The 26-year-old negotiated a salary of $120,000 by asking future colleagues for help

Welcome to Salary to salary, Workers across the United States doing the same job share their income, how they get their salary, and their best negotiation skills. Are you ready to join the salary transparency conversation? Apply here to be a member of the series.

In this part, a 26-year-old young man shared how he earned $120,000 as a software engineer in San Diego, California. Read howYes Salary is on par with other software engineers in the United States

Nishant Parepalli, 26, is from India and moved to the United States in 2017 to obtain a master’s degree in telecommunications. Two years later, he started his career as an application engineer in the Bay Area and earned $90,000 in income.

He is satisfied with some of the benefits that Silicon Valley is often proud of—free lunches, interesting offices, company equity, and dizzying performance bonuses. But this is not enough to keep him motivated, especially because the coronavirus pandemic means campus welfare is now out of reach. After a while, he felt boring at work, so he started taking programming courses in his spare time and turned to software engineering.

After he added these skills to his LinkedIn profile, a recruiter invited him to apply for a software engineering job with his current employer, a global electronics manufacturer.

How does he use future colleagues to seek negotiation help

When he interviewed and got a job offer at the electronics manufacturer, Parepali felt he was in a good place to negotiate a salary. When he received an HR offer of $115,000 per year, the first thing he did was to send emails to some people in the company who would become his future colleagues.

He recalled, “These are the people I just interviewed, and they said if I have any questions, I can contact them.” He had questions about how much he should negotiate, and thought they would have a good idea: “I asked them my The average salary that can be expected. This helps me make a counter-offer.”

Parepalli also knew that his employer was willing to give him a raise so that he could stay. He is not interested in it, because he left to pursue more interesting work, but brought extra influence on the negotiating table with HR.

He said: “So I waited patiently, and the new employer responded with a higher offer of $5,000.”

Parepalli joined the company in November 2020 and has a basic annual salary of US$120,000. He also received $10,000 to move from the Bay Area to San Diego, and he is eligible for a 10% annual performance bonus.

“Transparency is really shocking”

Parepalli firmly believes in discussing salary with peers to understand his value in the job market. He also believes that this is a way to understand what he can get in the next stage of his career, which motivates him to continuously improve his skills and level.

He often has informal discussions with colleagues about salary and general personal finances over coffee or lunch. For example, he may seek advice from an older colleague on how to manage funds or investments. A colleague plans to buy a house soon so they can openly discuss how to manage his salary mortgage and how much he must save for each salary.

In general, he said that his company was “really transparent in terms of compensation,” which was “really shocking” at first: “I think they try to instill this in every new employee. But it’s one thing. A good thing.”

Living on $120,000 in San Diego

Parepalli remembers that when HR offered him a $120,000 offer, they said it was higher than the average level of the regional market and his years of experience. This coincided with what Parepari heard from his other colleagues and the information he found on the Internet, so he accepted the offer.

Having said that, he knows that some of the most influential technology companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, can all pay 135,000 USD For new graduates in the Bay Area.according to Report from HiredIt is a technical job market, and the average income of software engineers in 2020 is approximately US$153,000. Parepalli does not rule out moving back to work in the Bay Area, but he needs it to bring a significant salary increase.

In Southern California, at $120,000 per year, Parepalli said he was “comfortable” with his salary: “I can afford to pay rent, pay for expenses and pay for basic necessities. But I also feel that I cannot save a lot or invest in my future.”

He said the cost of living in California is definitely a factor. His work takes a lot of time, up to 10 hours a day, in the evenings and weekends, which means that he does not have much extra time to concentrate on his sideline or set up the passive income opportunities he wants.

Unlike the practice of many technology companies, his employer does not provide stock benefits, which he believes is a disadvantage.

All in all, he is satisfied with his career change: “As far as my last job, there were bonuses and free lunch, I basically got paid 100,000 US dollars, allowing me to do less interesting work. Now I get Paid $120,000 to do more interesting work.”


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The 26-year-old has doubled his salary by turning to computer science and using a key negotiation technique

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