Stealth, and what’s in a few years?

I’ve seen a few promotions at work this month. They’re all driven and friendly people – able to maneuver through the politics. There’s some grind, but their focus is partial – a lot of it self serving .

I say as I see it. Your experience may be different. Their projects are promising but incomplete, and will probably remain that way until either the requirements change to suit them, or it gets handed down to an unexpecting subordinate.

I am not good at making promises. There are many hard working folks who don’t get the spot light. I am one one them.

My last raise came a year and a half ago, after much deliberation – even after my manager had six months previously told me that he’d do the talking. As much as I like him for the good person he is, I’m convinced he won’t bring it up unless I don’t engage him first.

I have a few dilemmas. Firstly, I’m not sure how much I’m worth. One of the promotions came to a guy who basically sourced my files (without asking me) and built several dashboards around them. The more difficult and clever part is the scrubbing I do. That work is invisible.

I do not envy his promotion. I actually like the guy, and he does work hard. But surely if the rewarding was on merit, I should’ve been rewarded as well.

(Those others who were promoted, by themselves, don’t really do anything – but I guess that’s the nature of their jobs. Or is it? It’s just a skill I don’t have.)

I could jump ships. I could even bluff, tell my manager I have another offer. That’d scare him into making amends. But I want to play it safe when FI is on the horizon. I think it is wiser to finish the game well, while I have it beat, and save these fights for my post-FI career.

I also have a daughter now. And that’s made me more risk averse.

That said, I may be underestimating my worth. I’m better at my job than all my peers with similar titles. I do more, and more complex work. A colleague who sat next to me moved on to a much advanced title last year. To think I used to help him with very trivial things makes me wonder how he’s managing now.

The one thing that all these people have in common is a natural aggression and drive that I lack. They can also talk. I keep a low profile. I like my feet on the ground. The millionaires next door, everyday ordinary folks, are my heroes. But I sure don’t want to be that guy in office space (the guy with the staplers).

I’m also beginning to feel a certain lightness. I’m less bothered by what I feel are unfair. I’m less bitter. I do not feel the need to fight – not that I was, but I would, internally. I’m not FI, but it’s on the horizon and already unfolding its many benefits. There’s more contentment, a bit more sense of security, and positivity. I’m basically a more pleasant person.

I do want to keep growing, especially in ways that are currently risky and uncomfortable. I’m saving those for a post-FI life. That should come, if the market stays steady, in 3-4 years.


Update (12/18): A 5% raise has come. Just last week, a recruiter called me for a slightly higher position that pays 30% more. I told her I was interested. I’m going to have to make some bold decisions in 2021.

2 thoughts on “Stealth, and what’s in a few years?”

  1. Whoa–spoke that into existence judging by your update! I’ve felt at varying points significantly under and overpaid. This really resonated with me and my approach. Best of luck with some big decisions!

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