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Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the looking-out-for-numero-uno dept.

Businesses 735

An anonymous reader writes "As a senior developer for a small IT company based in the UK that is about to release their flagship project, I know that if I were to leave the company now, it would cause them some very big problems. I'm currently training the other two 'junior' developers, trying to bring them up to speed with our products. Unfortunately, they are still a long way from grasping the technologies used – not to mention the 'interesting' job the outsourced developers managed to make of the code. Usually, I would never have considered leaving at such a crucial time; I've been at the company for several years and consider many of my colleagues, including higher management, to be friends. However, I have been approached by another company that is much bigger, and they have offered me a pay rise of £7k to do the same job, plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life. That said, I can't help but feel that to leave now would be betraying my friends and colleagues. Some friends have told me that I'm just being 'soft' – however I think I'm being loyal. Any advice?"

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735 comments

Tacos for dinner (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638804)

Always a shitty situation. Sometimes I think you can grow with a company.. they get bigger, can pay you more/give you better opportunities. In most cases though, it seems that eventually you outgrow a small company. You grow faster than they do, and gradually the outside offers get more and more tempting.

This kind of thing is hard for me, because I have the same “leaving now would screw these guys” kind of thinking. You’ll be hearing from the “business is business, do what’s best for you, they’d drop you in a heartbeat if they could save a buck” crowd soon enough.

The only thing I can say is that people are usually not as critical as would seem. I’ve been amazed on several occasions at how quickly someone I would describe as “if we lose him we are screwed” is replaced. People step up and figure shit out. It is rocky, and will cause headaches, but eventually people make it work.

Bargain (4, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639006)

Tell your current company about the offer, and see if you get a counter-offer.

(and if they don't counter, you know how you're valued. Leave.)

Re:Bargain (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639114)

The problem is if they match their offer. Then they feel like that you now owe them one. And you will not get your raise or promotion anytime soon. Or they will now expect much greater things from you. Overall it is better to take the new offer and put in your notice. That way you leave on good terms, and don't do anything to disrupt the terms you are in.

Re:Bargain (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639150)

Tell your current company about the offer, and see if you get a counter-offer.

(and if they don't counter, you know how you're valued. Leave.)

This.

Re:Tacos for dinner (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639058)

This kind of thing is hard for me, because I have the same “leaving now would screw these guys” kind of thinking.

There's often a good answer to this: sit down with your boss and tell him about the other offer. If he or she agrees that you are that valuable, he or she may make a substantial counter-offer that lets them keep you and makes everybody happy. Ask for the 7k plus a day or two a week of working at home to compensate for the commute. Ask for everything it would take for you to feel like leaving would be crazy.

The only risk with this is an evil boss that forever holds it against you. If you think that's a situation, leave. Fast.

Re:Tacos for dinner (3, Insightful)

randomencounter (653994) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639136)

Indeed, give fair notice and make the move if you think the new company is a good match for you.

Loyalty is a good thing, but sometimes it also holds back the people you are being loyal to.

What would Ayn Rand do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638812)

Take the new job and laugh all the way to the bank. Seriously, just give them notice, and take the new job.

I don't think your hangup is loyalty... (5, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638826)

...it's the fear of the unknown. What if it's not as good as it looks? If you're making more money and gaining an hour and a half every day it's a no brainer.

Re:I don't think your hangup is loyalty... (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638934)

Agreed. I'm actually on my last day of my two weeks of notice (it's typical, gave me a little time to train my co-workers. If they can't pick it up, I wasn't being paid enough.)

Give them plenty of notice, spend your last days passing on whatever knowledge you can to help (if you really care) and let them manage. If they really want to keep you aboard they may come back with a counter, but I think most companies understand that would be an awkward situation so they probably won't.

Re:I don't think your hangup is loyalty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638938)

...it's the fear of the unknown. What if it's not as good as it looks? If you're making more money and gaining an hour and a half every day it's a no brainer.

Or maybe he is being loyal. Doesn't have to be fear from the unknown. You are making an assumption of how this person really is. It might be fear to you, but then you don't really feel like you need to be loyal to your employer.

Re:I don't think your hangup is loyalty... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639152)

Yeah, sometimes you just gotta do what's right for you, not what's right for the company you currently work for.

You *could* try talking to your current manager about it too. Who knows, they may make you a counter-offer. Since they can't make up for the commute they may work out a deal where you can work virtual from home a couple days a week. Just be honest with them, and hopefully they'll appreciate that you put a lot of thought into the decision and didn't just jump at the first good offer to come along.

Ask yourself ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638828)

Ask yourself what they'd do if somebody came along and offered to do your job for 7 grand less.

