Author Topic: Move on or Engineer layoff?  (Read 4510 times)

Bearded Man

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Move on or Engineer layoff?
« on: December 07, 2015, 04:27:26 PM »
I'll try to keep this short and sweet. Job pays 150K, which is 25K more than normal in my area. To top it off, I get to WFH, and I am "well taken care of" so to speak.

Thing is, we will be merging with another company soon, and it is unclear what exactly will happen. Some plans I've seen suggest they will transfer a lot of functions to the new company. Other documentation I've seen suggests we will all be kept for the foreseeable future.

No one can tell for sure. I will say I've gone through this once before here and it actually led to me getting the huge pay bump that I have now, with the WFH flexibility. I just rode it out and it worked out in my favor.

So I'm wondering: should I ride this out and take unemployment, if and when this ends, or should I find another job? Keep in mind a new job means likely having to commute to an office every day, and a 20% pay cut (from 150 to 125K). It may come to an end it may not. I can get unemployment if it does happen, so I don't have to live off my savings. The only thing about this plan that sucks is there is 2-3 months, maybe more, opportunity cost of not being able to save 85% or more of my pay during that period. Then again, it would be a nice break...

Alas, it will not have all been for nothing, since I was able to save twice the normal amount, and not have to drive so much for the time being. For every year here, it's like working two years at any other gig, considering how much money I'm able to save. Plus working from home feels like a freaking vacation compared to going into the office.

One thing to keep in mind, is that I'm considering transitioning into senior management, and although I imagine that's easier when you have a job, it's not impossible to do when unemployed, though I suspect I would have a much easier time finding a hands on technical role since that is where my bread and butter is.


MDM

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 05:44:05 PM »
Let's see if I understand:
1) The "sure thing" is to get another job now at $25K/yr less income and a commute.
2) The "risky thing" is to stay where you are and either (with unknown probability) keep the $25K/yr and WFH, or get fired and then (with essentially 100% probability) after a few months get the $25K/yr less income and a commute.

If those are the only two options, I'd go for #2.  YMMV.


Cathy

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 05:54:09 PM »
In a post you made on November 24, 2015, you state that you live in the "Seattle area". I know for a fact that there is at least one company in the Seattle area that pays significantly more than $150,000 in total annual compensation to senior software engineers or senior site reliability engineers, which I believe you have claimed to be in past posts. I imagine there are other companies in the area that can make competitive offers as well, but I have no personal knowledge of that. You may want to develop a more thorough understanding of what is available on the free market before assuming you will have to take a pay cut when you change jobs.

jeromedawg

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 06:50:33 PM »
I'll try to keep this short and sweet. Job pays 150K, which is 25K more than normal in my area. To top it off, I get to WFH, and I am "well taken care of" so to speak.

Thing is, we will be merging with another company soon, and it is unclear what exactly will happen. Some plans I've seen suggest they will transfer a lot of functions to the new company. Other documentation I've seen suggests we will all be kept for the foreseeable future.

No one can tell for sure. I will say I've gone through this once before here and it actually led to me getting the huge pay bump that I have now, with the WFH flexibility. I just rode it out and it worked out in my favor.

So I'm wondering: should I ride this out and take unemployment, if and when this ends, or should I find another job? Keep in mind a new job means likely having to commute to an office every day, and a 20% pay cut (from 150 to 125K). It may come to an end it may not. I can get unemployment if it does happen, so I don't have to live off my savings. The only thing about this plan that sucks is there is 2-3 months, maybe more, opportunity cost of not being able to save 85% or more of my pay during that period. Then again, it would be a nice break...

Alas, it will not have all been for nothing, since I was able to save twice the normal amount, and not have to drive so much for the time being. For every year here, it's like working two years at any other gig, considering how much money I'm able to save. Plus working from home feels like a freaking vacation compared to going into the office.

One thing to keep in mind, is that I'm considering transitioning into senior management, and although I imagine that's easier when you have a job, it's not impossible to do when unemployed, though I suspect I would have a much easier time finding a hands on technical role since that is where my bread and butter is.

LOL you're not with EMC or Dell, are you?

