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I'm looking for an answer to a very specific situation I find myself in. Long story short, I finished university in 2018 and I started working for a consulting company right away (Sept 2018).

I've been in the same project with the same team since day one. I work in BI, more specifically doing some ETL processes. Things started off on the right foot. With help from a senior consultant at my project, with years of experience, I quickly started doing things by myself.

I really enjoyed what I was learning and doing. Each day was a learning opportunity and a new challenge. Through quality of my work, I was able to build a good, healthy relationship with the client, who started to trust me and value my work and opinion.

Fast forward 2 years and I started feeling like I wasn't learning anything new. All my currents tasks are pretty much always the same. Now, after 2.5 years, the project is coming to an end, and a new team will take place substituting us (as in the company I work for).

Because the client really liked my work, they asked the new company to hire me so I would stay and keep working with them (this means I would switch companies, but work for the same client/project for another 4 years). This new company has already contacted me and they offer around 6k more per year than my current company. Obviously, money wise, this would be a big jump for me, but I feel like I shouldn't accept it...

I think working for one client, with the same technologies, learning only one area of business for the first 6.5 years on my carrier would not benefit me in the future. While right now this would be a big jump, compared to some of my colleagues working in the same area, I feel like in the long run they would have a more diverse experience in different areas of business, different technologies, different methodologies of work, and therefore be more valued in the "job market" than me, that will have been working in the same place, with the same people, doing the same thing for 6.5 years.

Am I crazy for thinking like this and "waste" this opportunity? Does anybody have any advice?

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Am I crazy for thinking like this and "waste" this opportunity?

No, you are not.

In fact, I congratulate you for thinking about advancing your skills and career and realizing that your options are limited in your current position. Many people don't realize until it's too late. They get comfortable in their current role, their knowledge and skills reach a plateau, and then they find themselves out of a job for some reason, and realize that their N years of experience was in fact one year repeated N times. Then they have a harder time competing with others in the job market who have N actual years of experience.

Now, feeling the way you do is one thing, deciding how to act on it is another. You only have a few options:

  • stay in your current role, do your job with the same quality you did so far, and on your own time and dime learn new things to advance your skills. Your career is your responsibility. Some are lucky to work on various projects at work and broaden their view on things, others have to spend more of their personal time to do the same. Read books, read blogs, listen to podcasts, apply what you learn on personal projects, etc. Some have it easier, some harder, but that's not an excuse to give up accountability on what you need to do.
  • stay in your current role but work to improve things to the benefit of both you and your employer. If the client respects your opinions, and you find new and better ways to improve the project, they might be open for you to introduce some changes. Be warned though. The changes you introduce will need to result in positive outcomes. If you make a mess of things just so you can learn new stuff and grow your skills, you might end up with something that will hurt your career instead. To do this you will still need to learn on your own so that you introduce a change beyond what your current day to day task require.
  • try to find another project in the same company if possible. This will be like changing a job, without actually changing the company you work for. Might not be possible in your situation though, since the client wanted you to work on this project. But maybe in a few months or an year you might move to a different project after you trained others in your team to do your job;
  • bite the bullet and start looking for another job at another company. Sometimes growth in a company is limited and you can only go to the next level by going some place else. You will have to search for a job without your current employer finding out about it. Because of the current pandemic, it's not very clear what's happening on the job market. There are some that unfortunately found themselves out of a job and may be desperate to secure a new position (that means having less demands on benefit or salary than maybe you might, who don't need a new job, you want a new job). On the other hand maybe people are clinging to their existing jobs because of the uncertainty created by the pandemic, and maybe there are plenty of jobs out there with nobody applying (and if you do you will have less competition).

The point is that you have some options you can try, on shorter or longer terms, all with their pros and cons. You have to think carefully about what to do and ask yourself "What's the worst thing that can happen, what's the best thing that can happen, and what is more likely to occur?" Then make your choice. The only guarantee you will have is that you will have to dedicate you time to make it happen.

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How long should a person at the start of their career stay in the same project?

There's no particular limit; all that's important is whether staying on the project is in your best interest using whatever metrics are most important to you.

Am I crazy for thinking like this and "waste" this opportunity? Does anybody have any advice?

There's no reason you can't stick with the project AND expand your skill set. When you talk to the new company, be honest about how you're feeling. If you like working with them and they're eager to hire you, let them know that career growth is important to you.

Your experience on the project is an asset that they clearly want to hold onto, but that doesn't mean that you need to be stuck in a rut. Talk to the new company about what they have planned for the project, how you fit in, and whether there are opportunities for you to transition to a different role.

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