A job in hand is worth 2 in the bush (part 2)
September 26, 2018 8:18 AM   Subscribe

I have a job that I'm semi-happy in, and I have an offer for a job that is not as high as I would like, although obviously I am planning to negotiate. Do I stay or do I go?

So, this was me. I went ahead with the interview process and was offered the position. All of my initial impressions were confirmed with the interview process and the offer. I still have the concerns/questions in my original Ask.

The concerns/reasons I'm maybe not yet ready to leave:
-Salary offer lower than expected, represents roughly my anticipated yearly COL raise.
-I've been told I'm getting promoted at the end of the year, and anticipate my raise would be higher than the offer. I am certain this will happen, my office does has a rough schedule for these things and does not make empty promises at the level I'm at.
-I have a good reputation at my current job, generally work on interesting projects, and have a flexible schedule.
-This is the same job at a different place, just different clients.
-I feel bad leaving my current projects, I am definitely attached to them and would love to see them through.
-I may want to do an entire career change in a few years anyhow, it makes sense to just tough it out until then.
-Plan to have kids and know the support I'd be getting where I am - new place is a mystery, though they stress work/life balance as a high priority.

Reasons to leave:
-If I can get a salary bump on negotiation.
-I don't like senior management and have concerns about their strategy.
-Stressful workplace - new place has a better work/life balance.
-New place has offices around the country so a future anticipated move would probably be easier to make.
-The people seem genuinely lovely and friendly, which is not the case where I currently am.
-There may be more future growth/promotion potential at the new place, where I am now after my next promotion I would expect to be stagnant for several years.
-I think I'd be happier at the new place.

So I'd love some perspective on deciding. This is all based on being able to negotiate a salary about 10% higher than the initial offer.
posted by Chaussette Fantoche to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your last point was the advice I was going to give you - unless there’s some big extenuating circumstance*, never leave one job for another without AT LEAST a 10% bump - though you should really angle for 15-20%, depending on your field. In most fields, changing employers is really how you increase your salary level, so you want to maximize those bumps.

Everything else seems like it comes down to risk vs comfort. It sounds like you’re not super happy at your current employer, but you’re comfortable. It’s known. You’re doing well enough to be on track for a promotion. Honestly, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s ok to have a job you don’t love but feel comfortable in.

It sounds like the other company could be a better fit in some kind ways. But it’s hard to know until you’ve been there for a while. So that’s a risk. How comfortable are you with some risk?

I will say, if this is your first professional job, it may be good to get experience with more than one employer. I think it’s good to experience the ways different companies do things - it shakes you up in a good way, and broadens your perspective.

*Even then, be careful. I once took a short term gig at a pay cut (but in a lower COL area) to get away from an abusive boss, and it hurt my salary at my next job, where I stayed for 5 years.
posted by lunasol at 8:44 AM on September 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think I'd be happier at the new place.

If you can get a pay bump and be happier, that seems hard to argue against.
posted by HiddenInput at 10:58 AM on September 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

In terms of salary make sure to calculate commute, health benefits, 401k match, any vesting you may lose into the equation. If you gain time (less driving etc) it may balance the money somewhat. Or an expensive health plan can completely wipe out a small raise.
posted by typecloud at 12:06 PM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seek happiness, you're always going to have to work and will always want more secure money but the value of an enjoyable workplace is immense. Go for that 10%+ raise and look forward to a happier and healthier work environment.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:36 PM on September 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

You say that the question is predicated on your negotiating a 10% bump over the current offer. Does that mean that if you don't get that bump, you won't take the job no matter what? That if they offer you 5% extra, you'll consider taking it? That if they give you the full 10% bump, you're more inclined than previous but still not certain?
posted by Errant at 9:55 PM on September 26, 2018

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