Bearded Man

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 09:58:16 PM »
In a post you made on November 24, 2015, you state that you live in the "Seattle area". I know for a fact that there is at least one company in the Seattle area that pays significantly more than $150,000 in total annual compensation to senior software engineers or senior site reliability engineers, which I believe you have claimed to be in past posts. I imagine there are other companies in the area that can make competitive offers as well, but I have no personal knowledge of that. You may want to develop a more thorough understanding of what is available on the free market before assuming you will have to take a pay cut when you change jobs.

I'm not talking about total annual compensation, and the fact of the matter is regardless of what your opinion is, the vast majority even for big name companies such as Amazon and MS, make considerably less than that salary. Heck, even in most companies pay their senior engineers 115-125K, and that's in a town where a shack of a house goes for over a million bucks.

How come you don't actually go and become an attorney, instead of posting legal advice for free online? All that time in law school you claim, but no BAR exam? Or did you take the BAR and fail it?





« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 10:04:56 PM by Bearded Man »

Bearded Man

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 09:59:03 PM »
I'll try to keep this short and sweet. Job pays 150K, which is 25K more than normal in my area. To top it off, I get to WFH, and I am "well taken care of" so to speak.

Thing is, we will be merging with another company soon, and it is unclear what exactly will happen. Some plans I've seen suggest they will transfer a lot of functions to the new company. Other documentation I've seen suggests we will all be kept for the foreseeable future.

No one can tell for sure. I will say I've gone through this once before here and it actually led to me getting the huge pay bump that I have now, with the WFH flexibility. I just rode it out and it worked out in my favor.

So I'm wondering: should I ride this out and take unemployment, if and when this ends, or should I find another job? Keep in mind a new job means likely having to commute to an office every day, and a 20% pay cut (from 150 to 125K). It may come to an end it may not. I can get unemployment if it does happen, so I don't have to live off my savings. The only thing about this plan that sucks is there is 2-3 months, maybe more, opportunity cost of not being able to save 85% or more of my pay during that period. Then again, it would be a nice break...

Alas, it will not have all been for nothing, since I was able to save twice the normal amount, and not have to drive so much for the time being. For every year here, it's like working two years at any other gig, considering how much money I'm able to save. Plus working from home feels like a freaking vacation compared to going into the office.

One thing to keep in mind, is that I'm considering transitioning into senior management, and although I imagine that's easier when you have a job, it's not impossible to do when unemployed, though I suspect I would have a much easier time finding a hands on technical role since that is where my bread and butter is.

LOL you're not with EMC or Dell, are you?

I take it you are?

Bearded Man

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 09:59:52 PM »
Let's see if I understand:
1) The "sure thing" is to get another job now at $25K/yr less income and a commute.
2) The "risky thing" is to stay where you are and either (with unknown probability) keep the $25K/yr and WFH, or get fired and then (with essentially 100% probability) after a few months get the $25K/yr less income and a commute.

If those are the only two options, I'd go for #2.  YMMV.

Concern is the opportunity cost of those months savings being foregone.

Bearded Man

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 10:03:07 PM »
I really would like to hold out for another government job offer again ideally. After 5 years I get a pension (and it doesn't even have to be with one agency) and I get group rate health insurance for life. More stability, and not much less than contract private sector work.

Heck, here in a few years I'd be happy with an 80K a year desktop support job. They exist in government...

dragoncar

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 01:02:48 AM »
In a post you made on November 24, 2015, you state that you live in the "Seattle area". I know for a fact that there is at least one company in the Seattle area that pays significantly more than $150,000 in total annual compensation to senior software engineers or senior site reliability engineers, which I believe you have claimed to be in past posts. I imagine there are other companies in the area that can make competitive offers as well, but I have no personal knowledge of that. You may want to develop a more thorough understanding of what is available on the free market before assuming you will have to take a pay cut when you change jobs.

I'm not talking about total annual compensation, and the fact of the matter is regardless of what your opinion is, the vast majority even for big name companies such as Amazon and MS, make considerably less than that salary. Heck, even in most companies pay their senior engineers 115-125K, and that's in a town where a shack of a house goes for over a million bucks.

How come you don't actually go and become an attorney, instead of posting legal advice for free online? All that time in law school you claim, but no BAR exam? Or did you take the BAR and fail it?

It's always surprising to me how at-odds Cathy's perception of the free market is with those of other experienced posters here.  Is it because Cathy has a poor sample, or is everyone else missing something?

