I am a key member of the team being a project manager managing the development team. We are currently building an in house start up product. Despite my differences with my boss/CEO when it comes to managerial style, on the whole we get along, with my team consistently performing. They consistently on a weekly bases deliver work. My Boss on the other hand who is in charge of the sales team is struggling to generate leads into sales.

The problem that we have now is cashflow. My boss has told me the following:

  • a well liked member of the sales team is going to be let go from under performing

  • Another colleague of mine doing QA hasn't been paid for the last 3 months.

Based on this, I am not completely sure if I should move on, or if I should ride through the wave hoping that things will get better - a part of me feels as though I am being disloyal to the company during hard times.

What do you think?

  • "What do you think?" That you're soliciting opinions on a Q&A site and with your rep you should know better? Aren't you basically asking the same thing as your closed question from last month?. The topic question is a common one and worth answering but it doesn't seem to match what you're really asking. – Lilienthal Jul 7 '16 at 12:09
  • My answer here is highly relevant. – Jane S Jul 7 '16 at 12:16
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    Loyalty between employer and employee is a rare bird these days. It seems more and more that employers want loyalty from their employees, but do not give it in return. – DLS3141 Jul 7 '16 at 12:21
  • Do you hold a significant share (or at least options) in the company? – CodesInChaos Jul 7 '16 at 12:39
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    "QA hasn't been paid for the last 3 months" = move on – camden_kid Jul 7 '16 at 14:51

Another colleague of mine doing QA hasn't been paid for the last 3 months.

This is a big red flag. It is clear that the company is experiencing monetary difficulties, and you don't want to be in the same position of not being paid. In this case, looking for another job is just self-defense.

To answer your original question:

Am I being disloyal by jumping ship?

Just realize that they won't hesitate to fire you, for instance if they find a cheaper replacement.

  • "just realize that they won't hesitate to fire you," - I think this is a poor reason to say that you shouldn't be loyal to someone. In some cases opportunities could arise if you stick with it, but in most cases nothing will happen. However, I don't think the OP's loyalty is in question as he is trying to determine what is best for himself, not the company. – Dan Jul 7 '16 at 13:42
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    With the name of Ouroboros and a rep score of 666 I was hesitant to upvote you, but someone would have sooner or later. +1 – rath Jul 7 '16 at 16:43

There are people in your company not being paid. This means it's very likely that you (and others) will either not be paid or be out of a job entirely in the near future. In that situation, it's not "disloyal" to be looking for another job - it's what you need to do in order to ensure the bills are paid.


Are you disloyal to the company for jumping ship? Absolutely. But you might be disloyal to your wife and children, or your wallet, if you stay with the company. And your wife, children, and wallet, are more deserving of your loyalty than the company.

Especially since the company has already proven that it is disloyal to some employees, and there is little evidence that it can stay loyal to you or even intends to be loyal to you.

  • I'd say "wife or husband", as we don't know the OP's demographics(and don't need to know). Other than that, agreed 100%. – gazzz0x2z Jul 8 '16 at 9:34
  • That's not something that I really worry about most of the time. Should I change it to wife or wives as well? – gnasher729 Jul 8 '16 at 14:03
  • I was thinking about a more neutral word, like "spouse", which is neutral in english. You cannot be wrong with using it. I know people sensitive to it. – gazzz0x2z Jul 10 '16 at 7:39
  • @gazzz0x2z - if anyone is sensitive about it, they can complain to me. Any woman with a husband or gay man with a husband or unmarried person will clearly understand what I'm saying. – gnasher729 Jul 10 '16 at 20:52

I made the mistake of feeling the same way you do in a previous job.

Others have already mentioned someone not getting paid (for 3 months!) being a big red flag and would definitely lead to me itching to leave myself. Let me just add 3 months is a long time - a few weeks you could nearly live with - perhaps they needed to get one project over the line or having trouble collecting a cheque from a particular client. But 3 months shows consistent inability to pay their staff - which begs the question why the QA guy is still there!

If you're just worried about feeling disloyal, think of it this way. People leave jobs all the time. It's part of running a business to have a staff turnover.

If they said tomorrow that they could no longer afford to keep you and had to let you go, how long could you live without a job? Do you have a family/debts to support? Because by the sounds of it this is a very real possibility and you wouldn't be getting much of a redundancy package.

Has your CEO given you indication of how the company is going to turn things around (other than firing the underperforming salesperson)? If they can fire a staff member for underperforming, surely you shouldn't feel so bad for "firing" them for underperforming. (As others have said if it was the other way around they probably wouldn't hesitate)


Another colleague of mine doing QA hasn't been paid for the last 3 months.

Do you really believe, if this is happening to somebody else, that it can't happen to you? Wake up! Disloyalty has nothing to do with this situation. Sometimes we say, "the writing's on the wall". But in your case, the wall's clearly being knocked down with the writing on it, and you're doing nothing.

Forgive my surprise, but WOW!!!


Loyalty is supposed to go both sides. After what you've written, do you think your employer is loyal to its employees?

If you work for an employer you have good reasons to believe is always loyal, and won't give you up, then be loyal. If you work for an employer that has a recent history of letting people go and not paying them, then you are not supposed to be loyal anymore.

Of course, the usual advice applies as well : don't leave before having a firm offer elsewhere.


My one rule is when the sales force is being reduced, it's time to move on.

As companies like to say all the time, "it's just business". you need to take the same approach. Loyalty doesn't come into play here at all.

Loyalty is refusing to be lured away to another company. Loyalty is keeping trade secrets secret. Loyalty is standing by in tough times.

However, loyalty is not staying on a sinking ship until you drown. Loyalty is not having someone's back while they stick a dagger in yours. Loyalty is not standing by your employer while they stab others in the back. If the dagger hasn't found yours yet, it will.

You owe no loyalty to a company that is not loyal to it's employees any more than you should be loyal to an acquaintance that has a habit of stealing from people simply because he hasn't found your wallet.... yet.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Hopefully you will be wise where I was not.

  • What happened in your situation? – bobo2000 Jul 7 '16 at 13:37
  • I stayed until I was let go and things went very very badly for me after tha, including losing my house and a 12 year relationship – Old_Lamplighter Jul 7 '16 at 14:13
  • bloody hell, why did things go so pear shaped? – bobo2000 Jul 7 '16 at 14:47
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    @bobo2000 I was loyal in 2001, when the IT market was collapsing. I ended up working in a convenience store for a few years (not as bad as it sounds, they had their own internal IT, which I was trying to get into). But the point is, you have GOT to look out for yourself, nobody else will. My example is an extreme one, but keep it in the back of your mind as a "worst case scenario" example of why you need to look out for yourself. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 7 '16 at 14:49

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