Author Topic: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?  (Read 2065 times)

Bearblastbeats

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Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« on: March 15, 2019, 09:02:13 AM »
Today is my last day at my current employer. I am a project manager for an A&E firm in the telecom industry making a salary of $72,800. The company recently hired a new PM who makes just under $100k. He's 7 years older than me and also new to telecom. I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do? Is it his age, or that he has 4 children? He does have a degree in Construction Management and a PMP cert, which I have neither. I only have an associates in Arch and have worked my way up to PM within the past 8 years out of school. I do understand he has more credentials than I do, but I am wondering if I will ever make more than the $73k I make now? I could go back to school and get the PMP cert but I'm not interested in more schooling.

Anyway, I start my new job on Monday for a Landscape Architecture Design/Build firm making a salary of $73,000. The new company is a small firm, I'll be working directly under the principle, so I feel that it will be a good fit. The work is more interesting, and if the company grows I will be in a prominent position with seniority status. However, he told me they are already making a stretch paying me the new salary so I am wondering if I am essentially shooting myself in the foot?

I will still be gaining PM experience, so if all else fails, I can find another job and ask for more.


TheHardenedInvestor

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Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 09:18:31 AM »
You left your existing job for a reason. You mentioned more interesting work. You must feel that the more interesting work in the short-term outweighs the lack of potential advancement at this new company. Sounds like you are making the same salary at either place, so it ultimately came down to you didn’t like your current job. Will the new job still be “interesting” a year from now? Who knows. Sounds like you can probably easily find new employment if you need to in the future. I rate your decisions, with the minimal information provided, as “fine”. :)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 09:20:02 AM by TheHardenedInvestor »

mlipps

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 09:52:02 AM »
He's 7 years older than you...but how many more years of relevant experience does he have than you? I think it's reasonable that a degree & PMP cert. plus 2-4 more years experience could give you $20k more in salary easily.

The question about the new job is a separate issue, but it sounds like you already made your move. At this stage, I would lean in & make the best of it, then see how you feel after 6 months working there.

mm1970

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2019, 11:51:29 AM »
He's 7 years older than you...but how many more years of relevant experience does he have than you? I think it's reasonable that a degree & PMP cert. plus 2-4 more years experience could give you $20k more in salary easily.

The question about the new job is a separate issue, but it sounds like you already made your move. At this stage, I would lean in & make the best of it, then see how you feel after 6 months working there.
Yep, this. 

Might be worth the PMP eventually.

FIRE@50

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 11:57:46 AM »
"I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do?"

He asked for it. Negotiating is a skill that gets better with practice.

As for leaving the job, I don't mind taking that risk. I've made similar moves in my career and it worked out. Good luck.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 12:32:53 PM »
In my experience salary is rarely tied to tenure, experience, or performance.

You get what you ask for and then negotiate.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 03:41:23 PM »
"I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do?"

He asked for it. Negotiating is a skill that gets better with practice.

As for leaving the job, I don't mind taking that risk. I've made similar moves in my career and it worked out. Good luck.

I originally asked for 85k when I interviewed, they countered at 71 then we settled at 72,800 with 3 weeks vacation. I thought it was a good start to get in the door.

Now I know to negotiate astronomically more next time.

Villanelle

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 04:04:11 PM »
"I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do?"

He asked for it. Negotiating is a skill that gets better with practice.

As for leaving the job, I don't mind taking that risk. I've made similar moves in my career and it worked out. Good luck.

I originally asked for 85k when I interviewed, they countered at 71 then we settled at 72,800 with 3 weeks vacation. I thought it was a good start to get in the door.

Now I know to negotiate astronomically more next time.

If there are a decent number of people available with the certifications you don't have, it may be that no amount of hardball negotiating  will work.  If you won't take $75k, they will find someone else who does, or if they had to pay more then they will pay it to someone with more certifications.  This is especially true if the people doing the hiring have those certifications.  Ducks pick ducks.  So you may be fast approaching the glass ceiling for someone without more certifications and degrees.  So time spent researching might help you figure out if that is the case--average pay for those with and with out the certs, average employment rates in the field, etc. 

mm1970

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 04:23:36 PM »
"I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do?"

He asked for it. Negotiating is a skill that gets better with practice.

As for leaving the job, I don't mind taking that risk. I've made similar moves in my career and it worked out. Good luck.

I originally asked for 85k when I interviewed, they countered at 71 then we settled at 72,800 with 3 weeks vacation. I thought it was a good start to get in the door.

Now I know to negotiate astronomically more next time.

