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I currently work for a medium-large (~500 employees) Italian company as a Linux developer. I work in a team of 8 people, most of them are really awesome and really friendly, the day life is good and so is the comfort that the company offers.

To reach the office I have to drive around 75km per day, on alternating weeks (I share the car with a colleague), so around 750km per month just to go to and from work. My salary is ~15% less than the Italian average for the position I cover.

A couple of days per month I also work for another company, way smaller (around 10 employees) which is 10km away from my place. There I work with a guy that is a consultant for the first company. We work quite well together. The office is often almost empty since more than half of the team work in a different city.

Recently the new company asked me to join them as a full-time developer, with a salary that is almost double my current one.

I don't know exactly what to do and what I should take into account to choose what to do.

I feel guilty leaving my current team knowing the difficulties we are facing right now (mostly because the team is too small for the amount of work).

(Of course I can earn more money and gain more free time in the new job.)

Should I have concern for my previous workplace, when considering a new job?

Some extra info: I've worked at the first company since January 2018 and I'm almost 23 years old.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Jane S Jan 17 at 5:04

12 Answers 12

272

To me... This is a simple choice.

So basically the only reason you're hesitating is because you don't want to leave your team with all the work?

It's going to be overloaded whether you're there or not. They can find a replacement for you but you may not find a replacement job offer that will almost double your salary in a very very long time. You're an asset they have to complete their work. Someone else is in charge of making sure there's enough capacity to complete the work and if they ignore this then this is a red light as it is. This new job will save you from this red light.

You should focus on progressing your own personal career. If the new job is higher pay (by almost double), shorter commute and obviously going to be better for your daily life. It's a no brainer.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Snow Jan 17 at 16:40
34

Ciao, you should absolutely should take the new offer.

Regarding your belief that:

Your belief that your old company will be "hurt" when you leave.

This is incorrect thinking. It would be like using red wine in ragu. You must let this go!

  1. Everyone is replaceable

  2. Teams are usually HAPPY when someone leaves, it is a chance for fresh air

  3. Your current boss will be pleased to see you getting ahead

  4. Everyone is much less important than they think. The code base will be fine without you

  5. On the purely social front. Regarding your current good friends. Of course, your friends will be incredibly happy for you, when you take this opportunity.

You "think" that the reason you don't want to leave is that you don't want to "hurt" the old company. But really, it is just ego! Your leaving will not cause them the slightest problem.

At this stage in your career you must be able to

  • clearly,
  • politely,
  • and with no psychological fuss

leave one company and move to another.

It is a basic in your career. Develop this skill now!

In short ... "I feel guilty ..." you should leave such feelings behind now that you are not a teenager! If you do not, you will not make it in the adult world of work!

Act in a mature manner and simply clearly, politely, and with no psychological fuss, tell the old company you're leaving. Everyone will wish you well and you can see how the next job goes.

Take this amazing opportunity and enjoy.

  • 6
    Actually I don't believe that the company will be hurt, but the team will be. Also, I see @JoeStrazzere 's POV, when a team member leave the group, especially in big project like mine, the team isn't so happy, since you need time, a lot of time, to teach someone 5+ years of work, unless the leaving member was a "nuisance" for other members. – gabbla Jan 14 at 15:34
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    Joe is simply completely wrong here to be blunt. In software nobody gives a stuff, you will be utterly forgotten in 60 seconds as your back leaves the door. (Sure, programmers take some days to pick up a new project; but if it takes a long time to pick up a new project, the software is crap and the architecture and programming style has to be dramatically changed. But that anyway is not your business or concern whatsoever. If altruistically you cared for them, better to "klick them out of the nest" as it were so they might solve their silly problems.) – Fattie Jan 14 at 15:38
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    Fattie, to be blunt - since you have no problem doing so - I think the real problem with this answer is that you take your own viewpoint and experiences and extrapolate to an entire industry/culture as if everyone agrees with you and sees things exactly the same, with no room for variation. (example: how can you possibly know how his boss will feel?) If your answers were less absolute, they would be less polarizing, more accurate, and more valuable. I agree with the intent of your answer but it's hard to support because it's so narrowly presented. – dwizum Jan 14 at 16:45
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    @JoeStrazzere you are right, this will make me unhappy too, after all I spent 8hrs/day for over an year with them! – gabbla Jan 15 at 7:46
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    The simplest way to make life decisions with "no psychological fuss" is to behave like a psychopath. That may or valid point of view from which to offer lifestyle advice, but it's not necessarily good advice to follow. – alephzero Jan 15 at 10:34
23

I feel guilty to leave my current team knowing the difficulties we are facing right now (mostly because the team is too small for the amount of work).

