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When is a good time to look for a new job?

When is a good time to look for a new job?

When is a good time to look for a new job?

Hi! , Ive been at my company for 1.5 yrs now. Its my first job out of college. I have not gotten a raise yet and seems as though i will need to push to get on or else they will just take advantage of my silence and not give me one.

My question is i always heard you should stay at least 2 years at your first job before you move on. I work at a startup so my pay is easily 10-15k below market level. i live in LA.

Not sure what would you guys do? What would i tell the other company why im leaving so soon? Is it bad to express high salary desire in interviews? Before i was told you should express passion etc..but its all bullshit to me because i need to eat well and engineers get over worked anyways

Would appreciate any advice

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Have you asked about when you might get a raise?
Is the company even doing well enough for that?
Are you still learning new things at your job?
Are you contributing to your company?
Is there any anticipation of stock options, etc?
Why did you go with the startup instead of somewhere else?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Don't they do performance reviews? If not, maybe you should ask why. You also need to know know from your management how you are doing.


RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Start-ups are different and what you "should" do otherwise doesn't necessarily apply. I don't think a potential new employer would find it alarming if you left a start-up after a short stint if it were for good reasons.

That being said, and kind of similar to what was said by others before me here, what is the outlook of the company? Is it actually starting up? Can they afford to give raises and continue to operate at this point? If you stick with it and it ends up succeeding, there is a lot of potential upside, but waiting out the lean times is a necessity in that case.

Andrew H.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

"When is a good time to look for a new job?"

1. When you feel undervalued at your current job.
2. When you notice that you aren't fully committed to your current position.
3. When you stop learning or being challenged.

The first job is a little tough. They get you for a bargain price, you need to accelerate on a learning curve, and it can be difficult to make big contributions and feel valued. Grind it out for a bit until just before #3 applies.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Based on your past posts, your story arc has gone from "should I take this job?" to "I'm being bullied" to "should I leave?"?

Stop asking for permission. Own your mistakes. Own your path.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

I would like to see more questions from you about "how can I produce more of value?" Or "How can I learn more from experienced engineers?" And less about "how can I advance immediately?"

You will understand this better later, but you are in the "maximum education" phase of your career right now. Your degree was just your admission ticket. Start looking for opportunities for learning instead of opportunities for advancement. My father once told me to make myself as invaluable as I could as quick as I could. Great advice. Are you invaluable yet?

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

When is it not?

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA, HI)

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?


I was given stock option in June, but i work in product development and its come to a point where things are getting so confusing. The higher ups dont know what they want and never stick to a certain design then get frustrated i cant meet a deadline to a moving target. Ive dealt with bullying but I find myself having to show a bad attitude because if i dont i will continue to get dealt like trash. its a weird environment. Im the product engineer/manager to the 2 highest selling products for the company that nobody expected not even myself but I am honestly tired of taking shit for unrealistic expectations.

Like the other poster said I need to just own my path and make a change

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Seems to me like none of the old 'established' rules about staying for X years, time gaps between positions, etc don't matter any more.

do what you think will make you happy

I would caution against quitting before you have a new position

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Always look for a new job.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Quote (Space213)

...I am honestly tired of taking shit for unrealistic expectations...
Have you made the above clear to the "higher ups"? My experience has been that the more sh*t you take, the more they will supply.
That said, bear in mind that a certain amount of sh*t taking is inherent in most jobs, and that you are not the only one who can "make a change".
Management usually likes the flow of sh*t to be downhill, so have a job to go to before significantly risking the one you have.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

From my experience, leaving a job was simply up to me, whether I didn't like the immediate supervisors, wanting different work experiences, unhappy with the lack of challenging work, chance to work in a foreign country, etc. I never asked anyone whether the time was right or not. Space 123 simply needs to make a decision and have a clear vision of what he wants to do in the future.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Always look for better opportunity and avail if you can!

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?


You are spot on this being my first job ive been getting treated so poorly even though I have the highest and most successful design. Its gotten much better but still i dont know. Ive learned alot and one thing is if someone gives you a shitty attitude you have to just tell them F off.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

This sounds like my first job out of University. It was essentially a startup (even though it had been in business for over 15 years). I got a single raise after my first year, and nothing else until I received my P.Eng three years later but even then I was still severely underpaid by $15-$20k. It was also a very negative environment.

