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      08-28-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
Crypty
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Careers and job hopping

Being that this is one of the only forums I belong to, and because BMW owners ought to have some good experience on the topic, please lend some advice!

I've been working for almost 3 years for my company though only ~8 months full time. I am making a good salary as a software developer but feel I am worth more. I interviewed at another company and it went very well. They should be offering me an 11-18% increase over my current salary based on my stated requirements. This will likely happen tomorrow, in-person.

I am certain my current company will counter, so here are my questions:

-Is it reasonable to ask for more than an equal counter? Starting a second real job and getting out of my current job is worth some extra to me. How would you approach with your boss?

-I know it is fine to say "I need a day to think it over", but I know the recruiter will be up my arse about deciding. Is there anything polite I can say to buy a day to negotiate with my current place? Would it be bad to let them know I want to see what my company does before deciding?

Any advice or similar experience is appreciated! The situation is exciting but stressful and I could use help from people who have done this stuff before.

Last edited by Crypty; 08-28-2012 at 08:22 PM.
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      08-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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... I am certain my current company will counter...
Most likely they will not; in s/w business changing jobs frequently is a norm, most positions/skills are just a commodity and people more often than not are easily replaceable.

You have every right to take whatever time you need to consider an offer, unless the company communicates their exact requirements; otherwise few days is a norm.
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      08-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crypty View Post
Being that this is one of the only forums I belong to, and because BMW owners ought to have some good experience on the topic, please lend some advice!

I've been working for almost 3 years for my company though only ~8 months full time. I am making a good salary as a software developer but feel I am worth more. I interviewed at another company and it went very well. They should be offering me an 11-18% increase over my current salary based on my stated requirements. This will likely happen tomorrow, in-person.

I am certain my current company will counter, so here are my questions:

-Is it reasonable to ask for more than an equal counter? Starting a second real job and getting out of my current job is worth some extra to me. How would you approach with your boss?

-I know it is fine to say "I need a day to think it over", but I know the recruiter will be up my arse about deciding. Is there anything polite I can say to buy a day to negotiate with my current place? Would it be bad to let them know I want to see what my company does before deciding?

Any advice or similar experience is appreciated! The situation is exciting but stressful and I could use help from people who have done this stuff before.
One advice, don't be a money whore. It will always end up biting you in the ass. If you want to leave, then leave. Don't try to bargain your current company for more money. If they truly thought and saw you were worth more, they would have paid you more. Move on, get the other job and always keep your options open.
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      08-28-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCHMOUPE
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crypty View Post
Being that this is one of the only forums I belong to, and because BMW owners ought to have some good experience on the topic, please lend some advice!

I've been working for almost 3 years for my company though only ~8 months full time. I am making a good salary as a software developer but feel I am worth more. I interviewed at another company and it went very well. They should be offering me an 11-18% increase over my current salary based on my stated requirements. This will likely happen tomorrow, in-person.

I am certain my current company will counter, so here are my questions:

-Is it reasonable to ask for more than an equal counter? Starting a second real job and getting out of my current job is worth some extra to me. How would you approach with your boss?

-I know it is fine to say "I need a day to think it over", but I know the recruiter will be up my arse about deciding. Is there anything polite I can say to buy a day to negotiate with my current place? Would it be bad to let them know I want to see what my company does before deciding?

Any advice or similar experience is appreciated! The situation is exciting but stressful and I could use help from people who have done this stuff before.
One advice, don't be a money whore. It will always end up biting you in the ass. If you want to leave, then leave. Don't try to bargain your current company for more money. If they truly thought and saw you were worth more, they would have paid you more. Move on, get the other job and always keep your options open.
I disagree. As management, you get in situations where an employee receives an offer from another firm. Sometimes, said offer exceeds your employee's current pay grade, due to any number of variables. If you value the employee, you try to keep them. Some employees want a title, others, pay, etc.... If replaceable, you let them walk.

If you have been working for this employer for a considerable length of time (years or decade plus) and are underpaid significantly, perhaps it is time to move on. But that is not your case.