Anyways, to your original question, what would you expect your severance package to look like?  If it's any good, I'd be tempted to ride it out... but then again I've never been a very aggressive job hopper (which has certainly lowered my total compensation).  I guess I just prefer the devil you know...

P.S.  I understand Cathy has a ... unique ... personality, but there's still no reason to be rude.  Cathy has certainly given very helpful info to many people here.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 12:07:52 PM by dragoncar »

Cathy

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 01:29:34 AM »
It's always surprising to me how at-odds Cathy's perception of the free market is with those of other experienced posters here.  Is it because Cathy has a poor sample, or is everyone else missing something?

This surprises me too, but that is why in this thread I made only a very narrow claim and correspondingly specific suggestion. I've seen other threads where posters indicate their information is from glassdoor, as opposed to from direct sampling of the free market (i.e. by applying to jobs). That's why in this thread I suggested sampling the free market.

There are a variety of reasons for believing that glassdoor understates compensation, including (1) at most top tech companies, a significant portion of compensation comes in the form of RSUs and people often do not report them on glassdoor for whatever reason (even though it asks for that information) -- my personal suspicion here is that less financially savvy people do not mentally think of RSUs as being the same "real money" as their salary, (2) glassdoor deals in averages and the market value of these jobs has been dramatically increasing in recent years so any measure of average will understate the current values, (3) the value of high performers is likely to be significantly more than low performers which is not incorporated into glassdoor data, (4) selection bias -- people with higher compensation packages may be less likely to play with sites like glassdoor, skewing the averages down, and (5) companies may inject bogus data to enhance their negotiation positions (I have no evidence of this, but it's within the realm of possibility). For slightly more reliable data than glassdoor, I recommend Quora, where new grads routinely post their offers from various top tech companies. However, more experienced candidates don't usually post on Quora.

That said, I have no vested interest in what people want to believe here. If somebody wants to believe that $125,000 is the most they can earn outside of their current job, that is fine by me. I just think it's helpful to suggest testing that belief on the free market rather than relying on glassdoor, but I probably won't bother suggesting that again since it clearly just upsets people.

dragoncar

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2015, 01:42:41 AM »
It's always surprising to me how at-odds Cathy's perception of the free market is with those of other experienced posters here.  Is it because Cathy has a poor sample, or is everyone else missing something?

This surprises me too, but that is why in this thread I made only a very narrow claim and correspondingly specific suggestion. I've seen other threads where posters indicate their information is from glassdoor, as opposed to from direct sampling of the free market (i.e. by applying to jobs). That's why in this thread I suggested sampling the free market.

There are a variety of reasons for believing that glassdoor understates compensation, including (1) at most top tech companies, a significant portion of compensation comes in the form of RSUs and people often do not report them on glassdoor for whatever reason (even though it asks for that information) -- my personal suspicion here is that less financially savvy people do not mentally think of RSUs as being the same "real money" as their salary, (2) glassdoor deals in averages and the market value of these jobs has been dramatically increasing in recent years so any measure of average will understate the current values, (3) the value of high performers is likely to be significantly more than low performers which is not incorporated into glassdoor data, (4) selection bias -- people with higher compensation packages may be less likely to play with sites like glassdoor, skewing the averages down, and (5) companies may inject bogus data to enhance their negotiation positions (I have no evidence of this, but it's within the realm of possibility). For slightly more reliable data than glassdoor, I recommend Quora, where new grads routinely post their offers from various top tech companies. However, more experienced candidates don't usually post on Quora.

That said, I have no vested interest in what people want to believe here. If somebody wants to believe that $125,000 is the most they can earn outside of their current job, that is fine by me. I just think it's helpful to suggest testing that belief on the free market rather than relying on glassdoor, but I probably won't bother suggesting that again since it clearly just upsets people.

Sorry for the OT, but you suggest that someone applies to jobs and wait for an offer letter (preferably a few) in order to determine the going offer rate?

Bearded Man

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2015, 08:48:58 AM »
The salaries on glassdoor and payscale are not random numbers pulled out of thin air, those aren't estimates by some analytics algorithm, they are salaries as reported by actual employees. The salaries of the SV engineers are pretty clear. Most of them pay about the same salaries as I could get in the Seattle area. Most of my colleagues are making 60-90K a year, with the vast majority at 70K. Amazon engineers can expect 100-130K on average. Housing here is not nearly as expensive as SV, 500K buys you a nice house, not a tear down like SV. Usually what I get is 125 or so, though I can get other offers in the 150-170 range, there are much fewer employers with those positions here, and some of those positions are brutal. I've seen one heavily recruited for over the past year, and no one is touching it. Either that or people keep turning over there.

