How highly should I value my management experience?
May 23, 2011 8:33 AM   Subscribe

I have a new job offer with a company that will pay a bit better than I manage now. The new company is likely to be a better working environment as well. However, the new job would be a step down from a manager/supervisor role into more of a coordinator role. How highly should I esteem my current manager title/responsibilities? Enough to reconsider a move to a role that feels like a better fit in most other ways?

tl;dr read details follow:

I'm a manager in charge of supervising a team of several people at a public University. Our funding situation is such that nobody is likely to be eligible for raises or promotions in the near future. In fact, there's the ever looming possibility of lay-offs.

I feel like I don't really have a great aptitude for management - I'd prefer not to supervise folks at all, to be honest, though I've engaged with the role well enough to do a good job of it, but it will never be my preferred task. It felt like the next logical step in my career progression when I took the job, so here I am.

Given the funding situation, I'm not likely to be able to move on to a better prospect within my University in the immediate future, though it's possible that I do have some very long-term prospects left here (at least 7-10 years down the road, probably).

Now my new job offer is a similar type of work (project coordination with some marketing duties) without the management aspect. That actually appeals to me in that I feel that I'd be back to working where I excel. The new organization also offers slightly better pay, and possibly better advancement prospects in the near future (though by no means guaranteed).

However, I pause when I consider that this move could be interpreted as a step down in responsibility. If I take the switch and decide to move on again in 5-10 years, would this issue on my resume be a major red flag? Am I harming my long-term prospects by voluntarily surrendering management duties?
posted by owls to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In my experience, the difference between a "manager" title and a "coordinator" title is just a company choice. I've done the exact same job at different companies (same as you, project coordination with some marketing duties) and sometimes been called a manager, sometimes coordinator, sometimes specialist, etc. You can't manage projects (budgets, schedules) without managing people (writers, editors, designers), so your future resume will include people-managing even if your title doesn't. Congratulations on the new job!
posted by headnsouth at 8:38 AM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Better pay, a job that plays more to your strengths/likes, the chance of future promotion, and escape from a job where pay is flat and layoff may be looming? Go for it.

IMHO, you will be enhancing your future prospects because you'll be making more money and be happier (by the sounds of it).

You note" "I'd prefer not to supervise folks at all, to be honest" so listen to yourself. There are a myriad of ways to advance a career.
posted by donovan at 8:41 AM on May 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

No contest. No point in hanging on to a job title that reflects responsibilites you neither want nor want to build on. Also, you are ascribing false value to "manager" vs. "coordinator." Nobody thinks this job title, for example, is anything but very prestigious.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:43 AM on May 23, 2011

I don't think it would be a red flag at all and not only because I'm sure that if you stay there for 5-10 years you will have moved up considerably from this position.

Btw, I've "stepped down" and I love it. I've decided that I'd rather be the one with my headphones on and doing work rather than the one that has to go to endless meetings and talk to people about their time management skills.
posted by dawkins_7 at 8:55 AM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks everyone. I've been struggling with this partly also because my supervisor at my current job is absolutely fantastic. I honestly feel like she has my best interests at heart, but the reality of the situation within the organization doesn't allow any advancement in the near future.

I definitely want to hang around for the great supervisor, but the other factors in play make me want to move on. Thanks for helping me to settle the job duties question - one less thing to think about.
posted by owls at 12:14 PM on May 23, 2011

Note that if there are looming layoffs, the supervisor may not be there to hold on to in the future.

A really, really important thing to understand is that while you can be loyal to an organisation, the organisation is a non-sentient being. It cannot and does not return that loyalty. You should do what's best for you.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:18 PM on May 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

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