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Old 01-27-2011, 07:15 PM  
Saul Good Saul Good is offline
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Career Advice

The last month or so, one of my company's competitors has been trying to recruit me away from my current employer. I'm reasonably happy where I am and will hit 5 years of service on March 1st (which means that I will be fully vested).

The new company kept calling, so I decided that I would meet with them and listen to their pitch. After meeting with HR and the office manager, it's pretty clear that they are going to make me an offer. I told the office manager that it was going to cost them more than they were planning on spending in order to get me to switch. He said that he would pressure them to give me what I wanted, but we didn't get to hard numbers yet.

I'm planning on asking for a 20-30% increase over what I currently make. I think they might agree to 20%. Whatever they offer, I am going to take it to my current employer and ask them to match it when my 5 year review comes up next month. If it's 20%+, I doubt they will match it, but they will probably meet me somewhere in between.

My question is this: How much money should I be willing to leave on the table in order to stay where I am? It's basically a lateral move, and there's always the risk/hassle factor associated with switching companies. Assuming that everything is a push in terms of pros and cons between the two compaines, how much is it worth to stay where I'm comfortable?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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You're the only person that can answer that question.

I'm going to be facing a similar situation in the near future, I recently got a job that I was originally just planning on keeping until I finished school, but it's a very secure one with a very stable company and I really, really like the people I am working with. The only drawback is I'm not making the kind of money I'd like to, and if I stay there I cannot justify continuing to sink money into school. And if I continue with school, I cannot justify staying at this job once I get my degree, and chances are I'm not going to get another job that I like as much as this one. And there's really no guarantees that I'll even get a better job...so what to do...I hate making important life decisions like these.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bugeater View Post
You're the only person that can answer that question.

I'm going to be facing a similar situation in the near future, I recently got a job that I was originally just planning on keeping until I finished school, but it's a very secure one with a very stable company and I really, really like the people I am working with. The only drawback is I'm not making the kind of money I'd like to, and if I stay there I cannot justify continuing to sink money into school. And if I continue with school, I cannot justify staying at this job once I get my degree, and chances are I'm not going to get another job that I like as much as this one. And there's really no guarantees that I'll even get a better job...so what to do...I hate making important life decisions like these.
When I started the job 5 years ago, I was 27 and single. I had a good job before, and this job nearly doubled my salary. It was great, but I'm not making that much more now than I was 5 years ago, as standard raises have been about 3% a year. It's still really good money, but it's hard to take a risk when I find myself in a comfort zone.

What type of raise would someone have to offer you in order to take a lateral position at another company?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
Baconeater Baconeater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
When I started the job 5 years ago, I was 27 and single. I had a good job before, and this job nearly doubled my salary. It was great, but I'm not making that much more now than I was 5 years ago, as standard raises have been about 3% a year. It's still really good money, but it's hard to take a risk when I find myself in a comfort zone.

What type of raise would someone have to offer you in order to take a lateral position at another company?
It would have to be at least 25% for them to even get my attention. It's tough to put a dollar value on not dreading to have to go to work in the morning.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #6
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In this economy, do you want to give up a secure, reasonably long term job that you're happy with to become the newest employee for a competitor? That's a serious consideration in this economy. And if you get greased by the new place, good chance you'll have burned your bridges with the old one.

A few years ago, I'd say jump and not think twice. But this ain't a few years ago.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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I'm reading a book The Best Things in Life... in kind of a mid-life reflection to make the most of my remaining years. It is a philosophy book, but very practically oriented and easy to read. One item related by the author:

Most people find that once their basic needs are taken care of, making more money generally does not improve their happiness.

I would base my decision on:

Which employer would give me better opportunities to grow?
At which employer would I enjoy my working hours better?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazod View Post
In this economy, do you want to give up a secure, reasonably long term job that you're happy with to become the newest employee for a competitor? That's a serious consideration in this economy. And if you get greased by the new place, good chance you'll have burned your bridges with the old one.