Matter of own self (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638832)

WIll you feel all right with yourself if you left? If so, go for it.

Does your company have loyalty to you? (4, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638834)

You have to remember that your company has no loyalty to you. If their revenues drop and they have to save money, your job will be on the line!

Always do whats best for you and yours (family).

your loyalty is misplaced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638948)

agreed. you should only be loyal to yourself just like the company you work for. corporations are sociopaths.

Re:Does your company have loyalty to you? (3, Interesting)

mla_anderson (578539) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639066)

That's not always true. I worked for a small company through some of the worst times that industry experienced. Our sales went below 50% of previous years and our net income went negative. Instead of laying people off the managers took cuts. When things got a little better, the managers went without raises so the rest of us could have small raises and larger bonuses (bonuses are cheaper in the long run). I would have never left if I didn't want to leave that part of the country.

Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638836)

Ask for a raise, see if you get it.

Loyalty is a consideration - but first comes paying the bills. Are you happy and satisfied with where you work, and your style of living? Would the 7k increase be worth it for you, to switch, and leave them where they are? Company is about risks and resources, if they don't manage their resources and take a risk at loosing something that is important and even key to what they are doing, it is their problem, not yours.

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638980)

Yeah, I'd have to say, I'd confront my current employer, let them know about the offer, and give them a chance to keep me. They would have to take into account the commute too, so a 10k raise would be in order. If you really are needed, you'll get the money, otherwise enjoy the new job guilt free!

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (2)

ShadyG (197269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639020)

I personally would not use the new job as a "bargaining chip", in that I'd bring it to the old boss and try to get them to match or beat the deal. IMO that has the potential to create bad blood. Instead, without ever mentioning any other opportunity I would just ask to open up negotiations for a raise. Focus on what your value to the company is and has been. You're training a couple of junior developers, so why not ask for a manager position with those two your first direct reports? No doubt such a position has additional responsibilities commensurate with the raise you're seeking. It will also reflect better on your resume when you do eventually seek out another position.

If you and they cannot agree on an acceptable solution, then you should definitely not feel bad about jumping ship. It may very well be that your actual value to the new company is simply more than it is to the old. Everyone wants to be valuable, and maybe this new company can better utilize your skills and experience. Their offer appears to indicate at least they think so.

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (1)

endikos (195750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639028)

Yup. Give them an opportunity to make up the difference if you're more inclined to stay if the pay were right. If that doesnt work or if you'd rather leave anyway, give generous notice (I gave my last employer 4 weeks instead of the customary 2), and even offer to be available on a consultancy basis a few hours a week to help them through the transition. That'll also give you a bit of a further bonus in your pocketbook if they choose to do that.

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (5, Interesting)

sfled (231432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639036)

I was in a similar situation, and that's exactly what I did. A job opened up closer to my home and on-target with my then new-found interest in web development. I told my old boss that I would be leaving in two weeks, and that I was saddened but explained the circumstances: better pay, less commute, more job satisfaction. He responded by asking how much they were offering. He then matched the salary, told me he would pay for my time commuting, and asked me to use some of my time to develop a web site for the company. Win-win boss. Disclaimer: I did eventually leave years later to form my own company. We're still friends and he's a customer, so yeah, he's still in some ways my boss :)

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639048)

Your old company may appreciate the opportunity to compete for your employ - giving them that opportunity is a form of loyalty.

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (2)

martyros (588782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639076)

Ask for a raise, see if you get it.

It's often a lot easier to get a raise with a competing offer in hand -- if you like the company where you work and the people, that's what I'd do first -- ask for an $8k raise.

Loyalty is a consideration

The thing is, even if your first-level manager is loyal to you, the company as a whole isn't. What happens if there's a strategic shift in 6 months and they decide to shut down your department, or completely reorganize things so you're no longer doing what you want anymore? You're now either looking for a job, or stuck with a job you don't like, as well as a lower salary, thinking about that job that you turned down and is no longer available.

Re:Why not use it as a bargaining chip? (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639130)

My old company trained their managers that they were not allowed to do anything if their employees came to them saying they had offers from another company.

They didn't pay well and were bad at keeping talented people. Hurray for having a new job!

Take the damn job (1)

jaundicebaby (885998) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638838)

Change is good and the commute alone should make your life better, increase in salary or not. Also, you will get to leave behind all the crap you used to do/support and start fresh. Do it!

Re:Take the damn job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639040)

The only employer who cares about you is the one who just hired you and is glad to have you on board to take care of their problems. And that honeymoon only lasts so long.

Let me join in the chorus saying 'look out for number one'. Your employer only gives a shit about you as far as long as you are helping their bottom line... period. The second you are done with their product, they only need cheap labor to 'maintain' the product and will fire anyone who they deem too expensive, redundant, or unnecessary.

