Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/22/employees-that-stay-in-companies-longer-than-2-years-get-paid-50-less/#337d363ce07f

Why are people who jump ship rewarded, when loyal employees are punished for their dedication? The answer is simple. Recessions allow businesses to freeze their payroll and decrease salaries of the newly hired based on “market trends.” These reactions to the recession are understandable, but the problem is that these reactions were meant to be “temporary.” Instead they have become the “norm” in the marketplace. More importantly, we have all become used to hearing about “3% raises” and we’ve accepted it as the new “norm."...



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People are worried that “changing jobs too often” will reflect negatively on employee resumes. I can definitely understand this fear because everyone is always worried about being unmarketable. I will be the first to admit that it is possible that certain employers may look at a resume with multiple transitions as a negative and may even disqualify an applicant based on that alone.

But, the important question is whether the risk outweighs the reward. Christine Mueller, President of TechniSearch Recruiters, has had clients that “will not consider anyone who has had more than three jobs in the last 10 years, no matter the reason.” Even so, Mueller still recommends that an employee makes a transition every three to four years for maximum salary gains.  Thus, the question is less about whether employees should jump ship, but how long they should they wait before jumping to maximize their salaries and achieve their goals.



This is about accruate as far as my job situation has gone, I've seen the biggest increase in pay after changing jobs for one reason or another. I was wondering if everyone else had the same kind of experience or maybe it's just because I do contract work.

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  • kaptainkernals
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    kaptainkernals polycounter lvl 7
    My experience hasn't been in the game field, but in web/app development, and there it has definitely been worthwhile for me to rather leave a company and get a new job, than stay in the hopes of a decent raise to compete with salary trends and inflation. And each new position gained me at least a 50-60% increase, over the promised(and rarely fulfilled) 10%+ yearly increase.
  • Dudestein
    Your ability to negotiate salary and other things, like vacation days or working from home some days, is directly correlated with how in demand you are and how easily they can just find someone else. How flooded is the job market for what you do? Be self-aware of your realistic value.
  • Tekoppar
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    Tekoppar polycounter lvl 6
    Not related to game development per see, but I read a story on Quora about a guy who worked in a company. Became friends with a person that migrated to America, got a job in programming, after 2 years he left the company. A few years later he came back to visit his friend at the first company. And said this to his friend, "Why haven't you changed jobs yet? Every time I change jobs I get a better salary, America is great.". I'm writing from memory so might not be the exactly what he wrote.
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    Definitely has been my experience. Only worked at a couple of companies, but never got a raise while working for them (A year and a half each, or so). But the first job was low paying (35k/yearUSD) and the second was considerably better (50k/yearUSD). I don't imagine getting a pay raise like that while staying at a company, in the current climate.

    At the same time, right, it's just easier to negotiate everything before you're "tied down". A company that's hiring you asks your desired salary. I've never had a company ask if my salary was acceptable, as I worked there. And for me, it's a lot more difficult and awkward to ask for a raise than it is to tell a new company your desired salary.

    I think, also, in the United States at least, we don't have a culture of giving raises anymore, we have a culture where you need to ask for them. But I think we're also taught to think our positions are precarious, and that even a slight bump could lead to being fired, so many people are afraid to bring up anything like that. It's a good mechanism to keep pay down. :'(   (Not that I think it's on purpose or anything)

    And it's tough too, because as artists, I think many of us don't have an accurate view of how good we are compared with others. Even the best artists I know have impostor syndrome. And how can you ask for a raise without feeling undeserving, when you feel like a fraud?
  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 5
    Joopson said:

    Definitely has been my experience. Only worked at a couple of companies, but never got a raise while working for them (A year and a half each, or so). But the first job was low paying (35k/yearUSD) and the second was considerably better (50k/yearUSD). I don't imagine getting a pay raise like that while staying at a company, in the current climate.

    I've had a similar experience than you when I started, with the slight difference that I tried to stay and ask for raise. Started with a junior low-paying job. Stayed a few years, asked for a raise every year and even though they said they liked my work, that they wanted me to stay, they didn't give me any reasonable raise, ever.

    Started moving around a bit and doubled my salary in barely a year and half.

    It's ridiculous. It doesn't make sens.
  • Snefer
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    Snefer polycounter lvl 10
    Yup, I have seen these numbers floating around for years. Its ridiculous. A company will never pay you what you are worth if you can avoid it. If there is an open position on the team, and you double your efficiency and speed, will they give you that extra salary? Hell no, you will get a few percent extra bump and a "good boy". Companies overall are quite good at making people loyal, in comparison to what they give in return :)
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    staying only two years seems a little extreme though. i can see it working out early on to help with resume building, getting to know people  and bumping the salary all at the same time - but later on with - say - 10 years of experience and some extra responsibilities beyond pushing a soap bar?

    a production cycle will often take longer than those two years, also how often can you do it before having to leave the area and how often till you end up in a bad place that you will be desperate to get away from again. which will cause financial loss all on it's own.

    to expect a company to do anything else than what's in it's own best interest is obviously naive. like thinking HR is there to protect your interests and the like. :)


  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    Sad but true for most companies and industries.

    If you are to leave a company for this reason I do urge you to bring it up though, might sound a bit like blackmailing but sometimes companies actually step up and give you a fair pay raise if you tell them what they are losing, and it's a good way to show them why they might be loosing people and to change their ways.

    For me I can clearly say I wouldn't be where I am without switching companies on a regular basis, although me changing companies didn't have anything to do with money it did help me get more money then I ever would by staying at one place, sadly.
  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 5
    thomasp said:
    how often can you do it before having to leave the area 

    Surprisingly often. I've seen people (In VFX, not in games) leave and return to the same company 2-3 times. You won't give me a raise? I'll go somewhere else for a few months, come back and ask for more, and they'll just accept.

