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Do Not Change Your Job (candost.blog)
57 points by mooreds 11 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 90 comments



In my opinion, employers need to do more to significantly reward existing employees they want to retain. Right now, I can see how frustrating it could be for tenured employees when new hires come in with (quite a bit) higher comp packages than them, while they get a measly pay bump in accordance with inflation (sometimes even less).

Routinely see 100% increases in total compensation for switching jobs. But I’ve never seen a 100% increase made internally even for a great performer on a team. Hoping we'll start to see change here, and that we see better designed incentives to keep people around. If you don't reward your employees, you're creating the revolving door for them to keep hopping around.


>In my opinion, employers need to do more to significantly reward existing employees they want to retain. Right now, I can see how frustrating it could be for tenured employees when new hires come in with (quite a bit) higher comp packages than them, while they get a measly pay bump in accordance with inflation (sometimes even less).

This is literally what happened for me a few days ago

I've started as a student working for minimal wage, but I had some not small experience with C#, but I've still been around beginner level

After 3.5 years I've gained shitton of experience (that was smaller company, so you do everything from software, to deploy, to support, etc) and meanwhile I graduated and been arguing about software on the internet for years

but my compensation was around 130% of minimal wage <LOL>

I decided to quit and multiplied my salary by around 3.4 - 3.5 times

and meanwhile I told my friend who had like month or two experience with C# from college, that he should apply there, told him to learn about databases/sql and do some C# programming for like a month - so basically we have really newbie with little experience (let alone commercial) and he received like 140-150% of minimal wage

ridiculous, ain't it? but I'm happy with both outcomes :)


i agree, but let me play the devil's advocate and argue that revolving doors might also play out well for the business.

The biggest fear (or risk?) a business owner might have is to be held hostage by a employee whose function/knowledge/skill is essential for business continuity. This gives the employee undue leverage, which lowers the profits, and allows said employee to extract close to 100% of the value they produce.

Therefore, a business would actually prefer a set of replaceable cogs rather than irreplaceable (but higher performing) employees. The business process could be adjusted so that the downsides of replaceable cogs is mitigated - such as strict processes or procedures and docs, or rely on technology that is can be easily hired for, rather than niche tech that would require finding a particular engineer with such knowledge of the niche tech (even if such niche tech is more productive!).

And this leads to the situation where employees' pay are market rate, but only at the time of hiring. Old employees, even tho they are experienced in the business's particular domain, aren't valued higher than a new hire.


Even in the unique world of sofware, the last problem in the world is employees having too much leverage over companies.

I agree that's what they fear, just saying that they already wield 1000x the club the employee does.

That's why everyone quits is because it's literally the only action they can take. The only button employees have is the big red one.


I have witnessed this mindset. The employer was glad to let people go after they were frustrated with low wages and no raises for a while. The result: very high turnover, all technical knowledge in the company was lost after a while (fixing old products was very hard as no one knew how they worked), all in all a very bad idea if you ask me. But the boss seemed happy with this.


> But the boss seemed happy with this.

How did the company do long term? Was it growing/successful/profitable?

If so, maybe high turnover worked for that particular business. Doesn't match up with what I've seen from software businesses in general, though.

Would be interesting to see if there was any research on the impact of attrition on business success.


And thus the fault is on overly cautious management for not presenting adequate retention incentives.


Revolving doors mean your company secrets and competitive edge getting gifted to others. Treat your employees well and respectful is always best company policy to adopt. Whistleblower and IP thief can bring company down very swiftly.


I absolutely agree but there is this conceptual problem. I think it's the same as with retaining and finding new customers. There will always be great offers for new customers while the current ones can be happy with what they have.

There always is a barrier of changing things. Especially changing the job involves a lot of decisions and brings risk. The pay increase in the new job (and maybe a signing bonus) is trying to convince you to switch.

I guess what this means in the end is that you are seen as replaceable and are not valued enough. I heard similar statements from middle management once, when a bunch of junior colleagues left the team. They didn't realize that, although junior, they were doing a great job. It's funny because a good raise for them would still have been quite "cheap".