You need to start thinking like a business and start expanding your skillset and looking out for yourself. Do not allow them the opportunity to make a counter offer unless you know them all well and you trust them all; allowing them the opportunity to make a counter offer allows them to undermine you. If you take their counter offer without putting in a clause for a minimum time period and a parachute for letting you go within that time period, they will often try to screw you once they get what they want. Other times I have run into bitter employers trying to undermine you at your new employer.

Only 1 answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638846)

NO

Go for it, AND be loyal (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638852)

It sounds like a deal you shouldn't pass up. And I admire your loyalty. Your new employer will appreciate your loyalty, too, when you explain to them how you still need to help your old company out.

I am sure they would accommodate your working with your old employer until they can get on their feet once again. Perhaps telecommute some, or work at the old job a few days a week.

If they had objections to that, I would question wanting to work for them...

What? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638854)

Loyalty means nothing in the new corporate century.

Believe me, they'll sell YOU out if/when they have the chance. Do what you think is right but make sure you don't hurt yourself.

Re:What? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639110)

They demand loyalty but do not give it. That's the way of things. They get pretty butt-hurt and surprised if you are unhappy with the way things are and are willing to leave to get something better.

No commute? (4, Insightful)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638860)

plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life.

The commute alone is worth switching for. That's an (unpaid) hour and a half of your life that you get back.

Loyalty? (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638864)

Loyalty to your employer? Are you kidding? They would fire your ass in a heartbeat as soon as the numbers exhibit a downturn. Our parents' generation could rely on employers to consider loyalty a two-way street; you don't job surf and they give you all kinds of benefits including pensions, profit sharing, and so on. Now, decision makers don't think twice about firing thousands of workers when the numbers take a temporary dip, just so they can show shareholders a temporary spike in profits to get their bonuses.

Besides, do you live to work, or do you work to live?

Fuck loyalty to your employer. Take the better offer.

Re:Loyalty? (4, Insightful)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639034)

Loyalty to some nameless corporation? No.

But ultimately, life is about the relationships you build.
Your manage, that product manger, your director, your coop students, your underlings...

These are people like any other who understand loyalty.
Loyalty to the company and these folks is different, but intertwined.

You don't leave the company without leaving all those individuals

It's a complicated social world and you have to be smart about it.

I would never leave a good job for a few thousand.
1. Ask your employer to match the salary. A few thousand is nothing for a company. The sales guy probably drink that much in a month.
2. In the grand scheme, do you enjoy the work? Do you like your colleagues?

Take the Money and Run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638866)

Not sure about your side of the pond, but over here, employers show 0 loyalty to employees, so why should we as staff do any different? For 7000 quid (about US $13000) and the improvements in lifestyle, and presumably better job security, I'd jump ship in a heartbeat.

Document (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638874)

Either way, you should document the hell out of everything so that if you were hit by a bus tomorrow they wouldn't be similarly fucked.

Re:Document (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638988)

A good developer would warn them of this, but he can't take action on it until they decide to actually assign him the task of documentation. In the real world, they won't care about documentation until it's too late and the whole time he will have been working on some other undocumented code. They'll tell him to document things, but will never be willing to push back the schedule to deal with the extra work of creating the docs. At least that's been my experience.

Of course if he's actually hit by a bus, he no longer needs to worry about it!

Re:Document (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639126)

Be careful about the thorough documentation though...if what you do is clear and easy to transfer, what would that do to your value? Businesses are there to make money. If they can bring in some young graduate who will eagerly work 60 hours a week for 1/2 to 3/4 of your pay and you documented how to replace you, then you only have yourself to blame when the tough cuts come.

Most people think the company would be ruined if they left. If your company won't match what the competitor is offering, what does that tell you about how irreplaceable you are?

All obligations have been met (3, Informative)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638876)

Assuming that all contractual obligations have been met, you've exchanged your work for their money. If you no longer wish to exchange your work for their money, that's no problem. Rest assured, if they no longer wanted to exchange their money for your work, they'd have no problem terminating that little arrangement.

Besides, there are ways of arranging for exclusivity. In many fields, they're codified. Retainers, tenure, whatever. If they wanted to keep you for a fixed amount of time, they'd have entered into contractual negotiations with you.

If you want to leave, leave. Just make sure you follow the legal and standard practices; two weeks notice or whatever it is across the pond.

Make the right decision for you. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638878)

I've just been in a similar situation, it's a tough decision to make but you have to do what is best for you. i personally handed my notice in and i've been replaced in the short term by two contractors. whilst they shop around to find the right perm developer.