I would agree on the money whore part though. Continual movement from one company to the next for slight increases in pay will eventually catch up with you. Better to find a good company, put in the effort and go after the raises, than become a whore for the highest paying John, so to speak.

I would only offer my present employer an option to match or beat the new offer only if you figure you can indeed advance thru the ranks, and want to remain employed with that company.
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      08-29-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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if an employee came into my office with a "beat what I have or I walk" I tell him to walk as this is not a person that has any loyalty to my company, and I look for long term people.

first off, for all I know, it could be bullshit. Second off, what's to stop him from doing this every month if I cave to his idiotic demand. If some other company is in a position to pay him a higher salary, then good on them and good on him for finding such a place.
I personally prefer keeping the people I work with than training new people every couple of months. It is just bad business.

Loyalty is dead in today's age and that is really sad. Whatever happened in being proud of where you worked, who you worked for, and what you did! Everyone is a money chaser, and honestly, if I see a CV where a guy has been job hopping, I won't hire him due to the fact that he might abandon me in a critical time when I actually DO need him for peanuts more per month.

It also shows weak character that you couldn't walk up to your boss to discuss your current "unhappiness" to see if there is a mutual agreement you can reach, instead, you took the trust, shat all over it, and went job seeking behind the company's back without trying to find a solution in your current work place.
Whether you think so or not, they taught you skills, gave you experience, took the time to entrust in you and because of them you are now worth more in the market. The least you could do for them is try to resolve things, especially if they haven't wronged you!
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      08-29-2012, 09:19 AM   #6
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It is beyond doubtful they will counter the offer. I just left a job less than a year ago and I told them exactly what was offered to me and I pretty much got a good luck on the new job. Mind you, I was doing the work of 3 people at the time. So what did they do instead? They hired 2 people to fill my position..... So dumb
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      08-29-2012, 09:47 AM   #7
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no.. not dumb
read my post as to what went through their head...
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      08-29-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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As someone who has been in IT consultasntcy and software for over 30 years and self employed for the last 18 a few things here.

If you are a coder then your skills are a commodity and easily replaced with someone/something else, yes there is a learning curve in regards to the company and clients but not something that really factors in. If on the business/client side often the realtionship and numbers of points you bring in factors greatly. Do not let your ego and appraisal of your skill set guide your feelings if they say nice to know you, last thing you want to do is burn a bridge period. I don't know hwo many times a client or colleague of a client has asked me abut someone and I've worked with years ago and they left a not so favorable light.

Now on to business. No one like to be demanded to or bargained with, Me personally if someone says here counter this offer, unless they have a role that just cannot be replaced in the next 30 days it's walking time. Shows a form of unhappiness, if unhappy talk to your manager first then pursue other opportunities not the other way.

As far as the recruiter goes, do you only have 3 years total in the industry? The reason I ask is to assess your relationship with and type of recruiter we are talking about, I do not deal with DICE, Linkedin etc type of recruiters at all simply because they are just high pressure saels people. Expect this person to pressure you into deciding now and giving you the "chicken little"
treatment IE if you don't say yes now the offer will get pulled. If might be best to just blow off responding for a few hours to decide or gauge your interest.

As far as the whole thing goes, bottom line if you interviewed there was enough of a reason to be looking. I'll tell you right now money is not the most important thing in the software biz at your stage, having a job that keeps you relevant in the market, your skills saleable and a career path are far more important at this early stage in life (I'm assuming you are younger 25 or so basd on your experience). Money will come later when your skill set and expertise justify, build your career first would be my advice.
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      08-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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Despite what Comet says, most companies don't GAS about you in the long term, if they get into a tough position, they won't hesitate to let you go with no more than a "sorry, see ya," especially with your time in the industry. I've been at companies where they gave people two weeks severance who had been working there for 10 years.

You need to look out for yourself first - this is just a reality in today's marketplace. You're the only one that's going to look out for your career.

With that said, I've also worked at a company that was exceptionally good to us when it came time for layoffs. So it really varies from company to company. But it's unlikely that after only 8 months you're going to be very high up on any list.

