Get paid to quit your job

I’ve worked with people for whom I would’ve chipped in a lot of money if it meant they’d leave. But it’s becoming a thing. If you can have a thing where only two firms do it.

Riot Games, the maker of the hugely popular PC game “League of Legends,” pays unhappy employees up to $25,000 to quit their jobs — even if they just joined the company. The company does this because it doesn’t want to keep staffers who are struggling or who aren’t a good fit with the company culture.
“Rather than allow mismatches to fester, we want to resolve them quickly. This is good for the company, and good for the professional. … we’ll learn from this and make better hiring decisions as a result,” the company said in a blog post announcing the program.

This Company Pays Employees $25,000 To Quit — No Strings Attached — Even If They Were Just Hired – Jim Edwards, Business Insider (20 June 2014)

I’ve not heard of Riot Games or of League of Legends but I have heard of a little startup company called Amazon:

The second program is called Pay to Quit. It was invented by the clever people at Zappos, and the Amazon fulfillment centers have been iterating on it. Pay to Quit is pretty simple. Once a year, we offer to pay our associates to quit. The first year the offer is made, it’s for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. The headline on the offer is “Please Don’t Take This Offer.” We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.

Amazon Pays Its Staff Up To $5,000 If They Quit — No Strings Attached – Jim Edwards (10 April 2014)

You can see how either system might be abused but you can also see that you wouldn’t want to be offered the get-out money from Riot. Maybe if you qualified for the full $25,000 you might think about it some more, but even in computing, it doesn’t look great to have a two-month job on your CV and the explanation that they paid you to go away and never come back.

There’s more to negotiation than money

If you’ve got a meeting with someone, they want to work with you. Or at least they want to want to work with you. Make the most of that meeting, get what you can and remember that the ideal is that you will be working with these people so let’s leave everyone happy. And at some point money is going to come into it but money is not all.

It’s a lot. Let’s not be daft.


Have more items than they have. Let’s say you are negotiating a book advance. They offer a $10,000 advance and they can’t budge higher.

That’s fine. Now make your list of other things: how much social media marketing will they do, what bookstores will they get you into, who has control over book design, what percentage of foreign rights, of digital rights, you can get. Do royalties go up after a certain number of copies are sold, will they pay for better book placement in key stores, will they hire a publicist? And so on.

Before every negotiation. Make a list. Make the list as long as possible. If your list is bigger than theirs (size matters) then you can give up “the nickels for the dimes”.

This is not just about negotiation. This is to make sure that later you are not disappointed because there is something you forgot. Always prepare. Then you can have faith that because you prepared well, the outcome will also go well.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Become a Great Negotiator – The Altucher Confidential



Be smarter: don’t apply for jobs when they’re advertised

It can’t always be a good idea, but when it’s right, this could work well for you:

Introduce Yourself When They Aren’t Looking

What if you saw an ad for a job where you knew there was a fair amount of turnover. To add to this, let’s assume you are not desperate and unemployed. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to allow the ad to run its course and send a letter a few weeks later to make it appear your interest in the company was genuine and not an opportunistic spur of the moment decision made because there was an enticing ad that sparked your interest? The point here is to get yourself noticed when they aren’t looking — and when there aren’t a hundred other candidates seeking their attention all at once.

8 Ways to Get Noticed During a Job Search – Wisebread (2 May 2014)

The other seven ways are pretty good too: read the full list. (And a nod of the hat brim to Lifehacker for spotting this.)

But then when you’ve got a raise…

You’ve negotiated for a raise, you’ve got some extra cash, all is well and right or at least better with the world. And then it goes wrong:

It seems like common sense: a larger reward encourages a greater effort. So if you need to inspire a person or team to strive harder, an obvious tactic is to offer more money. Reality, however, is not that simple.

Even the mere mention of money can be enough to change our mindset: It has the power to make us more selfish and competitive, while also putting some useful social contracts on hold. Meanwhile, large financial rewards transfer challenges that would have been pursued for passion or creativity’s sake into emotionless financial exchanges.

The Unpredictable Consequences of Using Money as an Incentive – 99U

Recently I’ve seen several times when an article has been published under one title and then changed – but either they forget to change the web address or their system won’t let them. Here’s the address in full for that article:

So the original headline was How Money Makes Us Lazy and I think that’s a better one.

The rest of the piece goes into specifics and is interesting.

Get a raise

Here’s some smart advice from Time magazine about how to negotiate getting more money at work. But first, its opening lines made me laugh:

A new survey finds that what makes us satisfied at work isn’t what’s in our hearts; it’s what’s in our wallets. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of American workers surveyed last year said pay/compensation was “very important” to them, making it the top-ranked priority.

Some things do not need surveys.

But the rest of the article is very good about whether you actually deserve a raise and only then how you ask for one. Plus it covers exactly what you’ve just thought about: what happens when you then don’t get it. Have a read of the full piece while I go talk to my boss about paying me more.

UPDATE: I am my own boss and he says no.