I have been working for my current company for seven years now, I have moved up in responsibility but taken very little salary increases when I have done so. Mainly to get experience. Other than inflation payrises over the past four - five years I am still on around the same salary.

I have been making it very clear to my manager that I want to move up (and would want a decent salary increase when I do). I don't want to go into too much detail here but I have been in talks with my employer about SIX different roles over the past 6 months and I either don't get the job after applying, the job falls through because the client no longer needs the role or its a sideways move. It has gotten near on ridiculous and towards the end of it all I have been having sleepless nights and crying a lot due to being messed around so much and having my hopes built up and then nothing!

After all of this messing me around, I decided to finally bite the bullet and go external. Applied for a few jobs and got an interview for one that sounds pretty good (but would be a big change and slight step up).

Anyway, so whilst I am going through the interview process with this external company and being ready to leave then my employer FINALLY offer me a promotion - one that is definitely solid this time and more money. They have also given me a decent bonus recently too.

Now I am torn. It is like a grieved and I got myself ready and psyched up to leave and then this happens. Both jobs are similar in ways, if I stay with my current employer I get to keep all the benefits I have (knowledge of the company, job safety, great annual leave entitlement, home-based on contract) and a decent-ish salary increase but if I leave to this external I get a HUGE salary increase (much bigger than what they are offering me), still get the flexible working then a whole new company so a big change with lots to learn but maybe for the better.

Expecting both offers to be at the end of the week and I am going to have to make a decision, I am finding it hard to decide. Any advice on what I can do to get to a decision? I may not even get the external job but I need to be prepared for this.

By the way I am a huge empath and have severe issues with 'letting people down', so this is really hard for me.


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    We cant tell you what to do. At the start of the movie The Hobbit Gandalf visit Bilbo and give the option to travel in an Unexpected Journey, at beginning Bilbo was scare to go but decide sign the contract anyway. Know Confort vs Unknown Progress is up to you make the decision. – Juan Carlos Oropeza Mar 25 at 16:02

The decision is yours to make, but as an outside observer I can put some context in place that may help you.

5 years down the line, if you accept an internal promotion, you will likely find yourself faced with the same difficulties in progressing both fiscally and professionally. You will have the same rollercoaster ride of internal jobs that fall through, and the same emotional strains that come from it.

On the other hand, 5 years from now, if you go external, you will have no basis to build your expectations on. You may have a dream job, that gives regular paths to move up in the company with commiserate pay increases. You may be in an absolute nightmare where there is no way to move up, there are no pay increases, and the job is not what was described to you in the interview process.

While your present employer may make a change in how they handle internal motion, it's unlikely. But an external company is an unknown until you actually work there. If your job is bearable, even with the runaround on your promotion, it may be worth taking the internal posting.


A company that offers you the salary increase that you've deserved for a long time only when you take the steps to leave is not a company that values you or has any concern for your professional growth. They've proven to you over the years that they don't value you.

Additionally, it sounds like there are other factors there that are making you unhappy. Money will never resolve your unhappiness.

The decision is yours but I'll say, based on my own similar experience, that your best move is probably to leave and take the new job.


The correct answer to this is wholly dependent upon the individual. For your specific situation, it sounds like you're going to have a very hard time dealing with the emotional stress of telling your boss that you're going elsewhere.

At situations like this, I find it is very helpful to throw together an Excel spreadsheet and compare everything line by line with a dollar figure. Salary is not the only component in consideration and should only be a single line in your comparison. Other things to consider would be:

  • Costs for healthcare between the two positions;
  • How much time off you're being given, for your current company, you may be entitled to more PTO due to your seniority while the new one is likely to be the company's minimum;
  • 401k contributions at your current company are likely fully vested, while the new company may not be vested or unavailable to you until you've been there for a certain amount of time;
  • Other benefits that each company offers;
  • Cost of emotional labor associated with leaving one company and informing your boss (emotional labor is real, but very difficult to quantify. This is a number you need to come up on your own, but it'll help you deal with that emotional stress in a less emotional manner).

If you run the numbers on this and find that the new job is only ahead by $500 or whatever, it's probably not going to be worth the hassle of changing companies, but if they're ahead by $6,000 or something that's a dollar figure you can act on.

Either you can ask for your current company to pay that difference with the promotion or you can bite the bullet and change companies.


Any advice on what I can do to get to a decision?

Consider factors other than just the money.

Do you really want to stay at a company that caused you "sleepless nights and crying a lot due to being messed around so much and having my hopes built up and then nothing"?

Do you really think everything has changed there?

For me, whenever things get to the point where I feel compelled to start interviewing elsewhere, that's a sign that it's time to move on.

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