Author Topic: Job change dilemma  (Read 2848 times)

YTProphet

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Job change dilemma
« on: September 18, 2019, 12:56:44 PM »
Currently at a reasonably comfortable 9-5 making $140k/yr plus a 25% bonus that is paid rather sporadically (less likely than more likely to get all or a portion of it). I am well-respected in the organization, have a good amount responsibility, and have an area of the company that is important ($$$) and where I'm viewed as the subject matter expert. Due to my subject matter expertise, I speak with C-suite members frequently. Most like me from what I can tell. I can work remote when I want, which is usually one day a week. I have a short commute. Though I technically have 3 weeks vacation, my boss doesn't really care when I'm here or not since I get my work done and am always accessible. I don't "love" my job, but I'm not sure there's any job I'd love. I definitely don't hate it.

A new company reached out to me. I get the impression that the department there has good people, but is more hard charging. I think pay could be in the $175k range with a higher likelihood of getting the bonus, which will likely stay at 25%. I will have a 30 min commute, likely lose my flexibility, and have a bit more pressure. However, the possibility of executive perks is also there down the line.

I'm comfortable with my current budget, so not looking for input there, but basically I'm maxing retirement accounts and no more at this point (no accrual for car reserves, house project reserves, etc). I'd have to use bonus money for any of life's big purchases. I've got kids so I'll also have the typical big ticket items down the line (college, weddings, etc). House will be paid off within a year, so that will free up another $15,000/year.

I really don't know what to do. I know I'm under compensated but I really don't want to walk into something I hate. I've already job hopped a bit so a premature exit in my next role wouldn't be possible. That being said, comp and advancement opportunities at the current company aren't great. Plus, there's some industry uncertainty. What would you do? I'm truly torn. A $35k raise would mean an additional $2,400ish per month in savings. That $2,400 along with the $1250 from the mortgage would provide a lot more breathing room.

Current finances are around $160k in 401k, will have a $400k paid off house, and paid for cars, plus a 6 month emergency fund.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 01:00:25 PM by YTProphet »

caracarn

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 01:21:57 PM »
These are always interesting to me, mainly because I had to go through the soul searching of exactly what I'd like to do to coast into RE as well.

In my case, I made the decision to go in the opposite direction, so my vote would be stay with the devil you know (who seems to be a lot friendlier that the devil I left) versus the devil you don't.  I actually took a 33%+ pay cut down from $180K VP role to $115K PM role because I was sick of the "hard charging" responsibilities without the real structure and authority.  I also recently had a conversation with another individual who left that same company over lunch last week about how can such incompetent people rise into senior management roles as the folks we had in the organization we both left.  The company does well, but the garbage associated with pleasing the self centered CEO and CFO wore on all of us in the VP ranks.  In 18 months over 80% of the staff at that level either left or were removed and replaced with lackeys.  Where we ended up as we shared our career experience is poorly run companies are the norm.  It does not sound like you have any of that there, and I say that is a blessing, so do not toss it away lightly to chase a possible shortening of RE by what 1-2 years, if that?

So I'd suggest you figure out how much of your 25x that $35K a year is.  Do not forget to add in the cost of the 30 minute commute compared to the short commute plus 1 day a week with no commute.  You will likely find that 10% of your "gain" just went "poof!"  You said you are not looking for a dig into your budget/spending so I'll leave that to you, but at $140K you should have plenty of "breathing room" already if you are driving to FIRE.  There are also a lot of discussions that you can have about what do you really expect to do with those big ticket kid items.  In our case, we are not funding all of it as may have been more common, but will help at a level that is not that high and we are up front with the kids about that.  If they want to go hog wild on college and weddings, that is their choice.  There are much more cost effective ways to do both those things that require much less money.  To be clear we are not doing "nothing", we are saving $150K for college for our kids over a 10 year period above what we already had.  Weddings not doing anything specific there as we have found, and our kids seem to be no exception, that the desire to get married has dwindled substantially in kids these days, so who know if any will even get married.  I'm sure we'd pitch in $5-$10K for a wedding and if they are reasonable that will get them a long way.  If they want to follow the magazines that might pay for their photographer and DJ, but again, that's their call; we do not view ourselves as responsible to foot an unreasonable bill.  What I am suggesting is you can make your current situation look a lot better with a few thoughts on how to handle what are looming future expenses in a different light.  YMMV

Industry uncertainty is a big red flag for me.  I've worked in cellular supply chain when they switched from flip phones to smart phones and was the only job I have been downsized out of when sales dropped 80% in an 18 month period.  Not something to take lightly and assessing those risks on the outside likely means there is a lot of the iceberg you are not seeing. 