A few years ago, I'd say jump and not think twice. But this ain't a few years ago.
The man speaks the truth.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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Not sure if your just talking strictly salary, but I see too many people focusing strictly on salary. Be sure to compare benefits as well. I took a pay cut to come to work for my present employer. But I felt that the prospect of job security was better and they offered a much better retirement plan. Which dollar for dollar more than made up for the decrease in salary.

The other thing is if possible negotiate vacation time. If you have been with your present employer for 5 years you are probably getting an added week of vacation. I was able to negotiate for an added week but I still lost a week of vacation. Don't discount the cost of a week or 2 of pay if your vacation time is reduced.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
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Without knowing your company or boss's attitude towards these types of things, I would say keep this in mind.

You are basically holding your company hostage if you tell them about the other offer and ask them to match or meet you somewhere.

Nothing wrong with that but keep in mind, even if they match or meet you in the middle, there may be resentment going forward that could cause trouble later. Maybe not I don't know your company.

Not saying it should be that way or it's correct just saying I have seen it happen.

One approach would be just to put in notice. They will obviously ask you why and you can tell them better financial opportunity. If they want to make you a counter offer it's on them at that point.

I guess all I am saying and you may already know this, don't go in there saying or implying I am leaving unless you give me XXX. Let them approach you about what they need to do to keep you.

If they don't do that you are probably better off going where they value you more anyway.

Good luck.

Last edited by Marcellus; 01-27-2011 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:57 PM   #11
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I'd prefer to be comfortable personally. That said I think it would be highly appropriate to demand a nice raise from your current employer. Showing loyalty will pay off in many ways and its rare to be loyal these days.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazod View Post
In this economy, do you want to give up a secure, reasonably long term job that you're happy with to become the newest employee for a competitor? That's a serious consideration in this economy. And if you get greased by the new place, good chance you'll have burned your bridges with the old one.

A few years ago, I'd say jump and not think twice. But this ain't a few years ago.
Stay where you're at. I speak from experience.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazod View Post
In this economy, do you want to give up a secure, reasonably long term job that you're happy with to become the newest employee for a competitor? That's a serious consideration in this economy. And if you get greased by the new place, good chance you'll have burned your bridges with the old one.

A few years ago, I'd say jump and not think twice. But this ain't a few years ago.
This.

Not knowing what you are doing now makes it difficult to judge. I've tripled my salary in 5 years by taking risks in my career. Not staying in the comfortable place and believing in myself that if the new job falls apart, I'll get another one.

Bottom line...go with what your heart tells you is best for you.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:11 PM   #14
Saul Good Saul Good is offline
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This.

Not knowing what you are doing now makes it difficult to judge. I've tripled my salary in 5 years by taking risks in my career. Not staying in the comfortable place and believing in myself that if the new job falls apart, I'll get another one.

Bottom line...go with what your heart tells you is best for you.
This post confuses me. You seem to be agreeing with a post and then saying the exact opposite.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:16 PM   #15
Saul Good Saul Good is offline
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Originally Posted by Marcellus View Post
Without knowing your company or boss's attitude towards these types of things, I would say keep this in mind.

You are basically holding your company hostage if you tell them about the other offer and ask them to match or meet you somewhere.

Nothing wrong with that but keep in mind, even if they match or meet you in the middle, there may be resentment going forward that could cause trouble later. Maybe not I don't know your company.

Not saying it should be that way or it's correct just saying I have seen it happen.

One approach would be just to put in notice. They will obviously ask you why and you can tell them better financial opportunity. If they want to make you a counter offer it's on them at that point.

I guess all I am saying and you may already know this, don't go in there saying or implying I am leaving unless you give me XXX. Let them approach you about what they need to do to keep you.

If they don't do that you are probably better off going where they value you more anyway.

Good luck.
I think I can be diplomatic enough about it that it's not going to be seen as me trying to hold them hostage. If I tell them that another company has made me a very compelling offer and that, while I would prefer to stay put, I can't ignore somebody waving some pretty serious dollars at me, I think they will understand where I'm coming from. I work there because they pay me, after all.
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