I worked at a company that was a "start up" and has been a "start up" for 15 years now. I got my phantom shares, but left because I hated it there and they didn't seem to ever be able to go public. Those fools are still there and apparently the company is really struggling now, and all the recent reviews for this year say it's a sinking boat, one star ratings...

I only count salary as compensation. Benefits are about the same in this area from employer to employer.

To answer your question drangoncar, I don't think I will get a severance. At best they won't contest my unemployment claim and I'll get 6 months UE.

It would be a nice break, but that's a lot of savings I'm leaving on the table, though I likely would not have to dip into savings while looking for work on UE.

I guess it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for the right opportunity. I'm super burned out on technical work, and have been wanting to get back into management. I'll take a pay cut doing it (when I went back into hands on, I got a pay bump) but management is where it's at for me now, in the right organization.

Anyways, I don't want this thread to turn into a salary debate. I'd much rather have the 125K salary that is easily replaceable if I don't like the job and walk, than the unicorn jobs in the area. Heck, I'm at the point where I'd be happy with a desktop support gig for 80K a year, or a 100K a year Director of IT Support gig. I view these as coasting jobs. Same with being a recruiter. Sure, it's work, but it's easy work with little responsibility.

To think some of my colleagues are making 70K a year to build web applications, when they could make the same amount of money as a recruiter...
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 08:54:10 AM by Bearded Man »

Cathy

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2015, 10:28:40 AM »
I worked at a company that was a "start up" and has been a "start up" for 15 years now. I got my phantom shares, but left because I hated it there and they didn't seem to ever be able to go public. Those fools are still there and apparently the company is really struggling now, and all the recent reviews for this year say it's a sinking boat, one star ratings...

I only count salary as compensation. Benefits are about the same in this area from employer to employer.

This is basically fair as applied to startup stock. However, RSUs in a top tech company such as AMZN, GOOG, or MSFT are not "phantom shares". Generally speaking, the value of them is likely to fluctuate similarly to the overall US market and especially the tech sector in general. To clarify what RSUs are, they are just a promise to pay you a certain amount of money (usually settled in shares, but it doesn't have to be) where the amount paid to you is based on market performance of the company. So you can't predict the exact value until the promise settles ("vests"), but it's unlikely to be zero with the top tech companies. As seattlecyclone put it in another thread, these RSUs are like "a bonus determined by the market". And they need to be taken into account in comparing compensation because they can be 25-40% of one's annual salary at top tech companies.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 10:32:33 AM by Cathy »

ulrichw

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 10:46:34 AM »
[...] it is unclear what exactly will happen. [...]

No one can tell for sure. [...]

These are the salient points (IMO) you made in your post.

You have no information on what will happen, and you're going to let FUD drive you into a decision to take a paycut with a less attractive work situation? Are you sure you're senior management material?

It would be unusual for established companies to do a lay-off without severance, and there's nothing that says that you would be part of a layoff.

Acquisitions/mergers are tough, many fail, but in any situation like this there's an opportunity for people to shine. Based on your post, you may not be one of those people, but my recommendation would always be to stick it out until you *know* what the situation is going to be.

Also, leave to go *to* something, not to run away *from* something.

Bearded Man

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2015, 11:57:00 AM »
[...] it is unclear what exactly will happen. [...]

No one can tell for sure. [...]

These are the salient points (IMO) you made in your post.

You have no information on what will happen, and you're going to let FUD drive you into a decision to take a paycut with a less attractive work situation? Are you sure you're senior management material?

It would be unusual for established companies to do a lay-off without severance, and there's nothing that says that you would be part of a layoff.

Acquisitions/mergers are tough, many fail, but in any situation like this there's an opportunity for people to shine. Based on your post, you may not be one of those people, but my recommendation would always be to stick it out until you *know* what the situation is going to be.

Also, leave to go *to* something, not to run away *from* something.

I don't know why people on this forum are so insulting, as if they are some kind of genius and everyone else is an idiot or something. A guy with eight posts, and no known credentials (though I'm sure you are going to claim you are the CEO of Big Company X now) judges one post of another user without knowing anything about them, claiming they are not management material. Yep, you're the bastion of critical thinking buddy.

