Best laid plan gets wrinkled
March 26, 2012 12:02 PM Subscribe
Headhunter has interrupted my career-change plans, how do I know whether this is an opportunity or a blind alley?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been a web editor for around twelve years, mostly as a contractor in different organisations. For the past four years I've had a permanent job in a legal firm - it's not my natural environment and was very stressful for the first couple of years but I did well, got promoted and achieved my aim of paying off debt and saving enough for a down-payment on a house. I'm now at a point where I can move on and would like to return to the environment I most enjoyed working as a contractor: museums/heritage-type organisations.
My standard work is editing/content strategy/UX stuff but I've also been moving towards interpretation and narrative design. There is no opportunity to do this kind of work where I am now so I've been taking night classes to build up my portfolio with the aim of jumping ship as soon as an opportunity in 'dream career' presents itself. This might take some time as my desired field is intensely competitive, and the sector is experiencing huge changes due to funding cuts and programming constraints. I'd also have to go in much lower than my current salary/seniority because I don't have the requisite sector experience for jobs on a par with my current role.
Still, it felt like a good plan. Except that I have just been headhunted for another corporate job similar to the one I currently have, just for a more senior management role in the consumer-facing arm of a high profile regulatory organisation, with a 15% pay rise. I don't know what to do.
If I take the offer I'll need to commit to at least 18 months and it will be stressful. My SO is worried - I find the 'corporate persona' of my current job very tiring at times and he sees the meltdowns at homes when it gets too much. Partly this is because of the culture of this specific organisation rather than a general climate but I'm definitely less 'myself' in this environment than when I was working for places I was genuinely thrilled to be. On the other hand, it's an interesting project and I'd be getting more strategic experience whilst retaining my current interests might mean being able to go for management roles in museums later down the line - I have no idea if this is feasible.
So, what to do? I'm 36 now and can't work out the opportunity cost of taking the unexpected job. Can anyone advise?