I stayed in my first job 7 years and my total compensation increase was 16%. An accumulated raise over 7 years of 16%.

Choose to jump or not, but make an informed decision.


I’ve stayed at my current job 24 years. I was hired at a Senior level above my experience with better pay than I probably deserved as I was 18 month out of uni. Still, my total increase is 278%. I had a 7 year span in the middle with almost no increase - about 7%. I wonder if those seven years coincide and were during an economic downturn?


That's less than 5% compounded annually. I'm not sure if your underlying message was agreeing with OP or not, but 278% over 24 years is atrocious compared to how insane the market has been this last decade. Hell, inflation alone has been 73% between 1998 and now.


Edited to indicate I was hired at a salary above my experience. Took me 5 years to grow into being Senior when I was really a Junior. But was still payed as a Senior the whole time. I do make well above market for my years in my geographic region.


My pay from 2012-now has gone from $15/hr to $60/hr. ~400% increase or 40%/year staying at jobs for roughly 3 years.

The biggest jump came in 2017-2018 when I moved to Washington, from $25/hr to $35/hr to $48/hr in 18 months and it increased again in 2020 when I moved to my current job.

Idk if I am extremely lucky or if I don't recognize the value my skills as well as my employers do. All I know if I am not averse to negotiating a little and that I keep my resume up to date and I test the waters from time to time just to see what's out there.


you cannot compare the market gains with job raises - the market gains have a risk element that job raises do not.

a 5% risk free return is not bad. I would actually say that if your job did not change over those decades, it might not make sense to get paid more than just matching inflation!


By "the market" I meant "the market for software engineering jobs."


You are back justifying a linear reality of "only upward".

I've never really understood this line of thinking. Of course in retrospect now that all information is known, we can linearly quantify a per year rate of return as "non ideal".

But what is the point of that I wonder. This company took a chance on OP and they feel gratitude. This is enough imo.


The title is very misleading until I read the last line

> If you haven’t stayed in a fast-moving company for more than four years, there is a great experience you’re missing.

There is some amount of chance and experience involved in choosing a job in a company that is fast moving and gives you right amount of challenge to push oneself.

The unfortunate reality is that companies value outside talent a lot more than in house talent. So unless one does not switch jobs every 2+ yrs or so, you're significantly underpaid. This year inflation alone counts for ~ 7%. So, unless your compensation is not increased by that amount, you're taking a pay cut. IMO, the people who stay longer in a company are the ones who are not able to clear interviews. Obviously there are exceptions to it.

I am all for folks who want to engage themselves in new challenges. It takes effort to get good at breaking down complex problems and reason through first principles. If you stay in a team for too long, you'll eventually lose the ability to do so and rely on institutional knowledge to execute. Eventually, one stops innovating in such an environment.

I see some comments in the HN scorning at folks who move jobs every 2 yrs. I personally dont feel its a fair to blame employees, if the company cannot pay market salaries. I have no obligation to work for same salary when you bring an outside hire for 2x my salary.


I am not sure how you can stay at a company for more than 24 months (maybe 48 for FAANGMULA) without there becoming an enormous gap between your compensation and market compensation.

In Canada, you become a veteran at 18 months it seems.


> I am not sure how you can stay at a company for more than 24 months (maybe 48 for FAANGMULA) without there becoming an enormous gap between your compensation and market compensation

There are 2 types of companies:

One type will frequently re-evaluate compensation and prioritize employee retention. Compensation follows or exceeds market rate.

The other type will lock in compensation at hire time and try to skate by on 3% raises, or moderate raises at periodic promotions. Employee churn is high.

The latter type of company tends to be smaller shops run by older generations of managers who grew up in different times. They also tend to be unpleasant places to work for numerous reasons. But it's not really the norm in any modern tech company that knows what they're doing.


> But it's not really the norm in any modern tech company that knows what they're doing

How many modern tech companies "know what they're doing" when it comes to retention though?


Not even FAANG, it would seem.


