Author Topic: Should I switch jobs... again  (Read 6961 times)

throwawayAccount

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Should I switch jobs... again
« on: January 07, 2015, 09:19:04 AM »
Here is the situation:

Worked at company A for three years.  Ended at $47,684.00
Switched to company B for six months.  Ended at $61,000 (+ $2,745 in extra benefits over company A)
Returned to company A for three months (and counting).  Currently at $68,000.

Have offer from company B again at $80,000 (plus 3,600 in extra benefits).

Is this career suicide?   I feel bad because company A asked if I plan to stay for a while and not leave for more money.  I told them I plan to stay because they are paying what I'm worth.   Apparently I have no idea what I'm worth.    This is midwest, Software development.

pzxc

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 09:34:06 AM »
Tough one. You probably won't ever be able to come back to company A if you leave again.

However, switching employers is just about the ONLY way to make sure you get market wages these days.

You do have the benefit of having already worked at company B.  How did you like it?  If it wasn't a bad place to work, I would definitely switch and get the 80k.  Just know that your next employer will have to be company C, because there's probably no way A will take you again.

lhamo

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 09:36:42 AM »
If you told them you would stay, you should stay.  Otherwise you may get a reputation as someone who job hops/doesn't keep their word.  Was just discussing hiring strategies with my sister yesterday and we both agreed that constant job hopping is a VERY bad sign for us -- she's in software, too.

But that doesn't mean you can't tell them about the new offer.  Whether or not they will increase your salary is another issue, but as long as you frame it in terms of "hey, you know I really meant it when I said I wanted to stay but I need to let you know that my current salary is clearly much below market as I already have an offer for $80 -- is there anything you can do to bring my compensation closer to that?"  And then you have room to negotiate things like more time off, work from home flexibility, incentive bonuses, etc. as well as the salary.

GetItRight

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 09:41:05 AM »
I am risk averse when it comes to jobs since I'm still in the massive debt repayment stage. $10k is not enough for me and I've turned down employers offering that. $20k and I'd jump ship... Anywhere in between, depends.

$15,600 would be enough for me to make a more if I was fairly certain it would be a good environment with low risk. You already worked there so you know whether you like the environment and people and obviously if they're willing to pay you significantly more they must value you. Seems like a good move to me, without knowing any other details.

pzxc

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 09:50:34 AM »
lhamo, I entirely disagree with you.  (That doesn't mean you're necessarily wrong, but here's why I disagree with you)

First of all, he should not stay just because he told them he would stay. First of all, what does that even mean - he said he would stay, now he has to work there the rest of his life?  If not a lifetime, then what is the length of his promise? I bet that was never established. Stay for 5 years? 2 years? 1 year? 3 months? Who knows, if you intend to honor your "I will stay" promise you have to draw the line somewhere if you don't wanna work there the rest of your natural life. Where you draw that line is entirely up to him because he's the one who told them he would stay and I bet they didn't discuss how long he would stay. Now, if they DID discuss staying for a specific period of time, absolutely honor it. But if no time period was specified, then the promise to stay is a matter of interpretation.

Secondly, his promise to stay was a reflection of his INTENTION at the time they hired him back.  People change their minds all the time. When you buy a house and get a cheaper interest rate because you tell the bank it's going to be an owner-occupied property (meaning you are living there yourself, it is not meant to be a rental property that you get income from) -- that is an indication of your intention.  If you lie about your intention, that is definitely bad, and fraud in the case of deceiving the mortgage company to get a lower interest rate. But it's entirely possible, and happens all the time, that you truly honestly INTEND to live there yourself, and do so for a year or two, and then your plans change -- you move somewhere else, and it "becomes" a rental property.  This is not fraud, because your intention at the time you got the mortgage was true, but people's plans change over time. Even though you enjoy the benefit of a lower interest rate for the 15 or 30 years of the "owner-occupied" mortgage, it's no longer owner occupied, but nobody has a problem with it.  Because times change and people change.

Thirdly, I think he should either decide to stay or go. Do *NOT* tell them about the new offer, ESPECIALLY if you have no intention to take it. That could put you in a very bad position. Think about it. They hired you back after you already left once for greener pastures, they are paying you more than they used to, they asked you if you would stay and you said you would, now you have another offer from another company, which you don't intend to take, but you throw it up in their faces to try and negotiate more salary again?

If I was his boss at company A, and he did that to me, I would not give you any more money, and I would say to myself "well he has one foot out the door already - I better remember not to waste any promotions/raises on him because who knows if he'll stick around".

If I was his boss at company A and he just left, even if I found out it was to company B again for more money again, I would say to myself "well that sucks, I was really hoping he'd stay longer, but I can't say I blame him, each person has to do what's best for their career and I might do the same if I was in his position"

Either stay, or go.  Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe.  Walk middle, soooner or later, SQUISH just like grape.  :-D
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 09:52:56 AM by pzxc »

Jack

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 10:03:30 AM »
In general, for a software developer outside of Silicon Valley, how long does one need to stay at a company before leaving stops being counted as "job hopping?"

