Only dedicate three years to your first job

By Nguyen Van Trung   September 11, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
My first job was for a top-three electronics company in Vietnam with a starting salary of VND5 million (US$208) a month.

After a year, I was promoted to the position of Head of Online Marketing Department, with a salary of VND6-7 million.

However, I was not discouraged. Instead, I continued to bring the company's e-commerce business's revenues from VND10 million to VND4 billion a month. After two years, I became a company director in charge of a small project at the parent company. At that time, my salary was only VND9 million (while the project's IT guys' salary was VND16 million).

Many employees who joined the company later could not believe that my salary was only VND9 million for the director position. But that didn't bother me either. I continued to bring the project's revenues from zero to VND1 billion per month. During this period, another business (a big competitor of my company) invited me to work on a new project for them, with a much higher salary and bonus, but I decided not to go because I didn’t want to betray my current company.

After six years with the company, the biggest thing that I have accumulated is a lot of experience in real combat. I gained little experience from any superiors, all the things that I learned were from my own real work.

Sometimes when I think back, I feel I made a little mistake when I gave my entire youth and enthusiasm to the one company when they did not respect my labor and underpaid me after my many contributions. If I had accepted the offer to move to the other company, I would have probably been richer.

Now I have been with the company for 10 years. Indeed, 10 years is too long for an employee's dedication to a company when one does not receive the compensation they deserve.

For young people today, my advice is that you should only dedicate to a company for about three years. Gain as much experience from the company in the first two years. Use that experience in as much real work as possible in the next year to earn yourself new experience. From then on, make sure to sell your experience for the salary and benefits you deserve.

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