But like others suggested, I did try to learn as much as possible - fundamentally that attitude is what propelled me to where I am today.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?


How did the environment and experience of that negative environment help you where you are today?

Today my boss kept telling me to shut up and stop talking over something dumb and then tries to explain something very vague to me and then i ended up going off on him by yelling. I just walked out afterwards got lunch and came back.

He later tries to lecture me and then metaphorically tells me you should let ur boss step his foot over your head at times you're not going to lose anything.

Ofcourse I didnt argue back hes the one who hired me and can fire me too.

Itll be 2 years this August ive been with the company and no raise and they are only getting cheaper and underpaying us.

Im worried that if i apply and change jobs i dont want to walk into another crappy situation.

I work extremely hard but hes just making ms handle so much now its just humanly impossible and then gets mad because im not perfect lol

So its why i dont take crap anymore and tell people to F off. Its quite a negative atmosphere that leaves you disgusted on certain days

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Go ahead and start looking but take your time. The best time to look is always when you have a job. You should have enough perspective now to have better idea what a professional company acts like. Make sure you take enough time off between jobs to reset your bad attitude.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Do you feel like i have a bad attitude or was the unprofessional behavior is the reason? Because i tolerated alot with a smile for more than a year

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Space213, it is difficult to gauge the severity of your situation over an internet forum. Simple economics dictate that a company will want to pay as little as it can for an employee's services and an employee will want to make as much as possible for his/her own services OR offer as little in the way of service as possible for the same compensation. Employment in the US is voluntary so the fact that you are still employed by your employer implies that for both you and your employer, no matter how uncomfortable, have found that mutual benefit where the employer feels they are getting an acceptable product for their money and you are receiving acceptable compensation for the product you are providing. Of course if you leave or are asked to leave, this is an indication that there is an imbalance.

I could see it would also be difficult for you to gauge the situation yourself being this is your first job out of school and you have only been there 1.5 year. In my view, expecting a raise within 1.5 years seems like expecting too much. I would certainly not expect a raise so soon if I negotiated compensation at hire (I don't know if you did). But, I would expect a raise if there was an agreement for added compensation if you have met certain measurable expectations.

As for the work environment, it is both difficult for forum members to evaluate and even yourself. We don't know what your day-to-day really looks like and with this being your first job out of school and only 1.5 years experience out of school, you may not know what other work places are like. In my experience, everyone thinks they are working too hard and are worthy of greater compensation. Everyone has to deal with difficult bosses or co-workers. If you move to another company, you will have difficult bosses or co-workers there as well. The truth is, if it was easy, comfortable, and paid well, everyone would do it. But it's not easy, that's why we're engineers. It's not comfortable, that's why it's called "work," and it never pays as well as you would like.

Here is my opinion on tenure, keep in mind, this is my opinion:
  • Out of school, up to 1 year tent-making job, i.e. that job you took out of school just to support yourself while you found your career job. It may not even be in your field.
  • 5+ years on first career job will get you solidly from noobie to junior engineer.
  • After that, 5-year increments in a new situation, either new position at same company, or new job.
Why 5 years? I think it helps put a bad days or a bad year in perspective. If you get to the end of 5 years and you know you still can't stand it, move on, you've probably lived through a business cycle and done your part for company loyalty.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

This statement does not apply to software Engineers but rather the traditional engineering disciplines. Many young Engineers coming out of school feel very entitled and feel as if the company they work for owes them something. The truth is that new Engineers right out of school don't know dick. I don't care how smart you are or what kind of school you went to.... you may have a lot of theory floating around in your brain and a lot of good ideas but the reality of the situation is that you aren't really contributing something of value to your company in the first 1.5 years. You most likely won't "earn your keep" for a few years. When companies hire new engineers they typically are investing in them. This is your learning period. You may not be making much money now but your real benefit is in the knowledge that you are gaining from your mentors. Now, if you don't think that you are gaining any knowledge or experience then I think you should either talk to them or leave. I would not ask for a raise with only 1.5 years of experience.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

For many companies, particularly those in Silicon Valley, this is why internships are so hard to get, since it gives the company essentially 3 months to assess the potential employees' work ethic, learning ability, and competency before anything permanent happens. It's a 3-month probationary and OTJ training period, with the expectation that the intern could hit the ground running if they then transition into a full-time job at the end of the summer or upon graduation.