Distinguish friends and business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638880)

A clear cognition of the separation between friendship, business, and your quality of life needs aught to help you make a good decision.
Follow your heart!

Get your priorities straight (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638890)

Life is too short for you to fuss over things that are secondary to you. You need to figure out what your priorities are, and to act accordingly.

If you really want that short commute to work, you can move. If you really want that higher salary, you can invite your current employer to bid against your potential employer. If your coworkers are really like family to you, then you should stay regardless. But if not...well....consequences to your real family should rank higher than consequences to your fake one.

Figure out what is real to you, and everything else is easy.

first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638892)

Send the link to your boss, congratulations on your 7k pay raise, or else just go, I hate driving too haha

You should leave (1, Insightful)

UconnGuy (562899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638894)

Why wouldn't you? You have no guarantees that after the two Jr Devs get up to speed, they don't get rid of you (surely they are making less). The company would also have no qualms about laying you off if they need to - it's only business.

If upper mgmt were REALLY your friends, they would want what's best for you. If they are bitter about you leaving, then they are not really your friends.

Ultimately, you need to do what's best for YOU.

Leverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638896)

Leverage this situation for a raise. Politely, of course, but go to your boss and say "here's the situation, I'd like to stay, I think I'm providing value to the company, but this pays more with shorter commute, etc etc." Before you do this, answer the question for yourself: what is the minimum that they need to provide for me to be willing to stay? And then go in asking for more than that so you have room.

Leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638898)

If they are your friends, they will understand. If not, then you've lost nothing.

Loyalty to yourself first (1)

lavalyn (649886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638900)

The days of secure employment are long over, and management will eliminate your role if it makes financial sense to. You should stay "loyal" only insofar as that the employment is mutually beneficial and both sides get good value of the other.

Consulting (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638904)

Why not take the new job & act as a consultant on the old job?

Re:Consulting (1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639078)

+1 for stating the win-win scenario. Make sure the new job offer is firm and then explain to your co-workers / friends what the situation is, while offering yourself up on a consultant basis as a way out for them.

Be hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638906)

Thats the first lesson i learned. Every software engineer has to learn how to be HARD. At the end of the day, you go where, home? or with your boss?
And you said it already what your boss thinks about you (he outsourced, or is trying to do it), so as soon as he manages to offset your job, you will be FIRED.
Dont forget, business as usual.

Loyalty? Py rise please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638908)

You should talk to your employer, be open and honest about the fact that, although you care about the job you're doing right now, and although you know how your leaving them would be inconvenient, you just can't turn down the money. Then let the negotiations begin!

Rels 1 and 2 (2)

rmkeene (1701114) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638918)

Rule 1: Always do what is best for you. The company has no loyalty what so ever to you. Individual managers may have loyalty but the 'company' has none. Rule 2: Never burn your bridges. Leave on the best good will terms possible.

Offer them a support/transition contract (1)

frooddude (148993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638920)

If they really mean something to you, offer them nice terms on a transition contract. Make sure the contract doesn't F you tho.

Depends on the company (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638924)

Does the company reward loyalty? If the shoe was on the other foot and times were tough, would they take into account your work and loyalty and try to keep you on?

Honestly, I doubt they give a second thought to your loyalty. The times when it was a good idea to be loyal to an employer are by and large long since gone. They are only looking at their bottom line, you basically have to do the same.

Company loyalty now really only comes back to bite you in the ass, there is no benefit for the employee.

half the problem is what you're getting paid. (2)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638926)

this means they're not paying you enough; therefore you should see if they'll match what the other company will offer. dunno what you could do about the 90 mins travel time though

For god sakes, tell the other company to wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638942)

Let that flagship product ship. Re-evaluate whether you have a future with the company afterwards, not before!! And consider that community is ALWAYS important. But don't forget to get the inside scoop on the financial situation of any company you are in or researching, if you can! Don't want to be stuck on a sinking ship.

Take the job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638944)

In this market, an opportunity like that.. It is worth it. and loyalty is good and all.. so is self preservence..

Loyalty never pays (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638952)

Loyalty never pays in the modern corporate world, the financial aspect of this decision is easy. It's a moral decision you have to make, so do whatever you feel is right.

No loyalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638954)

If you play loyal, not only are you going to get paid half of the others eventually, but also,one day you'll be fired. You being loyal doesn't mean you are going to be treated any special. When that happens, having been employed at the same place for 20 years will look bad on your resumee, and you'll have trouble getting a new job. Do not make that mistake, it's the kind of errors that can result in suicide down the road.

