Would you jump ship?
January 4, 2022 8:12 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking of switching jobs, but am in the midst of a promotion at my current place.

The last few months were painful - there were not enough resources as the team went from 5 to 3, and I have been stuck doing managerial (sometimes directorial) work when my role is entry level. A promotion has been in the works for 3 months. It will be fulfilled next quarter provided I hit all the targets (I have it in writing), but I have not been able to achieve certain goals because the work that I've been doing is not in there - it's higher-level contributions that most staff in my position would never take on, normally. The team is now growing again, but I'm afraid that the dynamics that have formed in the last few months will stick, and I'll be expected to take on higher level work despite my junior role, because that's what I've been doing.

I asked my boss if we can accelerate the promotion process because the end of the quarter seems really far away - I also asked for a raise, and he said he wanted me to provide proof-points so he can consider my proposal. Which I will, but it's left a sour taste in my mouth. He KNOWS what I have been doing, and that I've been the one carrying a third of our team's accounts on my back. He's the one that's been giving me the work! And no, he doesn't have anyone to answer to. He's the one in charge of the whole company.

Well now I've got two job offers in hand and both are from Top 10s in my field. In fact, one is a Big 4. I will be working in the same role, but I have managed to negotiate a 20% raise and a promotion 3 months after my probation period (provided I hit all the targets). My current company is a boutique and admittedly much less shiny than the organisations that have made me offers.

I'm hesitating to leave because it looks like my promotion is just barely out of reach and if I hang in there a couple more months I'll be at a more senior level. Whereas if I go either one of those new places I have to "prove myself" all over again. And honestly, joining a new place is such a hassle. But I don't think I'm happy right now - they've made many decisions to the detriment of our work quality. My coworkers are fine but one of the guys I report to acts weird towards me and got me really really drunk when we first met.

What would you do? Leave, and work the same role at a shinier place for another half a year (a year maximum), but with a 20% pay increase? Or stay, work in the same role for a couple more months and maybe get a 20% increase?

Also thought I'd like to mention that I do not currently have a mentor. All the managerial and directorial level work I've been working on? I'm learning by doing, and have nobody to talk me through things. I don't know if I'm doing them right - I ask for feedback and just get told off about formatting and hardly get feedback on the strategic side of things. This is really important for my career development and is not something that has been provided since my previous manager left.
posted by antihistameme to Work & Money (20 answers total)
He KNOWS what I have been doing
He's the one in charge of the whole company.

These two statements are likely connected. Your boss likely has many other tasks to keep track of - like the operation of the entire company. Even if your boss wasn't in charge of the entire company, it's fairly common (although definitely not good) for managers to not keep track of all of their employees. A decent number of managers only pay attention to things that are broken (again, not a good thing), which means your manager may literally have no idea what you're doing. Ultimately, your career advancement is up to you rather than your manager. Your manager is offering you an opportunity to present your work in the best light and with the most detail - take it! You're better able to describe the intricacies and impact of your work than he is.

I have managed to negotiate a 20% raise and a promotion 3 months after my probation period

Small companies that are not able to compensate in line with the market often compensate with titles instead of cash. Don't let a promotion matter to you more than cash. If you're getting more money, you're already getting a promotion. You can't pay your rent with a fancy title.

they've made many decisions to the detriment of our work quality
My coworkers are fine but one of the guys I report to acts weird towards me and got me really really drunk when we first met.
I'm learning by doing, and have nobody to talk me through things.

Your current job doesn't seem to be a place worth working at, and it seems like you don't want to work there anyway.
posted by saeculorum at 8:23 PM on January 4, 2022 [6 favorites]

The last time you asked this question, I said you should get your resume out there. Sounds like you did, and you now have two awesome offers! I think you should get the heck out of your current crappy environment.

(Do the offers know about each other? Can you negotiate along the lines of "I want to accept your offer, Team B, but Team A is offering me $X and a title bump in 90 days, contingent on targets. What can you do for me, B?")
posted by Alterscape at 8:26 PM on January 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

posted by kate4914 at 8:30 PM on January 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

No company will ever care about your career, or have as much invested in it, as you do. If the other job offer(s) feel better to you, go that way.

