Is this job a good deal?
November 24, 2010 3:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm very far down the road in an interview process for an internal position. I have some doubts. Help me decide if they are rational or fear based.

I have been interviewing for a position within my company that would require me to move divisions and work with a group of people I do not know as well. (unknown factor) Overall I think the new division is more in line with my long term career goals and the people *seem* great (big plus), yet the position itself is lateral and more of a "stepping stone" to the next job I *really* would want.

The usefulness of this stepping stone has varied with prior employees in this kind of job - the job requires more exposure to senior level management which can lead to great opportunities, or no opportunities depending on how you use it. (another highly unknown factor) It's not a guarantee of a step up overall, but if I do well could lead to truly great and wonderful things for me in an area of the company I feel more passionate about (big plus). It requires a 2 year commitment (minus for me). Additionally, the opportunity would almost certainly pay less and the title would (at best) be the same (minus).

The hiring process for the new opportunity has been bizarre. I originally applied over 3 months ago. I have had about 7 interviews with various people, and it has been down to two final candidates for about a month. Apparently they are having a really difficult job deciding between us. (my ego is reacting to this one).

HR wanted to talk to me about salary before extending an offer, and actually offered a bit of an ultimatum - asking me to tell them immediately if the money wouldn't work "so you can be taken out of the process." The money is fine (not exciting for me), and the overall expected value of my current salary is better.

I'm good at my job and like the work. Some of the people drive me nuts, but I'm not sure that would change anywhere. In my current position I am very well respected, a high performer, and I have the sponsorship of my leadership in terms of opportunity and visibility. I have been promoted three times in the last four years. However, I've hit the ceiling in my division and there is no immediate room for the next promotion. I love the company but am willing to leave for a better opportunity.

If I stay in my current job I probably will be opportunistically looking for something new. My current job feels really good to me right now, but I am not sure if that is fear of the unknown speaking. I feel like my upside in staying with my current job is that I could interview for a higher level job either within the company or outside it freely, whereas I'm facing a two year commitment at the same level if I move to the other division.

Basically, my short term life will almost certainly be better in my current job, while my long term (2+ years) prospects are likely better in the new job.

Emotionally I've been on a roller coaster about it. The interviews have largely made me excited about the people, the division, and my long term prospects. The dealing with HR/comp/long time line has been unbelievably frustrating and annoying.

Right now my gut is telling me to say no to the job (or hope they don't offer it) and keep looking for something that makes me excited more than 50% of the time. Of course, my gut may be informed by my wallet, my ego (really, you can't decide between two people in less than a month!?!?) and my fear of the unknown. What do you think as an outside observer?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I did read the whole thing, but my instincts are that you have cold feet. Finish what you started, get the new job, then figure out what the next step is. Ain't no half-steppin. TC2TCB
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:53 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Basically, my short term life will almost certainly be better in my current job, while my long term (2+ years) prospects are likely better in the new job--If you plan on being alive two years from now do you want to be living in the past or the present. You want advice--here mine is--Take it if offered. When two relatively equal options present themselves choose the most proactive/assertive. It is usually (and I do say usually) easier to undo a decision/return to the past than create a new opportunity.
posted by rmhsinc at 4:04 PM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

My read is: they are in no hurry to fill the position. My experience with internal searches is that the rules are much more relaxed than external searches, and in any case, allowing for minimum time limits on applications, the process can go as fast as the hiring manager likes. The "can't make up our mind" is probably a convenient fiction. Is there someone in an acting role for the position you are applying for? Perhaps the other candidate? That would be one reason to stretch out the search -- to test drive an incumbent. Just because they are stretching it out doesn't mean it is a bad job or a bad group to work with. I also wouldn't read a lot into the salary discussion. Presumably your company has salary bands tied to job titles and it sounds like the conversation happened because your current salary was outside the band for the new position. That is just HR doing their HR thing. Based on everything else you've told us -- about being at a ceiling in your current position and looking outside the company -- you've got nothing to lose by taking this job if it is offered to you.
posted by kovacs at 4:28 PM on November 24, 2010

Wait until you're offered the job, then worry about if you really want it or not. In the meantime, keep looking. Don't stress about decisions until you have to actually make them.
posted by cgg at 4:50 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

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