For me executive perks were always "meh".  Again, only you can assess if that golden carrot is really that enticing to you. 

So again, my vote is you sound like you are in a good place and I see much more downside potential for taking the chance than I see upside.  Stay put.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 01:25:33 PM by caracarn »

SunshineGirl

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 01:44:42 PM »
I couldn't tell from your post whether you've actually visited the other company & interviewed there. If not, I would say definitely do so because otherwise you're making assumptions about the work life that might not be correct and could hugely impact your desire to work there. Maybe you could work from home a day or two per week. Maybe the benefits include stock options or other things your current job doesn't that can make a huge impact financially.

You didn't mention the ages of your kids or whether you have a spouse & if s/he works. It's a big pay bump, so you could make some nice quality of life improvements as well as increase your savings.

Bottom line is it sounds like you've got a good thing going, but I would recommend learning as much as you can about the other company and culture before making a decision.   

BlueHouse

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 01:53:05 PM »
If I were younger (<40), I'd make the move. 
But now at 50, nope.  I'm just riding things out until my date comes.  Ageism is real.  And you know what else is real?  When you look at your end date and it's pretty close, then networking and continuing education become so much less important.  So now, Ageism isn't my only fear.  It's also that I'm getting pretty close to obsolete.  Yikes!  Who ever could have suspected that I'd find things in my personal life to be more interested in than in getting better at my work?

Villanelle

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2019, 01:57:29 PM »
I think I'd set up a meeting ASAP with my boss, bringing proof of my valuable contributions and anything that shows I'm underpaid compared to similar positions and ask for a raise.  Maybe you don't get $35k (or $30k, after you factor in increased commute costs), but you keep the flexibility you like and the devil you know. A bump of even $10k makes a difference, though I'd probably start by asking for more (if I had to give a specific number) if the comparisons seems to warrants that.

The one concern for me would be that industry instability you mention, but it's hard to know what that means.  It might be worth evaluation of just how unstable it is, just how much more stable this other job would seem to be, and how hard you think it would be to get another offer if you stayed and then your current industry collapsed. 

That said, it sounds like you are just guessing at the pay for this new position.  Assuming that's the case and they haven't done more than express a possibility, I'd talk with them and see what things might look like.  If their number is $200k instead of $175 that's going to make a difference.  If you can negotiate working from home one day a week, that also matters. 

YTProphet

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2019, 02:24:08 PM »
I couldn't tell from your post whether you've actually visited the other company & interviewed there. If not, I would say definitely do so because otherwise you're making assumptions about the work life that might not be correct and could hugely impact your desire to work there. Maybe you could work from home a day or two per week. Maybe the benefits include stock options or other things your current job doesn't that can make a huge impact financially.

You didn't mention the ages of your kids or whether you have a spouse & if s/he works. It's a big pay bump, so you could make some nice quality of life improvements as well as increase your savings.

Bottom line is it sounds like you've got a good thing going, but I would recommend learning as much as you can about the other company and culture before making a decision.

Have visited/interviewed. Pretty sure I'm either the final candidate or one of a final 2 or 3 at most.

YTProphet

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 02:24:59 PM »
I think I'd set up a meeting ASAP with my boss, bringing proof of my valuable contributions and anything that shows I'm underpaid compared to similar positions and ask for a raise.  Maybe you don't get $35k (or $30k, after you factor in increased commute costs), but you keep the flexibility you like and the devil you know. A bump of even $10k makes a difference, though I'd probably start by asking for more (if I had to give a specific number) if the comparisons seems to warrants that.

The one concern for me would be that industry instability you mention, but it's hard to know what that means.  It might be worth evaluation of just how unstable it is, just how much more stable this other job would seem to be, and how hard you think it would be to get another offer if you stayed and then your current industry collapsed. 

