How to become a dollar millionaire in an IT company (even in Russia)

In Russia 297,000 dollar millionaires. The dollar millionaire is a “massive” phenomenon, not extraordinary. Therefore, most likely, there are standard ways to become a dollar millionaire.

YouTube has lecture an employee of a large IT company who shares his observations: “I don’t know some of the ways, some are no longer relevant (10 years ago to buy cue ball), but there is a way along which I led a number of people and even more – I watched from the side … I’ll tell you about this path. With practical advice. ”

I hasten to share with you a short extract of his report.

  • How to bargain with a large company
  • How to compare offers
  • Who and how becomes a millionaire

Banal advice

And it is also very useful to work hard and know your business well, to invest in it, not to quarrel with the bosses and with colleagues, not to be toxic, not to send top managers to 3 letters. Let’s move on to non-trivial advice.


Large companies employ thousands of people, so each of them has a system that formalizes how much people earn, how people’s income grows over time. The systems are similar to each other. Understanding this system from the very beginning of your career is very helpful. These are not secrets and magic wands – the companies themselves also want people to know about it and go this way. Large companies need people who understand the system and can play by the rules. Companies want people to focus on what really matters to the business and encourage this behavior.

Levels (grades) concept

Comparison of levels in different companies:

Within the same grade, people earn about the same. The career path is to increase the grades.

Performance review is a calendar-based sync point for the entire company. This is a set of events that is held once a year (half a year, quarter). The goal is to form an idea of ​​how much each person or group has done. It is worth understanding how this works in each company, who ultimately determines the assessment and what it depends on.

How are the transitions between grades arranged

There are procedures, in different companies – different, someone is tied to the review, someone separately. Consists of 2-3 components:

  1. Management’s assessment of how much the employee has grown to the next grade.
  2. Assessment of colleagues how useful a person is.
  3. Actions by the employee himself. (Prepare a package of proof documents).

It is very helpful to talk to decision makers and ask what to do. The answers will be careful, but they will still give you some advice.

You can’t just turn into a machine to get the job done

In any company,


something is done and


applying force is just as important as how much force to apply. It often happens that people are doing things that could not have been done. This should be noticed by the subordinate himself, and not only by his superiors. It is advisable to know the goals for at least six months.

And it is also useful to know not only your goals, but also the goals of your bosses for six months or a year, in order to look at your work a little “from above”. It sounds trite, but a lot of people turn into “ticket closing machines.”

They do not want to close tickets about you, but to solve problems. Perhaps, from which the bosses burn. Perhaps people 1-2 levels above you have very severe pain, on which a business or a new opportunity depends very much. The ability to think in this paradigm is super important. Such a mindset accelerates growth significantly.

Talk and write about your ambitions

It is not enough to have a vision, you must also have your own voice. Somewhere there are internal social networks (and Yandex – two), you can talk at meetings, you can write. The ability to articulate a strategy, the ability to make people think is very cool, it attracts attention.

Do not respect too much “the way it is”

It is important to be able to resist the charms, myths and “sacred cows” that have formed in the company.

There are three skill levels:

  • don’t know how to use
  • can you use
  • know how not to use

It is very helpful to get to the third stage as quickly as possible. It is important to be able to say “I know how best” and implement this “how best”.

Income structure

Why don’t some people know what their salary is? In large companies, income is not limited to salaries, but consists of 3 parts:

  • the salary
  • prizes
  • options (Stokes, Stocks, RSU)

With the passage of time and the growth of the grade, the option portion grows the fastest and accounts for the majority of income. It is the options that allow you to become dollar millionaires.

An option is an agreement between an employee and a company, which formally enables the employee to receive shares of the company (free of charge or for money, at some point in time or on some schedule). We can say that options are a large, extended over time, premium (4 years). This premium is tied to the company’s share price.

For a company, options are beneficial for financial, tax and legal reasons.

How to get a good offer

Pass as many interviews for the company as possible.

A large part of the selection process for a large company is devoted to determining your level / grade. So that other employees do not take offense and observe justice. If the next interview looks unusual, this is a good chance to get the next grade. Additional interviews are the main part of “trading” with the company. Subsequent “wishes” and bargaining are already conducted in a very narrow fork.

How to compare offers by income

In large companies, in addition to the salary, they indicate total compesation in the offer – this is a forecast that assumes that you work like all people of your grade. It is not the salaries that need to be compared, but the total compesation. It is imperative to take into account taxes (in different countries, different jurisdictions). It is also important to consider the cost of the lifestyle in the place where you are going to live and work – in different parts of the world the spread is very large.

Think like an investor

Whether you become a dollar millionaire very much depends on what happens to the company you are going to apply for a job. Options are tied to the value of a share. The higher the risk, the higher the profit.

MS stock price looks like a textbook – is constantly growing. Let’s say a typical MS employee was given an options grant in mid-2016. Gradually, taking into account the vesting structure, it becomes available for sale, and when all the options are ripe, it turns out that the stock price has increased 4 times, and, accordingly, the employee’s profit has also increased 4 times. At the time the grain was issued, everyone thought it was $ 100,000, but by the end of the vesting it was already $ 400,000. It is because of this that companies like to pay with options, it strongly ties people to the company, creates an emotional connection with its success, as with owners and large investors.

And here is a screenshot from the internal system of another large company, for one “star” employee (individual contributor, without subordinates):

Final advice

Defeat your inner introvert, invite people for coffee, talk.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *