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 live comfortably under 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 semi-retirement here. Otherwise, they would fail the peer benchmark against other VPs.
When I posed this question to XiaoAn, who stayed in one Oracle post-sales field support job for 11 years, he agreed that the expectation indeed grows higher. I said these old-timers often look tired and /stressed out/ by the responsibilities, but now I think many managers have a zen attitude — Larry, Josh
Another Part of the threat comes from hungrier, younger colleagues able to reach (and 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.) Other people (the majority) 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 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 propaganda. 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 seen as 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 — consider my GS experience. This is different from my Stirt experience.
 Overall, old timers are not really safe, despite localSys advantage. Consider Jack Zhang, Arif (6Y veteran)
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.