I'm a week from signing another offer and leaving Microsoft for that reason. It might be surprising, but it is like the "smaller shops" you described here. The annual increase is only 2-4%, and promotion increase, from any level until a few levels above senior, is only 5% on average. You usually don't get both on the higher side if you get promoted. So if you get promoted from mid to senior (an excellent employee), you expect to get a 7-8% increase at that year. It actually made me very depressed to stay here because of that. The attrition is high (relative to other FAANGMULA) but surprisingly not as high as you would expect. Many stay because they are too lazy to interview, and most of them start to become lazy workers.


I always hear this but I work at a company maybe a tier below the acronym, Public and a household name, and unless I go to a company like Google or fb most companies seem to be a lateral move at best even with the higher title. I'm coming up on 5 years. Stock did well last year so I made a little over 300k, this year I think I'm on track for mid 200s


You are already sitting near the top. For us more average people, jumps are 10-20% a year.


Mid-200k is not anywhere close to near the top. That's a low L4 package at mid-sized companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Stripe, etc.


To be fair, those companies are not mid in terms of compensation. They’re probably the ones after the very top FANG and some HFT/fintech firms.


Yeah, this is the real problem. Since a job hop typically nets you an extra 10k/y 6 years in a job is going to have you down 60k/y.

Why would you do that to yourself?

In saying that, I've stayed longer in some rolls than the money would imply, but that is because some places are amazing, and there is a lot to be said for a place which treats you well.


To me this feels a lot like that anecdote about poor people struggling to become wealthy because they buy cheaper boots that wear out faster. If you change jobs frequently chasing relatively inconsequential salary increases, you're perhaps going to miss more lucrative opportunities.

My first internship at Toyota barely paid anything (relative to a bay area internship), but I stuck around for 4 years because the work was interesting and fun. It helped hone my technical skills, and the value from networking from that job continues to pay off 12 years later.

Since I graduated, I've been at three different companies. I've stuck around to see projects through their hardest points, and only left for exciting new technical opportunities. The first one with the lowest salary has in time been worth the most in equity. The one with the highest salary has in time been worth the least, but the liquidity at that point in my life was nice. I took a huge salary cut when joining my current company, but I had a feeling that it was a good group of people. It's been almost 6 years now, and I can only describe my experience as an embarrassment of riches.

You could write my experience off as luck or individual talent, but I think a part of my success has come from my work ethic. I work to feel useful, solve interesting problems and create tangible value. It seems like if you focus on that, everything else tends to fall into place. A college age friend once joined a project I was on, as a remote contract technician. He asked me for advice on how to become a full time engineer. I told him to figure out how to be as productive as possible by automating his job away, and document it. He ended up being 4x more productive than the other techs getting paid 3x as much, and six months later was a full time employee with a bay area salary and equity.


In case anyone else was wondering about FAANGMULA, it's apparently: FB, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

Having never heard of this acronym before, I'd be curious to know how that list was put together. Is it a function of the size of their engineering teams, compensation, or something else? What would be the next company or two in line for this list?


I have mostly seen it used to refer to a tier of high paying leetcode type organizations. It was an extension of FAANG, which was coined by an investment show host.


It is the ability to change your compensation while staying in the company.

Which in part is "number of engineering teams" rather than the size of any one of them.

You can change project / pay scale without changing company.


Strange I used to throw CV's in the rubbish bin if they repeatedly moved jobs every 2 years or under. My rational for that was that they would probably only last 2 years in our company so I preferred someone more stable. Small teams hurt when you keep loosing staff and training is not cheap.


Discarding them outright is a bit excessive, but it's actually very common for managers to de-prioritize resumes with excessive job hopping. Either that, or to craft back-loaded compensation packages that encourage longer tenures.

A few short jobs is not a problem, but when someone has a resume full of 12-month jobs and constant churn it's not a good sign. If you do have to hire a job hopper, you have to be careful to not put them on critical tasks or anything long-term because it's not like they're going to suddenly decide to stay at your company for 4 years when they couldn't do it anywhere else. It's not a mystery.


> Small teams hurt when you keep loosing staff and training is not cheap.

How come companies don't price that in accordingly then?


