Hiring, training, and retaining people is perhaps one of the most validating experiences in life.  It is validating to the person who took the risk to hire and the person  being hired.  As an avid reader of reddit, one of my favorite sections is the ‘Life Pro Tips’.  In LPT’s, “expert” advice across a variety of topics is given.  The following is by far the worst.

“Because trust me, no company is loyal to their employees. Be respectful and professional, but loyalty in a company is rarely noticed and appreciated – unless maybe if its your dad’s company. As a person who has worked for a same company for 6 years after graduating, i found out i didn’t get a single raise within it unless i ask for it every f****** year, never got much other benefit than initially signed while studying at school. So i started applying for 5 months and finally got a job, it pays me almost 5 times as much as i used to. My friend from same school, with same seniority was getting 4 times my salary for the last 2 years already. My mistake was thinking that being loyal to this company was gonna in return make the company loyal to me, the company only wants lower costs, loyalty has no place here. ”  Full URL

Bad Comments

I am sure that the author’s point of view and the subsequent comments from disgruntled employees is correct based on their experiences, but there are so many more variables.  If you go through life seeking new employment when within a bad company, you are doing it right.  If you end up leaving good companies to get the next raise, you are making a galactic mistake.  Here are some of the comments that I thought were particularly bad.

  • “A smart person once told me,  ‘the best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need it.’ ”
    Stop. Understand your business and think 5 years out about how profitable you could make the company and do it.
  • “In most industries, especially IT, your biggest and best promotions will 90% of the time come from another company. That’s what I’ve learned, anyway.”
    Take time to understand what your value is to your employer.  You may be working in a business that doesn’t make money from your job, but they need it to function.  There may be some other businesses that need your job to make a lot of money, so they can pay you more.  Find out how you can help your company make money and do that!
  • “One thing that I have realized is that each job will always see you as you were when you applied. Think of your little cousin. They’re always going to be that little cousin no matter what happens. If you’re the fresh out of school new employee. Three years later they’ll still remember the fresh out of school.”
    Wrong.  You are a tiger and an ass kicker.  Don’t be a wimp.
  • “Speaking as someone who is in his early 30s and has been laid off twice. Company loyalty only exists to exploit you.”
    Victim speak!  Just imagine if you, the reader needed to hire someone.  Are you now an exploiter?  Most likely not.

Good Comments

There were some sensible comments from level headed people.  As an employee, if there is mutual trust and respect with your employer, you should give absolutely everything you have to that job to make the company more respectful. Read books, look at trends, and think beyond your current role.  Track competitors, read about your clients, make suggestions.  Prepare and give talks.  Do not stop being a money generator for your company.  Not only will you make it impossible for your company to not give you a raise, you will be able to work yourself into a position of power and influence with some great people.  Those relationships last a lifetime.

  • “After you get your first job out of college: every 6 months have a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor. Talk about your progress within the company/agency/group, and voice your support for participation in projects or programs that would be beneficial to your career, or promotions. Let your supervisor know you are interested in challenges.”
    Right on.  Bring value and communicate. It is a win/win.  We do this every 3 months at Bytelion.
  • “That’s right, never stay in one place too long. Don’t form any lasting bonds, don’t preserve institutional knowledge, don’t let there be any stability in your life. You’re a shark, endlessly prowling, endlessly growing larger, cold as the ocean depths. Life is definitely better that way.”
    This is rough!  We don’t completely agree with this.. but we believe that building company culture is extremely important.
  • “I honestly completely disagree. A very wise CEO of mine once said, “don’t day trade your career.”
    This commenter is alluding to the fact that everyone is always looking for something better. In reality, you should find a decent company and stand fast. You will incur so many gains in compensation and experience (especially in a start-up)…
    If you ARE in a toxic environment, GET OUT. Everything is subjective.

 

Final Note

In many ways, working for someone is like being in a relationship.  You want your partner to be fun, hard working, exciting, and have some challenges. You don’t want your relationship to be exploitative, boring, easy, and too comfortable.  Selecting the right partner is tricky.  If you can find one worth keeping, making it work will be amazing for everyone.