I have been in the workforce for a very long time. Here is something I have learned.
1. Salaries, ultimately you are responsible for it. No point blaming other people. If you are clocking twenty years in the same company, your salary will never be higher that the other guy that has same experience but in 5 different companies. Sadly to say most employers don’t reward loyalty with increment, only bonuses. This blog post and this sums it all.
2. You never get a higher salary unless you continuously invest (training) in yourself and be ready to reinvent yourself. Yes, keep smelling the cheese and look for new ways to get to better cheese. Otherwise you might end up as this guy
3. After that salary bump. Always remember, what did you bring to the table, what did you spend it on. Hopefully not a car, because when the company reorganizes and you are pushed out. You are going to be worst off than the lowest ranking staff. Cash is always king.
4. Never sell yourself short in salary negotiation. “Oh I think I will take a haircut on this job, hopefully the increment or next will cover”. Take it from me. That will never ever happen. I did it and I have yet to catch up, even after 5 years. Salary increments are like 3~4 %, depending on where you, it barely covers cost of living increases.
In summary, if you are good, you will be rewarded.