So why should managers expect employees to be loyal?
This is especially true in the world of software development, where having the capability to learn and use the latest technology will drive developers to love their work. They may not love their job, or their manager or even their coworkers – but if they love their work, the company will end up with a quality product and the developer may stick around.
It is true I left the majority of jobs for more money. Call me greedy. But what I was really greedy for was better skills and learning new technology.
The reason why prospective employers kept hiring me was because I had the skills they needed and I always made sure I had the skills in high demand.
As I moved into management, the dynamic changed because the way I found jobs was through networking with acquaintances, and even friends, who knew and respected my capabilities.
However, these same people who took a chance on me because of the relationships I had built over time would not do the same for a so-called “job hopping” software developer who blindly submits a resume.
The problem is that hiring managers have unrealistic expectations of “loyalty” and should instead focus on “commitment.” Instead of being impressed with someone who stayed with a company for many years, focus in on whether or not a software developer successfully completed a quality job on time.
If their project lasted eight months and they knocked it out of the park, then don’t hesitate to bring that person on board. They’ll likely stay committed to a project until the work is done.
And what if they leave once the project is completed?
So be it!
If a manager can’t offer them something interesting enough to stay, then let them fly and find someone who will be just as committed to the next project. If teams follow a repeatable software development process, a manager can plug in any qualified (and committed) software developer and knock the next project out of the park.
And what happened to Robert and Jerome?
Within two years the company closed the office and let them both go. They were both loyal. But I was committed!