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How to deal with this unexpected counter-offer?

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Based on the reaction from the directors and president, I think you should also discuss things (everything!) with them a lot more. Be honest about what you like and don't like, discuss the things that you're interested in and what would make you happiest, and be tactful and open minded.

I think this will give everyone more information that helps guide your decision making process better.

Are there any big showstoppers you can focus on? Are you 'crumbling from a thousand tiny stress fractures'? Solving even the small nagging nonsense can improve job happiness a lot.

Personally I would stay where you are unless you just can't stand it. Edited by Nypyren

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Be careful in your soul-searching, and strongly consider rejecting it.


Once you give notice companies routinely make counter offers to get you to stay --- but only until they can find and train your replacement.  


I've looked up stats before and it's late so I'm not bothering to look up links, but numbers are easy enough to find and verify:  About 5% - 10% of those who accept counter offers are still employed at the job a year later. The other 90%-95% who accepted a counter offer either left anyway or had employment terminated.




This is absolutely spot on.  I've seen it happen dozens of times.

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Several of those items sound like they are from your own actions, or perhaps inaction.




The president was in a position to offer a "no overtime position", which is one of the issues.


I'm curious if the overtime requirement was a mandate of the company, or something you did to yourself.  It is a common stupid aspect of people in this industry where expectations of bosses, expectations of workers, and requirements of the law are out of balance.


Universal guideline:   At the end of the work day, GO HOME.


Simple as that.


A common thing I've noticed over the years is that a few people will stay late because they want to, and others will stay late not because they want to but because they mistakenly believe they are required to.  Don't fall for that.  Work your honest work day, then go home.   If you want to stay late for your own personal reasons, stick around only as long as necessary.


Some bosses actually demand working more hours. If your company actually demands more time, require them to give more money.


Based on what you said about your bosses, I'm inclined to think these were not actual boss-ordered overtime hours, but voluntary "I feel guilty" or "I feel I haven't done enough" overtime hours.  Don't do that.  Go home at the end of the day.




Stress is definitely another.


Stress is the response.  Figure out the causes.  Stress due to poorly scoped projects? Stress due to an implied overtime mandate? Stress due to an explicit overtime mandate? Stress due to improper equipment? Stress due to something in the office environment? Stress due to personality conflicts? 


There are likely quite a few things causing stress, identify as many as you can. 



Different furniture, different lighting, better equipment, different office decorations, these are easily changed by the company if you talk about it.  


Culture changes, lunchtime activities, interpersonal interactions, these are sometimes harder for the company to change because all the individuals are taking action, but the company can help direct them and encourage them. 




the truth is you assign projects to people on a rough assessment, and then you watch them grow out of proportion on occasion without much to do about it. There's also the matter of, who is going to "take this excess overtime" off my shoulders, and whether this would create a hostile relationship which wouldn't help with stress for sure...


I've been on both sides of the desk for that one.


The bulk of that lies with the manager. The manager needs to make sure the project is adequately staffed. The manager needs to know realistically how much effort is involved and scope the project based on actual budgets. The manager needs to make clear expectations.


A portion of that lies with the individual.  Is the individual needs to work when they are supposed to be working. They need to keeping personal activities like writing gd.net replies to lunch breaks or other down-time.  The individual should not under-report hours, or stay late when it wasn't required.


From companies I've worked, in work environments where people go home at the end of the day when they're supposed to, where they put in an honest day's work , where people are honest and say that a task took 20 hours when they initially estimated 4 and actively work on better estimations in the future, those work places have great working environments.


From other companies, I've had environments where people stay until 9 or 10 at night, often coming in to the office at 10 AM or 11 AM, surfing the net for 5 hours then call it an 11 hour "working day", and who never really are accountable for their estimates or production times, who never work on better estimates, these are often terrible work environments.



Everyone needs to do their part. 


The individuals need to stand up for themselves and put in honest hours, and they need to honestly report the time things take. Then product manager will either be exposed for being awesome or being terrible as the project advances.  Either it will become more and more obvious that project is under-staffed or over-scoped (half-full versus half-empty perspective), or it will be increasingly obvious that the manager is constantly adjusting the project scope based on actual performance trends, reducing the project in response to honest data coming in.


For the "take the overtime from me", that is your manager's job to manage workloads.  If your manager is assigning you too much work you should not put in overtime to do it. Tell them they gave you too much work as soon as you realize it and give them an opportunity to redistribute it.  Do your part to help others take tasks, then let any other extra work go unfinished as you work your honest hours.  

Edited by frob

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Overtime not related to being a work-addict (something I have been 5 years ago) but rather to being always available 24/7 (company policy) and a 1h turnaround on any client request regardless of time of day and context.


Change jobs.

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