    It is that much ridiculous. Yes, we did reach that point. 
  • Swaggletooth
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    Swaggletooth polycounter lvl 3
    Whilst I'm still only relatively junior, moving to new companies has (thankfully so far) given me large wage increases. Not as big as some of the boasts seen around, but my latest job boosted my salary by 20% which I know I'd never ever get in my old job after sticking at that for a few more years.

    The flipside of all this is that occasionally companies will want to see you work from start to finish on a production before they'll consider hiring you - I guess part of that is to see that you'll be loyal!

    I'd agree with @Jonas Ronnegard switching companies shouldn't be about money, ultimately it should be about how happy you'll be because there's no point in taking a job with high pay if you'll be stuck there feeling miserable.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    thomasp said:
    how often can you do it before having to leave the area 

    Surprisingly often. I've seen people (In VFX, not in games) leave and return to the same company 2-3 times. You won't give me a raise? I'll go somewhere else for a few months, come back and ask for more, and they'll just accept.

    It is that much ridiculous. Yes, we did reach that point. 
    Yeah I have seen this as well, it really is stupid by the companies, I guess they think of their employees as an asset they have required and now they have it and don`t see the benefit in changing original agreement, I can understand this at first, but after losing so many employees you might think they would change their ways.

    In the end companies end up hiring new artists for the position that they will probably pay more for then the original artist, which already had all those skills that the new artist need to learn and will need at least a year to get up to the same kind of speed and quality, so most probably companies is losing a lot of money by doing this.
  • marks
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    marks polycounter lvl 9
    thomasp said:

    to expect a company to do anything else than what's in it's own best interest is obviously naive. 


    Right but the point is that if you're a high-performing employee, it is definitely in the company's best interests to keep you there.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni interpolator
    In the end companies end up hiring new artists for the position that they will probably pay more for then the original artist, which already had all those skills that the new artist need to learn and will need at least a year to get up to the same kind of speed and quality, so most probably companies is losing a lot of money by doing this.
    Yep, you also have to build new relationships with both the team and extended team. Someone who is both a great performer on the team and also can solve problems and build relationships with other teams is even harder to replace quickly.

    I've seen companies lay off multiple artists only to hire a new batch of artists 5 months later with probably the same cost. Probably would have been cheaper to just pay those artists for the 5 months and not have to find, hire, and train new employees.
  • thinkinmonkey
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    marks said:
    thomasp said:

    to expect a company to do anything else than what's in it's own best interest is obviously naive. 


    Right but the point is that if you're a high-performing employee, it is definitely in the company's best interests to keep you there.
    Hi,
    don't take that for granted.
    For what I've seen and understood around me in these years, if an artist doesn't ask, the company won't offer nothing more than usual pay rise, if there is.
    Ok, of course, there are exceptions, don't get me wrong.
    In these years I heard stories of artists offered more money and better roles when they said they were leaving for another company: someone accepted the new offer, someone just left shocked by that offer.
    Obviously It depends from a lot of factors, role, working years, reputation..., but when you know you really make a difference, it's really sad when your company is trying to having you with a last, "desperate" offer when they could make that move in advance and making you more happy and loyal to them, but you know, money are money! ;)
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    marks said:
    thomasp said:

    to expect a company to do anything else than what's in it's own best interest is obviously naive. 


    Right but the point is that if you're a high-performing employee, it is definitely in the company's best interests to keep you there.
    yes it would be - assuming from their POV they actually see you as that keeper and consider your contribution valuable enough. they might not always be that well informed though. i've seen a few of these cases and sometimes a lead needed to intervene to 'help' them make a sensible decision.


    @Felixenfeu
    i was just thinking of games really. i've not worked in VFX but it seems all contract work anyway so switching around regularly surely would be considered pretty normal? all the people i know in that business do it all the time. well, except those in NZ. i suppose due to a lack of alternatives nearby.

  • YannickStoot
    Fully depends on how you are. You can stay at one company and get a significant raise (>10% raise) but there will 2 factors that are at play.

    1: How dependant is the company on you.
    2: Do you dare to put your ass on the line and demand a high raise.
  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 5
    thomasp First job wasn't in VFX and it was the same bullshit. And yes there is some kind of short contract mentality in VFX, which in itself is part of the problem.

    The original post was about being rewarded for moving around, in the whole job market. This here, short contracts, is part of this stupid mentality.

    It's fun for poeple that likes to move around to have his possibility, but it should be an option to stay somewhere and still get rewarded too.

    But yes game is different though. I've seen more poeple stay at the same place for long periods of time. And yet we still hear here that poeple get bigger raise for moving around :) 

    Swaggletooth  couldn't agree more.
  • Michael_Ingrassia
    It seriously depends on your talent and ability to be in demand. When I first started my career over 17 years ago, my first salary was $50k. Not bad for entry level. But year 2 I requested a review and $1000 raise and was declined. Told $50k was the ceiling they offered. I got another job at $60k a few months later doing exactly the same thing. I found that I could ask for $5-8k more each year applying for a new job. Skip ahead 8 years and I was earning $94k but found collegues within the company (Microsoft) were earning no more than $70k simply because they werent asking. I think its reasonable to get 2-5k increase in salary but keep in mind you have to change jobs, sometimes relocate, change medical benefits and it may not be a change for the better once you walk through the door of your next job (grass is greener syndrome). After I left Microsoft (high stress, long hours, weekend work mandatory) I was offered a job at a small indy studio. They could only afford $65k, I took the job because I was happy as a clam working there. Great people, low stress, life balance, etc.
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