I certainly wouldn't go into my boss' office and say "beat this or I walk" but I would tell him that I got an offer for a new job and that you're thinking of taking it. If he offers to meet or beat it, then you know he values you; if he doesn't, or says "see ya" then you'll know you're probably better off walking now than in 2 years when he needs to lay someone off and you're the lowest on the totem pole.

I don't know what you make, but if you're happy where you're at, confident in the company, and see a career path there for yourself, a 10-15% raise is probably not enough to make it worth changing jobs (at a starting salary level at an early stage in your career). If you hate what you're doing, if it's going nowhere, if your boss is a pr*ick, then it's probably worth taking a pay cut to go elsewhere, so if they're offering you more, jump on it.
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      08-29-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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Despite what Comet says, most companies don't GAS about you in the long term, if they get into a tough position, they won't hesitate to let you go with no more than a "sorry, see ya,"
Agreed 100%

Sounds like Comet owns his business, and yes, you'll see more care out of a business owner than a big company.

With that said, I do want to counter Comet's arguments just as a reason as to why you have to look out for yourself, in my experience and current situation (not because I disagree with Comet's point of view):

-Loyalty is dead in today's age and that is really sad.
Loyalty is dead from the company's perspective as well. What happened to promoting your best guys and rewarding them? Why are we laying off employees of 20 and 30 years and replacing them with a contractor who will only be there a year? Why is it ok to have people do the job of multiple but not get the pay? I'll tell you why...

-Everyone is a money chaser
Starting with the employer who always has to look out for the bottom line. Even at the expense of needed staff, and providing the necessary tools to do the job.

-Whatever happened in being proud of where you worked, who you worked for, and what you did!
Whatever happened with having a place of employment worth being proud of? Again, layoffs, no raises or bonuses, pay cuts, purposely doing the wrong things just to get you by until the next billing cycle.

Again, I'm not criticizing your comments, Comet, because I can certainly see the validity of your concerns as an employer. But in my experience, working with big companies, you are nothing.

That being said, op, if you're fairly happy where you work (which you seem to be), I do agree that you should stay and talk with your management and try to find ways to get you moving up the ladder. 8 months is not a lot of time (despite your part-time tenure), and you may be expecting too much. Remember, we all think we're worth more.

And yes, these industries are smaller than you think, and you WILL be talked about among other employers, so you want to have a good reputation.
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      08-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #11
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-Whatever happened in being proud of where you worked, who you worked for, and what you did!
Whatever happened with having a place of employment worth being proud of? Again, layoffs, no raises or bonuses, pay cuts, purposely doing the wrong things just to get you by until the next billing cycle.
This is why I left my last company. I was there for 3 1/2 years, absorbed two senior positions yet never was promoted to either. The last 2 years there, my "raise" was $400 total for both years.... Not going to make someone happy giving them $200 raise a year, especially when my cost of gas to get there everyday for a month is around $600. I ended up leaving for a 23% pay raise that had a much higher bonus percentage.

Now at this new company, my only concern is layoffs since they absorbed another company and are laying off 10% of the staff and possibily moving people to the other home office in Houston. Bad part, the company they absorbed has the same exact accounting group so its pretty much they are deciding which one to keep out of the two.
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      08-29-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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Just to reiterate the point, in IT (speaking with 30+ years in the game) it's now about you relevancy in the market place. The days are long over were everybody needs a developer or 5 and they are hard to find. You really need to think long term goals not 10% raise. Now I totally understand if you said I hate this f'ing place and the jackhole I work for; then leave for anything better but again make darn sure you have a growth path.

Just to illustrate, got an email last Friday, good buddy hiring director at a company I consulted at in 1995 - 1997. Had to layoff his system admin's as they moved the data center due to an acquisition 2 years ago and now no longer need them. Trying to find a place for one of his guys he hired 4 years ago. Only issue is the guy in question went to this company getting a 20% raise and got another 10% last year for working on the relocation so he's very highly compensated and unfortunately (this is the worst thing) no current technology as he's been involved in relocating the data center the last 18 months. I can point him to a couple of positions but they all want middle ware/vm ware experts for his $$ and he's done none or very little of that. Make darn sure you stay on top of the curve and keep current as the extra money will not make a difference if you're not working later on.
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      08-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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TeRRoRiFiC35, I know exactly what you're going through. I've read through some of your other posts.