If there are a decent number of people available with the certifications you don't have, it may be that no amount of hardball negotiating  will work.  If you won't take $75k, they will find someone else who does, or if they had to pay more then they will pay it to someone with more certifications.  This is especially true if the people doing the hiring have those certifications.  Ducks pick ducks.  So you may be fast approaching the glass ceiling for someone without more certifications and degrees.  So time spent researching might help you figure out if that is the case--average pay for those with and with out the certs, average employment rates in the field, etc.

Maybe...but actually, at some point in your career, you might want to get to where you don't *have* to interview.  You know, you call up friends, or even better - they call you.  If you are known for your experience and skills, and someone at the company can highly recommend you?  You likely won't need the certs.  It's when you are looking for a job in an unknown company where they are more likely to want it.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 04:26:07 PM »
"I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do?"

He asked for it. Negotiating is a skill that gets better with practice.

As for leaving the job, I don't mind taking that risk. I've made similar moves in my career and it worked out. Good luck.

I originally asked for 85k when I interviewed, they countered at 71 then we settled at 72,800 with 3 weeks vacation. I thought it was a good start to get in the door.

Now I know to negotiate astronomically more next time.

If there are a decent number of people available with the certifications you don't have, it may be that no amount of hardball negotiating  will work.  If you won't take $75k, they will find someone else who does, or if they had to pay more then they will pay it to someone with more certifications.  This is especially true if the people doing the hiring have those certifications.  Ducks pick ducks.  So you may be fast approaching the glass ceiling for someone without more certifications and degrees.  So time spent researching might help you figure out if that is the case--average pay for those with and with out the certs, average employment rates in the field, etc.

Maybe...but actually, at some point in your career, you might want to get to where you don't *have* to interview.  You know, you call up friends, or even better - they call you.  If you are known for your experience and skills, and someone at the company can highly recommend you?  You likely won't need the certs.  It's when you are looking for a job in an unknown company where they are more likely to want it.


If all else goes well with this new gig. I should have the potential to be a principle at some point or maybe partake in ownership.

Freedomin5

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 06:11:15 PM »
So focus on doing a good job and stop comparing yourself to other people. This is not the first time youíve done this and compared yourself to others and then felt like you got shortchanged. Focus on impressing your new boss, to the point that they depend on you and are happy to give you more and more responsibility. When you become a valued employee, you are in a better position to negotiate or move organically to new opportunities.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 07:22:19 PM »
I work in the A/E/C industry and degrees and certifications are worth A LOT. Itís a tough industry to grow in if you canít get licensed.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 09:48:23 PM »
He's 7 years older than me and also new to telecom. I wonder why he gets ~$20k more than I do? Is it his age, or that he has 4 children?

It's certainly not 4 kids.  It's years of experience and likely value of PMP credentials.  Your move to another firm will allow you to get more experience in a different environment.  Breadth of experience is valuable in project management field, which your colleague's salary has demonstrated.

Another thing is this: many times an internal promotion or, as you say, working your way up, comes with lower compensation than a new hire, coming with desired experience from somewhere else, would command.  IMHO that's OK as long as you, the plucky promoted person, learn a ton, and then ask for a raise, face the denial, and get even by getting another job with pay more commensurate with experience.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 05:58:30 AM »
I think this is starting to get away from my original inquiry. I was wanting to make sure I wasn't jeopardizing my career growth going to this new job.

I'll see how it goes and give it my best. I make enough money to meet our needs for now.

mlipps

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2019, 12:26:28 PM »
I think this is starting to get away from my original inquiry. I was wanting to make sure I wasn't jeopardizing my career growth going to this new job.

I'll see how it goes and give it my best. I make enough money to meet our needs for now.

You used more characters in your original post talking about the other person at your old job than about your new position, so I think you moved it away from your "original inquiry", not the respondents. Good luck in your new role.

civil4life

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2019, 12:53:42 PM »
To me it seems like you are asking if you are limiting your salary capacity by going to this smaller place.  That is a possibility, but it really is not something that can be predicted.  I think with a smaller company you will gain a larger array of skills.  The larger the company usually the more specialized each persons job is especially in this area.

You are more than likely expanding your career growth.  Staying at one place can stifle growth.  Maybe in a few years you may no longer like this position and look for something new.

Depending on your local it sounds on based on your experience and education you are probably making a typical salary for that type of position.

I am in a fairly HCOL area and work in the public sector as a civil engineer.  In my previous position in 8 years I maybe only had 2 or 3 COLAs and my salary mainly increased due to promotion.  With 8 years experience, PE, and M. Eng. I made about $76k.  I work for a local municipality now.  In the public sector you really only have the ability to negotiate salary when you start or if you are moving into a senior management position that usually has some sort of political aspect.  Knowing this I was able to negotiate a salary of $94.5 and after 2 years I am making $102 from merit increases and COLA. 