To quote an answer I've written to another question:

An important thing to realize is, that if a company cannot afford to pay (adequately) for software, they aren't entitled to get software for "free".

If the team is too small (i.e. it is overworked to meet unrealistic expectations), it means that someone is trying to get software for free. If the team members are underpaid, it means that someone is trying to get software for free.

If you have the opportunity, all other things being equal, to go work for a place where they understand the cost of software, and are comfortable paying for it, that sounds like a great choice to make.

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    It sounds to me like the company of ~500 employees could afford it, but currently they are coasting because they know that the (very conscientious) asker and teammates will work hard to fill the gap and get acceptable results, despite being overstretched. The asker leaving might be exactly the shock they need: it will force them to stop being complacent and to actually invest in that team properly. – user568458 Jan 15 at 10:10
  • I wanted to say just this. They will throw you under the bus the minute they can; in fact they did already by paying only 75%, so you can throw them under the bus as well and take the better job. – Alexander Jan 15 at 12:10
  • @user568458 - You are right. Next time, I'll change my quote to clarify that "if a company is unwilling or can't afford to pay". – dan.m was user2321368 Jan 15 at 14:35
11

Many people I know have felt exactly as you do, leaving both better and significantly worse employers than yours. I felt the same, when I left my first employer. I confused the personal loyalty I felt to my team, my manager and the company with my duty as an employee. Of course you feel loyal, you've worked there for a year and you've grown immensely! However, you cannot be responsible for the work you leave behind. It is your manager's job to ensure that the team can cope with the loss of any one member. That is not your cross to bear. That said, which option provides you with more room to grow, in ways you would like to grow?

You might not yet know which professional growth your new employer can offer you, while you do know what skills you can develop and projects you can complete with the old employer. Many of us are a little risk averse. How does that factor into your current feelings?

There is (or will be) more to life than a job. A pay rise early in your career can be a huge boost to your financial prospects. Working closer to home means more time to invest in you, family and friends - or in your career. That is a level of freedom that your current job may not be able to offer you. Don't compare the jobs in isolation. Instead, weigh the possibilities offered by the jobs (including the freedom to do work that you like, in a team that you like).

  • Thank you for sharing your experience! I know that this is a big chance and I want to live it in the best possible way! – gabbla Jan 14 at 15:37
  • As I try to explain in my post, "personal loyalty" is in reality just simple ego. The idea that they "need" some particular programmer ................. is a skill fantasy. They do not need you at all in any way. It is an ego trip, masking as loyalty. Hopefully I'm convincing some people here to get ahead in their careers! :) – Fattie Jan 14 at 15:40
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    Adding to this idea - I stayed at my last employer about a year after I knew I was underpaid for the work I was doing. I felt the same loyalty to the project - to the people I was working with. During this time I ended up putting in extra hours a few times because the project was understaffed. My reward for this extra dedication? The entire branch was laid off. I dusted off my resume, started applying, and now have a job paying ~30% more which is extremely close to home. My only regret is that I didn't leave sooner. – pseudonym117 Jan 14 at 22:13
  • @Fattie This is naivete due to information asymmetry, not ego. (1) We conflate the employer's ROI with our own assessment of our capabilities. We feel like we are under-delivering until we've mastered a role. Exceptions aside, the boss has been making ROI on our labour long before that, but we cannot always assess that. (2) We mix causes and responsibility (for said causes). Yes, there will be a skill/knowledge vacuum in our area of responsibility after we leave. That doesn't make us responsible for ensuring continuity. At best, the boss can expect a proper handover. – SambalMinion Jan 15 at 7:56
  • Now, I accept that there are situations where ego comes into play - I've had disfunctional employees that grossly overestimate their ability. But you are doing someone (who has never had to choose between jobs that they like before) a disservice by playing the ego card, rather than looking at the multitude of factors that influence how they make career choices. – SambalMinion Jan 15 at 8:09
11

The popular Indian president Abdul Kalam has already given the answer.

Love your job but don't love your company, because you may not know when your company stops loving you. Abdul Kalam

10

Loyalty is good. Take the job and don't accept a counteroffer.