I'm hesitating to leave because it looks like my promotion is just barely out of reach

If they really wanted to promote you, they would have done so by now. Buying time by saying "the end of the quarter, provided you hit goals X, Y, and Z" (even if it's in writing) is really them dragging their feet as long as they possibly can, in an effort to not pay you more money while getting upper-level work out of a lower-level (by their definition) employee. You have documented proof that your skillset is worth more money than you're currently getting, in the form of job offers elsewhere for dramatically more money; take one of them, and don't look back.

Be mercenary and selfish when it comes to your career choices, because companies do not exist in order to make sure your best interests as an employee are taken care of.
posted by pdb at 9:00 PM on January 4, 2022 [25 favorites]

I would go work for one of the top 10 companies that has given you an offer. If nothing else, they will look good on your resume. You can spend the effort that you would have spent chasing a notional promotion establishing yourself at a new organization, with a better salary. If they are larger companies, chances are they also have a better process in place for promotions.
posted by Lycaste at 9:32 PM on January 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

Be prepared to take one of the offers. If you really like your current gig, present this to them to see if they’ll match immediately.

As others said, title are meaningless, it’s how you are compensated that demonstrates how the company values your contributions.
posted by osi at 9:39 PM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

I would (and did!) take one of the offers if I were in your shoes.

It was so delightfully satisfying to go into my weekly meeting with my ex-boss, have him put my (finally) upcoming promotion on the agenda (we'd been talking about it literally since I was hired 18 months previously because it was obvious I'd been hired one level too junior), and get to say "actually, my agenda item is that I'm giving notice today".
posted by Metasyntactic at 9:59 PM on January 4, 2022 [7 favorites]

Agree with the others - take one of the offers. They can and would’ve promoted you already if they were really motivated.

Think about the increase and experience not just right now but understand that moves your baseline higher into your next role, and the next one after. As mentioned above the name equity has value even if you don’t stay longer term.
posted by artificialard at 10:07 PM on January 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

Big companies can be slow in giving promotions (raises, really) because of bureaucracy, fixed budgets, political infighting, paperwork, etc.

Your small company doesn't have that excuse.

Right now your boss is getting higher-level work from you that you're not being rewarded for - a good deal for him, not for you. If he can drag it out for a few more months by making you prove that you "deserve" it with irrelevant paperwork and delays, you might just stop asking for a promotion but just keep on doing the harder work.

You should take one of the other job offers. Don't try to negotiate with your current company, because it doesn't even seem like you like your current job even if you got the promotion.

Whereas if I go either one of those new places I have to "prove myself" all over again.

Absolutely not! Being offered a job, that pays money, is solid proof that the new company thinks you are worthy of the job! Companies do not waste all their time reading resumes, interviewing candidates, and making offers in order to tell new hires that they are failures.
posted by meowzilla at 10:25 PM on January 4, 2022 [8 favorites]

Your boss is jerking you around about the promotion, you're overworked and underpaid, and you don't have anyone helping with professional development. Get out. Take one of the higher paying jobs at the fancy companies.
posted by Mavri at 11:12 PM on January 4, 2022 [7 favorites]

Clearly the answer is to take one of the other offers. It's more money, a more prestigious organisation, and there will be promotion opportunities there. As written, I'm not sure why you would stay where you are.
posted by plonkee at 2:35 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

The money is one (important!) thing, which will be better served by leaving.

About as equally important, though, is that you're being asked to do stuff with no proper guidance, feedback, or mentorship -- and that's a really stressful position to be in. We all get asked on occasion to figure something out on our own, but then if you get no real feedback on what you did, that's doing you a real disservice. The opportunity to go someplace where you might get better mentorship is in itself a big deal.

Changing jobs is a big hassle; but you said yourself you're not happy there. And, realistically, that situation is not likely to get better.
posted by fikri at 6:21 AM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

I also asked for a raise, and he said he wanted me to provide proof-points... He's the one in charge of the whole company.

