Author Topic: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice  (Read 1716 times)

Anon1492

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Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:54:25 AM »
Hi! I know this is my first post but I promise I have another username and have contributed to this forum so I'm not just a leech! I just wanted to preserve my identity since I'm asking for career advice.

Currently: I have a job I like, a manager I love and make just over $100k in a low cost of living Midwest community. However, I work really hard and even though my manager implied I'd be getting a promotion in 2017 it never happened. So I'm still stuck with a basically entry level title doing manager level work. I've been in this role for 6 years so while I don't expect to move into management immediately I want to know it's on the table. I feel like my manager was upset about this but our upper level management has restructured and he's left without much say.

So, very recently I started considering a career change. I'm now on to round 2 of interviews and it's going well. Some issues though: while I'd be promoted to manager they have laid the groundwork that since it's a smaller company work weeks are typically 50 hours going to 70 in busy season. I'd be compensated well but the cost of living is also about 3x where I live now since it happens to be on an island.  The work also seems pretty exciting compared to my current role that is stagnating.

I know this isn't all the details and I'd be happy to answer further questions but I'm debating if I should stay where I am, enjoy the high salary in a LCOL or jump ship to try an adventure. Even though I'd be signing up for more hours it would give me a chance to see a new part of the world. Or should I just learn to be happy where I am and focus more efforts on side hustles? Any insight would be valued!!

Sibley

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 07:12:36 AM »
If you're generally happy except for the title, then it's worth the effort to see if you can get a title change. AskAManager has some advice on that.

50 to 70 hours is a huge quality of life thing. Even when you're at home, you'll be tired. Jumping your COL 3 times higher is going to be a massive shock as well. The hours alone I'd hesitate at, much less the move.

specialkayme

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 07:53:27 AM »
I may be wrong, but I get the impression that you aren't dissatisfied with your current salary, hours, duties, stress levels, responsibilities, or job security. I'm sure it isn't perfect, but no job ever is. Anyone that tells you their job is perfect is trying to convince themselves. Instead, it sounds like you are only dissatisfied with the title and your ability to be promoted.

I've always viewed title changes as completely immaterial. Literally meaningless. Banks and larger corporations are notorious for making everyone a "Vice President in charge of _____." They do that so they can give a title that makes you feel important and increase job responsibilities without increasing your pay. If you look at may large banks, there are literally thousands of "Vice Presidents." I have a friend that worked for AT&T in the 80's. He was 24 and he was "Co-Vice President in charge of Finance Reporting in the Audit Department." All boiled down, he was Vice President of his job . . . which is nothing. The running joke at AT&T was that if you threatened to quit, they'd make you "Vice President of this Pencil" or "Vice President of this Typewriter" in an attempt to get you to stay. You'd be surprised how often it worked. To me, the only reason you need, or should seek, a title change is either: A) because it comes with more pay and better perks, or B) because you need to feed your ego. The second is somewhat pointless to me, but that's me.

Keep in mind that title changes and promotions alone often aren't all they are cracked up to be. They often come with increasing pressure, stress, and responsibilities. They also often come with more pay, but many people that take promotions later believe the increased pay doesn't justify the increased work and stress. If you're using it as a means to FIRE earlier, it may be worthwhile. But consider it.

As far as the new job goes, if you're only dissatisfied with the title and promotion possibilities, I don't think its worthwhile to change jobs. But even if you believe it is, you should be looking for a job that matches everything you have now PLUS gives you a little more. The new job should match your NET (not gross) pay after COL expenses, match your hours, stress level, ect. while giving you something more (either pay, title/responsibilities that lead to making you more marketable, security, long term growth, or something else). With a COL at 3x higher than where you're at now, that should come with a massive increase in salary in order for you to consider it.

That's my take though.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 07:59:52 AM by specialkayme »

vivian

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 01:12:38 PM »
Many years ago, I was in a similar situation where my immediate boss recognized I was doing the work of a higher position, just without title and pay. But he was stopped from promoting me because of higher level management. I asked to speak with that person and she said my qualifications meant I wasn’t prepared for promotion and industry practice wouldn’t support it. I turned around and got two offers for higher position in same industry but different company. I took those offers to the upper management person and got the promotion she said was out of the question just a few weeks prior. I ended up staying because the immediate people I would work with were great colleagues.

The moral of this story is you need to be happy with the day to day work. Knowing how to get play the corporate game is important, but try to separate it from satisfaction with daily work environment.


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Igelfreundin

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 05:24:54 PM »
I'd vote for option three - don't stay or go. The new job sounds like it has real drawbacks. 50-70 hours per week will affect your entire life and personally it wouldn't be worth it for me. I'd suggest that you keep looking. You're in a decent job now, and you should only leave if it looks like a terrific change on all fronts.

Blackeagle

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 06:17:29 PM »
If you're getting paid as much as you would as a manager and doing managerial work, it seems to me that the title bump would only really matter if you were planning to get a new job.  Having the higher level title would help get you a managerial position somewhere else.  If you aren't interested in leaving (other than to get the higher title) then the title doesn't matter that much).  The one exception might be if the culture of your current employer makes it hard to perform the managerial duties that you're assigned without the corresponding title.

If you decide you want to leave, keep in mind that just because you want a different job, it doesn't have to be this job.  A higher workload and much higher cost of living are pretty big negatives.  You may want to turn down this position, but continue to keep looking for a new job with fewer drawbacks.