When you accept the offer verbally, tell the new employer that you need to give notice, and the notice period will start when you receive a written offer and respond in writing. Usually, the notice period is two weeks in the U.S., but it is sometimes longer. My letters have always included a negotiated start date.

One of my friends, whom I didn't know when we hired him in 2015, used his notice time to clean up old code.

Notify your current employer in writing. Don't be afraid to tell them why you are leaving. Spend the notice period handing off work, writing documentation, and improving anything you can. Your manager can help prioritize this. Also, this will leave your team in a better position than when you started.

If you leave your team in the best place you can, there is no need to feel guilty. You can now remain friends with selected former co-workers, and have a manager who can give you a reference in the future.

It is all about the future.

  • If OP is in Italy, the logistics of notice, offers, etc. are all taken care by Labor Law – WoJ Jan 17 at 11:26
5

No you should not be concerned about your future-ex company.

This is business, not college and you're working to make money, not friends.

Most workplaces guilt trip you into thinking that you somehow owe them anything. Truth is: you don't. As a worker you are creating revenue for the company (despite them paying you!) and they need you more than you need them anyway. Do not think for a single second that your employer will be concerned when it's time to fire you and treat as they would you: professionally and rationally.

Now whether you should take the offer that doubles your salary is a different altogether, and only you can decide if the overall offer (salary, bonuses, perks, work environment, colleagues...) is better or not than your current one. But keep in mind that emotional ties to your current employer is never a valid reason make a decision about your career.

5

Loyalty is nice, but you don't have to take it to extremes.

If you're a very competent worker, there will be many times in your career when you have to choose between your current employer and a new prospect. And you'll almost always be putting your current employer in a lurch if you decide to leave. You'll sometimes have to leave a company that you enjoy working with, it's a fact of business life.

You'll be said to leave, they'll be sad to see you go, but life will go on. No one is indispensible, they'll find a replacement for you.

I'm not even going to touch on the salary difference, it's not really relevant. Your decision to leave can be based on any reason. But I don't think any reasonable person would disparage you for taking a doubling in salary. I actually left my last job, which I enjoyed, because I found an opportunity at a company whose product I was more interested in, even though the salary and benefits were less; but I'm in a situation where I can afford to not make money the prime factor (I have no family to support and I've built up a decent nest egg).

If money is the only consideration, you could use that as a negotiating tactic. You could tell your current manager that you have a new opportunity, and while you enjoy working there you can't afford to give it up unless they can meet (or come close to) that salary. Since you like the company, try to keep this a friendly discussion, not an ultimatum; let them know that you feel bad about leaving, but they made you an offer you can't refuse.

5

Try to put it this way:

  • Is the company going to keep you when there is nothing to do?
  • Is the company going to keep you when they find another person with the same skill set as you and get the job done with the half of your salary?

I'm a commuter as well and would prefer a closer job every day in the week especially if I get an extra salary I currently have.

Bonus point: If family comes first for you, it should be a no-brainer. Less time on the road. More time with your family.

2

It would be worth taking the new job even for the same money, because your commute is killing you.

health status, level of happiness and satisfaction were lower for people who had longer commutes

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    Scare-tactic come answer? – Makoto Jan 14 at 23:25
2

Get that money!

Take the offer!

Accept the job offer and put in your notice at your current company. During the notice period your boss will either have you do everything that needs to be done in order to hand the project off to someone else, or attempt to make a counter offer to keep you.

Given the driving distance to your new job, and the prospect of making 80% more than the average pay for your position in Italy, I'd suggest not taking it and moving on. Don't feel so guilty. This is a major part of how salary increases happen in programming.

  • Not only does the slang not translate, "putting in your two weeks" is very much a US thing. I would be surprised if the same two weeks notice period would apply in Italy. – MSalters Jan 15 at 12:55
  • @MSalters I'd expect there to be some previously agreed upon period of notice to give. – Steve Jan 15 at 18:21
  • @MSalters: Italian Labor Law defines all the logistics behind notices, offers, what is in the contract etc. There is some space for negotiation but only if both parties agree to do so - otherwise this si all regulated (positively for the employee BTW) – WoJ Jan 17 at 11:29
1

Every goal of a worker is to have a nice and good salary. When having your current job, it is the main reason why you do so. And I think you don't have to think of your previous job because you already have your job now that is more satisfying than your previous one. And besides, you cannot go back to it anymore, I think. So, just enjoy the benefits of your job right now.

protected by Jane S Jan 17 at 5:04

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