Sometimes a salary bump is about something else

You’d have to be living under a rock  to not know about the Google salary bump reported this week: Google increases employees salaries by 10% with some other stuff thrown in. Sweet.

It’s not an entirely stupid move on Google’s part because…wow, the PR response. Look, I would love to get a 10% salary bump. But it wouldn’t be enough to make me work somewhere I didn’t want to. So to stem the flow of people from Google to other companies? Probably not. Well, at least the good people. Most of those people were not leaving because of salary. Your best folks are a little more complicated. Yeah, they like money. But the type of work they get to do is just as important. They want to be excited to go to work. And work with smart people. And feel valued (of which cash comp is only a part). And have career progression. The ten percent is gravy.

My advice to anyone weighing an offer right now: look at the big picture. Ask yourself some questions. Ask the people that interview you some questions. In the future, when you drag yourself out of bed in the morning or wonder if you would have enjoyed your work more at that other company or are reluctant to go to work for whatever reason, is that 10% going to be worth it? If you can say yes, take that offer. But if you already accepted an offer from another company, be honest with yourself. Was it really all about the compensation? If so, take the extra ten percent. And good luck. And we will see you back on the job market in 3 years.

My advice: be complicated.


Comments (9)

  1. Vijai says:

    🙂 I appreciate the honesty. I turned down an offer from Amazon last December because I enjoyed working at Microsoft. But events transpired and I really regret staying with Microsoft since then. So, no, people won't leave for money but if it comes down to working in one crappy team versus an unknown team, I would take my chances with the unknown team anyday. The pay bump is a plus.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Argh! I hate hearing that! 🙁

    But I agree that sometimes the devil you don't know is better than the devil you know. Or wait, did I get that backwards. Anyway yeah..sometimes better to take your chances (and do some extra due diligence in the interview process to make sure the next place you go to is on a quality team).

    Regardless, I hope you will take the time to check out some internal postings here.

  3. Garret says:

    Great commentary.  When I read the news, my question was "What are they thinking about in terms of their business and fiscal responsibilities?"  The 10% increase is flashy and attention-grabbing, but in my mind doesn't speak to a mature and experienced approach to a huge corporation.  

  4. Toby Getsch says:

    I don't know about "be complicated."  My experience in life and on the job shows that being as simple as possible is best.  Much like going off-road driving in a 4×4… There's a saying.  "Go as slow as possible and as fast as necessary."  Well, here I think it would go like this… "Be as simple as possible, and only as complicated as necessary."

    Money is way overrated.  Being happy with an excellent manager and great team is superb.  Nobody leaves a company — they leave a manager.

  5. Vijai says:

    TG: "nobody leaves a company — they leave a manager". Or a dysfunctional org/team 🙂

  6. Cox, Ken says:

    Salary is also a symbol of respect and appreciation by the employer. As you say, it is part of the mix.

    That said, it's hard to rationalize being paid less for equivalent work just because you love what you do.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Garret – totally. This what would concern me about working at a place where the leadership is so young. Not all leaders are like this but I am not sure this was wise from a business perspective. We shall see…

    Toby – well said. maybe I shold have said "don't be simple." Salary isn't all there is.

    Vijai – true

    kjopc – You have me until you said "because." I think the driving force between setting salary is the talent market: what talent is available, the whole supply and demand thing. Again, I do think like a business person.  Ew, I don't like where this is going. I sound like my dad. maybe I am naive about compensation. I know some folks in compensation (at another company). I'll check this out and get back to you guys.

  8. RB says:

    Dunno, I'd be happy with free dry cleaning, bean bag chairs, and clowns making balloon animals.

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Clowns and balloons in the same room at the same time is a little bit more "get me the f out of here!" than I can handle. I'm scared of both of them. Bean bags are so 2004. But I am totaly cool with a little free dry cleaning. Or the free servants I have heard about.