Anon1492

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 09:36:34 AM »
Thanks everyone for your perspective, it's always helpful to view your situation from other's eyes. I suppose it made me realize that it's not just about the title but that I currently feel undervalued and unappreciated in my job. I do believe I'm paid under market value and also once I started tracking my hours I realized I already put in about 45 hours a week, nobody is asking me to do this but I get lost updating code and do extra work on my own time because it'll make my process better going forward. I also have noticed a large shift in culture in my department in the last several years and am not as happy here as I once was. I think I like the idea of a smaller department, I went from being one of 30 or so to one of almost 100.

I'm still in the process of job hunting so i haven't made a decision yet. I sent my resume out a couple other places to get more options on the table. The current job that I'm considering would more than double my net salary (no income tax) + provide a housing allowance. I'm going on site in 2 weeks to meet the team and check out the island since I've never been.

Slee_stack

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 12:12:47 PM »
I got a title, and management responsibilities, and a pay bump that was the same as I got for just doing my 'regular' job the year before.

I didn't give up any responsibilities, but just had more stuff piled on.

I actually have no time to manage anyone as the amount of general work has gone up and we have not been able to hire any add'l resources.

I originally wanted the position to change things up and hopefully work more strategic tasks.  Of course, its just a boatload of more tactical tasks I received.

Fortunately my boss realizes the ridiculous scope of what I'm supposed to cover and I have some hope I will be able to extract myself out of this role.

Regular 50 - 70 hrs sounds awful.  I could suck that up for a year or two, but I would need to have an end date personally identified and the extra money would have to make sense for the 50% bump in effort/output.

Good luck.

bestname

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 12:19:05 PM »
Where is the island? Is the island in Hawaii? Take the money out of the equation and see if you would do it for the adventure's sake. Sometimes its time for a change.

If the island is Hawaii, I mean... you should take it...

But if you get an offer realize you have a lot of power to negotiate, since you have a great job that you like already,

Anon1492

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 01:01:33 PM »
It's not Hawaii, it's a Caribbean island. Honestly that's part of the appeal to me is getting to live somewhere like that before I have kids down the road. My husband and I view it as a 3-4 year plan, then we'd likely move back and be able to retire (or very close to it) and start a family.

Just to add some more color around the hours since I've had a chance to talk to more people since the initial interview. 45-50 is a typical work week there, 70 hours is about 4-6 weeks a year. Currently I do about 45 hours a week with 60ish hours 12 weeks a year. I never really counted my hours since I typically stay until the job is done/log back on at home. This isn't something that bothers me, I think it comes with the field. Also, knowing I'll be retired in my early 30's helps keep long days from feeling too bad.

Also in thinking about this all I realized I'm a glass half full person. I've never had a job I hated because I find ways to make it interesting for me. Perhaps I don't even necessarily care about the title change but more about feeling like I have more say in projects and the direction of my career. Likely why moving to a smaller company sounds appealing, more of the start-up approach. I'm also getting to the point where I have a decent stache of FU money so when my current job had me working on vacation recently I started thinking if I'm going to be putting in the time and being treated like a higher position I might as well be getting compensated for it.

Obviously I'm still working through a pile of emotions on this one, thanks for letting me think out loud and for so many of you offering great insight. Definitely nothing wrong with staying put and it's nice to be in a position where they know me so on days I have errands to run, if work is slow I can cut out 30 minutes early. I'd have to rebuild that trust in any new job.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 01:19:42 PM by Anon1492 »

Anon1492

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 06:53:39 AM »
Ok you were all so helpful the first time I'm back! I took your advice to heart and stayed put since I realized the minimal bump they offered, increased stress, and HCOL was definitely not worth it. But I have kept an eye out for other options. Now I have 2 offers on the table. One in a warm climate again but still Continental US so the cost of living is comparable. Would be a 15% raise, high potential to be promoted within 1-2 years (as in as long as I'm not dead weight when they hire me I'll move into a senior role), similar work I'm doing now, and a 4.5 day work week.
Second one is in a similar climate to the Midwest and slightly higher COL but pretty marginal, 20% increase, same line of work but slightly different area, not a defined plan for future promotions but seem to be opportunities to advance, potential to drop down to part-time in the future or WFH (based on seeing several employees that are doing that) which could be beneficial in my FIRE journey.

So do I go for the lower COL option with the 4.5 work week now or take the HCOL, slightly higher comp and have potential to be more flexible in the future?

specialkayme

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Re: Should I stay or should I go? - Job Advice
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2018, 02:48:32 PM »
I can't really compare COL between the two places. Calling one as "comparable" and calling another one as "slightly higher COL but pretty marginal" is like comparing two shades of white. One's white, but the other is really just as white but a little brighter. Use hard data to compare.

Not being able to actually compare the COL for the two places, I consider it a wash. I also consider a 15% raise on one end and a 20% raise on the other end as a wash. Not really that different in my opinion. At least, not enough to push me in one direction or another. I also put ZERO weight on the "potential promotion" aspect. The one company that says you'll be promoted in 1-2 years, provided you are still breathing at the end, is full of crap. If they had an opening, they'd hire you at that level now. If they don't have an opening, they don't have a promotion to offer you. Companies claim that crap all the time, but it's a string along game to get you in the door.

I don't care about flexible work schedule in the future. I plan on working till I retire, and going home. I don't need flexibility at that point. 4.5 work weeks are nice, if that's what they really are. If they expect you to stay late on Tuesday through Thursday to "earn" your half day off on Friday, it isn't a 4.5 work week. Some companies do that differently.

So which one do you feel more comfortable working for? Which one has a better set of company ethics? Which one has a better company culture? Is either company going to offer a relocation package? Those would be the deciding factors for me.

Having two options is good. Being able to say no to both is good too.

Good luck!