The only promotion I've gotten here has been lateral movements. Which has been nice for the free training and my future advancement, i guess (in another company), but the work conditions have been pretty rough.

Don't worry about the layoff. If its gonna happen, there's nothing you can do to stop it. Just keep doing a good job, keep a smile (no matter how fake), and don't give them a reason to wanna lay you off.
Like I told the OP, other employers/recruiters/employees who knew you will spread your reputation around. And if you're in good standing, that will help you out.

Believe me, most of the contractors we've hired have know about other, previous contractors and whether they were fired, or made good money, who they worked for, were good workers, etc...
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      08-29-2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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Lol, the people in my department were just talking about the layoffs and if anyone has been looking. I told them I keep getting emails for stuff but I can't go forward with anything till I'm laid off or its been a year since I would have to pay back my entire pre-tax signing bonus... since I agreed to it. Trust me, the amount is enough to make me not start looking yet....
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      08-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #15
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... in IT (speaking with 30+ years in the game) it's now about you relevancy in the market place. The days are long over were everybody needs a developer or 5 and they are hard to find. You really need to think long term goals not 10% raise.

...(this is the worst thing) no current technology as he's been involved in relocating the data center the last 18 months
+1

OP, That's where I say that my promotions have been education-wise, not financial. I've moved to different groups that have luckily been more current in technology/skills than the previous.
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      08-29-2012, 05:09 PM   #16
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if an employee came into my office with a "beat what I have or I walk" I tell him to walk as this is not a person that has any loyalty to my company, and I look for long term people.

first off, for all I know, it could be bullshit. Second off, what's to stop him from doing this every month if I cave to his idiotic demand. If some other company is in a position to pay him a higher salary, then good on them and good on him for finding such a place.
I personally prefer keeping the people I work with than training new people every couple of months. It is just bad business.

Loyalty is dead in today's age and that is really sad. Whatever happened in being proud of where you worked, who you worked for, and what you did! Everyone is a money chaser, and honestly, if I see a CV where a guy has been job hopping, I won't hire him due to the fact that he might abandon me in a critical time when I actually DO need him for peanuts more per month.

It also shows weak character that you couldn't walk up to your boss to discuss your current "unhappiness" to see if there is a mutual agreement you can reach, instead, you took the trust, shat all over it, and went job seeking behind the company's back without trying to find a solution in your current work place.
Whether you think so or not, they taught you skills, gave you experience, took the time to entrust in you and because of them you are now worth more in the market. The least you could do for them is try to resolve things, especially if they haven't wronged you!
LOL at this crazy post. WTH are you talking about? I owe my company an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. That is it. Nothing more. There is no loyalty between company and employee in today's world.

And the OP owes his boss and company NOTHING. The OP is worth more in the market because of his work ethic and he applied himself at his current job. He doesn't owe them shit.

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      08-29-2012, 09:52 PM   #17
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At this point, you need to decide whether to stay at your current job or take the new job offer. That's all that's on the table right now. Nothing else. You can't consider any counter offers because they're not on the table right now. BTW, 's not unusual to ask the new employer a few days to think it over.

If you don't like the new offer, then stay at your current job.

If you do accept the new job, then tell the new employer you have to give your current employer two weeks notice. Give your current employer your two weeks notice (put it in writing). You don't owe to give your current employer any information, other than "I'm leaving in two weeks." You don't want your current employer calling the new employer and possibly jeopardizing your new position. Within that 2 weeks, your current employee may or may not decide to increase your salary to entice you stay. You probably shouldn't tell them your new salary. Once you tell your current company you are leaving, you should really follow through with it to the very end. Unless their counter offer is too good to pass up, you should leave once you've committed to it. Because if you do decide to stay at your current company, you may be labeled as "That guy who tried to jump ship, but stayed." That's a chance you take and some people *might* see your move as a sleazy move, a bluff to get more money. A trust may be broken. That's why most employment experts recommend that when you say you are leaving, you should leave.
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      08-30-2012, 07:20 AM   #18
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Thanks for the input so far guys. At this point I've completed the final interview at the new place and they've offered me the very upper of my requested salary range, so it would be a little more than %18. Also increased PTO from my current. The recruiter is pushing me HARD and possibly lying to me that I MUST decide by 2pm today. She initially said 9am and I recoiled. When I left the interview an HR person said "We will make a decision and extend an offer to your recruiter in a day or two." So why am I expected to decide on such a tight deadline?