Some actually do, but not as you are thinking, if you hop in less than X years, all trainings have to be paid back.


my cv is full of that.

first job out of college- 2 years, left because I didn't want to work on legacy php anymore

second job - got laid off after one year(funnily enough I was hired on to contact 2 months after the lay off)

third - left after 3 years because the company was having payroll issues.

I've been at my current company for 1.5 years. I love it a lot but I'm seeing the market and could likely make 2x what I'm making now so I'm considering entering the job search to at least see what I'm actually worth to negotiate with my boss.

you would probably throw my resume in the trash but I feel like I left for legitimate reasons at all my jobs. do you have any suggestions to avoid being perceived as a job hopper


I doubt I would (throw your resume in the trash), Its an art not a science, you're just trying to get someone who will contribute to stability in the team rather than leave at the first opportunity a CV can also make that clear.


And that's a company's prerogative. But in the US, that mentality can cause you to miss out on great contributors.

For example, if you are building a new e-commerce platform and can hire someone with 1.5 years of experience shipping a successful project at Shopify, you should do that. They will give you more than someone chipping away at a non e-commerce SaaS for a half dozen years.

Point is, context is key. But I can't speak to outside of the US.


Where are you based at? In the past decade in Silicon Valley even annual movement was not uncommon.


HK then Small town UK then Small town NZ. I doubt 1% of HN works in Silicon Valley or on cutting edge designs.


Unfortunately without switching often, it does not appear that one can maximize their total compensation, simply because companies will often reward new employees more than existing ones.


I'm surprised I see much more emphasize on money and almost nobody mentions working on something less trivial or using interesting technology. The latter could be simply different from what you are bored with by now (e.g. Flink after Spark, Scala after Java, streaming after batch processing). Especially taking into account that in large companies with the best compensation you typically end up in a silo in this respect.


It's a job. money for hours, nothing more.


The industry does not properly reward long tenure. If the person stays curious and hungry then the accumulated knowledge and experience they hold is worth a tremendous amount. Smart companies will start appreciating and compensating for this in the future.


Management often likes treating software engineers as being replaceable, not accounting for the lost experience they now have to build up from scratch.

Or as one of my colleagues so aptly put it, "SWEs are not fungible."


Because management believes that only the business or PM (as in project manager) are worth their salts and important.

For some reasons, PM are thought to have a great understanding of both functionals and technicals of a solution, while at best, the only good they are at is navigating the organization and shielding the team.

So in a word, management is most likely useless and PM even more, especially if the management believes that a PM can handle a few projects at a time for cost saving (!).


Citations needed

I know you are venting, and even agreeing with me, but I wasn't trying to make this a SWE vs PM thing. The dynamic you describe hasn't been my experience, at least so far.

Wherever you work, I hope you find ways show the value of your work to your management chain too.


Lots of talk about compensation here, but the reality is more complex.

The longer you go without moving the more divorced from industry standard practices you are.

Worked at google for 10 years and can’t spin up a docker container to save your life?

Every organisation has their own internal stacks and the longer you spend using them the more productive you get and the less productive you’ll be without them.

So… you know. Just remember the longer you stay, the less able to move you become.

There’s good things about, but also risky things about it.


This is what I’ve noticed too. But what’s strange is the proverbial handcuffs seem to show up around year 2 or 3 for me, I think that’s about how long it takes to get a little too comfortable with your tech stack


If you can’t pick up new technologies quickly than you were not much of an engineer to being with!


Staying at the same company for a long time usually makes you more valuable to that company without making you more valuable to other companies (sometimes making you less valuable if all you've ever used is the custom toolset at that one company instead of more popular tools)


Absolutely true. Hard truth for some but tenure at a big company working in some internal framework is often next to useless at another company with a different tech stack (thinking in a custom C++ library framework instead of thinking in well known open source frameworks). Some skills carry over (especially soft skills that are so often under-invested in by engineers), but some just don't.


In a lot of cases companies don't seem to value the long tenure and move compensation inline with worth to them. The end result is a lot of people leave because companies don't value them and they have to move to maintain career and compensation progression.


Obviously I can't speak for all companies, but a while ago I knew some people at Jimdo, the company the author worked for. And it seemed like a typical German company regarding the values mentioned: many people staying for a few years, and high job satisfaction. I can't speak about the money as none of them were telling me.

