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I work for a software agency (I'm self-employed, we have B2B contract) and for the same client of that agency for about 2 years.

I’ve started to look around casually, took some interviews and got an offer with about 50% salary increase. I'm pretty sure that due to internal policy they won't offer me a rise.

I feel some sort of loyalty to the client and I don’t want to lose what I think is good work relationship with him. But on the other hand I'm not able to rationally justify staying and earning a lot less than I could.

Any advice?

closed as off-topic by Kent A., DJClayworth, jimm101, Masked Man, gnat Oct 2 '16 at 7:14

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    You feel loyalty when there seems to be a policy that keeps you from getting a raise? It doesn't sound like they have any loyalty to you. – robert Oct 1 '16 at 12:21
  • Loyalty to the client of the company that I'm working with directly and not that much to the company itself.The client has no influence on how much they pay me, so it's kind of not his fault. On the other hand I'm not able to work with him without middle-man due to non-compete clause so it's kind of dead end for in terms of job either. – John Doe Oct 1 '16 at 12:26
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    Not letting down the client isn't your responsibility in this case. It's the company's responsibility to find a reasonable replacement for you. – keshlam Oct 1 '16 at 12:31
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    2 years non compete doesn't sound like it is enforceable especially for a contractor – Pepone Oct 1 '16 at 12:34
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    And by the way, don't give more notice than you are legally required to. And don't tell anyone where you're going yet, even your client. Your client is not your friend. If the manager working for your client company suddenly had another job offer with a 50% pay raise, you can rest assured that he would leave the client company too, and just as abruptly. It's a no-brainer. – Stephan Branczyk Oct 2 '16 at 0:26
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There is no ethical dilemma, this is business. Usually as freelance you would be making much more than a permanent employee so I'm unsure how you got in that situation. But you go where the money is, no employer should hold that against you.

If they want to retain you they should offer you more money, it's as simple as that. If they get upset over you bettering yourself, then it's not as friendly a relationship as you think it is.

  • I guess it's the economy nowadays - it's a standard deal with software houses when there is no other option then B2B contract and you're expected to work as you would on employment contract just without the social/security benefits ;) – John Doe Oct 1 '16 at 15:02
  • @JohnDoe Doesn't happen here, but not many devs around, sounds terrible, in any case I wouldn't pass up 50% increase in pay over it. – Kilisi Oct 1 '16 at 15:10
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I have done freelancing as a type of self-employment before, so I could offer an angle for you to look at.

As a self employed person, your income is not stable. So it's important to evaluate what the bottom line is for you. Since income is not guaranteed round the year, freelancer's charges are even more than an employee's would be(per hour). The fact that you are willing to actually work below what someone else on the market is prepared to offer could later be a cause of concern for you.

I feel some sort of loyalty to the client and I don’t want to lose what I think is good work relationship with him

Maintaining a good relationship is the client's responsibility too - it's only fair that if you underpay someone, sooner or later they leave looking for better opportunities. Don't just look at the 'relationship', look at what's best for you.

Also, evaluate the company you're working with.

Loyalty to the client of the company that I'm working with directly and not that much to the company itself.The client has no influence on how much they pay me, so it's kind of not his fault

If the client wants to pay you higher but the company's not allowing him to, is the company really somebody you'd want to do business with? Move on to some better company(bonus if the client will be able to re-contract with you through that other company).

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