Funny thing is as insulting you come across, you are actually showing your lack of critical thinking skills in this scenario, judging a person on one mere post...A post where I specifically said I've been in this situation before at this very job and decided to wait it out and years later, I'm still here, but just wanting a second opinion on best moves for a slightly different but otherwise similar scenario at this point is "wrong". So merely asking others for their perspective is wrong and makes my unqualified for anything other than janitorial work, and your ridiculous comments are pure genius and you are the CEO of Coca Cola.

Funny thing is, I've noticed that in the vast majority of cases on this forum, the people like you are usually the broke as a joke fools who are just starting out and have low level jobs and little actual investing experience. Like the guy with ONE rental...half his duplex, giving investment advice as if he is Donald Trump, lol.


« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 12:12:05 PM by Bearded Man »

ashfo

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 12:19:25 PM »
Your main concern seems to be giving up 2-3 months of savings while on unemployment.  So how much savings are you missing out on exactly?  You have an 85% savings rate.  In 3 months how much is that?  Is it more than the $25,000 pay cut that you are going to end up taking if you switch jobs before a layoff?  If so, by how much?  Because this $25,000/year pay cut would be from now until you retire.  And the 3 months of savings that you would lose while on unemployment seems small in comparison to that.

But you say you are burnt out on technical work, and want to get back into management.  If that is the case, then maybe look for work in that field.  Wait for an offer to come in, and then decide based off the offer and some negotiation on salary if that is what you want to do.  But I wouldn't base a decision on the potential that maybe you get laid off and lose 3 months of savings as an excuse to look for a new job with a significant pay cut.  Make the decision based on the type of work you actually want to do. 






mm1970

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2015, 01:07:41 PM »
It's always surprising to me how at-odds Cathy's perception of the free market is with those of other experienced posters here.  Is it because Cathy has a poor sample, or is everyone else missing something?

This surprises me too, but that is why in this thread I made only a very narrow claim and correspondingly specific suggestion. I've seen other threads where posters indicate their information is from glassdoor, as opposed to from direct sampling of the free market (i.e. by applying to jobs). That's why in this thread I suggested sampling the free market.

There are a variety of reasons for believing that glassdoor understates compensation, including (1) at most top tech companies, a significant portion of compensation comes in the form of RSUs and people often do not report them on glassdoor for whatever reason (even though it asks for that information) -- my personal suspicion here is that less financially savvy people do not mentally think of RSUs as being the same "real money" as their salary, (2) glassdoor deals in averages and the market value of these jobs has been dramatically increasing in recent years so any measure of average will understate the current values, (3) the value of high performers is likely to be significantly more than low performers which is not incorporated into glassdoor data, (4) selection bias -- people with higher compensation packages may be less likely to play with sites like glassdoor, skewing the averages down, and (5) companies may inject bogus data to enhance their negotiation positions (I have no evidence of this, but it's within the realm of possibility). For slightly more reliable data than glassdoor, I recommend Quora, where new grads routinely post their offers from various top tech companies. However, more experienced candidates don't usually post on Quora.

That said, I have no vested interest in what people want to believe here. If somebody wants to believe that $125,000 is the most they can earn outside of their current job, that is fine by me. I just think it's helpful to suggest testing that belief on the free market rather than relying on glassdoor, but I probably won't bother suggesting that again since it clearly just upsets people.

Sorry for the OT, but you suggest that someone applies to jobs and wait for an offer letter (preferably a few) in order to determine the going offer rate?
That's pretty much the best way, no?  Unless you have a lot of contemporaries who do the same work and are moving around a lot.

mm1970

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2015, 01:12:39 PM »
[...] it is unclear what exactly will happen. [...]

No one can tell for sure. [...]

These are the salient points (IMO) you made in your post.

You have no information on what will happen, and you're going to let FUD drive you into a decision to take a paycut with a less attractive work situation? Are you sure you're senior management material?

It would be unusual for established companies to do a lay-off without severance, and there's nothing that says that you would be part of a layoff.

Acquisitions/mergers are tough, many fail, but in any situation like this there's an opportunity for people to shine. Based on your post, you may not be one of those people, but my recommendation would always be to stick it out until you *know* what the situation is going to be.

