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Where Should Company Loyalty End?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

The Internet 406

An Anonymous CTO asks: "Currently, I work for a small Internet consulting company. We've been trying to find funding for the past year or so, but to no avail, and future prospects are quite dim, despite a recent drastic change in our approach. Morale is at an all time low, with near-incompetent management decisions having effectively worn down even the most dedicated of us. My position is pivotal, though, and even though the upper crust is pretty much a joke, my coworkers are quite talented, which is the crux of the matter -- if I bail ship, the company will likely either fold or have to transform itself immensely, quite probably at the cost of the jobs of my friends. And yet, I have two upcoming job offers that are both well paying and good career moves, and offers don't last forever. Should I stick things out, or should I bail and move on? When it comes to the workplace, where do loyalties end and responsibilities to oneself begin?"

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No loyalty (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#495200)

Look, here is the deal. As far as the company goes, they will fire you the first time they think it will save them money to have you gone. As for your co-workers, you might be the one leading the exodus and setting the right example. From what you have said it seems like things are pretty bad, and although you can't pouch people from your old company, you all might be better off somewhere else and you setting the example might help. Remember, change is only change -- nothing more. So, do what you think is right and good for you.

Bail out while you can (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#495201)

I say you bail out ASAP. Nobody is irreplacable
and if the management types want to they can
probably get a replacement for you.

Regardless, if these other people are very
talented as you say, they should have absolutely
no problem getting a job in the current market.
In fact, your probably doing them a favor,
encouraging them to move on from a dying employer.

Welcome to the free market.

Change is good (1)

tjones (1282) | more than 13 years ago | (#495216)

The time has come, abandon ship!

Think about it, although you would hate to see your friends lose thier jobs, it may be the best thing for them, especially since the company's in trouble. It may force them to go out and find higher paying jobs elsewhere with more stability.

Don't deny yourself an opportunity to advance your career to stay with a dying company. Chances are, it won't work out in the long run.

bail, take talent with you (2)

ragnar (3268) | more than 13 years ago | (#495220)

You say that some of your co-workers are quite talented. Have you considered the possibility that they also smell the rotting flesh of the corporation? Plenty of other people will explain why it isn't your job to prop up a failing company. Why not venture on your own... form your own company and invite the talented group to come and join you? I'm sure you don't want to nose dive your current company, but if they are screwed without you, at least you can make something better for you co-workers.

Besides, then you have the joy of reporting your old business to [] .

What better time than now? (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 13 years ago | (#495223)

With management that pointy-haired, you're probably better off bailing out now, just in case they do something that leaves you, or your reputation, vulnerable.

How's the job market in your area? If it's good, and your friends are as good as you say they are, chances are they'll easily land on their feet, probably in a better environment, position, and/or pay scale.

We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead

opportunities (1)

UuCon (4853) | more than 13 years ago | (#495226)

You are exactly right, opportunities don't last forever. You must try to help out your friends but you cannot at the cost of your career. If your friends are as talented as you say, then they should have no trouble finding their own opportunities.

A situation similar to this happened to me. I took the new job and yes the company I left folded...but within a month all of my friends that I worked with there had new jobs. In fact several of them work with me at my new job.

There is a thin line between helping your friends out and holding yourself back.

Never be loyal to incompetent management. (1)

Chazman (6089) | more than 13 years ago | (#495227)

Loyalty must be earned. If the management is truly incompetent, and it's obvious that their incompetence is ruining the company, and you have tried and failed to get them back on the right track, then management has failed to earn your loyalty, and you should not give it to them. Loyalty to your friends, however is another matter. If your friends have been producing good work, they deserve not to be left completely in the lurch. On the one hand, if the management is as bad as you say, sooner or later the company will tank, and your friends will be laid off. On the other hand, if your leaving will drastically accelerate this, then perhaps you do bear some measure of moral responsibility here. Talk to the companies that have given you offers. Tell them you've got several people working under you, whom you recommend highly, that may also be looking for jobs soon. Ask them if there might also be positions for these people at the new place. You might just get your whole department hired all at once. What a coup that would be -- saving all your friends from a sinking ship while simultaneously giving the royal shaft to the jerks who put the whole in the bottom of the ship in the first place.

Wrong category (1)

Soong (7225) | more than 13 years ago | (#495229)

This should be a Poll and not an Ask Slashdot.

Anyhow, I vote 'bail and move on'

And tomorrow I'll vote 'move in with Hemos'

Re:three words (1)

whydna (9312) | more than 13 years ago | (#495231)

Re:Loyalty to your employer? (2)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 13 years ago | (#495239)

When it's all said and done, you're the one who has to live with your decision.

So it doesn't really matter what our opinion is; what matters is yours.

If you think you should leave, you should probably leave; but do you really think you should, or are you just unhappy about something specific?


Re:Bail (1)

Delphis (11548) | more than 13 years ago | (#495242)

I agree with the sentiment. I was going to post about the exact same thing. Sure, company loyalty and even more so friendship is important but if you're going to get stuffed by not making a smart (and in this case obviously better) career move then that's stupid.

You might well be able to recommend your friends to new positions in your new employer's company too. If they're talented like you say, then they should have no problems finding other employment as well.


