Got demoted, got a pay raise and don't know how to feel about it. A story of how not to drink with your coworkers?

The story begins roughly 8-9 months ago. Me and this coworker (let's name him Tim) go out drinking after a Friday party at the office. We do some rounds and we're both smashed. Tim starts telling me how he's happy with life and that he's earning a nice salary right now. He told me his salary. It was the same as mine. Which was weird - He codes in a more hardcore languages than me and has almost double the time in the company as me. I think after some more drinking I've confessed that I make the same as him. This part is sort of a blur (drinking). I've gotten a pay raise(+30-40%) roughly a few months ago from that point backwards because another company gave be a much higher offer. The company I work for matched to keep me. Anyway, 3 months or so after the drinking,Tim is promoted to team lead, and me and a few other people are added to his team. Conversation slips and he told me his new salary - quite a bit more than me.I think it's safe to assume what happened.

The problem with that is that I was a team lead of 1 person (me) at that time, and I was managing my own time and my own tasks, was working with people individually. I was part of the weekly meetings with the CEO and other team leads. Being stripped of this title wasn't a problem at the beginning, as people still contacted me because of their problems, suggestions, whatever. A few more months pass (to now) and less and less people are contacting me - instead they are talking with Tim, and are asking of his opinion on tasks I should do, where he has no experience and roughly 0 lines in the programming language I code in. This is starting to piss me off.

There are a couple other things to take into consideration as well - The company is hiring a lot of people right now. The whole structure for team leads changed a bit, more team leads then ever right now and new roles added pretty fast.

I've gotten a pay raise a few weeks ago though(10%~).

I'm not sure on how to react to this. Should I comply and just keep on working on these tasks? Or should I still keep contacting people directly on their requests and talk to them directly, take credit for the projects I complete publicly and the stuff I do as I was previously doing? Part of me wants to reroute all of the stupids questions people have to Tim, as he is now responsible for these tasks and get this weight off my shoulders.

I'm starting to shift to learning a new programming language and thinking of jumping ship. Thoughts?

  • 8
    I guess this is why people always caution against accepting a counter offer
  • 1
    @nibor I guess it is. Form of a punishment I guess.
  • 5
    It's probably time to jump ship.

    Routing the crap questions to Tim isn't going to make you happy or give you more responsibility, it's just going to piss Tim off. And more money isn't going to make you happier about no longer being a team lead.

    FWIW, I think your drunken salary conversation was unlikely to be the major factor here (people should talk about salaries more openly and more often IMHO.) It's much more likely that you accepting the counter offer is the source of this hassle - you demonstrated that you're likely to leave soon anyway (statistically speaking most people who accept counter offers leave soon after regardless), so they don't want you in a position of responsibility.
  • 2

    I guess so. I've looked around and the local job murket sucks at the moment. Others might only match my current salary. I'm held back with the golden handcuffs. Don't get me wrong, working at the current company is fun. They are giving me more responsibilities. Just the title change and the attitude change have altered that. I'll probably need to keep on the lookout for the time being and see how things progress.

    I've asked for reinforcement and got a new teammate that I'm responsible for . He should be responsible for half of my workload in the future. But now that I'm saying this it looks like I'm growing myself a replacement. At the time it looked good to take the counteroffer which was to match. The other company gave me an even higher counter offer but I declined because of the stability. I would probably be out of a job currently if I would've taken the counter-counter offer, because the other company was in the traveling sector. It is what is is.
  • 2
    @araratas The other option is to have an honest conversation with your manager. At the moment they're probably convinced you're going to jump ship.

    If however you talk about what additional responsibility you want to take on, and how you want to further your career there in the medium to long term, you could well give them the confidence they need to keep you on and throw more responsibility your way.
  • 1
    Yep agreed, talk with him/her, focus on the good stuff you feel you can contribute. It will make you feel a lot better about the whole situation too, which is the most important thing 🙂
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