About 18 months back I made a case to my employer that I should be promoted to a higher level of engineer, "principal engineer", as I was already doing the work of one for about 6 months already (i.e. starting about 24 months back, I was assigned work and leadership duties well above what I'm paid to do). My employer declined and noted that I should have at least a year of experience "at that level" before I'm even considered for such a big promotion. That basically burned up all the goodwill that had been generated over the years, and I started my job hunt.
About 5 weeks ago, I successfully negotiated a new job at that level of seniority, with a 40% pay increase, at another company (not a direct competitor, but it's sure to anger my soon-to-be-former-boss). I won't be starting until February though, even though I only have to give 3 weeks' notice (I convinced my new employer to give me some extra time for "personal reasons", when in reality, it's just so I can cash out a bonus and some stock Jan. 6th, and then resign when the money is in my bank account).
My problem: I've been told by my boss just before the Christmas break, that I'll be receiving this "well earned promotion", and a "whopping" 6% pay increase. I've also been instructed to train some people on my team in certain tech, because other senior-level engineers will be laid-off after the holiday break.
Should I drop any sort of hint that I'm on my way out the door, for the sake of other employees (some are friends) so they aren't laid off? I pretty much do the work of an entire 8-person team (I train/study a lot in personal time, so I'm generally one of the more productive and talented engineers, speaking bluntly). We lost 1 of our 4 principal engineers a month back (quit for a better job), and 2 of the others died (presumably from COVID). This leaves 1 principal engineer plus me to lead technical decisions for the whole company. If I can somehow hint that I don't want the promotion without getting myself fired, that would be ideal.
The way I see it:
- If I'm fired without cause: great! I get 12 months of severance pay (lump-sum), which exceeds the bonus + stock payout significantly. I'd likely lose out on the stocks plus bonuses, but that's acceptable.
- If I'm fired with cause (can't think of any legal way they could accomplish this, unless I was stealing from them), not good: since it looks bad on my CV, and no severance, and no stocks/bonuses.
- If I say nothing: good people get laid off needlessly, and I collect my stocks and bonuses.
- If I somehow convince them to promote someone else, they'll have to keep a few layoff candidates on the payroll for at least another year. I get my stocks and bonuses.
- If I somehow let them know I'm gone in another month, many layoff candidates stay on the payroll, and I get my stocks and bonuses.
The big question: is there any reasonable way to imply I'll be gone in a month without screwing myself out of severance/stocks/bonuses? I do want to try and help out those that will soon be jobless in a garbage economy and with bills to pay and families to support. I do have my own family to take care of too, however, so I'm not charitable to a fault.
Based on this feedback, I've decided to simply focus on taking care of myself. A good point was made: layoffs are already in motion, and realistically, people being re-hired afterwards is the best one could hope for. In such a case, people get fired, re-hired for more money, and get their severance checks, so I should back off and not assume I know what my colleagues "really want" out of these layoffs.
I did, however, inform my employer that I'd need a formal job description for the promotion indicating my new duties would be 100% the same as my old duties (i.e. they're not trying to dump even more work on me), since it's the same job, and this is just a matter of "playing salary catch up". That did not go over well. Also, I insisted 6% barely matched inflation this past year, much less the past 3, so we'll need to "up" the 6% to 25% to be "market competitive". After a lot of nasty emails, they agreed. This is going to be funny when I resign after negotiating this salary increase. My suspicion is they might lay me off in the coming months out of spite, and a temporary salary raise is acceptable to them (whereas a bonus would be out of the question).