Just Leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638956)

1) They would drop you in a heart beat if someone offered to do it cheaper (and could do the job)

2) You have no idea if their product is going to be successful. It might be incredibly popular, and they might pay you _a lot_ more if it is. But more likely, it will fail and you'll be out of a job soon. And even if it is moderately successful, they don't owe you anything -- and chances are they aren't going to pay you extra for doing your job.

3) Businesses don't have loyalty to anyone. If you really think you're so central to their business, tell them you got another offer, and ask for more money. Most likely, they'll tell you good luck at your new job.. and they hire someone new within a week to replace you.

I own a small business.. had an employee I thought was incredibly important.. that it would fail if he ever quit. Well he eventually did quit, and within a month I had new automated equipment up and running doing the same job.

The business will learn to do without you.

So do what's best for yourself.

There Is No Loyalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638958)

The only loyalty you need to have is to yourself and your family. No company would show you the same loyalty you seem to have for them. If it meant that the next quarter they would be able to show a rise in profits, they would show up at your cubicle with boxes and a pink slip an hour from now with no thought about the predicament that would leave you and your family in.

If you have an opportunity to do something you like, for more money, closer to home, then you should make the change if that is what is best for you and your family without regard to the position it leaves your current company in. That is not to say that you you won't give them two weeks notice (or the UK equivalent) and offer to 'consult' should they need help beyond that if you want, but do what is best for you - period.

Take the job (1)

EllF (205050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638960)

They would show you zero iotas of loyalty if it was in their best interest. Walk away, take the better job, and don't look back. It's just business. Don't make the mistake of confusing it for something different.

Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638962)

www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html

Just go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638966)

7k more and 45 minutes less? Go get your new job now. You have only a contract with your company, they're not your parents or children or friends so you've been as loyal as you're are supposed to do. You'll still be able to see your colleagues you are friend with, I've been through that and done it.

Sometimess, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638968)

That depends. IT (at least in Canada) is a fairly small community. There is tremendous value in a good reference, so if you leave, I would do so with respect and not seriously piss your former employer off. This includes helping them transition your knowledge to your successor.

Having said this, "there is nothing so short lived as the gratitude of kings". Don't expect sacrifice and loyalty to be returned in the long term. You should do what's right for you. The days where you took care of the company and the company took care of you are long gone. For most CEOs, "it's just business"...

Got to be kidding me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638970)

This is 2011, not 1911. Loyalty is rewarded with more work, not more pay. When you reach the point where you could easily perform your boss' job, your reward will be a layoff.

The days of slowly but surely climbing the corporate ladder on one's own merit are long gone. The name of the game today is "networking" (i.e. social expertise).

What Would The Dude Do? (1)

Yert (25874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638972)

I'd go into a closed-door meeting with management and say "I've been offered a position at another company making 7k more and with a much shorter commute, but I like working here. What can you offer me?" If they aren't willing to play ball, give notice. At that point, they may try to make an offer - unless it's even more than the 7k, don't accept; they'll always be looking to replace you. If they make you a reasonable offer, take it and enjoy your new old job.

Look out for your future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638976)

£7k doesn't seem like much. Look at what you think you'll be doing in 5 years with each company...

Be sure of yourself first (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638978)

If you have no doubt that your skills are worth the extra money and that 'big' company is unlikely to be in difficult financial straights the next few years, make the move. Try your best not to burn bridges and you are probably best off speaking about the quality of life issues rather than the money if pressed by your current employer who may well match or do some other nice thing for you. But this sounds like it is as much about money as it is location, and money will not offset 1.5 to 2 hours a day commuting. Loyalty is a very nebulous thing now a days.

Re:Be sure of yourself first (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639054)

If they could match the money, or come close, and trade a day of telecommute, it might be worth staying. 5k and monday or friday at home might well be an even trade for 7k and a reduced daily commute.

Loyalty and Outsourcing? (2)

Klync (152475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37638986)

I was going to side with you on the loyalty argument, until I read that your employer outsources (some of) their programming. What does that say about their commitment to loyalty? On the one hand, it helps to maintain a good network of industry contacts for the long-term good of your career. On the other hand, it *is* possible to maintain a good relationship with your old co-workers, while simultaneously "looking out for number one".

  Is you leaving going to be *difficult*, or will it break their entire business? That is, you can rest easy if you cause a bit of inconvenience, but just try not to screw them too badly: ask your new employer if you can have a couple of weeks before you officially start; or a "transition period" where you can remain on-call (e.g. a half-day a week when needed) to the old team.

Loyalty is the lube. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37638992)

Loyalty is the lube that makes your current position less uncomfortable. Jump ship. In my experience loyalty is not rewarded among developers as management tend to see devs as an interchangeable commodity.