Leave now! (2)

BrianH (13460) | more than 13 years ago | (#495243)

The company you're in is flawed from the start. A consulting company, by it's very nature, shouldn't require funding to remain in business. I too work for a consulting firm, but one with a business model requiring it to make a profit and pay for itself. There's nothing magical about consulting, and consulting firms rarely grow large (which is probably why your company is having such a hard time finding funding). The fact that your company is focusing on securing VC capital rather so that they can maintain a flashy image, rather than pursuing CUSTOMERS who will actually pay the bills, tells me that the management of the company is clueless about what running a company really means.

Ask yourself this: Do you think they would hesitate for a moment to drag you down with them, until they ran out of funding, despite the damage it could do to your career? If the answer is no, then they don't have any loyalty to you. And if they're not loyal to you, why are you worried about them?

Bail now and save yourself. Or better yet, try to get all the programmers to join you and form your own consulting firm, founded on a PROFIT based business model. The firm I work for started when 5 programmers left a situation similar to yours. They hired an MBA and an accountant to handle the business, and a sales guy to promote them. That was 4 years ago...we've now got 40 employees and are clearing 12mil a year in sales (without a DIME of funding).

Correct Order: (1)

sherms (15634) | more than 13 years ago | (#495250)

1) you first
2) Family
3) work

Another words bail out now and find somthing better.


You owe a company NO loyalty (2)

geophile (16995) | more than 13 years ago | (#495253)

They are not doing you a favor by employing you.

Bail after giving your buddies at the company plenty of warning. If you do things right, you might even be able to bring them with you.

Jump ship (4)

Evro (18923) | more than 13 years ago | (#495256)

Your kids should take priority over your friends (or their kids). Also, the company you described sounded doomed anyway (barring a miracle, of course; low morale is not a great motivator). If the company folds and the job offers are no longer there, then what are you going to do?

__________________________________________________ ___

Companies have no loyalty: (1)

chammel (19734) | more than 13 years ago | (#495260)

Companies have no loyalty only people are loyal. I have been loyal to those managers and supervisors if they are competent and have earned my respect. My loyalty is to the people and customers not the company.

In the situation you describe the management has shown gross incompetence you owe them no loyalty at all. You can empathize with your friends and coworkers but you must think of your career. If staying in a dieing company is a good career move then stay, otherwise take the offer and try to bring as many of your friends along as possible.

Loyalty to your employer? (3)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 13 years ago | (#495280)

When it comes to the workplace, where do loyalties end and responsibilities to oneself begin?"

Companies, just like people, only deserve the loyalty that they've earned. If they've earned your loyalty (for example, through treating you better than you would be treated elsewhere), then take that into consideration. But if not, then there's no reason to be loyal to them. Look for a better job and leave as soon as you land one.

Re:If you're asking this question... (2)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 13 years ago | (#495284)

Just like in a marriage - by the time you decide you need couselling it's too late.

Re:Bail (4)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 13 years ago | (#495285)

I agree - bail now.

When it comes to the workplace, where do loyalties end and responsibilities to oneself begin?

How much loyalty does your company have in you? My bet is they would sack your ass in a hearbeat.

Eject, Eject, Eject! (1)

deacon (40533) | more than 13 years ago | (#495289)

You have put your finger on the crux of the matter- PHBs who are out of their depth.

There is nothing you can do to save this situation. You can be a great help to your talented coworkers by taking one of your offers, and helping those coworkers get jobs in your new company, or one of the offers you turn down.

The longer you stay, the more you will get worn down, the lower your energy level, and the harder it will be getting more offers.

Bail (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#495294)

Sounds like the corp is flaming out anyway. Bail now. It'll give your friends the excuse they've been needing to go.

Company Loyalties (2)

NullGrey (46215) | more than 13 years ago | (#495296)

I'm not trying to tell you how to run your life, just some simple advice. It does neither you nor your friends a favor staying on a sinking ship. If your friends are talented, they should be able to find work also. You may also wish to talk to your friends about finding other jobs also, before you hand in your two-wek notice.

As far as the jobs are concerned, besides being good money, are they in a field that you are interested in? Do you believe in the company direction?

Not always the case (3)

Nile (53479) | more than 13 years ago | (#495305)

I'm in a similar position. I work for a small consulting company that recently took a turn for the worse and am now faced with the prospect of giving up my "seniority" as employee #3 to take a job at another company.

I've received offers from clients that there is a job available for me should I want to take it. I haven't updated my resume in 5 years and have never sent it out to anyone...but if you work in the right field, people will come looking for you.

If I take this job it would be the second I've gotten without a single interview. In my first job I was recruited by a member of my study group from grad school.

I think actually working with someone for a month (either as a consultant or a partner on educational/open source projects) is a much better indicator of future performance than any 1 or 2 days of interviewing.

Loyalty Appreciated but Look out for the Family (3)

Milican (58140) | more than 13 years ago | (#495308)

Well your loyalty to your friends and your company is admirable. However, you probably have a family to think of as well and they should be at the top of your list when making these decisions. You should draw a mental line in the sand. When the company crosses that. Give your two weeks.. you may wanna give your friends a little advanced notice, but be careful with this. No need to follow the Titanic down and start drawing unemployment because you missed good oportunities. Thats my two cents.


/. = Techno Ann Landers? (1)

jtosburn (63943) | more than 13 years ago | (#495316)

And the decline continues unabated...

Don't mean to troll, but then again, must we be baited so?