That said, it sounds like you are just guessing at the pay for this new position.  Assuming that's the case and they haven't done more than express a possibility, I'd talk with them and see what things might look like.  If their number is $200k instead of $175 that's going to make a difference.  If you can negotiate working from home one day a week, that also matters.

Yeah, I"m not normally a believer in the counteroffer, but I would stay at my company and be happy if they gave me an extra $20k.

thd7t

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2019, 02:54:18 PM »
It sounds like Villanelle is talking less about a counter offer and more about showing your current market value and how you provide service at that level.  Unless you have another offer in hand, you're really just looking to renegotiate your current position.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 03:26:30 PM »
I didn't see the mention of your age?? I agree with BlueHouse, if you're under 40 maybe even early 40 I'd see what the offer actually is and if your base is increasing 35K or more (not counting bonus) I'd probably take it.

However before doing so I would probably negotiate for some of that freedom or at least ask about their policy around vacation, work from home etc. 

Not to say you will LOVE the new job but you already know you don't really like your current job so for a 25% raise I think it makes sense. You could wait for the offer and try and get your current company to meet that or walk but I'm not a big believer in counter offers.

Villanelle

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 04:48:59 PM »
It sounds like Villanelle is talking less about a counter offer and more about showing your current market value and how you provide service at that level.  Unless you have another offer in hand, you're really just looking to renegotiate your current position.

Yes.  I know it's a source of controversy 'round these parts, but I'm generally not a fan of it.  So I'm imagining more of "this is what people in similar positions make, here's all my glowing reports, and here are the metrics of things that have improved under my leadership.  So I think a 15% raise is well warranted and in line with industry standards and I'm hopeful that you'll agree."  Not, "Acme Industries wants me and is willing to pay $175.  Can you match that, or at least come close?"

Eurotexan

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 08:25:24 PM »
I would stay. The reason I say that is because I am in a very similar position, eerily similar, and I believe the best and quickest way to FIRE is to stay with the devil you know. I have done a lot of soul searching on this over the past year and the key for me is that you donít hate your current job. In that scenario I would say move since life is too short to stay and be miserable. But there are some great pluses (short commute, hands off boss) which cannot be overstated. A bad boss will make you absolutely miserable, I canít stress that enough.

YTProphet

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 07:15:56 AM »
I didn't see the mention of your age?? I agree with BlueHouse, if you're under 40 maybe even early 40 I'd see what the offer actually is and if your base is increasing 35K or more (not counting bonus) I'd probably take it.

However before doing so I would probably negotiate for some of that freedom or at least ask about their policy around vacation, work from home etc. 

Not to say you will LOVE the new job but you already know you don't really like your current job so for a 25% raise I think it makes sense. You could wait for the offer and try and get your current company to meet that or walk but I'm not a big believer in counter offers.

I'm in my mid 30's

BlueHouse

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2019, 07:34:47 AM »
I didn't see the mention of your age?? I agree with BlueHouse, if you're under 40 maybe even early 40 I'd see what the offer actually is and if your base is increasing 35K or more (not counting bonus) I'd probably take it.

However before doing so I would probably negotiate for some of that freedom or at least ask about their policy around vacation, work from home etc. 

Not to say you will LOVE the new job but you already know you don't really like your current job so for a 25% raise I think it makes sense. You could wait for the offer and try and get your current company to meet that or walk but I'm not a big believer in counter offers.

I'm in my mid 30's
To me, age is key.  I'd jump.  At your age, you've still got boundless energy and you're looking for something stimulating and satisfying.  You like challenges and you appreciate being recognized.  You've also got another two or three job-hops ahead of you anyway, if you follow the pattern that most people follow.  So it might as well be this one, now. 
The odds are that this one won't be perfect either, so I'd treat this as one to perfect certain areas of your expertise and expand where you can.  If you don't get the recognition at this new job, join an industry group and volunteer for a leadership position there. 
After a few years when you've got everything you can out of this job, then move on to the next.  And that next one COULD INCLUDE the current job.  Sometimes the only way to get the big pay jumps is to leave and return after a few years.  So I'd be very pointed in how you frame your exit.  What skills are you trying to improve that the new job will offer.  And don't be shy about saying "and it's a substantial pay increase, which I don't think I can walk away from at this stage of my career". 

