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How to detect if your managers are telling what is good for you or just talking corporate stuff .

For example , when I told them I am going to quit they are saying too many nice things like promotions/pay hikes etc which they did not talk for past two years.

What would you do in this situation ?

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This isn't a problem unique to developers. –  ChrisF Mar 16 '11 at 10:53
    
@ChrisF Neither is burnout or 90% of the other professional issues that have been discussed here. –  biziclop Mar 16 '11 at 11:05
    
@biziclop: Burn-out in general isn't unique to a programmer's profession, but how the burn-out occurs pertains commonly amongst programmers. –  Jonathan Khoo Mar 16 '11 at 12:38
    
@Jonathan Khoo Not unlike the tactics used by bosses to keep their developers on board. –  biziclop Mar 16 '11 at 12:56
    
General career questions are off-topic here, but you might be interested in the Professional Matters proposal where questions like this might fit better. –  Anna Lear Nov 12 '11 at 6:31
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closed as off topic by Anna Lear Nov 12 '11 at 6:30

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7 Answers

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Have you actually asked for any promotion / pay raise in the past two years?

If not, don't be so surprised that this is the first time your manager mentions these. They rarely throw these at you without you asking. Offering them now may simply be an honest sign that they want you to stay.

(If, however, you asked earlier and were refused, but now they offer it, you have a reason to suspect your manager's credibility - unless he can give you a very plausible explanation.)

Frankly, a good manager should have let you know during these two years that your contributions are valued, and that they would like you to stay. But not all managers are that good. Without knowing any details about your actual work environment, project, team & manager, we can't really advise you on whether to trust him or not. But if you have serious reasons to quit, which can't be alleviated by some more money or shinier title, then the best thing is to move on indeed.

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If you are in doubt , ignore him and quit .

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If you think they might be telling the truth, ask them for action in a reasonably near future, and if it doesn't happen, quit then.

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They always talk about promotions and pay hikes when you are about to leave.

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The vocabulary is often a giveaway. if they talk about "synergies" and "leveraging", it is safe to shut your brain down.

Also the presence of "weasel constructs" should sound an alarm: "we're trying to" and "ideally you will" are but two examples of noncommittal phrases that try to sound like promises.

But at the end of the day you have to use your own reasoning and intuition. If your boss refused to listen to your pleas for a raise for years, how likely it is then that the same boss genuinely wants to give you one once you ditch your plans of leaving?

The "how likely" test is quite powerful but with time you should be able to develop a feel for it. (See what I had just done there?)

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I have been in this situation a number of times, get a better offer from a new company, current employer tries to make you stay with a number of incentives. The way to gauge whether this is corporate fluff or reality is to ask yourself "how does this tangibly benefit me".

Compare these two options from employers I have had "We can offer you X% more than you currently earn" vs "The product we are working on is going to be really big nationally and when that happens you will be leading a large team and there will be lots of share options". Unless you really believe that later part of the proposition to be true (which it wasn't as the product was really pretty weak) then the only sensible option is to choose the benefits that can be measured. Don't be afraid to ask, when people are talking to you about future benefits, "what does that really means to me now?".

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Your corporate BS meter should be pegged. Never, and I mean never accept a counter offer. If you have to quit or threaten to quit to get a pay raise or promotion, you are working for the wrong organization.

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