That's easy... (2)

Ted V (67691) | more than 13 years ago | (#495321)

Simple! Take the job offer at the new company and bring your friends' business cards with them. Part of the facts of life is that sometimes companies don't work out. If you truly believe your coworkers are talented, they should have no trouble getting jobs as well. But don't let management hold you back just because you think you have an obligation to support your friends who are as employable as you are.


Re:You owe a company NO loyalty (1)

Number6.2 (71553) | more than 13 years ago | (#495327)

I hate to say "me too, me too" but there you have it. The horrible lesson is that the 80's and 90's have tought us is that we are all mercenaries(sp?) Company loyalty? Think of your career move as your opportunity to right size your upper management. Do not tip your hand, even to those closest to you. You can ask forgiveness later.

Why don't you form your own company? (1)

gorsh (75930) | more than 13 years ago | (#495342)

Take your talented co-workers with you, and create a new company that's well-run. It sounds like the place where you're at is going to fold no matter what, so you don't have much to lose...

What makes you think we can answer that? (5)

Tridus (79566) | more than 13 years ago | (#495346)

Nobody here can answer a question like that.

First of all, the real question isn't loyalty to the company. From the way you write it, it sounds like loyalty to those non-moronic co-workers, some of which may even be friends? Your not sounding worried about the company itself, you sound worried about them. Those are people. Thats an admirable trait.

Some questions you can ask yourself would include things like:

- Can I take some of them with me, and get them out of here into a better place?

- If I stay, am I just prolonging the inevitable, or can I actually save this place?

- Can they find better jobs easily if I leave, or are they going to be more or less fucked?

- How much do I really care about what happens to them?

My *advice* would be to sit down and quietly think about it (or pace, or whatever you do that helps you think). If you can take several of them with you, you could be doing them a huge favor, as well as yourself at the same time. If not, will your staying really make a difference, or will it just make it take that much longer for the incompetitant management to drive the company straight into the ground?

As I said, nobody can really answer this question for you, because it depends too much on what kind of person you are. Some people would do anything to protect their friends, others arent. Look at if you care. If you do care, look at how much good you can do in each situation, and try to pick the best one that you can live with doing.

Hopefully some of the posts in this thread get you thinking, maybe that will help you find the answers your looking for.

Good luck!

three words (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 13 years ago | (#495354)

the ibm songbook

Re:That's easy... (1)

xxyyxxzz (87887) | more than 13 years ago | (#495358)

That's usually not as easily said as it is done. Most consulting companies (most companies in general for that matter) make employees sign some sort of contract at the beginning saying that they can't pilfer employees from the ex-employer for x amount of time, etc ...

Isn't that a little arrogant? (2)

jimmcq (88033) | more than 13 years ago | (#495359)

-- if I bail ship, the company will likely either fold or have to transform itself immensely, quite probably at the cost of the jobs of my friends Isn't that a little arrogant? What makes you think that they won't find a replacement? The world (and that company) don't revolve around you. Life (and the company) will go on without you.

No Problem (1)

doodaddy (92272) | more than 13 years ago | (#495365)

If your friends/co-workers are "quite talented" as you say, then they can fend for themselves.

You will probably be doing them a favor to leave. They are probably staying because you need them. (-:

Bail (2)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 13 years ago | (#495367)

Bail....your family and your well being comes WAYYYYY before your friends and co-workers.

It ends ASAP. (1)

matt-fu (96262) | more than 13 years ago | (#495368)

Loyalty to shitty management is useless. The only reason I'd stay at a job like that is because of my friends, and even then I'd start working to make sure they knew I was leaving and were ready to jump ship with me. Unless you have a sizable financial stake in the company, there's no point in staying unless it's feasable that you could get management to let you call the shots to bring the company back up to where it needs to be (which isn't likely).

Be Realistic (1)

bwoodring (101515) | more than 13 years ago | (#495375)

It seems to me that your company is going to collapse either way, you'd be better off taking care of yourself and not worrying about your co-workers. If they really are as talented as you say, they'll land on their feet.

As for the company itself? Remember, they'd sack you in a heartbeat if it would make them profitable. Companies are *not* people, they give no loyalty, and they deserve none.

one word.. plus some more. (1)

jspectre (102549) | more than 13 years ago | (#495378)


If your upper management is THAT incompetient then they don't deserve your loyality. In the end it should be survival of the fittest. If you're smart you'll know when to get off the sinking ship before you go down with it.

I worked for a .com that was failing majorly, morale was low, there was MAJOR fighting in top management about direction and our feeble product couldn't sell. The smart people recgonized things weren't going to get better and we're all happy at new positions now. The people that stuck around now are putting up with round after round of layoffs and have finally begun to look for new positions.

How can you believe in your company when your company doesn't believe in you?

What did you promise your co-workers? (1)

Catamaran (106796) | more than 13 years ago | (#495382)

What did you promise your co-workers? If you promised them you would not quit no matter what then you have to balance that commitment to the commitment you have to yourself and your family. By the way, are your co-workers so ignorant of the situation that they cannot predict that people, including yourself, will be quitting? They are probably already floating their own resumes. Bottom line is: you don't want to hurt people, but you want to take care of yourself. If you do decide to move on, try to think of ways that you might help the people whose lives will be disrupted.

You would accept advice from /. readers? (1)

galego (110613) | more than 13 years ago | (#495385)

OK...that's your first obstacle to overcome...

But beyond that, [note to moderators: tag this as 'no-brainer'] it sounds as if your real decision is which offer to take.

