I'm a graduate who started with a new company and so far it's an okay company. They have a very high turn over rate. They use proprietary software/language that have no transferable skills and since I needed the experience, I decided to stay for 1 -2 years.

They've had 20 developers quite within the past year and I've witnessed an intern walk out and not return.

Is it fine to stay for experience and than leave for a better opportunity?

  • Well, their software is outdated by 20 years, their pay is lower relative to other companies, and there's no transferable skills if one chooses to leave. Which is why there's a lot of developers and programmers are leaving. I WANT to stay but from speaking with past employees, it looks like it won't happen. – Noah Jan 24 '17 at 23:02
  • Personally, I wouldn't take a job that didn't allow me to in some way add to my marketable skills and develop my career. Unless I were starting to eye up retirement and just wanted to keep myself gainfully employed for a few more years. That's a long way off for you, from the sounds of it. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Jan 25 '17 at 16:05

It's risky.

With a very high turnover it seems reasonable to assume something's wrong with the company or management.

It's possible the company may fail without warning. If that happens you get to start your job search without having an income. That can be somewhat stressful.

It's also possible that you'll pick up some bad habits that may ill-serve you in the future. If management mistreats people, you'll learn to expect to be mistreated. This will make it more difficult for you to trust people in your next job.

However, if you can do your job, keep your sanity and integrity and learn useful things (both about technology and getting along with others) then by all means stay.

It is not unethical to stay with a company for the experience.

Just make sure it's the kind of experience that will benefit you later.

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  • Great answer! I will keep my resume open for sure. Right now I'm looking for experience and this company doesn't have any transferable skills since everything is proprietary. – Noah Jan 24 '17 at 22:22
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    @Killer066, even proprietary environments have transferable skills. You are learning about the business domain, you are learning skills that might have different syntax in another place but are similar is the results such as getting a better understanding of complex IF conditions. You should be learning basic software workplace skills a well such as working in a team, writing unit tests, dealing with QA, interpreting requirements, meeting deadlines, using source control, etc. – HLGEM Jan 24 '17 at 22:41

There is nothing wrong with remaining employed for the experience.

It's personal development, which is to be encouraged.

If I were you, I might also start looking for other opportunities that you might better suit you. Don't consider leaving until you have a written offer and are willing to accept it.

Also, think about what you can do to change the situation you've found yourself in.

If there's a proprietary tool / language being used, you could look into whether it would be possible to migrate away from it to a more standardized solution, or whether there are other innovative alternatives to it.

If you're there for the experience, spend your time focusing on personal development. Get any training, certifications, etc you believe will help you find your next position. This serves the double purpose of making you more valuable for future positions, but also gives you reason to pursue a higher salary at your current position.

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They use proprietary software/language that have no transferable skills...

It's fine to stay at a company, gain useful experience, and then move on to another company. That kind of describes a lot of tech careers.

However, in this case you have stated that you are using proprietary technologies and a lot of the experience you get will not be transferable. Your priority should be either gaining whatever transferable skills you can at your current employment or finding employment elsewhere which will give you more transferable skills.

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