As I said in this blog, FTE-dev is often worse off than contractors.
I think if you stay for many years without moving up while some of your colleagues move up, you may or may not get a stigma. Some of the newer members may become your manager:) But this is not the main focus here.
The longer you stay, the more knowledgeable about local system. Hopefully more relaxed and less stress? Partly true but very dangerous slippery slope. You hope that you can make do with 80% of the earlier /intensity/, but I think it won’t happen in most ibanks .
In my observation, most VP-level old timers operate under /unrelenting/ pressure (“threat”) to maintain high productivity. They are expected to be more proficient and more productive than earlier, not allowed to slow down and take it easy … No retirement home here.
Otherwise, they would fail the peer benchmark
Another Part of the threat comes from hungrier, younger colleagues able to reach (then surpass) half your speed within a year or two, driven by /formidable/ brain-power (energy, intelligence, ..)
 There are exceptions but I only know a few so I don’t want to spend too much analyzing. Exception — if you were the original architect and you keep an eye on the evolution of your brainchild, and remain knowledgeable about it, but this scenario requires some brain-power.
That’s the harsh competitive reality even if you don’t seek increasing responsibilities. A small percentage of the people are ambitious ladder climbers. (Am clearly not, because at my current level I already feel the heavy workload.)
Many people I talk to want an “easy life”, not increasing responsibilities. However, If you don’t take up increasing responsibilities, you may become too expensive. You may get a token bonus. I think you may even get a humiliating bonus.
Overall, in “peacetime” long service without moving up can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable at times, for some individuals. (It’s more noticeable if most of the peers at your level are much younger, as in Macq and OC.) Some corporate cultures may tolerate but stigmatize that
Employer claim they prefer employees staying longer rather than shorter. That’s blatant marketing. In reality, some employers wish some old timers to leave on their own, to make way for younger, cheaper fresh blood. GS annual 5% cull in peacetime is widely-reported in WSJ, Independent... A few common motivations:
- Old timers are sometimes perceived as obstacles to change, to be removed.
- some employers believe younger, newer workers are cheaper and more motivated on average
- Whenever a new manager comes in he would bring in his old friends, otherwise he is weak.
Down turn? All hell breaks loose. Rather than protecting you, your long service track record may make you vulnerable. You may be seen as an opportunity to “replenish fresh blood”. In contrast, the less-productive but newer colleagues may show potential, and the hiring manager don’t want to look bad — hiring then firing new guys. In other words, it’s sometimes safer for the manager to sacrifice an old timer than a recent new hire. This is different from my Stirt experience.
My personal biased conclusions —
- no such thing as long service recognition. No such thing as two-way commitment.
- If you can be replaced cheaper, you are at risk. The more you earn, the more risky
- If you are earning above the market rate then you need enough value-add, regardless how long you have served.