I have a wife and kids. And from that perspective, I know that life is hard enough without having to stave off hunger, look for a job w/o an income (cuz you hung on til they did go belly up), go daily to a job you can't take anymore, or have to work with people/in a system that makes you want to pull dead-strands-of-material-that-keeps-your-head-warm out.

Let me ask you these two questions?

  1. Did you actively seek those offers?
  2. Do either of them appear better than your current position and have you done your homework on those employers/companies?


I hear ya! (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 13 years ago | (#495389)

I was faced with a situation like that too. A startup company which was using High Tech, had a founder who f***ed the finances, and lost an account. I tried to stick it out. I took a pay cut, and in the end was working for a few months for free while the remaining founder was looking for clients and a potential buyout.

I ended up bagging it. I loved working there, and would have loved to have seen it get out of it's problems. I however was not the one who got the company into the problem in the first place. All my efforts really never got me anything. The upper management bought Mercedes sport cars, Mustang convertibles, etc. I worked 7 days a week, and had no life. A good check at the end of the week, but not a GREAT check.

If I was in the situation again, I'd be looking for other work right now. You have to watch out for #1 (YOU!) before anything else.

get outta there! (1)

Vokabular (114672) | more than 13 years ago | (#495390)

Get another job...

And these few precepts in thy memory (1)

graybeard (114823) | more than 13 years ago | (#495392)

See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

It's doomed. (1)

VultureMN (116540) | more than 13 years ago | (#495395)

There is no point trying to stay if the prospects are as bad as you describe. Horrible management will doom the company, so loyalty has nothing to do with it.

If you're concerned about your friends there, tell them you're jumping ship and give them as much warning as possible. That way they can bail out, also, without necessarily getting cornholed too badly.

Bail (5)

doublem (118724) | more than 13 years ago | (#495396)

Jump Ship. There is NO reason for you to stay with a dying company. Give your friends good references. Feel no guilt. You'll be kicking yourself for losing those job offers whent the comany does fold. []

Ethics versus Loyalty (4)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 13 years ago | (#495400)

I think the important thing is what's ethical when considering issues of corporate loyalty. It is unethical to jump ship in order to get money for bringing trade-secret-type information to a competitor. It is unethical to make a false committment to a company's project and then (barring an extremely good reason, of course) bail when they are depending on you to do what you said you would. It is certainly ethical to watch out for your personal welfare and leave a failing company.

Get out now!!!!!!! (1)

FSK (123170) | more than 13 years ago | (#495401)

You have to take care of yourself. I was in a very similar situation, and every single person (at least the one's I cared about) found jobs the same week the company "re-structured".

Re:Company Loyalty (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#495402)

This company has paid for this 'anonymous CTO's house, the car in the garage, the panties worn by his three year old daughter.
No, that company paid for services rendered. Not services to be rendered; it was compensation for work.

Move on.. (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 13 years ago | (#495403)

Once you get to senior level executives its not always good to jump around a lot, but its a small company, you sound obviously unhappy, and if your co-workers are really taltend and with low morale if you leave they can surely find more work elsewhere given the current demand patterns for IT workers... That leaves you with the guilt of causing the company to fold? If you are the one holding it up and management continually makes stupid decisions do you really want to be assocaited?

I would not, thats my opinon at least.


Your are not responsible for a company (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 13 years ago | (#495404)

If your company can't get things right - leave it.

If the management is so incompetent that they can't make enough money despite the fact that they have talented workers - then it is not your responsibility to save the company

As far as people are concerned: if they are really talented then they should find themselves a good place instead of a "fucked company"(TM). You can try to bring them with yourself if you feel like that they can't care for themselves :) - an experienced team is valuable thing, many would welcome it heartily.

So, to put it short: leave!

Talk to your friends (1)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 13 years ago | (#495409)

You should sit down and talk with the coworkers you call friends, and let them know how you feel. Tell them you think the company is doomed, and have some better outlook on the horizon. If the company is as bad as you make it sound, then they are aware of the situation too. They may be staying just to wait and see if their friends leave. If you talk it out with your friends, maybe you can work together to make sure that everyone has their future secured somehow.

Re:Bail. Now. (1)

tetrad (131849) | more than 13 years ago | (#495410)

I've been in this situation four times in the last six years.

Four times in six years? Wow. Choose one:

(a) That's some coincidence!
(b) Boy, you sure can pick the losers.
(c) You're not doing anyting to, uh, contribute to the demise of these companies, are you?

Re:Company Loyalty (2)

bellings (137948) | more than 13 years ago | (#495417)

Shut up, troll. You say:
The managers will pull the company together again.
And then you say:
Think of your friends. If you leave, now THEY do not have a job.
Either the managers can pull the company together, or they can't. If his friends are as good as he thinks they are, one of them will stop up as CTO and fill his shoes. Or, they'll find new jobs before the company disinigrates. Hell, they might find new jobs before his two week notice is through. If the "Anonymous CTO" is such hot shit that the company will fail immediately when he leaves, then his company is fucked twelve ways before Tuesday, anyhow. Everyone should take the opportunity to get the fuck out while the paychecks are still coming in, instead starting to look for a job once the lights get shut off and fancy desks and workstations get hauled away by the creditors. He's not doing anyone any favors by giving them a reason to stay until their ass is reamed bigger than the goat sex guy's.