See this situation before... (2)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639000)

This looks like the typical situation of company A trying to fuck over company B, just when company B is about to release a product. Company A won't be wanting to help you out, but simply get you away from company B. They probably won't treat you any better, if not worse.

I'd stay until the project is complete - explain that to company B. If they don't appreciate that, then they don't really want you that badly.

Seen this happen before to other people, and happen to myself. In the long term, having worked on a project from start to finish counts more than leaving half-way through. Who knows, it might be get bought out by a large company.

Take the job (1)

NeumannCons (798322) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639016)

I've seen many people who seemed extremely critical leave. Once we had someone leave who convinced a couple of others to jump as well. Others fill in the gap (amazing how quickly some people learn when they *really* need to), new talent is hired. Take the new job, enjoy the 7.5 hours a week of more time, invest the money and meet your old pals at the pub.

Ask for a creative counter-offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639022)

If you'd feel bad about leaving, give your current employer a chance to respond to the offer. Maybe they'll come up with an interesting solution, like letting you telecommute a couple of days per week.

If they're not willing to bend, then you'll know what your "loyalty" is worth and not have to feel bad about making the choice that's best for you.

Need constant variability? (1)

fredrikv (521394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639024)

I'll just cite the Quote of the day, at the bottom of this page:
"In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables."

No (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639026)

Being loyal buys you being stuck at the same salary and benefits level for a decade. You'll see much better advancement if you're a whore. Back in the 90's during the tech bubble in the USA you could change contracting companies like you change your underwear (At least once ever 6 months!) and pick up a $10K a year pay raise each time. Since the tech bubble burst that's slowed down a bit here, and a lot of the incompetent ones fell out of the market. You could probably work that craze in India until the tech companies find some new outsourcing darling country (Greece and Iraq are who I'm thinking are next.)

Time is valuable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639042)

To be honest, in your shoes I'd take the new job for the same pay if it would gain me an hour and a half per day in commuting time - my time is worth a lot to me!

As for loyalty, ultimately the company you work for shouldn't be in a position where if you leave, they'll be fucked. If they are, they'll learn a valuable lesson in managing risk. What if you got hit by a bus or suffered a sudden heart attack? At least this way they get your notice period to bring other people up to speed.

Happiness (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639044)

However, I have been approached by another company that is much bigger, and they have offered me a pay rise of £7k to do the same job, plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life .

Those last two words are the important bit. You need to decide what is important in YOUR life. Quality of life is very important. Rejecting anyone is a painful experience and that includes companies you work for.

If you are going to burn bridges, think hard about whether it is worth it but then make your decision and don't look back. There are no guarantees for you or from either company. If the new job seems like a secure gig and it will improve your quality of life I'd consider it. Look VERY carefully at the corporate culture and the people you'll be working with. That is usually what makes or breaks a job.

Some friends have told me that I'm just being 'soft' – however I think I'm being loyal. Any advice?"

You are being soft though that might not be a bad thing. It means you are probably a considerate and decent person. Don't let that stop you from doing what is best for you though.

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

Loyalty goes both ways (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639052)

So you're loyal to your company. Great. How loyal are they to you?

Do they pay you at or above what you could make elsewhere?

Do they do their best to schedule things so that you're not constantly working death-march overtime?

Do they respect you and your contributions?

Do they lay people off only when they absolutely have to, or whenever doing so could goose their quarterly numbers?

Loyalty is great. Loyalty is undervalued. But loyalty has to be earned, and while you've told us you're loyal to your company you haven't given us any reasons why, so we can't judge whether your loyalty is misplaced or not. The one reason you gave is that you consider some of your current managers to be friends, and that's great, but I can tell you from experience that just because a manager is your friend doesn't necessarily mean that he won't lay your ass off in a hot minute if he thinks he can benefit by doing so. There are lots of people who put the "business" part of "business friendships" first and foremost.

If this company has earned your loyalty -- if they've gone above and beyond to treat you with the respect you deserve -- then by all means return that loyalty. If it's just a place you've worked for a few years, though, then in the long run you'll do better to look out for number one and save your loyalty for people who deserve it.

Decisions, decisions... (1)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639056)

Even a crap job is tolerable if the people are decent and the money is fair. Loyalty is due where loyalty is repaid. Granted, employment contracts and Non-Compete clauses always limit and grate, but is where you are now giving/getting you what you want? Will the green grass over the fence do better for you in the long run? Do you accept the burdens of those changes in the short run?

It can be pretty cheesy to attempt to "measure" your friendship, much less deliberately test it, but if you feel you're part of something larger (and a good part at that), then you don't even need to ask the question.

