The Ronin Code: Loyalty Is Not A Priority For SalaryFroggers

Posted by Kris | Monday, February 13, 2012 | | 1 comments »

When i read this article with the headline on the TheStar: I do have some thoughts to it after years of working experience. My secondary school friend commented that we all look quite haggard after all this

"Loyalty not the priority as young workers prefer to switch jobs"

PETALING JAYA: Many young workers do not put a premium on loyalty to their employers. Instead, they feel they have every right to job-hop.
Accountant Noor Habiba Sirajudeen is certainly one of them, saying: “There is no such thing as loyalty. There is no point being loyal just for the sake of being loyal.”
“I just want to progress in my career and will definitely grab a better offer if it comes along,” she said, adding that most parents were prepared to support their children through their job-hopping until they found the right one.
Recruitment agencies have cited the “safety net” provided by parents as a major reason behind the increasing job-hopping trend among youths.
Recruitment consultant Geraldine Ashley David, 25, said youths should not be blamed for job-hopping as most entry-level jobs did not pay enough.
“The cost of living is so high and if there is an opportunity to earn more, of course one should grab it,” she said, adding that many also compared salaries with their peers and would start looking for other jobs if they felt they could earn more elsewhere.

1.I quite agree with the statement above to a certain extent. Nowadays with globalization, we are no longer "required" or "expected" to give our whole working life to just one company. We are no longer in the Japanese mindset where seniority in a company means that you are going to get that promotion when your  boss retires. Nowadays, i see alot of young managers managing much older subordinates. Capability and talent is more important than age/seniority although in our Asian context , we are supposely need to respect our elder in life and also in work. So it is a great challenge to manage someone who is much older and experienced in the company than you are.
2. Entry level jobs can be very poorly paid and could not keep up with the rising inflation and lifestyle. So the only way is to do a job hope where one can hope to gain 20-30% in salary hike depending on experience, need and some little dose of luck.
3. The working world actually promotes job hopping. The reason is that usually an employer will pay a premium to attract new hire or talents into the company to try to inject new blood. Even though the new hire may or may not perform up to expectation. In the worst case scenario, an older and more experience employee in the company maybe sidestep for promotion because of this new guy/gal. Another scenario that i think most people will hate is that a new peer (with the same number of working experience) has a higher salary than you are because he/she jumped jobs. This can happened alot as salary increments can be very low unless you get a promotion and even with the promotion, you cannot compare with the 20-30% the salaryfrogger gets to attract him/her into the new job position.
Point 3 is really a vicious feedback cycle where it encourages job hopping and making people to become salaryfroggers.
Hence the code of the Ronin: A ronin is a samurai without a master.

The big question is that : Are you a Samurai or a Ronin?!


  1. LCF Personal Finance // 6:42 PM  

    Hi Kris, good comments. I guess those who are born in the 70's onwards will have this thoughts. I think the first thing on my list is career development, and not being stuck in the rut. This could be moving horizontally (acquire new skills) or vertically (promoted to shoulder higher responsibility), or BOTH is the best. Nothing wrong with these thoughts - since most, if not all, companies's priorities is its stakeholders instead of employees. We are just using company resources as a stepping stone to advance in career. Having said that, 4-5 years of service is the norm in terms of loyalty already nowadays, don't you think? And your point#3 is the bulls-eye of this discussion - esp true for MNC. Once one has acquired the skills, it's skills for trade and it's just the way it is in a free economy.
    The hard part is the courage to take up a new position in a company with colleague you barely know, once you are older. Stepping out of comfort zone is easier said than done, especially with family. Need to build the network, relationship and skills again,if required. So my take is, need to consider this factor between getting jump-motion increment. Family support is imperative :)