Run awaaaay! (2)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 13 years ago | (#495425)

You're being too sentimental. You work for money. If the money is fading, so should your loyalty. Loyalty ends when the first paycheck bounces, and there's nothing wrong with fleeing preemptively.

If it makes you feel better about leaving your friends behind: if the company is so shaky that any one employee leaving dooms it, then they're screwed anyway.

My mom is not a Karma whore!

Responsibilities... (5)

Spoing (152917) | more than 13 years ago | (#495432)

Management is responsible for staffing concerns, not you.

If you are so pivital to the project, then it's management's problem not yours.

If the company is doing so poorly, then the decision will be made for you within the year even if you do nothing.

Leave. Stay. Either way, be honest and remember what you are responsible for and what is out of your control.

Jumping immediately to another interesting company is a really good way to keep your spirits up. If you can bring some of the good people with you, go for it. They'll appreciate it because they know that you aren't responsible for them but will deeply appreciate it. Good for building loyalty and/or friendships.

From what you wrote, you've already made up your mind -- probably a few moments before pressing the submit button.

Bail. Now. (2)

Snocone (158524) | more than 13 years ago | (#495436)

I've been in this situation four times in the last six years. The chances that things will turn around are about zero no matter how hard you work -- cut your losses and bail now, trust me on this one.

You only feel like a jerk the first time :)


kevin42 (161303) | more than 13 years ago | (#495441)

I found myself in a similar situation a month ago and decided to leave. I was able to take my time looking around and I found a good job after getting a couple of offers.

9 days after my last day the company folded and laid off all employees (64 of them). To make matters worse the company couldn't afford to pay people their last paycheck (work they already had done + vacation balances). So now there are a lot of out of work people who didn't even get paid what they had coming to them. Now they can't afford to be as selective in finding new work, plus there is more competition for what jobs there are.

If I learned anything from this situation it's to not ignore your instincts.

Talented techies... (3)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#495445)

and by that I include coders and us admin types should have no problem in this economy finding jobs. It sounds to be like the end has come. I would take another offer, the good talented people will be ok and in a perfect world the bad ones would be out of work but they will most likely find jobs also.

Sounds like (2)

Tairan (167707) | more than 13 years ago | (#495446)

You work for a Get out. Its probably going under. If the company isn't making YOU happy, then why should you stay? Unless you are making so much money that it would be stupid for you to leave, then get the hell out.

Why make yourself miserable?

Leave the Job! (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 13 years ago | (#495447)

I was in the same position as you just a short time ago. I had put resumes out and was working for a Regional ISP. I wore many hats there and towards the end, had to fire many people, all of whom friends. Just so happens that I got fired because I wasn't doing MY job. That's true...I was doing everyone elses job that they made me fire. So YES!! Leave ASAP. Companies do some strange things when they're in thier Death-Robes.

Leave. (1)

laserjet (170008) | more than 13 years ago | (#495449)

You must remember your purpose of working in the first place - to make money to live your life, retirement, etc. There is no reason to have to stick with a company that may not provide you with the money (the reason you worked there in the first place).

I work so I can live life as I please.

people (1)

*weasel (174362) | more than 13 years ago | (#495454)

...i don't get em. i'm sure there are alot of pivotal people in alot of organizations the world over. i'm sure their organizations would be hurt if they left - but it isn't going to destroy everything that remains behind. not if there really was something there to begin with.

your first responsibility in business is to yourself. you cannot hold yourself responsible for the position that a company is in (unless you made the decisions to get them there). you cannot hold yourself accountable for the results of your moving on. you cannot hold yourelf accountable for your friends well-being.

if they need to find new jobs - that cannot be your fault. if management was competent they wouldn't be in this situation. and if you see impending doom - then your friends must see it as well. i'm sure you've talked about it before with them. it seems everyone in your situation knows the score. their decisions are their own - as are yours.

the company has no loyalty to you. if you weren't performing to their expectations, they'd replace you. so why feel bad when they aren't performing to your expectations, and you replace them?

there is no loyalty in business. there's honesty, and integrity - and that's all you need to worry about.

The bagel theory of software (4)

20000hitpoints (175978) | more than 13 years ago | (#495458)

I can't even understand why there is even a CONCEPT of company loyalty. What are you being loyal to? What are you even talking about? Throughout the ages, human beings have been loyal to things like religious causes, their nation or ethnic group, their families... where it actually MEANT something. Who has ever heard of being loyal to a company? Think about it -- what does a company stand for? Making money. Selling widgets. Commerce. That's it, it's totally shallow. If you really believed in what you were doing, you wouldn't try to make any money from it, you would be running a NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION!

The dot com thing and the startup cult mentality thing have gotten people so confused they don't even remember that it's JUST A JOB. And by the way, that's why you shouldn't go to work with your friends.

I think the problem is that your typical Ivy League educated kid jumps right out of school and into one of these dot com cults and thinks it a way of life or a belief system. Get some perspective. I worked for years at delis and as a secretary and whatever before I went back to school and got a batchelors in Comp Sci. Now I've got a different job that pays more money. But it's still not that different from when I went to work every day to serve bagels to somebody. It's hard to believe in bagels. I guess it's a little easier to fool yourself into thinking you believe in software.

"Loyalty"? Give me a break.

