Employee attitudes always change and evolve, but typically it lines up with the direction of upper management or as specific managers and/or co-workers come and go. However I had a unique (if not bizarre) view into the IT marketplace thanks to a friend of mine recently.
At lunch last week he had just announced his imminent departure from his fortune 500 employer as they were going through some “downsizing”. As everyone began to pass along their sympathies he said (and I quote) “I’m glad that’s it’s finally happening. It hasn’t been a good place to work in years”. When I ventured to ask why he hadn’t left previously he said, “I wasn’t going to leave without getting a package”.
I wasn’t surprised at his desire for a package (who doesn’t want one), but the fact that he “waited out” the company for the last 4+ years was simply shocking to me. Maybe I’m just naïve, but as a recruiter we constantly talk with people about moving forward with their careers and that if your current environment holds nothing for you (new technology, opportunity, challenge, etc.) then it’s time to move on. So to sit there for years in a company and most likely a job that wasn’t fulfilling is just amazing to me.
Of course, after a few days of reflection on this I’ve began to think that this shift was inevitable. In the 20+ years I’ve been in the IT recruiting business companies have evolved to a place where they use downsizing and outsourcing as a business methodology to drive up profits over the backs of their employees. So as with any dysfunctional relationship when one side feels that they’re getting the short end of the stick they simply want retribution, and in today’s IT market it’s called a severance package.
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