It's not uncommon to get a job offer at the end of the rising senior summer for a full-time, post-graduation, job starting the following summer. It's also why internship salaries are so wacko in the tech industry; this coming summer, internships are running around $7k/month from the big companies, and full-time salaries are on the order of 50% more.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

My have things changed regarding raise expectations from the 1970 when I started and a raise after 1 year was not only expected but was common practice.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

If you are good at what you do and employable, take charge of your life and create the environment you want to be in. That can be intentionally changing the environment you are a part of at your existing job, but it can also mean going and finding something that is more in line with your strengths and passions.

Don't just follow the money or what is the easiest path. Live a life you want to live. Only get one shot at it.

Take responsibility, don't blame your circumstances, and look for ways to contribute to prove your worth to others (and to yourself).

-Jeff Perry

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

ok a quick example of what I've been having to deal with alot recently. Hope this will put things into perspective and a better glimpse at my environment.

I come into work today and and the CTO starts to scream at me because I did not know why we dont use a certain component in our system. When he asked the others around the table nobody said anything because nobody knew. So he puts his sunglasses on and says I dont even want to look at you who can answer my question.

Then he asks for one of my drawings and just tries to find anything possible and gives me harsh criticism to a point he knows I am angry. I just keep my cool and keep getting beat on by him. Later in the day he says our field engineer can go out and solve problems with no tools. You have google in front of you and you cant solve shit.

meanwhile another upper C class employee just gave me a raise last friday. I dont work for this person though I work for the CTO who constantly bashes me and nobody else. I even asked him why do you give me a hard time he says because I'm just messing with you and I know you can take it nobody else can.

I dont mind cussing him back but he has the unfair advantage of me directly working for him. It comes to a point where I have to just walk out the building pissed off because he just wants to ruin my day. It all stems from pride in his eyes.

Please can somebody explain is this how it is? The other engineer is leaving next month whether he gets a job or not because he cant handle the stress. We are the only 2 design engineers and found out we are underpaid but also handle alot of responsibility. He has more experience while this is my first job.

what do you guys think?

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

I cannot comprehend your company dynamics since I cannot personally witness the environment. But consider the following:
    • You really need to assess the things that REALLY bother you. We all have things that bother us, but all aggravations are not equal. If there are things that REALLY bother you and you cannot get them to cease or at least lessen, move on. I dislike a butt-chewing but I REALLY dislike not being adequately compensated for what I bring to the table more.
    • You need to seriously assess what you do bring to the table. Be honest with yourself.
    • Has your boss fallen prey to the Peter Principle? If so, it might be best to move on anyway. Those situations never self-correct unless higher ups discover this and let your boss go. Bosses that have been infected with the Peter Principle tend to be petty and insulting to subordinates but highly kiss-up to their bosses.
    • Are you assessing your situation accurately? In some posts you seem to indicate you feel you are being singled out and in later post you indicate another employee is leaving for similar reasons.
    • How do you know that you and the other engineer are underpaid? Big difference between Underpaid and being paid less than some other person. Underpaid indicates there is a value you have established but your pay is less than that.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

I've definitely had experiences like this. Whether from a couple rungs up the ladder or a direct report. I've definitely felt like throwing in the towel, but I didn't. . . and I'm glad I didn't. In each situation, I found that I had to step back, put personalities aside and logically evaluate why I am choosing to be there and it's role in achieving my larger goals. Once deciding that you are in the right place for your personal goals, (I've found) there are three ways to deal with difficult people:

(1) Out smart them,
(2) out last them,
(3) or win them over.

I usually use (1) when dealing with power-crazed regulators, (2) is passive but takes a bit of patience, if someone is a jerk to you, they are probably a jerk to everyone and won't last long for one reason or another, (3) takes a lot of effort but is the most rewarding.