I run a small company... (2)

jonfromspace (179394) | more than 13 years ago | (#495464)

...and as long as you feel there is enough upside, I say stick it out... Having trouble with financing is par for the course, so I would not worry too much about that... (unless your pay cheque bounces)

However, if you find yourself doubting managment decisions, or the direction of the company, well, you should probably cut your losses.

Do you work for.... (1)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 13 years ago | (#495469)


Why? (1)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 13 years ago | (#495470)

Why does a consulting firm need funding? The only thing you're selling is labor, right? There should be basically zero overhead for equipment, maybe a server or two for web/e-mail. Assuming the consultants are any good, they should be able to generate enough overhead to keep the revenue flowing. Maybe it's just my experiences in the consulting world, but generating cash wasn't much of a problem as long as I worked hard. We could always make enough money to pay the people who weren't billing (secretary, etc).

Re:Company Loyalty (1)

vattervi (191289) | more than 13 years ago | (#495475)

I'm for the bailing. Instead of asking

Are you so self centered, that you are willing to cash out on them?

I think the question is

Are you so self centered that you are sure your friends will lose their jobs if you leave?

I have had friends who were in this position and thought that if they left the company would go under. On the contrary, most didn't.

The Big Rocks (1)

blueforce (192332) | more than 13 years ago | (#495476)

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks - rocks about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, and your children - anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be devastated. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and your time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. TAKE YOUR PARTNER OUT DANCING. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal." "Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

The Big Rocks (5)

blueforce (192332) | more than 13 years ago | (#495477)

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks - rocks about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, and your children - anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be devastated. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff." "If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and your time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. TAKE YOUR PARTNER OUT DANCING. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal." "Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

NYC advice (2)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#495478)

As they say in NYC: JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!

When you switch companies, see if you can refer your friends also. They'll like you very much!

My karma's bigger than yours!

Company loyalty only goes so far. (1)

bluephone (200451) | more than 13 years ago | (#495484)

Company loyalty ends when the company is no longer loyal to the employees. It sounds like your companyisn't loyal to you. A successful company shouldn'tneed a whole lot of funding, nor should it need to look for it for extended periods of time. That's a sign. No one wants to invest in a company where the management is stupid. The fact that you feel they are a joke, and thus won't change if you give your input, shows ME that they aren't loyal to you or your fellow employees. I don't see bailing from this firm as a bad thing. They obviously don't care about your or your employees.

Go ahead and leave, but make sure you tell them explicitly WHY you're leaving. At least then, you're STILL being loyal, and maybe they'll be able to make some changes. I doubt it, but then you're still being loyal without sacrificing yourself to a dead company.


Re:Bail (1)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 13 years ago | (#495485)

i totally agree

Ship is sinking (1)

jpm242 (202316) | more than 13 years ago | (#495487)

Sounds like your company is poorly managed.

Nevertheless, are you happy working there? If so, stay there, if not, go elsewhere. I don't want to sound selfish, but your in it by yourself, and if your departure hurts the company, so be it. Sometimes what you need is just plain old change.

What you need to do is give a respectable notice when you leave, which is the right thing to do if they've been treating you fairly...

Ch...Ch..Ch..Change (1)

themashby (203334) | more than 13 years ago | (#495489)

You have no loyalty to management because loyalty is not something MBA types are taught or understand. If fact, most MBA types would see loyalty as a sign of weakness.

Try to get upper management to get off their ass' and change the direction of the company such that in the short term your company is at least meeting its cash needs. But do not let on that you are thinking of jumping ship. Most managers will see that as a sign to attack you. Its amazing how lacking in leadership skills most MBA/manager types are. Anyway, if they refuse, seem less than motivated, or you don't think they are up to it then you should tell those programmers you feel loyal to and you trust what your plans are and give them a timeline. That's all you need to do. Then its up to them to either take the risk of staying or planning a timely retreat.

I would hope your management gets off their duffs but I wouldn't hold my breath. Most managers were party types in school who don't like to work hard. They would rather use politics and games to get ahead than real work. Keep that in mind.

Lastly when you do leave only tell management that you are leaving because you were offered more money. That's the only reason they will understand. Any other reason and you can expect a Homer Simpson level knee-jerk response. Basically managers never think its their fault that things suck.

My experience (1)

scorbett (203664) | more than 13 years ago | (#495490)

I used to work for a fairly small technology company (which shall remain nameless). The upper management was utterly clueless, the marketing department was given higher priority than the R&D department (even for technical product-related decisions), and in general, the morale amongst the programmers was pretty low. It was tough working there, trying to put out quality software while upper management was running around, making idiots of themselves at every opportunity.

I thought about it for a long time, and then I decided to quit. Why? I didn't feel that this company deserved any more loyalty from me. I had worked my ass off for these morons, working long hours, working weekends, and for what? Rumours were constantly circulating that R&D was up on the chopping block because the company was looking to save money. I have no illusions that they wouldn't think twice about firing me if they thought it would improve their bottom line, so where's the loyalty?

My advice, cold as it may sound, is this: screw 'em. If you aren't happy, and if it seems that the company's future is dim, then bail out. No one is looking out for your best interests except you.

Of course, there will be many in this discussion who hold the romantic notion that it's better to stay and fight, even if it means going down with the ship. I say, screw that. Work is about more than just taking home a pay cheque every two weeks, it should be something that you enjoy doing, and to me it sounds like you aren't happy where you are. Be thankful that we work in an industry where the demand for skilled workers exceeds the supply (at least, for now).


