Think Then Code by Dominic Umbeer

The "I am not happy at my current company" phenomenon

2015-09-12 - Career, Life

I have talked to a couple of developers recently, both in interviews and informal conversations at lunches and meetups. Many of them were complaining about their current work situation, mainly about the company’s culture and how they are integrated. Most of them had actively tried to change their situation within the company without success (as I understood it from their stories). For them the next logical step was to cancel the contract and to leave the company. To be honest, this behaviour is understandable.

What I don’t understand, however, is what happens next.

After they tell their manager that they have decided to leave, the company sometimes decides to make a counteroffer. Be it by raising the salary, increasing vacation days or offering a higher position.

And now the illogical part starts. The developer accepts the counteroffer and stays with the company. Whaaat? Has your situation changed due to the fact that you are now getting more money? Has the company culture magically transformed into something good because you can now spend more time climbing mountains or lying on a beach? I think not!

I’m always surprised at how easily money or perks can change someone’s opinion and feelings. Maybe I’m too idealistic and that’s why I don’t get it. But I always try to act according to my situation and circumstances, and more money will not change my situation if the company culture sucks.

A friend of mine went through exactly the same scenario recently. He cancelled his contract and a couple of days later he received a counteroffer. Almost 40% more salary. Boom! And guess what? He rejected the offer. It wasn’t his previous salary that had made him decide to leave, so why should this new offer change his opinion!? This guy has courage!

Money is important and everybody should get the appropriate salary. But I strongly believe that money is not the answer to all problems.