There are two ways to define this Rule from a Job Fairy perspective. The first way is to apply it in a situation where you are already employed. In this context, you would construe it as promotions. Lots of people get raises every year, but you are looking for increased responsibility and promotion to the next level. This would also mean more people reporting to you, more duties, and more projects, being tapped to be on a team with the company’s elite. Things that do not count towards this goal are a better office location, a bonus payment of any sort, or raises. Tokens that denote your enhanced status at the office are not really a good gauge either, such as prime parking spaces or first dibs on vacation times. These are not a barometer of your worth to the company so much as an indicator of how well you are in with your boss. Important, but not necessarily a factor in your longevity and promotability. It is your boss’s boss that promotes you. The company sending you to training is a good sign, but not in a class with getting more people assigned to you. If you are not getting more responsibility or more pay after at least a year on the job, and you have been performing well, you need to start looking. If everyone got a raise except you, then you have no future there. Or if you were passed over for a promotion. These are all signals that the romance (or the job) is over.
The second way to look at it is in the context of the hiring process. If the hiring company is not trying to accommodate you, please you, interview you at a time that is convenient to you, the relationship is not going to work out long term. If they're crappy about money, miserly about benefits, won't budge on anything, saying “it’s our company policy and we can't make any exceptions”, then they're not going to treat you well enough so that you can make a career of it. Sure, you will work there for a while, but everything will be at their convenience – not yours. Here at Job Fairy, we say take that kind of job if you must – but keep looking. If a company really wants you and values you, they will want to “give” a little on salary. They will be generous about flex time or comp time. They will have decent medical benefits without a lot of strings attached or exclusions. They will not be doling out the benefits in a begrudging fashion; they will work from the notion that creating happy employees makes a productive workplace. That is the kind of place where you want to be. Moreover, one last thing – when they do offer you money, sigh a little bit, and sound somewhat disappointed. Do not ever act thrilled with the amount. They will then up the ante – if they are any good to work for. They always lowball their first offer to you, and by acting happy with that first offer, you are leaving money on the table.