Business n' pleasure (1)

jster23 (204887) | more than 13 years ago | (#495491)

The old saying rings true in this case. Don't hold onto a job you know will kill you because of friends at the company. You'll blame them when the going gets tough. If they are good at their jobs they will be okay, and if they are your friends then they'll be okay with you leaving.

Easy answer. (5)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 13 years ago | (#495493)

Where should company loyalty end?

5PM or your conscience, whichever intervenes first.


Cool (5)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#495496)

You can replace "An Anonymous CTO" with "CmdrTaco" and the article still makes sense. Try it yourself!

If you're asking this question... (2)

Cubic_Spline (211139) | more than 13 years ago | (#495500)

then you probably have your answer. Once you start wondering, if you don't decide to move on how much time will you spend thinking about what you might have been doing if you had left this job. Your friends will understand, they're probably thinking the same things, even if they won't say so.

Loyalty sucks.... (1)

Rev. Buddy Love (212686) | more than 13 years ago | (#495501)

My last company sucked, but the guys I worked with were cool. The management wanted loyalty but didn't do anything to earn it. After I couldn't take it anymore and decided to leave, I offered to stay for 30 days in order to help wrap up the current projects. I was hoping that this would make the process easier on the guys that I worked with. When I told my boss, he said that I had to leave that day! So the team ended up doubly f@#*ed because I wasn't even able to transfer any knowledge to them. Man. Loyalty sucks, I say split and try to help your friends from your new job. -Rev.

regrets (1)

tazochai (213288) | more than 13 years ago | (#495502)

Which decision would you regret more?

Well.. (1)

B00yah (213676) | more than 13 years ago | (#495503)

you should try discussing the subject with a member of the management, but try to keep it between the two of you. They will be able to give you a better idea of what to do.

Important Distinction (1)

deebaine (218719) | more than 13 years ago | (#495509)

I would be careful to distinguish between company loyalty and loyalty to your friends and coworkers. I think it is silly to "go down with the ship" for the company's sake. Friends are a different matter. Have you discussed the future with them? Perhaps they too see the writing on the wall? Would you be in a position to help them get jobs afterwards? Most importantly, are you really doing them any favors by prolonging their stay at an apparently doomed company? If they end up unemployed in the middle of a recession in 10 months (I don't really expect it, but hypothetically), I expect that it wouldn't have done them any good that you stuck with a failing effort when you could have pulled the plug. And you would be in the same boat.

I would sit down quietly with my coworkers and friends and gauge their assessment of the future, albeit without tipping my hand. I might even subtly point them in what I thought was the most beneficial direction. But I would not sacrifice myself for the dubious benefit of my friends; it would be better for to help them and help yourself than to valiantly help nobody at all.

Re:Ambivalence (4)

deebaine (218719) | more than 13 years ago | (#495510)

I don't necessarily agree. My partner and I have been working to open and then running a company since July. In that time, we each have had at least two job offers that I would consider genuine (and other pie-in-the-sky type flights of fancy). Many techies I know routinely get offers from people with whom they interact outside the company; suppliers, contractors, etc. who try to steal them away from their present job. If this particular CTO has been doing his job well and has done the requisite networking for his company, then I'm mildly surprised that he's only gotten two offers.

Sounds like you've already decided... (1)

drift factor (220568) | more than 13 years ago | (#495511)

But now you're worried about your conscience. After all, you've gotten a couple of offers, so you've probably gone looking for a new job, and now at the moment when you're ready to leave you're second guessing yourself.

To thine own self be true. (5)

human bean (222811) | more than 13 years ago | (#495517)

Been there, although it was the late seventies. Simple answer: If things have gone to the point where one person can have such an effect on an entire company, then that company has already passed the point of no return.

No management (unless thier heads are where the sun don't shine) would allow this, purely from the point of treating that one critical employee as a person, much less from the reliability angle.

Bite the bullet and get it over with quickly. Your coworkers will thank you later. Life goes on. Even the darkest day finally ends.

Also, be creative. Plan. Take their curricula vitae with you. Keep the cream, and spread the rest around. Your new employers may thank you, and so might your employee friends.

Help hire your replacement (1)

WickedClean (230550) | more than 13 years ago | (#495526)

That's right - assist in hiring your replacement then get out of there. It is not your problem or your responsibility if somebody under you just got a new house or a new car. You said that everyone in the company pretty much knows what is going on anyway. There is no harm in trying to better yourself.

The Company did that to me to (1)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | more than 13 years ago | (#495534)

The Company sent me on a business trip, but I couldn't see the point of it. My instructions were to have a picnic, then go to the theater. The picnic was on this grassy knoll and I found a rifle in the picnic basket! Later, in the theater there was a bunch of ruckus in the basement and I saw some of my coworkers--they didn't say "hi" though. Nowadays, especially in the commie areas of the country, people will tell you to just "jump ship". But this was Texas in 1963--I stayed loyal to The Company. You should, too.
MailOne []

Ambivalence (4)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | more than 13 years ago | (#495535)

"And yet, I have two upcoming job offers that are both well paying and good career moves, and offers don't last forever."

Why do you have offers coming in? Did you put your resume out? Surely you must have at least interviewed with them.

