Yet another job change question - this one should be obvious.
August 8, 2018 3:45 PM   Subscribe

It seems like I post here every once in a while, soliciting opinions and advice about what to do about my job. Every time, I've gotten really solid advice, so here I am again. Previously, on "should thePlatypus change jobs," I got a good offer to leave the uncertainty of my current position and turned it down, mostly because the prospective employer seemed inflexible, old-fashioned, and generally wouldn't be a pleasant place to work. They were offering more money, and better security than my soon-to-be-acquired current company... this time:

Now, with the transition/acquisition happening, they've all but guaranteed my security (it's an at-will state, after all) - I'm one of a few people they've made clear they want to keep. The head of the department I'd be joining has recently left, so there's a clear(er) path for growth. But I don't know exactly what I'll be doing, what my team will look like, and most of my comrades from the current company are slated to leave after the transition - it'll essentially be a new job in a few months.

The new offer is working for a friend (I've been stung by that before, but this guy is dependable and one of maybes friends for decades), carries a 50% raise, a good sized bonus, is a lot closer to home, and gives me a chance to get out of the field I've grown-in but have come to dislike. Although he's assured me that I'm not being hired only because I'm a friend, I have zero direct experience in his line of work, and would come in at a senior level. (no, it's not the White House) - he thinks my skills/experience will translate very easily.

It'll be more work, more learning, and won't come with the trappings of my current job (friends, nice office, familiarity, super flexible work schedule, manageable workload). But this is my golden ticket out of my current field and with a raise too!

Sounds like a no-brainer, but I guess I have trouble leaving my comfort zone. Advice, or at least perspectives would be appreciated.
posted by theplatypus to Work & Money (7 answers total)
I think it would be useful to give us an estimate of the risk of either business failing. Is your friend offering you a job in something that might go bust next year? Or are they equally dependable employers in that regard?
posted by howfar at 3:59 PM on August 8, 2018

Regarding risk of either business failing - my current employer will be solid for the foreseeable future (several years), and I've been offered ongoing employment there. The new/offering employer is also solid, and I'll likely be fine for several years there, unless I'm completely unsuited for the job or find it awful. (so about the same)
posted by theplatypus at 4:07 PM on August 8, 2018

Is there a geographical factor? Is one closer to you than the other?
posted by oceanjesse at 5:17 PM on August 8, 2018

Both are very short commutes. New offer is 10min, current job 15min.
posted by theplatypus at 5:23 PM on August 8, 2018

Take it. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow. Be open about your ignorance but also about your experience (if that makes sense) and tell everyone again and again that you want to learn everything you can about every single aspect of the business. Throw yourself wholeheartedly into every challenge, and crush it every day. You got this. You're smart, you're seasoned, you can do it. You can more than "do it," you can knock it out of the park.

This is how I've been attacking my own new job, and oh boy oh boy are people ever responding. I've been here a month and people are giving me opportunities to try things I'd never dreamed of doing, things that draw on skills from deep in my past, things that are challenging and exciting and fun—and so far I'm blowing them away every time. You can do it too! I'm nobody special—I'm just a human being who's finally actualizing his full potential. Get in there and show them what you've got!

You said it yourself: this is your ticket. Forget about the raise for a moment; you have an opportunity to go to work for someone you really like, someone you've known for a long time and who you have a strong personal relationship with. That person is the owner of the company. Think about that. If you have an idea for how something could be done better, the owner will give it serious consideration. If someone has a problem with you, they'll have to take it up with your friend, the owner. That's powerful. Yeah it might rub you the wrong way a bit because it's kinda nepotistic, but don't look at it as a license to be lazy and incompetent. Look at it like this: your friend has vouched for you and done you a solid, and now it's your duty to pay them back by showing them what you can really do, in a supportive environment where your contribution is genuinely valued. Do you know what that feels like in a job? That support, that validation? It feels awesome. Take the ball and run with it.

Oh, and an opportunity for a 50% raise comes along about zero times per lifetime, on average. Grab the chance while you can. Power through the fear and the discomfort and the awkwardness and just fucking go for it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:07 PM on August 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

Doubled salary, moving out of a field you dislike, handpicked for the role by someone who knows you well and trusts your skills.... compared to staying on as part of an acquired company moving into a currently headless team where most of the familiar trappings are going away anyway.

Yes, this is absolutely a no-brainer. Do it!
posted by ook at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2018

- how much time do you have to accept your friend's offer - will they wait for you to let things settle more at your old-new job?

- how hard would it be to return to something adjacent to your old job if you left now? there is the job security that your current position is appearing to offer you, and there is the security of being able to save significantly more money with your friend's firm. in other words, $X increase in savings vs. $Y loss of income if job search is extended due to new position not lasting / being hard for you to move on from. (another approach, of course, is to go into it saying I will last at least 5 years even if it is deeply uncomfortable - but I wouldn't necessarily advocate that.)
posted by ahundredjarsofsky at 8:23 PM on August 9, 2018

« Older I have a hole in the middle of my singing range-   |   I lost my naturalization certificate. What to do? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.