But I think this is a real big difference to the valley (or at least it was pre-covid) - first of all if you didn't want to move, then the job market was only good in a few places in the whole country (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne region, Ruhrgebiet) - everywhere else it wasn't really possible to job hop willy nilly. Also we seem to value stability a lot more than Americans, which is not surprising per se, it's kinda hard to get rid of employees (which is a good thing imho) so if you bought a house or have a family, the status quo might be good enough. If YOU switch you have this 6 month period where you can be easily laid off.

Also the ranges weren't so big. As a medium-level developer the VAST majority was making between 40 and 100k. And probably more likely 50 than 90. I basically never heard of anyone doing +100% jumps. No big surprise in this range. I think it's changing, esp. with remote work - but I am still amazed every time I hear about these 300k salaries. Disclaimer: Have not talked to many people about salaries in a while, but a few years ago I'd say my experience wasn't too uncommon.


I'm sorry but, stay at your job so that you more valuable to your company and your co-workers and quality of the code at the cost of your career and earning potential is bad advice.


I agree.

> If you’re leaving your company because the market is hot right now and your company can’t give you a raise that might not even change your life, then maybe you should question again.

If your company cannot afford to give you a raise, and that raise isn't excessive, then it sounds like the problem is still your current company.

My advice is the opposite: Make your decision on quantitative not qualitative measures. I've seen a lot of people leave a good position that pays well to go work in a technology or domain that they think will make them more satisfied in their career and then realize they left a team they enjoyed for one they didn't. If you are moving for $25k increase in salary, it makes the risk more tolerable.


I've increasingly become aware that I'm not at all like many here. I don't really care about my salary, as long as it's enough to live on. I don't live to work - I work to live.

I love my job, and give it 110% (and I don't even count in binary when I say that), but at the end of the day, it doesn't define me. It's a means to an end. I believe in the company and what we're building, and as such I'll stay until I retire. I'm not going to jump ship over pay.


I think it's a matter of culture. I learned since I was a kid that the work culture in the US was crazy competitive. In addition to that later I learned that the Silicon Valley work culture was very strong compared to the average US .

For someone from Mexico (parable of Mexican fisherman and investment banker) it all looked extremely stressing.

After working in Germany and France for a bit, I realized that there are other cultures that value personal well being and work life balance way more than money. In the eyes of ultra-competitive cultures they may look lazy. But it's just that they have different priorities.


I think there's a bit of a false dichotomy here (in your comment, and in a number of other comments here). The choice in tech isn't between "good life, low pay" and "bad life, good pay". I can almost guarantee, in the US, if you are not already pulling down a total comp >350k, that you can find a job that will both pay you more and keep a good quality of life. I can also almost guarantee that, unless you work for one of the tiny handful of companies that are super aggressive about keeping comp in line with the market, you will never get an internal raise that will match what you can get on the market every two years.

Personally, I hop about every two years. Work-life balance is super important to me, and I do not invest myself overly in my job. I have consistently scored 30-40% raises on those hops. The absolute best raise I've ever gotten internally was 14% and my boss (probably the best boss I've ever had) had to go to war for it. Even including that 14% raise and a 9% raise offered at an earlier job in similar circumstances (i.e. active fear of losing headcount after people started leaving), my average internal raise is still only around 7%. If you aren't moving, you're leaving a substantial amount of money on the table. That can be justified, but quality of life is not the justification that a lot of folks here seem to think it is.


I am absolutely like you in this! Being at my current company for 10 years and I am not really planning to leave ever! The job is fun! Has an excellent work life balance! The salary is good enough to live a more than comfortable life! Why should I chase higher compensation for the sake of it? More money won’t make me happier!


> If you’re leaving for more money or safety, I will never argue. If you’re leaving for a different type of experience (e.g., remote work vs. in-office, big co vs. start-up) or for different company culture, I won’t argue at all. If the environment is not toxic or not draining your energy and you’re still learning, then why leave the company?

I'm not sure this boiled down set of people is the set of people considering changing jobs very often, so I'm not sure who is left in the audience of this advice.