Also, leave to go *to* something, not to run away *from* something.
I'm going to argue with this a bit.  If the situation at work sucks, it's totally fair to run "away" from something.

Honestly, I'd do what I'm doing right now.  I'd stick it out, mostly, saving my pennies - but also start looking for a job.  You don't know what's out there until you actually look for it.

I've interviewed for jobs that were a "no way in hell" and "gosh I wish I'd gotten that job".  At this point, it's a combination of type of work, salary, flexibility, and benefits that would be the right mix for me.  When you reach a certain age and level, it's not easy. 

Nothing wrong with dipping your toe into the job market to see what's there.

ulrichw

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2015, 01:39:32 PM »
[...] it is unclear what exactly will happen. [...]

No one can tell for sure. [...]

These are the salient points (IMO) you made in your post.

You have no information on what will happen, and you're going to let FUD drive you into a decision to take a paycut with a less attractive work situation? Are you sure you're senior management material?

It would be unusual for established companies to do a lay-off without severance, and there's nothing that says that you would be part of a layoff.

Acquisitions/mergers are tough, many fail, but in any situation like this there's an opportunity for people to shine. Based on your post, you may not be one of those people, but my recommendation would always be to stick it out until you *know* what the situation is going to be.

Also, leave to go *to* something, not to run away *from* something.

I don't know why people on this forum are so insulting, as if they are some kind of genius and everyone else is an idiot or something. A guy with eight posts, and no known credentials (though I'm sure you are going to claim you are the CEO of Big Company X now) judges one post of another user without knowing anything about them, claiming they are not management material. Yep, you're the bastion of critical thinking buddy.

Funny thing is as insulting you come across, you are actually showing your lack of critical thinking skills in this scenario, judging a person on one mere post...A post where I specifically said I've been in this situation before at this very job and decided to wait it out and years later, I'm still here, but just wanting a second opinion on best moves for a slightly different but otherwise similar scenario at this point is "wrong". So merely asking others for their perspective is wrong and makes my unqualified for anything other than janitorial work, and your ridiculous comments are pure genius and you are the CEO of Coca Cola.

Funny thing is, I've noticed that in the vast majority of cases on this forum, the people like you are usually the broke as a joke fools who are just starting out and have low level jobs and little actual investing experience. Like the guy with ONE rental...half his duplex, giving investment advice as if he is Donald Trump, lol.

Sorry you took it that way; Note that you're jumping to conclusions as well.

I'm not CEO of Coca Cola, but I have a lot of experience in tech, including being through 8 acquisitions on one side or the other. My current position would be considered senior management, though I'm at a small company.

Your post struck a nerve and is typical (IMO) of people's reactions in these situations. So perhaps, I did word my response a little harshly.

But my main point stands - you yourself said you don't know what's going to happen, yet you're expressing a seemingly strong willingness to pull the trigger on a decision that you yourself have positioned as significantly less attractive than your current. Sorry, but that just doesn't make sense to me.

Sure, put out feelers, start interviewing, find that government job you really want, but don't jump ship until you either know it's sinking or you have a truly better opportunity lined up.

EDIT: I've been laid off twice, too - best way to leave a company, IMO

« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 01:41:11 PM by ulrichw »

Axecleaver

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2015, 01:48:09 PM »
If you feel confident in your ability to get a new job quickly, then take some interviews, but ride it out and see what happens. I agree with Ulrich's advice. Is your company the conquerer or the conquered? There is never a "merger of equals" although that's always the corporate line. If you're not sure, figure out what is happening to managers on both sides. If they're public companies, read the press releases and the things they're telling the investment community. It's harder and more expensive to lie to investors than it is to employees.

Signs you are the conquered:
Your manager/leadership is being "promoted" to a new role with no clear responsibilities
Your manager/leadership gets a new title like "Manager of special projects" or "<Insert job here> Consultant/Advisor"
Your manager/leadership/you get transferred to a new job location. Bonus points if it's on a different coast.
Your leadership assures you that no one will lose their job.
Your team leader, manager or director is shadowed by or replaced by someone from the other company
You're asked to clearly document all of your job responsibilities

On top of that, having been through a number of these in my career, being a 100% remote employee puts you at tremendous risk when there is a change in leadership. If you want to keep your job, you should plan to be in the office at least one day a week, if for no other reason than making sure leadership remembers who you are.