It's the old 4-panel plan problem. Take a sheet of paper, fold it in four, and mark them 6, 12, 5, 100. Then list things you want to do in the next 6 weeks, 12 months, 5 years, and 100 years. Review it carefully. The 6/12/5 items should lead somehow to the 100 year items. Climb a mountain? Sure! Learn mountain climbing? Yeah, I can do that in 5 years easy. Ah -- get fit first. Yep, can start that this year. Six weeks to find a good trainer -- can do!

So -- where are you going, and and is where you are (or wish you were) part of getting there?

The real solution (1)

UnresolvedExternal (665288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639060)

The real solution is to search slashdot for the last 5k times that this question has been asked. Some of the answers are really good.

*sigh*

Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer? (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639062)

Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

No

Give generous notice and take the best job (2)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639064)

1. Tell the new employer that you'd like to give a longer-than-usual notice to your current employer
2. Figure out between you and your new employer what length of time is reasonable
3. Tell your old employer that you're leaving, but that you're giving them this extended notice
4. Make the move

Hopefully when you're looking for the next job after this one your current employer will remember that you did them a favor, because that's who you'll likely be using as a reference and not these new people you're talking to now. And even if they forget that you were nice to them on the way out, you'll still know that you did "the right thing" (and not "the sucker thing" by staying forever just because they weren't smart enough to make people slightly redundant)

Loyalty requires worthiness (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639068)

You have to ask yourself: is the company currently worth being loyal to?

All too often, people seem to think that loyalty is, in and of itself, something you should strive for. It's not. Being mindlessly loyal is just plain dumb; the things you choose to be loyal to should, in some way, be worthy of that loyalty.

Your current company doesn't seem like it really cares about being worthy of your loyalty. I'm sure their flagship product was shipped out overseas against your recommendation, if they even bothered to ask (and that's entirely ignoring the incredibad business decision of outsourcing a core product), which just indicates that they don't really care.

Also, if another company is willing to try and snipe you off with a raise, you're probably worth significantly more than what either of them are offering. I mean, just ask yourself - if I'm worth my salary + 7k (which is what another company is willing to pay for me right now), why hasn't my current company given me that raise? Because they're taking advantage of your "loyalty".

Finally, the fact that they've given you two junior devs to train up at this juncture kinda sounds like they've decided that you're too much of a senior dev, and they'd prefer to pay two junior salaries instead of one senior salary. This is, of course, conjecture, but this sort of behavior is not at all unknown in business.

So yeah, it really seems like there's no reason to be loyal to the company, even though there may be people in the company who are worthwhile. What has the company done recently to be worthy of your loyalty? Keep in mind that your current salary is in exchange for your work, if they want your loyalty they have to do more.

How is your loyalty being repaid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639082)

If the shoe was on the other foot, what would happen? If your current employer *thought* they could turn a bigger profit by replacing/eliminating you, would they?

That should answer your question.

Think about yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639090)

When has any company been loyal to its employees? In my experience they will not hesitate in if they had to get rid of you.
Business is Business and it goes both ways.
 

How much does loyalty pay? (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639094)

The part that concerns me is the part about the "interesting" code from outsourcing. Having spent too much time with "interesting" code I would suggest that if you are not in a position where you can ensure that it is made less interesting then your days are already numbered and it's time to vote with your feet.

UK dev salaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639098)

I didn't realize UK developers made so little that a ~10k USD raise would be that tempting to a senior dev. Not trying to throw stones, it is just the UK devs i have worked with actually made a lot more than that.

Do What You Love (2)

Courageous (228506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639100)

My advice:

Do what you love. Make sure that much is true, no matter what you do. More money isn't worth it.

Pursue new opportunities, whenever you can. Mix things up. Internally at your current place, or externally if you have to leave to get the new challenge.

Don't let yourself get idle and waste away with boredom for fear of the unknown.

Exploit new opportunities.

If the new place has a good reputation, GO. Don't take the counter offer. Just GO.

Loyalty is mostly misplaced in the modern corporate world. However, it might be worthwhile to tie up your current project, and then go hunting. A bold move would be a nationwide hunt, and not just one next door.

Some part of you wants to be comfortable, and the unknown is uncomfortable. Big changes are uncomfortable. Look that in the eye.

Many people go through their entire lives not looking themselves in the eye.

So to speak.

C//

take it. they can always rehire you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639104)

Take the raise. Discuss it with your boss if you wish. Your entire moral obligation is discharged with two weeks' notice.

Since the raise is tempting (7k would be less than 2% for me), that means you're the sort of person who should take the raise.

A more mature developer would concentrate on which work gave the most scope to developing his skills, and then insist on getting the raise and that work.