Indeed. Who are these people leaving who are otherwise happy with their comp, company culture, and what they do?

Are people really searching for jobs just because?


I think one missing aspect is whether they enjoy their work. He never mentioned leaving out of boredom being something he would not argue about, so I presume that's the subset of people he may be talking to.


Yeah, compensation is always a tantalizing reason to switch, but in my experience it's rarely the primary trigger for someone to switch jobs.


It's not all about compensation. New job brings new knowledge, new points of view, problem solving approaches, access to different thought patterns, may extend one's net.

Change may end boredom or progressing burnout. Change is refreshing.


There are employers out there who play the long game, and try to retain good talent. Unfortunately, they are a dying breed and in the minority. In today's climate we are only one merge/acquisition (or private equity purchase) away from everything changing.

At my employer, employees typically stay less than 3 years, or basically retire with the company. There is very little attrition after 5 years. The company also provide continuous long term incentives once you reach certain level to retain talent. Annual increases outpace inflation, and there are reasonable promotion opportunities every few years (with corresponding compensation increases.) Good healthcare, Good vacation plan, 40hrs workweek, but mostly middle age people with families.

It's not FAANG money, but maybe 1.2 times national median income before bonus and 1.5 time national median after bonus and long term incentives.


Written from a limited perspective; novice expert wisdom. Certainly it's valuable to stick around to really understand long term effects of things your immediate predecessors and then you yourself did. You do start to understand things. I agree that staying at one job for 5 years, not 5 jobs over 5 years, makes one senior. You also have to be capable of learning such wisdom within whatever constraints may be in place.

But you don't then need to repeat this ad nauseam. Once you then go into your next job after your first long stint, you should instantly recognize the tradeoffs and be able to ascertain whether they were known or unknown. After a few years doing that, then you are probably ready to be staff level, although the likelihood of internal promotion is likely slim.

I'd say the ideal tenure history looks similar to (not precisely):

new grad > 1-2 years > 1-2 years > 5 years > 3 years > whatever

You need those quick hops initially to a) see at least a couple different work environments, and b) to get your salary up quickly, which is especially important early on. Then, yes, after 2-3 of those shorter stints you need at least one longer stint to gain the real wisdom that you didn't get with your early on "same year of experience multiple times". Then you need to hop again for both salary and promotion, and to see how your wisdom applies to another environment. After that, optimize for whatever your life wins and losses have guided you towards.

Of course (!) YMMV. Sh_t happens. Or you might have hit a lottery at your very first company. Who knows what else. I'm just suggesting what an "ideal" progression might look like, not considering how life throws things at you, or how companies vary in their quality making it bad to stick to some prescribed progression.

EDIT: I see the author actually followed (is following) my exact suggested trajectory. I find it a little odd then that the advice given doesn't capture that at all.


It took until the last paragraph for him to mention that he’s talking about staying in a fulfilling job that moves fast, not a comfy job where you’ve stopped growing.

The title isn’t even really his argument, but most people are upvoting and discussing the title.


This seems like something that depends a lot on (a) your happiness at your current job and (b) your current compensation. I'm a month shy of four years at my current employer, I like the job in general, and I am being paid well above what seems to be market rate for technical writers, even in Silicon Valley. Yes, I've tested that theory; I've talked to a few pretty big companies with good compensation packages and it turns out that the highest amount they're looking to pay would still be a drop for me. So I don't have a lot of motivation to be looking for work elsewhere right now.

I don't doubt that engineers can hop from job to job making tremendous increases these days, although that wasn't my experience when I was a web developer in the late 2000s and early 2010s. I generally did get an increase, but it was not like "woo my salary doubles every time a recruiter sneezes on it," which is kind of the vibe HN has given off for the last five years or so. I'm not convinced that's a sustainable model for the industry long-term, though.


I changed my job twice and my comp increase was 400%.


Are you in the US?


Euro. Realized that everyone was ripping me off. I went solo consultant at the right time in my career trajectory. Cut out all the middlemen. Pivoted from analytics to cyber security. I decided money was more important than anything else.


