Author Topic: Career Conundrum  (Read 3367 times)

jobhopper

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Career Conundrum
« on: February 18, 2015, 01:06:25 PM »
Hello Mustachians,
I have recently been offered a job that seems like a no-brainer. It also seems to be more aligned with the goal of financial independence. However, my situation is a little unique so I am very indecisive, and would love to get some advice. I am 34 y.o., married and have an 18 month old son. The position is for a well-known and rock solid company. It pays more than I make now, and would likely be not nearly as stressful.

However, I have been somewhat of a job hopper throughout my career. I started out my career without a lot of direction, working a variety of freelance writing and restaurant jobs. However, in my late 20's, I finally got on the career path and found a cool niche field that is growing like crazy, got a masters degree and have been quickly obtaining new positions with more money and prestige. I have not left any positions solely for the money, but more so for new and better work situations. And all departures have been on my terms.

Here's a breakdown of my last few gigs, with salary info:
  • current job = 18 months (75k)
  • previous job = 18 months (50k)
  • previous job = 9 months (48k)
  • previous job = 3 years (33-41k)

I have a pretty cool job at present, but it is a startup that is really grinding me down. My family life and personal life are struggling, as I am expected to work long hours. Also, the pace of work is very dizzying, and I feel that it is actually starting to give me anxiety. I also am not sure I am confident in the direction of the company, and they provide no bonus or retirement matching of any sort. So we are all basically rolling the dice with this place.

Incidentally, I was recruited by a major company that resulted in my current offer on the table, which would be 80k, plus a 12k bonus and 8k per year profit sharing/retirement (no employee contribution required). So all told, it's about a 25k increase in total comp. But while this is a great offer from a great company, I also was not expecting to be in the job market already, and am wondering if it might be best for me to knuckle down for a while and tackle a job search on my own terms. Who knows, maybe there's something even better out there?

So my question is, given my background, is it better for me to stick it out where I am, to shed the job hopping from my resume? Or, is it better to take what would almost certainly be better for myself, my family and my finances? I currently have next to nothing in retirement, and would really like to start stabilizing this area for the good of my family.

I know this is a long post, but I feel like I could use some advice and would welcome any thoughts.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 01:08:39 PM »
If your family is suffering with this job, get a different one. They are more important.

jobhopper

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 01:12:27 PM »
I am inclined to agree since I am heavily considering the offer. However, I just wonder if maybe it's better for me to wait a bit, specifically attempt a more thorough search to explore all options.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 01:16:09 PM by jobhopper »

FoundPeace

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 01:28:13 PM »
If they are willing to hire you, then take it. I think it is a no-brainer. Just stay with this company longer, or until someone is willing to pay you more than they do. From what I've seen, most companies no longer expect employees to stay with them for very long anymore.

In short: if they don't think it is a problem, then it isn't a problem.

ScroogeMcDutch

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 01:30:17 PM »
I would also take the new job offer and not worry too much about the short periods of employment. You are being 'bought' away so to say, and they're actively seeking you out.

I can understand the idea of maybe slugging it out a little further and search for a better position on your own terms. However, avoid the danger of thinking there may be something better out there. The truth is, there always is. Or it may seem so. How do you decide when you'd get a new offer that that's even better? Currently it sounds like an amazing deal with +33% compensation, more income security and less stress. Usually if these questions are asked here, one of the three is worse and that's the item that's focused on.

If you are in a hot area (and I am very curious which one it is) then talents will be bought away. You could say you're proving your value quickly and the startup has a steal and you are underselling yourself. This offer/company won't ask you the question of why you had so many jobs, but if you seek one out, they will ask that question. If you really decide you do not want to jobhob once again, take that offer to your current company and negotiate better terms at least. I've heard others say something along the lines as "If I cannot fight for my own position, how can you ever trust me to fight for the companies?" It was in another language, but you get the gist.

Just don't intend to leave this next company anytime soon, until you either work there for 4 years or something, or get approached again just like in this situation.

ShaneD

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 05:36:01 PM »
I agree with the others: this sounds like a good opportunity to improve your and your family's situation. Sure, there may be other fish in the sea, but this fish is already on the hook. You can always throw your line out again later. (That metaphor: too much?)

From my own experience: I had a mushy work history and slugged it out for almost 4 years at a job that very similar to this:

it is a startup that is really grinding me down. My family life and personal life are struggling, as I am expected to work long hours. Also, the pace of work is very dizzying, and I feel that it is actually starting to give me anxiety. I also am not sure I am confident in the direction of the company, and they provide no bonus or retirement matching of any sort. So we are all basically rolling the dice with this place.

Did enduring make me more marketable? Maybe. It gave me a couple of projects under my belt I wouldn't have had. But it also made me overweight, exhausted, cranky, and depressed. I never saw my friends; I only saw my husband for 3 non-sleeping hours each day. I slept horribly. My fuse got shorter and shorter. I gained 40 lbs. I got cynical. I lost nights, weekends, and holidays to crappy decisions from higher-ups. I often felt like I couldn't control my own fate.

My biggest regret is not escaping sooner.

Yeah, your job-hopping history won't help you. But I can personally attest that your current situation can very well hurt you.

mozar

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 06:52:26 PM »
I've never worked anywhere more than 18 months. I think that's plenty of time. People used to say you should stay somewhere at least two years but the market for qualified professionals is heating up a lot.
The way I see it, they wouldn't give you an offer if they were concerned about you being a job hopper. If they were concerned about job hopping they wouldn't call you right?
You know what though? I think the new company is low-balling you. I never go anywhere for less than 15%. Tell them you don't want to leave your current amazing company for less than 85k and 12k bonus etc. If nothing else an increase in salary and a decrease in stress is definitely a no brainer.

Hey It's Me

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Re: Career Conundrum
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 09:16:52 PM »
You're getting a 33% increase in salary (more, considering 8k is tax-advantaged), and you're jumping ship from a start-up (the direction of which you admit you're having doubts about) to a major company. Dude, it's a no-brainer - take the job.

Start-ups are great for experience, knowledge, and growth, but generally they sweeten the deal with some kind of equity. It seems like you're not even getting that. Jump ship.

Also, you have a few 18-month jobs and one 3-year job; in today's economy, I'd hardly consider you to be a "job-hopper."