Turn the question around. (1)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639108)

If your company could hire someone else equally qualified, experienced and competent to do your work for £7k less, would they have any qualms firing you? What about £15k? Outsource it to India for 15% of the cost?

You are in a purely transactional relationship. You provide knowledge and hard work, and you get paid in money, prestige and satisfaction. That's it. It's your company, not your parent or sibling or friend or spouse - you 'owe' it no loyalty beyond that transactional relationship (and even personal relationships break down when they don't work out....). You wouldn't think twice about switching if someone opened up a new grocery store that was closer to your home and offered the same products for a lower price. Why is this different?

Do yourself a favour, mate. Go get the £7k + 7.5 hours of your life (almost a full work day on its own!) per week back. Good luck!

Flee! (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639120)

Flee! Flee while you still can!

Seriously, though, you should talk to them (your current employer). Explain the situation, and give them the chance to make it worth your while to stay. See if they want you badly enough to pay for it. The results, either way, may surprise you and make your choice very much more clear.

Leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639122)

Always leave. Don't give them a chance to match. They've had a chance match the entire time you've been working for them.

The reality is, you must move on to move up. Trust me. Not only to expand your income, but also to increase resume/job experience and soft skills. By moving on, you'll be exposing yourself to new people and processes. Another great chance to learn. I suspect your've peaked and your "learning" days at your new job are done.

The catalyst for a career is movement.

The world is a very small place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639128)

I've been in the IT world for over 15 years and I can tell you that the world is a very small place. As prior posters have said, the 'business' may not care but the people you work with do care if you make their jobs harder. As you move up in the world, make more contacts, get your name known then the cost of leaving a company can be expensive in ways you didn't imagine when you were just a grunt. Be sure not to burn any bridges that you may need to cross later in your career.

Loyalty probably doesn't mean anything to them... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639138)

But that said, it might mean something to you. If you feel better about yourself remaining where you are than you would leaving your current employer high and dry in exchange for a higher salary, then that peace of mind is certainly of great value, and the guilt you may feel at your new job if you were to leave your current one could even adversely affect your capabilities.

It is, of course, ultimately up to you.... How do *YOU* feel about leaving your current job? Would you regret leaving if it turned out that your former employer had difficulties after your absence? Is that even likely? If it were to happen, weigh its probability against how much you would likely regret not taking the new job? If you can answer these questions for yourself, you will have arrived at the most sensible course of action that you can take with the knowledge that you have now.

Rewards of Loyalty (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639140)

I can only speak about the US. Generally, companies work at retaining people through various means:

1. Severance Package: You won't get a severance package at your new job until you are vested, in the US at least. That means getting through you probationary period. Severance packages are always much better than our pitiful US unemployment insurance, which they are always making more humiliating to access and more difficult to collect. How much are you giving up to change jobs?

2. Perks: These can be things as simple as having a relaxed work environment, versus being in a pressure cooker. You seem happy where you are, will the new job burn you out in a few months?

3. Communication: Does the company surprise you with bad news, or does it keep you in the loop?

A 7k raise doesn't mean much if they get rid of you in a couple of months.

What they said, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639144)

I agree with most of the comments suggesting that it is a business decision and there is no loyalty on the part of the company. However, that is based on my experiences with US corporation values. I don't know what the culture is like where the OP resides or at the OP's company, and the culture does make a difference. If your company has displayed loyalty to its employees, then you should factor that in, but don't let it be the only factor. If you have seen your company show a lack of loyalty, then factor that in. The out-sourcing of coding makes me lean in the 'loyalty not that important' direction, though.

In a similar situation myself (1)

foobat (954034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639148)

A friend once told me that "You have to be in it for yourself.".

If you decided to stay on, would this crucial time stop soon? Or as I suspect, go on forever. This situation actually is so close to what a couple of guys here are going through, I had to ask around if it was one of us who submitted it.

Guess it's time to jump ship.

Put yourself in their shoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37639154)

Sure companies can be very uncaring and fire you just because they're numbers dip. But that usually only happens with giant companies. With a smaller company people tend to be closer to each other and loyalty can tend to go both ways. Just think about times where you've had to defend one of your staff to your boss. You don't think your boss might not defend you in the same way some times? How would you behave if you were in their position? If you were the boss and you think you'd fire somebody just because numbers dip, then don't look back and take the other job. If you were the boss and you'd be willing to take the hit just to keep loyal good people around, maybe you should stay.

And a 7k raise only works out to about 9 extra pounds per day (before tax!). Whoopee.

Are you kidding? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37639156)

When your immediate usefulness is perceived to have ended, your "friends" would grind you up and sell you as dog food for a few extra pounds if they thought they could get a way with it.

Short answer? Don't be an idiot.

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