I am an iOS developer in London.

Probation review: for them I successfully passed the probation.

I asked for a raise, as for the market I deserve more, and the answer was

You are really good and you deserve it, but that's what you signed six months ago, and this will be your salary until the end of 2015.

After this meeting I extended my probation for one week to make a decision. My options are: leave now and have just one week notice period or accept to pass the probation and resign after it and give 3 months notice as the contract says.

A lot of people is leaving the company now for the same reason. What would you do? Be cautious and look for a job in the next 3 months or just leave now?

What are pros and cons of both ways?

  • 1
    3 months notice is too much, and i think you'll find unenforceable. (insomuch as a notice period can be enforceable, because, you know, slavery is illegal). There are minimum notice periods in the UK, outside of them it is hard to enforce. See ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/… – bharal Nov 5 '14 at 0:07
  • hello, consider editing the question to make it better fit site topics laid out in help center. In particular, this guidance may help to learn what is expected of questions here. Good luck! – gnat Nov 5 '14 at 7:53
  • @bharal - no actually it's enforceable if it's in the OP's contract, and is becoming increasingly common in the UK. – The Wandering Dev Manager Nov 6 '14 at 13:32
  • @TheWanderingDevManager in what sense is it enforceable? The company cannot "make" you turn up, but they can sue you for damages - they just need to prove damages, which for a junior developer will be hard. – bharal Nov 6 '14 at 13:41
  • True, they aren't sticking s gun in your ribs to make you turn up, but being on the end of a breach of contract suit with damages is upsetting for most, especially as it's on balance of probabilities, not absolute proof. An employer claiming a large contract loss due to loss of resource/loss of reputation with client etc can mean big damages, a lot of people will give in as they don't have the resources to fight. Plus the UK IT industry is very close, you meet someone everywhere, so a thing like this can make you unemployable. – The Wandering Dev Manager Nov 6 '14 at 14:35

How confident are you that you can find another job quickly? If you are out of work for 6 months, and then get a job with a 20% increase over what you were earning at this underpaid job, you'll still come out worse than if you were working for those 6 months (with 3 months on notice) while you found that job.

The longer you are out of work, the worse your return is.

However, if you continue working, your only loss will be working 3 more months at the lower pay rate instead of a higher pay rate. Figure out what that is likely to be, and balance that against the potential loss while unemployed.


As another angle to @thursdaysgeek's answer, consider how quitting now would look like from your next prospective employer's standpoint. Namely,

  • Does a 3 6-month probational work experience look convincing on your CV? If you have little else to show there, probably not. (I assume that is the case, as otherwise, if you have enough prior work experience, you would probably have gotten a better offer to start with.)
  • What are you going to answer when they ask why you quit your previous job after 3 6 months? Saying "because I wanted a raise and I didn't get one" sounds, well, a tad greedy. Saying something unclear and general about your goals or culture being different may not sound very convincing.
  • Actually 6 months experience – mimma4 Nov 5 '14 at 18:46

Another thing to consider is how much is the experience you are getting worth on the market. Can you really get a better salary right now on the market (people often vastly overestimate what they are worth especially at the beginning of their careers), how much better salary could you get on the market with a year's more experience at this place. Sometimes it is worth it to take short-term lower salaries to gain skills that in the long run are more valuable.

Decisions on whether to keep a job or move on should almost never be only about salary. I have taken a pay cut to get a chance to get new qualifications I needed for the direction I wanted to go in for my overall career. So you need to evaluate, if you would be able to command a higher salary in a year by staying here now.

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