Now on the plus side, I've also seen takeovers/mergers where nobody loses their job, and it takes months or years before anyone thinks to check up on the people working from home. This could be the best thing to ever happen to you.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2015, 02:26:43 PM »
[...] it is unclear what exactly will happen. [...]

No one can tell for sure. [...]

These are the salient points (IMO) you made in your post.

You have no information on what will happen, and you're going to let FUD drive you into a decision to take a paycut with a less attractive work situation? Are you sure you're senior management material?

It would be unusual for established companies to do a lay-off without severance, and there's nothing that says that you would be part of a layoff.

Acquisitions/mergers are tough, many fail, but in any situation like this there's an opportunity for people to shine. Based on your post, you may not be one of those people, but my recommendation would always be to stick it out until you *know* what the situation is going to be.

Also, leave to go *to* something, not to run away *from* something.

I don't know why people on this forum are so insulting, as if they are some kind of genius and everyone else is an idiot or something. A guy with eight posts, and no known credentials (though I'm sure you are going to claim you are the CEO of Big Company X now) judges one post of another user without knowing anything about them, claiming they are not management material. Yep, you're the bastion of critical thinking buddy.

 . . .

Didn't you just ask Cathy if she failed the bar exam? You dish it out, but you're very quick to take offense when it comes back to you.  Ulrichw wasn't the only one wondering why you would consider locking in a pay cut so you could have a less attractive job.

jeromedawg

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2015, 02:38:15 PM »
If you feel confident in your ability to get a new job quickly, then take some interviews, but ride it out and see what happens. I agree with Ulrich's advice. Is your company the conquerer or the conquered? There is never a "merger of equals" although that's always the corporate line. If you're not sure, figure out what is happening to managers on both sides. If they're public companies, read the press releases and the things they're telling the investment community. It's harder and more expensive to lie to investors than it is to employees.

Signs you are the conquered:
Your manager/leadership is being "promoted" to a new role with no clear responsibilities
Your manager/leadership gets a new title like "Manager of special projects" or "<Insert job here> Consultant/Advisor"
Your manager/leadership/you get transferred to a new job location. Bonus points if it's on a different coast.
Your leadership assures you that no one will lose their job.
Your team leader, manager or director is shadowed by or replaced by someone from the other company
You're asked to clearly document all of your job responsibilities

On top of that, having been through a number of these in my career, being a 100% remote employee puts you at tremendous risk when there is a change in leadership. If you want to keep your job, you should plan to be in the office at least one day a week, if for no other reason than making sure leadership remembers who you are.

Now on the plus side, I've also seen takeovers/mergers where nobody loses their job, and it takes months or years before anyone thinks to check up on the people working from home. This could be the best thing to ever happen to you.

This. There are at least several "signs" I see at my current place that make me (and many coworkers) "the conquered" - 1) my manager was in a sense 'promoted' unofficially by taking on the burden of more people under him. He actually left the company a week or two ago. 2) management has repeatedly "promised" that those who didn't receive a target termination date will not lose their jobs and are "safe" (yet they make no real statements about the direction of the division or give a clear roadmap). 3) Many of us who have gotten target termination dates have already been asked to document all our job responsibilities (they were more up-front with us about this though, telling us that the division's now-legacy product is transitioning to China)

Those with target termination dates have been offered varied retention bonuses if they stay through their target termination dates (or, if they are let go sooner for any reason outside cause, they still qualify for the bonus). However, they didn't make anyone sign anything anywhere and in the letter/written offer it's clearly stated that it is not contractual or binding (so if things go south with the company, they'll have a good reason to pull all offers off the table... a total CYA move)

I dunno, I think it's a matter of risk at this point in time. You can certainly try riding it out by all means, but use the time as well to look for other better opportunities. It sounds like you probably have some time to make a decision while you're still employed and aren't in a situation where you desperately have to take the first thing offered to you. Is the general mood around the office one of pretty low-morale (and people who don't really care much about anything)? If so, you'll probably have more flexibility with taking time off for interviews without much flak or people looking over your shoulders.

Blatant

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Re: Move on or Engineer layoff?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2015, 05:00:34 PM »
I hear the Syrian government is in need of IT pros, project managers and recruiters with good English skills. Pay is excellent, all expenses covered and no tax. I think BM's obvious talent, brain power, critical thinking skills and winning personality make him a a clear winner. Let us know how it goes, dude.