This is a delaying tactic.

I could write more but - I don't see anything in what you've provided that suggests you could stay. It's hard to leave a job when a promotion feels like it's right there, but it sounds like you're still being asked to "prove yourself" at the old job - might as well do it somewhere else.

It will also give your boss good feedback that if they have a person they're happy with and want to promote do it now and don't hold back.

My coworkers are fine but one of the guys I report to acts weird towards me and got me really really drunk when we first met.

I'm not sure this has any bearing but since you included it - did you get really drunk when out with this person when you first started, or did you write this because you were pressured to drink?

Generally, nobody gets me drunk except me. Lots of people have offered to buy me drinks or even handed me drinks, but it's always been my choice whether I do the drinking or not. If someone is coercing you or making it seem like it's a job requirement then it's definitely a good idea to get away from them. If not, you need to take responsibility for your alcohol intake when out for work. (I mean, you do anyway - but if saying "no" to drinks is a problem for coworkers, that's a big red flag.)
posted by jzb at 7:17 AM on January 5, 2022

You've gotten great advice. One more data point to add is that big companies know it's easier to get promoted at smaller organizations. Let's say that you decide to stay at this frustrating job and end up on the job market again in 9 months. During your next job search, you're probably going to be offered the same pre-promotion jobs. Getting a promotion at your current job doesn't guarantee being hired at a higher level at a future job.

Take one of the offers!
posted by JuliaKM at 7:44 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

I jumped ship when I was expecting a promotion/raise (which I had been verbally told was happening at the next promotion period, but they did promotions every 6 months), and when I was looking at compensation/seniority, I compared to the expected promotion and anticipated compensation- not the current role. Overall it made sense to leave, I had more advancement potential and support at the new company, and used my expected promotion as a negotiating point which resulted in a large hiring bonus.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:06 AM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Leave - the boss/owner is dangling a carrot in front of you and if they were good at what they do, they would have already recognized that and have promoted you in both title and pay.

I am in tech, and have been for over 30-years - the only way to get ahead is to put yourself and your career first - very very very few organizations recognize/acknowledge talent and promote from within.

So - if you want better opportunities, you will have to leave.

Very very few organizations care about anything other than their bottom line and next fiscal quarter - they won't have any loyatly to you - why would you have loyalty to them?
posted by rozcakj at 9:19 AM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

At my old organization, they were getting better at giving people interim titles at least (and sometimes interim raises) when there was a situation like the one you describe (though I also experienced a much less intense situation of the one you're describing in terms of being asked to do work above my pay grade and title with no particular additional benefit other than additional work experience the first year I worked there). Point being, regardless of whether they are promoting you immediately and aside from your actual question about whether to take the job at the other company, they could have found a way to compensate you for the work you are doing right now which is not in your job description, but they haven't even done that. I'd be annoyed at your boss as well for not considering your proposal for a raise or expediting the promotion as well.

I vote for leave for one of the better/more impressive sounding jobs. Maybe your boss will turn around when you give notice and offer the promotion right away, as well, which could give you more options if you actually want to stay (though obviously don't give notice counting on that happening).
posted by knownfossils at 4:23 PM on January 5, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I don't know why I felt unsure. It seems so clear to me now - I actually had another offer come in, so I had the choice between three (?!) potential workplaces.

I made my pick earlier today and signed the contract. They are offering me a title bump immediately and 10% above market rate. Which is about 25% more than I'm getting at the moment. And 30 days PTO, stock options, full medical insurance which covers optical and dental... It's almost too good to be true.

I resigned today.
posted by antihistameme at 4:48 AM on January 6, 2022 [8 favorites]

That's fantastic. Best of luck in your new job.
posted by plonkee at 6:35 AM on January 6, 2022

Congratulations! That's super exciting. Enjoy the new gig.
posted by pdb at 9:08 PM on January 6, 2022

« Older Parlor games for threesomes   |   Seeking help with cross-border financial planning... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.