Hey It's Me

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 10:14:38 AM »
Worked at company A for three years.  Ended at $47,684.00
Switched to company B for six months.  Ended at $61,000 (+ $2,745 in extra benefits over company A)
Returned to company A for three months (and counting).  Currently at $68,000.

Isn't it interesting that Company A thought you were worth 48k until you left for a better offer? Did you learn so much in six months to warrant a 42% raise? In today's economy, you decide what you're worth: $68k, $80k, or $100k. You could have "stayed loyal" to your original employer, and they would have made you pay a premium for your loyalty the entire time.

If company B is a decent company to work for, I would take the pay bump and jump to them. If you stay with them another 2-3 years, other employers won't hold your previous history against you.

TheMoneyBadger

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 10:15:57 AM »
I've hired quite a few software developers over the years and that amount of job hopping would worry me if I was looking at your resume.  You may still decide to do it but, if you do, you'll want to be very confident that you can stay at company B for a good long chunk of time.  If you decide you do want to switch, then personally, I'd go back to company A and tell them that you have this offer from your previous employer and that you've realized that you're worth more than you thought.  I'd tell them (assuming it's not untrue) that you'd like to stay and honor your commitment but you also need to do what's best for you and your family.  Worst case they get upset and you go to company B.  Best case, they try to retain you by bumping up your salary.

For me it would also matter how good the job market in the area was.  If you're in a small town with only a few IT employers, I'm not sure I'd risk it unless you're willing to relocate in the future.  For me it wouldn't come down to loyalty and commitments - I'm a big fan of at-will employment.  You didn't intend to mislead them when they asked if you'd leave for more money.  You've just realized that you're worth more than you though.  I'd be much more concerned about the perception of job hopping and how it'll look if you end up leaving company B at some point.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 10:17:15 AM »
lhamo, I entirely disagree with you.  (That doesn't mean you're necessarily wrong, but here's why I disagree with you)

I disagree too.  Do what is best for you, and don't worry about the company. IMO... Better offer/opportunity? Then go for it.

mm1970

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 10:28:54 AM »
It's not career suicide if you like company B, think they have a good future, and figure you can stay there for a few years.

If you job hop (again), and then get laid off, that *may* be career suicide.

But if you job hop (again), and stay at company B for 4 years, then CLEARLY you aren't a "job hopper", and it should be water under the bridge.  And for that four years, that's at least $48,000 more salary (maybe more with raises).

I'm definitely a "loyal" employee and tend to have longevity at a place. This has NOT been good for my salary AT ALL and it's why people in their late 20's or early 30's make as much or more than me (I'm 44).

bo_knows

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 10:34:57 AM »
OP, have you considered using the offer to leverage a raise at the new job?  Obviously they are aware that your just came from Company B.  Talk to Company A about your future at the company.  Tell them that you weren't intending on jumping ship, but that Company B contacted you about an opening because they knew of your skillset.  Show Company A their offer, and see if you can meet halfway or something. 

This is all on the premise that you actually want to stay at Company A.   

I'd worry about too frequent job hopping as well.

Ricky

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 10:35:27 AM »
I've hired quite a few software developers over the years and that amount of job hopping would worry me if I was looking at your resume.  You may still decide to do it but, if you do, you'll want to be very confident that you can stay at company B for a good long chunk of time.  If you decide you do want to switch, then personally, I'd go back to company A and tell them that you have this offer from your previous employer and that you've realized that you're worth more than you thought.  I'd tell them (assuming it's not untrue) that you'd like to stay and honor your commitment but you also need to do what's best for you and your family.  Worst case they get upset and you go to company B.  Best case, they try to retain you by bumping up your salary.

For me it would also matter how good the job market in the area was.  If you're in a small town with only a few IT employers, I'm not sure I'd risk it unless you're willing to relocate in the future.  For me it wouldn't come down to loyalty and commitments - I'm a big fan of at-will employment.  You didn't intend to mislead them when they asked if you'd leave for more money.  You've just realized that you're worth more than you though.  I'd be much more concerned about the perception of job hopping and how it'll look if you end up leaving company B at some point.

He could leave Company A off his resume if he really wants to and just keep Company B, thus the stability issue is solved. But, I think any employer would understand switching when the raises are that substantial.

I'd definitely give Company A a chance if he has as decent relationship with them. There's no reason to leave them in the dark.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 10:40:43 AM »
He could leave Company A off his resume if he really wants to and just keep Company B, thus the stability issue is solved. But, I think any employer would understand switching when the raises are that substantial.

I'd definitely give Company A a chance if he has as decent relationship with them. There's no reason to leave them in the dark.

Then he has a huge gap in his employment history. Wouldn't do this.