I suspect you've already made the decision to leave and want us to provide some conscience-salving justifications for it.
MailOne []

Loyalties (1)

Aurelius42 (248409) | more than 13 years ago | (#495547)

Your loyalties should be to yourself first. To your coworkers second. To the company third. This may seem backwards from what many people say, but if you put the company above all else, you end up being not a very nice person. If you put yourself first, then you are watching out for the most important person in your life, and then you are loyal to your coworkers, and they will most likely follow suit towards you. By putting the company third, you don't alienate it, nor jeopardize your job, you just realize that there are other jobs, but you will be able to maintain the connections you made while there.

A very idealistic POV, I know, but it works :)

loyalty, run!!! (1)

Darkstar1 (249752) | more than 13 years ago | (#495550)

I went down that road. If the prospect are dim you need to look out for yourself first. Don't just disappear one day, give them notice. I tried to do the loyal thing at a company and ended up with no paycheck for 3 months when the boss walked in one day and said that they had gone under. Good luck

Do the administrative admins need some lovin? (1)

SantaDaddy (250328) | more than 13 years ago | (#495551)

:D j/k

leave (1)

ThisIsSuchACoolNick (257705) | more than 13 years ago | (#495558)

it's their problem.. nuff said

leave (1)

ThisIsSuchACoolNick (257705) | more than 13 years ago | (#495559)

it's their problem.. nuff said..

Do you really need to ask? (1)

Faulty Dreamer (259659) | more than 13 years ago | (#495561)

In this day of non-loyalty within companies, do you even need to ask this question?

Not to be rude, but your management (by your own admission completely incompetent) would not hesitate to let you go, no matter how hard working, loyal, or helpful you had been, if they thought cutting you would save a buck. That's corporate America for you, and that's the way it is everywhere now.

So, bail. If you have better offers on the table, run, run fast, just get the hell out of there.

It sounds like your current company is going to fold at some point anyway, and if you don't get out now you are going to go down with the ship. Then where will you be? You will be able to put on your resume "closed down company X" and that's about it. Plus you may not have offers at that time. So get out while you can. The job market is all about timing. Good or bad, take your best chance.

And if you are worried about pissing off your co-workers, if they are your friends they will understand. If they are not your friends, then don't worry about them. They can take care of themselves, and if something bad happens to them, it isn't your responsibility. I know that sounds harsh, but I stayed in other jobs way longer than I should have because of feelings of "abandoning" my co-workers and pushed myself to the brink of insanity over it. But in the end, when I finally did leave every one of them said, "I don't know how you toughed it out as long as you did." and wished me luck in the future. Even the ones I didn't like!

If you have a bright prospect, jump at it. You won't be sorry. But staying where you are sounds like it would, or at least could, make you very, very sorry in the end.

Good luck to you! And I hope things work out.

Re:Well.. (2)

Faulty Dreamer (259659) | more than 13 years ago | (#495562)

Bad, bad, bad advice. Even if you discuss it with someone you are positive will not go tattle to further up management, you will find yourself fired so fast for "disloyalty" that it won't be funny.

Even the kindest management seems willing to turn their back on their underlings if they think it will earn them brownie points in their bosses eyes. Funny how they can fire you for disloyalty, but still think that it isn't important that the company be loyal to it's employees, but it does happen. I've had a few friends that happened to. Not good.

I'd much rather have as a reason for leaving, "went for a better opportunity" than have "fired for disloyalty". Which sounds better to you?

Pros and cons of Dot Com Startups (2)

er0ck (267290) | more than 13 years ago | (#495575)

My first job out of college was programming for a .COM startup. They payed a decent salary, but the best part was the relaxed environment (free soda + nerf guns at work + renovated factory as an office space: LOTS of room) and the company's encouragement for me to learn Perl. Free (reimbursed) Books, and a free Cable Modem connection and computer (eMachines... not a serious Gamez box, but a solid workstation) so I could work from home most of the time.

When the bottom started falling out of the company 4 months after I joined, I stuck with them. I even worked for free for about a month while the senior management tried to get investors. But in the end, the company folded.

I had no problems going down with the ship, because of the experience I gained as a programmer. But I was only a "lowly" programmer, so I didn't have the extra pressure of a management position; worrying about the people working under me; like you do. I also didn't have a family to support at that time, so it was OK to work for free (while looking for a job at the same time).

In my case, it was better that I stayed, because it benefitted my programming skills. but if your job isn't doing anything for you, you should probably move on before you get burned.

Ask yourself... (1)

jasonripp (300770) | more than 13 years ago | (#495577)

If you ask yourself the question, "Can I make a difference?" and the answer is "No, they're going to collapse eventually," then jump. Tell your friends why and give those you can trust some advance notice. I'll bet most folks can see the writing on the wall, as you have. It's best if you all move on and let management reap what they've sown.

Looking out for #1 (1)

CoBoLwArRiOr (301814) | more than 13 years ago | (#495581)

My outlook would be this: The company is a sinking ship, and it seems like there are more holes developing everyday. Rather than stay behind and try to use a teaspoon to bail the water out, jump ship and get to dry ground. Perhaps the places you got offers from have room for more... and you could refer your friends there and all would be good.

The COBOL Warrior

bail (1)

paw_dawg (306466) | more than 13 years ago | (#495592)

you not doing your friends any favors by going down with them either...good luck

Bad Managment (1)

zzyxx (306687) | more than 13 years ago | (#495593)

**From the been there and done that files** Any project plan or business plan that pivots on one person without providing provisions for the possibility of loosing that person is a poor plan and not your fault. Look out for yourself.
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