I had one boss years ago that was brought on because of his reputation in industry and he knew people who knew people. To find a position for him, they slid him in on a project position between me and my supervisor. He demanded that I undo just about everything I had designed, purchased and implemented leading up to the physical execution of the project. A year and a half of work . . . and he was not nice about it, in fact, your description sounds pretty familiar. Early on I tried to make peace, apologizing for the friction I caused him, but he said he wasn't their to make friends, he was there to get the project done. There was a lot of friction. Both he an I were brought in separately for a conversation with his boss (my boss's boss). Our boss told me "you can't fire your boss." Not sure this would work in every situation, but after I decided I was going to stay, I took an online personality test (as goofy as that sounds) . . . twice. The first time, for myself. The second time, I pretended I was him. WOW! Reading the results of the second test, it gave me a lot of insight into how he was motivated, what he was looking for, and where our personalities clash. I adjusted my attitude and my work to suit him (he was the boss, after all). He loved to beat opposition down with what he knew so I made sure that I was always loading him up with ammunition. Whatever his concern was at the moment, even if not really the most important in the big picture, became my focus. He would start to ask, "can we do this?" or "can we make this happen?" and I always made sure my answer was "YES." The company got into a legal dispute that was far more intensified by this guy's personality. Things completely changed one day when I was in the conference room with his boss, waiting for a meeting to start. His boss asked how much of this I thought was my boss's fault. I said, I stand behind [boss's name] 100%. My boss walked in just as I said it. From that point on, he knew I was on his side. Together, between my technical knowledge and his intense personality where he could push ideas through and achieve some amazing things for the company. I did eventually leave, but I am happy to say, it wasn't because of him. Do you know what I found at the next company? More people to win over.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

its still a stressful place. The other engineer is already leaving. he has much more talent and experience than me and he keeps tellin me this is not how it is at other places and is resigning in a few weeks. It is not just the boss that we have it is like a little gang of followers that brown nose him and they gang up on us too. Its to a point where its not even job related and that is what makes us mad like its beyond unprofessional at this point. I am just tolerating it all so when I apply to another job I dont get a bad review because this experience is all I have but it is giving me nightmares.

Its not fair at all how we two are treated.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Hey Space 213, sorry I completely forgot about this, but to answer some of your questions:

Quote (Space213)

How did the environment and experience of that negative environment help you where you are today?

It wasn't so much the environment, but rather following the advice that others here have offered to focus on learning as much as possible. Like my old boss used to say: "There's two forms of compensation - money and experience".

We were not paid well during those years, but many of us who started out in that company fell into two camps: Those that worked their butts off to learn as much as possible and make the best out of the situation, and those that let the negativity get to them, didn't put in the work and complained all the time about the environment and the pay. The former ended up all moving on to bigger and better things at different companies getting paid fair market value (or even greater for some), and the others are still effectively making the same amount (even if they've moved on to different companies) and are essentially stuck in their careers.

The question you need to ask yourself, if your current boss was no longer with the company, would it still be a very negative environment. If it's really the company that's the problem, then you should by your experience know to recognize the signs of a toxic organization. I'm not sure how it is in your field, but in mine, the engineering community is small enough so that through networking I know which companies I would want to work for and which ones I wouldn't want to work for.

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

ST pipe,

To point out one fact if my direct boss is not at the company then it would be a great place to work. He just makes it difficult to get shit done in general

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Also I'm sick I'm my direct boss taking advantage of kindness and willingness to do anything that he just completely takes advantage of it and then belittles me afterwards its so annoying. I managed to stay here for 1.5 years and I just recently got a raise but it came directly from the CEO. I work for the CTO though but everybody complains about this guy but they don't work directly for him as I do so I get the worst of it since I sit in front of him every day. We are in the annoying open room rather than cubicle

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

Our other design engineering just put in his 2 weeks. He would constantly complain how us two were treated like shit the past 1.5 years of working here.

I will close this thread and just tell myself to tolerate as much as I can and continue to work hard till this August because that is when I will have completed 2 years of professional experience. I will begin to apply already and if something better comes around so be it.

Thanks for every bodies guidance

RE: When is a good time to look for a new job?

You mentioned that this would be a great place to work if you didn't have to put up with your current boss, right? Well if 50% of the technical capacity of the company just left, and you now constitute 100%, that gives you a fair amount of leverage.

You're going to find people like that everywhere. There's no shortage of folks who will put you down to build themselves up. The trick is to not let them. The best time to start practicing that is now. If somebody tries to push you, step to one side or stand your ground. You can push back, but that has a tendency to back fire. Most will respect you for standing up for yourself and not taking the beating. In one of your posts, I think you mentioned your boss said he does it because he knows you can take it. Have you told him that you can't and you're approaching your breaking point? I don't recall seeing that mentioned in the thread. If you leaving would leave them without the ability to function as a company, or render your boss's division of the company more or less useless, he'll probably listen to you. If not, file a formal complaint to make sure your concerns are well documented. Sounds like the CEO has noticed your value.

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