Licensure in the public sector is kind of weird.  They want you to have it, but you do not need it for the job and getting it rarely makes a difference in salary.  I have been telling myself for years I would get my PMP.  I have not been motivated to study and take the exam, probably because I know it will not equate to a raise.  Most likely if I ever moved to the private sector I would get my PMP.


Linea_Norway

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2019, 04:07:20 AM »
Without official schooling, it is smart to get some certifications in your field of expertise. It might not mean anything in your work, but it will open doors to new jobs, because you will sound more impressive. Try to let your new boss pay for it.

This is how it worked for me, without official schooling papers.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 07:04:34 AM by Linda_Norway »

cowpuncher10

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2019, 05:20:50 AM »
Spend the time to go and get the certs. The PMP is one of the hottest non technical certifications currently available.

All I read is why does someone with more experience, more education, and more certificates get paid more than I do?

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2019, 11:06:04 AM »
If you are good at what you do, and if your new job is going to provide you opportunities to grow your knowledge and skills (both soft skills and technical skills), then this isn't a bad move.

I am 15 years younger than my coworker, and I make 20% more than her.  This is because I have certain in-demand skills that she doesn't have.   I have done my research and have a very good idea of what those individual skills are worth in the marketplace.  The PMP is a quick way to prove to employers that I have demonstrated some of those skills.

I highly recommend that you get a PMP when you have enough project management hours to qualify.  It's a one-week class, followed by about 40-100 hours of studying, and then you pass the test and you are good.  Some employers will pay for the class and the test as a perk.  When you've been there for a little while, ask your boss if that's something they'd be willing to do to help you grow your knowledge base.  (My current employer pays for it all; my last employer couldn't pay for it, but they agreed to let me attend the class and take the test without using vacation time, which I thought was fair.)

Once you get to a point that you are confident in your skillset (and can brutally honestly identify your strengths and weaknesses), you'll be able to negotiate a salary with your next employer based on the market value for those skills....while also allowing for the possibility that the highest paying job isn't necessarily the one that will be the best career or personal move for you.

ender

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2019, 12:07:39 PM »
In many (most?) industries your question is backwards.

Leaving your current employer is normally the way to career growth, not stifling.

ysette9

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2019, 06:37:04 PM »
OP: do you have a four- year degree at all or you just don’t have one in construction management? If you don’t have the degree I would highly encourage you to do that, or at least the PMP cert. I’ve been a manager in a big company and right or wrong, the system rewards degrees as a minimum bar to entry. I have seen people have successful careers without them, but they have to really be stellar. It is a lot more work for me to build a case to justify promoting someone without a degree than someone in it. You basically always have to perform at a level above everyone else.

Your industry is different and your company is different so may advice may be off the mark. I work as a Technical Program Manager which is similar to a project manager. I don’t have the PMP and I am new to this role so I feel a bit like a fraud at times. I do have a BS and an MS though which seems to have gotten my resume a look. I think I would have had a much harder time getting people to look at my past experience and be willing to see how it related to project management if I hadn’t had those degrees to backstop me.

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2019, 06:02:55 AM »
OP: do you have a four- year degree at all or you just donít have one in construction management? If you donít have the degree I would highly encourage you to do that, or at least the PMP cert. Iíve been a manager in a big company and right or wrong, the system rewards degrees as a minimum bar to entry. I have seen people have successful careers without them, but they have to really be stellar. It is a lot more work for me to build a case to justify promoting someone without a degree than someone in it. You basically always have to perform at a level above everyone else.

Your industry is different and your company is different so may advice may be off the mark. I work as a Technical Program Manager which is similar to a project manager. I donít have the PMP and I am new to this role so I feel a bit like a fraud at times. I do have a BS and an MS though which seems to have gotten my resume a look. I think I would have had a much harder time getting people to look at my past experience and be willing to see how it related to project management if I hadnít had those degrees to backstop me.

No, I only have an associate's degree. I've worked my way up through the ranks by sheer grit and performance. Every new job advanced me to a new title and responsibilities, my longest being in industrial engineering. Now I'm doing landscape architecture.

It's my third day in this role, it's a little overwhelming but I'm going to see it through for a while. I'm tired of changing jobs and I sometimes wish I stayed at the industrial engineering job.

ysette9

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Re: Am I stifling my career growth leaving my current employer?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2019, 12:36:56 PM »
Good luck. New jobs are tough and it takes a while to get comfortable. I’m five months into my new job and still looking forward to reaching a level of comfort.