In any case, congratulations on being in a position to be able to choose from multiple great jobs.  Don't worry too much about making the wrong choice, because there are still so many choices ahead that can "right" and "wrong". 

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2019, 09:11:05 AM »
I didn't see the mention of your age?? I agree with BlueHouse, if you're under 40 maybe even early 40 I'd see what the offer actually is and if your base is increasing 35K or more (not counting bonus) I'd probably take it.

However before doing so I would probably negotiate for some of that freedom or at least ask about their policy around vacation, work from home etc. 

Not to say you will LOVE the new job but you already know you don't really like your current job so for a 25% raise I think it makes sense. You could wait for the offer and try and get your current company to meet that or walk but I'm not a big believer in counter offers.

I'm in my mid 30's
To me, age is key.  I'd jump.  At your age, you've still got boundless energy and you're looking for something stimulating and satisfying.  You like challenges and you appreciate being recognized.  You've also got another two or three job-hops ahead of you anyway, if you follow the pattern that most people follow.  So it might as well be this one, now. 
The odds are that this one won't be perfect either, so I'd treat this as one to perfect certain areas of your expertise and expand where you can.  If you don't get the recognition at this new job, join an industry group and volunteer for a leadership position there. 
After a few years when you've got everything you can out of this job, then move on to the next.  And that next one COULD INCLUDE the current job.  Sometimes the only way to get the big pay jumps is to leave and return after a few years.  So I'd be very pointed in how you frame your exit.  What skills are you trying to improve that the new job will offer.  And don't be shy about saying "and it's a substantial pay increase, which I don't think I can walk away from at this stage of my career". 

In any case, congratulations on being in a position to be able to choose from multiple great jobs.  Don't worry too much about making the wrong choice, because there are still so many choices ahead that can "right" and "wrong".

Totally agree.. mid 30's don't love the gig and can make a significant amount more elsewhere. Even if you went to the new gig and jumped in a couple of years you'd have much more in the bank, have more experience and be leaving with a higher salary to build on.

YTProphet

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2019, 01:34:08 PM »
I think I'd set up a meeting ASAP with my boss, bringing proof of my valuable contributions and anything that shows I'm underpaid compared to similar positions and ask for a raise.  Maybe you don't get $35k (or $30k, after you factor in increased commute costs), but you keep the flexibility you like and the devil you know. A bump of even $10k makes a difference, though I'd probably start by asking for more (if I had to give a specific number) if the comparisons seems to warrants that.

The one concern for me would be that industry instability you mention, but it's hard to know what that means.  It might be worth evaluation of just how unstable it is, just how much more stable this other job would seem to be, and how hard you think it would be to get another offer if you stayed and then your current industry collapsed. 

That said, it sounds like you are just guessing at the pay for this new position.  Assuming that's the case and they haven't done more than express a possibility, I'd talk with them and see what things might look like.  If their number is $200k instead of $175 that's going to make a difference.  If you can negotiate working from home one day a week, that also matters.

Just found out it's higher than I expected (closer to $200k). Plus their retirement is higher than my current one. Gonna be pretty tough to say no if I get an offer.

AlotToLearn

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2019, 01:42:33 AM »
Based on what you shared, make the move.

mm1970

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2019, 04:56:02 PM »
If I were younger (<40), I'd make the move. 
But now at 50, nope.  I'm just riding things out until my date comes.  Ageism is real.  And you know what else is real?  When you look at your end date and it's pretty close, then networking and continuing education become so much less important.  So now, Ageism isn't my only fear.  It's also that I'm getting pretty close to obsolete.  Yikes!  Who ever could have suspected that I'd find things in my personal life to be more interested in than in getting better at my work?
+1, I totally feel you.  I already feel like at 49, I've got MAYBE 5 years to think about jumping.

Most likely, I'll stay here until the company goes out of business (could be 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, who knows!), then I'll be forced into another job, that probably won't be a perfect job, just "a job".

