this. I don't sit down with my line manager every week, but he emails me a list of tasks every week for me to estimate time for, then he allocates the most urgent or more important ones to me, in order, for the following day or week.

    I do this already, and it's become less necessary as the year has gone on because they already know they need to send their request to him so that he can put it in the workflow list.

    Ouch, that kinda stung. I've been doing this for more than 10 years now. I'm not a 26 year old part time IT technician, I'm a 26 year old full time Electronic, Computer & Network Engineer who has another part time job as an IT technician. I've had a ridiculous amount of experience in the past few years. I've taken over IT maintenance & operations for many small businesses in recent years, am currently the only person three large local business branch managers will call upon if they need something, and have completed installation or repair work for many others, small and large in that time as well. The only problem I have with any of them is that in my experience, a lot of businesses don't pay within 30 days. 99% of residential customers aren't a problem, but they're not where the money is in this business.

    This is what I did, I've worked more part time jobs than you could count on your two hands. All whilst studying at the same time. I didn't always get it to work perfectly, but I made it to where I am (at which point my early 20's are a distant memory) and this is what I've got to work with. It's decision time though. Do I become a full time IT technician for less than 1/4 of what someone with my skill set should be earning, and take on a few private jobs in the evening, or do I stay where I am, finish my qualification (because I'm fairly sure my current boss won't have a problem giving me day-release) and keep taking work for as many of my own customers as I have time for, earning as much as possible whilst staying in business?

    I have to see what the principal says next week. Ideally, I would like to get more hours where I am, complete my current qualification part time (degree in Mechatronic Engineering) and take on another engineer who could handle some of my own work and give me the time to do so.

    It has come to light in the past week that the heating system in the school is undergoing a major rennovation over the next two months and thereforae all IT equipment needs to be removed from the main building and placed in storage, so my workload for the summer has increased or at the very least shifted towards getting that done and then reinstalling the equipment when the contractors leave, ready for the school opening again in September.
     
  19. darknessblade

    darknessblade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    23 May 2014
    Posts:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last edited by a moderator: 20 Jun 2014
  20. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

    Joined:
    3 May 2012
    Posts:
    5,271
    Likes Received:
    177
    Sorry I didn't mean to disparage you.

    All I'm saying is don't rush into things. You have one full time job which you feel you are over worked in, one part time job and you are in part time education. Why not take a single steady full time job and finish out your qualification.(if nothing else that degree should open you up to a lot of engineering jobs as a possible career path) Part time college is hard enough without over stretching in other areas of your life. After that build up some savings and go with the business full time if that is what you're ultimate goal actually is.
     

Share This Page