GetItRight

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 10:44:11 AM »
Yes mm1970, I've learned loyalty does not go two ways. Employers are very rarely loyal to employees unless perhaps it's C-level executives, which the company will take very good care of whether they have a job or not. If you want to stay at a market wage you're either going to rock the boat a lot or move on to greener pastures. I've found rocking the boat has got me increases just enough to keep me from jumping ship, but not equivalent to new hires with no experience/skills/knowledge, then they'll happily pay for all sorts of training for the inadequate new hires (throwing money at a HR/management failure) but won't pay for any such thing for the long term loyal proven value type. Staying one place too long can make one bitter.

throwawayAccount

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 10:50:32 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.   Job security is the biggest fear.   Job B is with a consulting company and company A is not.   I feel like consultants are let go much easier.

Hey It's Me

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2015, 10:53:06 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.   Job security is the biggest fear.   Job B is with a consulting company and company A is not.   I feel like consultants are let go much easier.

You are still a W2 employee at company B, though - correct? If you're getting paid with a 1099, you also have to consider the additional tax burden you'll have to endure for being a "self-employed."

throwawayAccount

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2015, 11:04:36 AM »
Yes, still a W2 employee.

frugalfedmom

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2015, 11:13:30 AM »
Like other posters have asked, did you like company B while you were there? If so, and you do decide to move back, I'd also consider trying to negotiate with company B about a higher salary before you commit and tell company A. It seems like these companies need you more than you need them, and if they're willing to raise your offers by $10K+ within 3-6 months, then you could probably get even more than the $80k offer.

Also, if 3 months seems to soon to leave company A, would it be possible to ask company B to hold your offer another 3-6 months so you don't totally burn your bridges with company A? Not sure if the extra time would even make a difference but it might make you feel a little less guilty.

bugbaby

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2015, 12:43:55 PM »
Can you become an independent contractor and do work for both?  Or stay employed one while agreeing to do occasional contracting for the other?

 If not, I agree withe the "look out for #1" posters... Including job security in your calculation...

Chrissy

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2015, 01:33:19 PM »
Hm.  When Company A asked, "Do you promise to stay awhile and not leave for more money?" wasn't that a clue that perhaps they intended to underpay you AGAIN?  How many times are you going to let them screw you?  I vote for Company B.  This is a bidding war, and Company B is winning.

It's not personal, it's business.

mozar

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 06:20:12 PM »
I would ask B for more money and see what you can get, then leave for B. You are in software development. You must have no idea what your skills are worth. I try to stay at jobs 18 months, but in a hot career like software I think a year is decent. So who are you worried is going to think you are a job hopper? The companies that keep offering you jobs over and over again?
 If companies were worried about job hopping, then company B wouldn't offer you a job again. I would worry about a job gap but if your skills are in demand then employers don't care. I have both gaps and job hopping and if a recruiter tries to give me a hard time about it I say "listen buddy, you called me. If you are oh so concerned about it, don't call me!"
If I were you I would get my resume out there on linked in and career builder. Interview for several jobs, get several offers. Have all of them compete against each other and take the highest bid.

scottish

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 07:24:00 PM »
What's the story with company B?   They're a consulting company.     Are they a body shop where they just farm out their consultants as <ahem> interchangeable cogs in a machine?    Or do they have project teams that deliver working systems?

We don't hire people who job hop.    You could get away with it once (i left to try a new company and it just wasn't working.   since i left my first company on good terms, they were willing to take me back.)      But not twice.

TerriM

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2015, 07:30:47 PM »
Which one do you like better?

Also, how long until you finish your current project.  It'll piss off A more if you leave mid-project than if you complete what you started.

dividendman

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2015, 09:47:52 PM »
The worry of being seen as a job hopper should not be part of the equation.

I would go to the company that pays more if the other factors (like how much you like it there) are equivalent.

I agree with all commenters who said it's business. Businesses frequently tell people they are "stable environments" right before they do layoffs or exaggerate the probability of achieving bonus targets. Even if you told them you'd stay for 1 year and signed a contract I would still break it if the monetary gain was higher taking into account any penalties you might have to pay for breach of contract. Companies break contracts all the time.

Finally, I don't think it's career suicide no matter what you do. If you're in enough demand that two companies want you, others will too.

bacchi

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2015, 11:16:32 PM »
Take the raise at Job B and leave the 2nd go at Job A off the resume. Job gap? Who cares? You're in software. (For the record, I have a 12+ month gap and no one cares -- in fact, some interviewers are envious -- because I've worked since then.) Just try to stay at B for at least a year and realize that you won't be going back to A.

If you're in a small market, this advice might be dangerous as you run out of places to go.

Hey It's Me

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Re: Should I switch jobs... again
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2015, 11:48:47 PM »
Take the raise at Job B and leave the 2nd go at Job A off the resume. Job gap? Who cares? You're in software. (For the record, I have a 12+ month gap and no one cares -- in fact, some interviewers are envious -- because I've worked since then.) Just try to stay at B for at least a year and realize that you won't be going back to A.

If you're in a small market, this advice might be dangerous as you run out of places to go.

"What did you do in the gap?"

"I spent that time pursuing projects I was interested in."

/End of conversation (if it ever comes up.)