Leaving a job after 3 months for one slightly better?
February 28, 2014 2:18 PM   Subscribe

I've been at my current job for 3 months and like it pretty well, but have an interview lined up for a different job that might have more growth potential and a $10k higher salary. Help me weigh the pros and cons?

I'm a web developer and after being laid off, I took the first full-time job that came my way about 3 months ago, and it has been pretty sweet so far. Pays nice, has a "start up" feel but is financially stable, pretty nice people to work with. My only concerns are that it's client based work, and crazy demands from the client get passed directly to the developers without any support from the leadership. There is also currently almost zero project management or formal development workflow in place. The team is very very new, and everyone says these things will come with time, but many suggestions I have made have been suppressed, and progress on those fronts seems slow. The leadership of the company seems a little unstable- my boss will work crazy hours and make passionate pleas for us to put in overtime to meet client deadlines. The leadership definitely seems to over promise and then hold us accountable. That said, I do really enjoy the work, and I have received a $1,000 bonus in just three months for putting in a few 50-60 hour work weeks.

Now, I get a ton of emails from recruiters, and I usually ignore them if i'm not looking, but one in particular caught my eye. It was for a position at a large (10-20 billion) company in town, and was more of a leadership position than my current job. It pays 10k more, although is a little further away. What is making me really consider it is that being a large, well established company, there will be more organizational structure and processes. Also, there is a much clearer promotion path, and the company is well known for promoting from within. At my current job there could certainly be promotion opportunities in the future, but they are super unclear.

I would be a lead developer on a new team that they are developing, so I would be able to help hire to fill out the team, and shape a lot of the workflows and organization as we go. I am trying to influence things at my current job, and I have seen some very small progress, but I don't want to pass up another opportunity while holding my breath for change.

On a very personal level, I hate quitting jobs, and I don't want to be "that guy" that always thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I have convinced a few people to join on at my current job, so it seems like a crappy move to leave them so quickly. However, I am trying to make sure I'm in the best position long term, and the leadership issues and overtime at my current job are big concerns. I feel like the new job has the potential to grow more, and be a safer, more stable environment. Although, the new job is a very corporate environment where i'd have to wear a suit every day, which might get old.

Has anyone been in a similar situation or have any advice on how to choose?
posted by kraigory to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If I'm reading it right, you haven't even gone to the interview, correct? The first step is going to the interview. The reason all these questions are circling around in your head is that you don't actually have very much information to work with. Go to the interview, see if you get an offer, and then decide what you want to do. I'm betting that if you get to that point, your path will look a lot clearer.
posted by something something at 2:21 PM on February 28, 2014 [5 favorites]

First, I think the decision can only be made after you have met with the other company and have a job offer in hand. Don't make the decision beforehand based on reputation.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:22 PM on February 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding something something -- go through the process first and see what you think of the other place. Don't worry about how it might look to your next next employer.
posted by Etrigan at 2:23 PM on February 28, 2014

To answer the above, no I haven't interviewed yet, but I have sat down for lunch with my would-be direct manager and his manager, and they both seemed really great. Obviously an interview would probably reveal more though.
posted by kraigory at 2:23 PM on February 28, 2014

Switching jobs for a better one that pays more is a fine thing to do, even if it's only been three months.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 2:26 PM on February 28, 2014 [7 favorites]

Thirding something something about checking out the other company through an interview, asking that other company questions and making the comparison.

As for having convinced other people to join your current company: perhaps they might feel the same way about the ambiguity / lack of project management and development workflow? I wonder if asking them how they feel about the current company would both make you feel better and make them think or re-think their work situation...?
posted by Tsukushi at 2:50 PM on February 28, 2014

One big difference that sticks out between these two jobs is that it sounds like the second one would involve a lot more people-managing, where your current job involves more doing the actual work. Consider how you feel about being in a management track vs. doing the web development work directly.
posted by Starling at 3:11 PM on February 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

I wouldn't do anything for $10,000. If you feel reasonably happy and socially acclimated at your current job, you are taking a big risk that you get along with your co-workers and your managers at a new place. I've taken jobs for money that I've been miserable at -- wasn't worth it. The people were assholes, the management made it impossible to succeed and the hours sucked. I don't think $10,000 is that much money (unless you are making like $20,000 now, then I guess $10k would be a lot). But just keep in mind that money isn't everything. I'd like about the office culture, social aspects, your ability to succeed, your work-life balance, etc. After all, you will spend most of your days at work.

All of that said, quitting a job after three months happens. Yeah, you'll feel weird, but it's a trade-off. I know people who have done it for dream jobs or jobs that were big steps up. It didn't hurt them. It probably helped because they did it for the right jobs to keep advancing their career. Then, there are people who did it and regretted it because they were happier at their original job. I wouldn't worry about the three-month thing.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:12 PM on February 28, 2014

You said that the current position has a "start up" feel to it. From your description it seems to me that you are part of a "seat of the pants" type of operation. There is little structure, and it sounds as if there may not be any, ever. Three months is still the "honeymoon period". You are just 3 months in. Can you see yourself working under those conditions long term?

It certainly wouldn't hurt to interview. Wearing a suit everyday might seem better than dealing with an unstructured enviroment that makes your job more stressful than it needs to be.
posted by moonlily at 10:32 PM on February 28, 2014

Like everyone else, I'd start with an interview.

For myself, I'd lean toward taking the new job. This is a little tougher than the usual stay-or-go job question, because working with people you like, doing work you like, is worth a lot. Having a longer commute sucks. And the formality will chafe in some ways.

But, I suspect your current workplace will never get its act together "on its own". It will always be disorganized and playing catch up. Only if you get some determined leader figure will it change.

For me, 50-60 hour weeks would get old very quick, even if I got the occasional bonus for them.

It doesn't sound like the disorder and the long hours bug you all that much, so maybe the balance tilts a little more toward your current job for you. Just don't expect things to change much there.

Don't worry about leaving after 3 months. It is a little awkward, but most people understand that you have to jump on opportunities when they come up.
posted by mattu at 7:06 AM on March 1, 2014

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