I think this is a fairly good post actually, though perhaps gets to the point with more words than sufficient. Now that I've had enough shit experiences and pay bumps, I'd absolutely prefer to stay with a company that suits me well, but probably for a maximum of 2 years (none of my work experiences in the first 12 years of adult life have lasted 2 years or more yet). I'm currently with a company that feels like a great fit, but I'm making less than I should be for the area I live in, and the housing crisis demands that Canadian software developers should probably negotiate more aggressively. If my needs are met along all the dimensions the author mentions, then I'd only seek another company if I can be close to certain that I'd love it, it would suit me, and it would be an after-tax gain of 20k or more annually.


People with longer tenures are different because they are motivated by something other than compensation. Perhaps it's the desire to build bigger things that will take more than a few years to complete, or maybe the sense of ownership in making the long tail of product refinements as opposed to leaving behind products that are "mostly done".

I suspect it's mostly personality differences that lead to the difference in motivation and thus longer tenures, and not so much the reverse where longer tenures causes different personalities.


Doesn't it just boil down to "try to stay informed about the market" and evaluate your own motives (growth, stability, etc) accordingly?

I don't see a whole lot wrong with either changing jobs frequently or staying at one place. I know people on both ends of that spectrum, one guy I know started at a Japanese bank before the 87 crash and is still there, another guy has had 6 jobs in 12 years.

I would say go have a look now, though. Just to stay informed on what's out there and what people think your value is.


Switching jobs means more money means I get to stop doing jobs sooner


I'm at my current workplace for 16 years+.

Its the sort of workplace where you start one day, stop and look up and suddenly its 10 years later.. you were so damned busy building a business that you never noticed the time go past, or that you somehow bought two houses and had two kids....

I've got a heap of long service leave as well.. I should consider taking it.


This seems like good advice for everyone around the fool who sticks around to be severely underpaid.


Question for everyone who regularly changes jobs and has a high income: what are your total hours like? I don't make $200k+ but I only work 4 days a week and have non-US (so, good) levels of annual leave.

Please include time outside work spent studying for your next job.


Just shy of 200k in TC, heading higher after accepting my next offer. 36ish hours a week, without any real oversight on actual time (I'm currently interviewing and I'm not sure anyone has noticed that I've been dipping out for an hour or so/day for interviews and prep). "Unlimited leave" for the last five years now across two jobs, which as we all know is a scam, but I try to take at least 30 days off per year, usually in two week-long blocks and then at least 1-2 three or four day weekend per month.

I said this elsewhere in this thread, but in tech in the US, you can now live almost anywhere (except for SF/NYC/Seattle/maybe LA?), make an amount of money that will put you in the top 1-5% of wage earners wherever you are, and still have a pretty chill life. I don't know if that'll still be the case in five or ten years—there is so much money sloshing around right now, it's unreal—but for now, I think it's foolish not to try to catch the wave and bank as much as you can.


Yeah… I always wandered the same… I love in Europe and my salary is not even near to what people claim to earn… but I am pretty sure that if we compare the effective hourly salary I out-earn most of them!


Ok, I can believe the authors point but why 4 years specifically?

I wonder what he feels the difference between say 2yrs and 4yrs at the same company is, because it definitely seems possible to see and experience the things he's talking about in less than 4yrs.


Vesting schedules.


Why should I when I can get 30%-50% gain every time I switch jobs (if I planned it carefully).


I see people claiming they were getting 300% raise while switching every 2 years .

My question is - is it consistent even after 10 years of doing so? Or is it just first 2-3 times you see 300% raise and you don't know what will happen next time?


It can’t be consistent for 10 years because engineer compensation has only been ballooning for a little while. Ten years ago there was no way you were getting completely enormous raises by switching because it was 2012 and comp wasn’t bonkers.

We will see how it goes in the future, but I have a hard time believing that one can truly develop high level skills by switching annually.


haha, the post reminds me of this snippet from Steve Jobs on Consultants

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp6_3UQLi2Y


It's basically shadow knowledge imo.


Job hoping for more money is not universal anyway, and in some markets even in computing, one should be happy to have a job at all.




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