Take it if you get it.  $200k.  No brainer.

Gremlin

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 06:36:29 PM »
Just found out it's higher than I expected (closer to $200k). Plus their retirement is higher than my current one. Gonna be pretty tough to say no if I get an offer.

If offer comes in hand, I'd still talk to my existing boss.  I'd stress that I am happy here, I didn't go searching for another job but was sought out for this other role.  Whilst I'm happy with the work, the $$ make this offer hard to ignore.  Be open and amicable and see where the conversation takes you.  They may or may not be in a position to match or get close, but perhaps it's the sort of thing where with a couple of years under your belt elsewhere they'd consider hiring you back into a much more senior role.

YTProphet

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2019, 06:39:19 AM »
Just found out it's higher than I expected (closer to $200k). Plus their retirement is higher than my current one. Gonna be pretty tough to say no if I get an offer.

If offer comes in hand, I'd still talk to my existing boss.  I'd stress that I am happy here, I didn't go searching for another job but was sought out for this other role.  Whilst I'm happy with the work, the $$ make this offer hard to ignore.  Be open and amicable and see where the conversation takes you.  They may or may not be in a position to match or get close, but perhaps it's the sort of thing where with a couple of years under your belt elsewhere they'd consider hiring you back into a much more senior role.

This is my gut feeling on what to do. I'm in a position where I see the salaries of other employees and know people are generally undercompensated here. That's what makes me think that they'll be unlikely to match or come even close. I guess it can't hurt, though, to see if they're willing to pull some strings to keep me around. I think I'd be willing to stay if they can get me to $165-170k.

Weisass

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2019, 07:42:49 AM »
Just found out it's higher than I expected (closer to $200k). Plus their retirement is higher than my current one. Gonna be pretty tough to say no if I get an offer.

If offer comes in hand, I'd still talk to my existing boss.  I'd stress that I am happy here, I didn't go searching for another job but was sought out for this other role.  Whilst I'm happy with the work, the $$ make this offer hard to ignore.  Be open and amicable and see where the conversation takes you.  They may or may not be in a position to match or get close, but perhaps it's the sort of thing where with a couple of years under your belt elsewhere they'd consider hiring you back into a much more senior role.

This is my gut feeling on what to do. I'm in a position where I see the salaries of other employees and know people are generally undercompensated here. That's what makes me think that they'll be unlikely to match or come even close. I guess it can't hurt, though, to see if they're willing to pull some strings to keep me around. I think I'd be willing to stay if they can get me to $165-170k.

Best of luck! It can never hurt to make a case for more. The worst they can do is say no.

YTProphet

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2019, 12:44:45 PM »
So update here:

Got a $165k offer from the prospective company (lower than anticipated). Told my boss's boss about it since he's the decision maker. When I told him, he basically said "well I wasn't planning on telling you this for a few weeks, but the wheels are in motion to let your boss go and offer you his position...we'll match the new salary (which is what my boss makes) and the signing bonus." It wasn't just him. Company made a handful of other layoffs due to anticipated lower sales in 2020.

I told him I'd stay put.

HOWEVA...to complicate matters, right after I told him I'd stay I got a call from a recruiter for my dream job. She's got the exclusive so it's an unpublished position. She more or less told me I'm the most qualified candidate she's submitted. Just had the interview last week and I think it went well. The salary would be $185-190k with 30k bonus opportunity. Bright side would be that my old boss might get his job back. Downside is that I'd basically be a burning a bridge on the way out. Not sure I care though as execs at the company always put profitability first. That's fine, but if they look out for shareholders first then I'm going to look out for myself first.

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« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 12:48:47 PM by YTProphet »

thd7t

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2019, 02:45:26 PM »
It looks like you've fallen into a series of wins here!  You should definitely think of what will benefit you, here, but don't assume that you're burning a bridge (or that your old boss will get his job back).  People reconsider opportunities all the time and your current job has shown you that they want you.  They may not like that you leave right after this offer, but they probably won't take it so hard.

caracarn

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Re: Job change dilemma
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2019, 06:26:43 AM »
Yes, I'd agree, do not assume what the reaction will be.  Take time to consider everything, not just the salary, and make the move that is right for you.