This is some rude tactic or this recruiter is flexing her salesperson BS.

Anyway I talk to my boss this morning. Not sure what is going to transpire as far as where I'll be working, but I am excited about the increased PTO/Pay either way. Will keep posted.
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      08-30-2012, 08:20 AM   #19
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I would tell the recruiter you want to see the offer in writing before you make a decision. You need to review the offer and make sure it says, in writing, any salary, bonuses, and other promises that were made which are not expressly described in the new company's employee policies.

Until you have a written offer in your hands, you do not have anything.

Sometimes written offers have an expiration, which tells you how long you have to decide on the offer.

I concur with those who say you don't owe anything to any company. You trade hours for dollars, and move on when it's right for you. If an employer wants you to move on when it's the right time for them, they will not hesitate. Loyalty is dead. Also there are two types of software people.

The first are the ones who are content to stay in one job for 5, 10 years and never really move up, never become an Architect or a Manager, maybe never even get to Senior level. I've worked with many, and they're always surprised how I have time to learn new technologies. These people remain stagnant, and their marketable skillet from 3 years ago is almost worthless today. After 5 years, these people, as another poster mentioned in an example, are practically not employable. If you are not an expert on today's technologies, you are dead in the market, regardless of what your compensation might be after 5 or 10 years of 3% or 5% annual raises. You don't want to be that guy!

The second are the hungry ones. These people apply themselves 110% because it's personal to them to be the best at what they do. These people are constantly increasing their knowledge, practice with the newest technologies while they're in Beta, and are always outgrowing their current position. These are the individuals who are always employable in today's software market. You want to be the second type, not the first. From the sounds of it, you are. The rest falls into place.

Every time I have left a company, I have never asked for a counter offer. I think it puts a certain bad taste in everyone's proverbial mouth.

Bottom line is that if your skills have increased to where they are worth substantially more in the market than what you are being compensated, jumping ship is an excellent option to reposition yourself in the marketplace. If you keep up increasing your skills and knowledge (and stay current with trends and technologies) wherever you work, you will always be able to find a job. At the highest non-managerial Sr. Software Engineer or Software Architect salary ranges, this eventually hits a ceiling, but even at that point you can specialize in certain areas to make your skills worth more to the right employer.

Then you can do consulting, open your own business, etc. It worked for me Good luck in your new position.
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      08-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #20
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..The recruiter is pushing me HARD and possibly lying to me that I MUST decide by 2pm today. She initially said 9am and I recoiled. When I left the interview an HR person said "We will make a decision and extend an offer to your recruiter in a day or two." So why am I expected to decide on such a tight deadline?...
Wait, the recruiter is not with the company but some 'broker', so to speak? Ignore his demands; until you see the offer on paper (or at least in an email), it's not a 100% thing for you to commit to.

There may be situations when the employer recruiter/HR asks for a swift response, like they need to fill the position very urgently or the hiring manager is leaving for vacation and just wants peace of mind, but again, any deadline have to come from the employer side. Also, the offer could be contingent on, say, background check, so don't burn any bridges yet... and my advice would be not to burn them ever, no matter how much you current situation sucks or whatever.
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      08-30-2012, 09:50 AM   #21
TeRRoRiFiC35
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You do know by going through a recruiter you lose part of your potential salary, right?
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      08-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #22
smyles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeRRoRiFiC35 View Post
You do know by going through a recruiter you lose part of your potential salary, right?
In case of perm. positions this is incorrect: recruiters get onetime 'finders' fee.
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