15

I was offered a management position in a different company that pays roughly the same as I make as a regular staff member in my current company. However, the new position will have more opportunity for growth.

What problems might come from taking a job with more responsibility, but basically the same compensation?

  • 2
    I assume there is at least some pay benefit? So I would say long term gain for short term pain :) – dreza Jun 22 '12 at 0:11
  • @dreza - Same everything, compensation exactly the same on all aspects. – user1220 Jun 22 '12 at 0:15
  • Hi @user1220, I added info into your question that you had put in a comment to an answer, which I thought was important for everyone to be able to see. If I misstated, please feel free to edit. – jcmeloni Jun 22 '12 at 2:02
  • Hi @jcmeloni - it is fine, I appreciate it. – user1220 Jun 22 '12 at 2:03
  • Argh! The question in the title is "Should I <X>?" where the question in the post is "Are there problems if I <X>?" – Adam V Jul 13 '12 at 20:09
18

Not if you're satisfied with it, no.

Here's the way I look at it: Say that you're going from being a Senior Grommiteer to a Grommit Manager. While your skills as a Senior Grommiteer are important to your ability to be a Grommit Manager, there are a whole new set of skills in play, managerial skills, most of which you're pretty Junior in. You will need and expect more support from your new manager than you ever did before.

But you will grow, and gain experience in those new, softer skills, and then you will be able to demand more money than you ever could as an extremely experienced Senior Grommiteer. And if the company you're currently working for don't pay you that, you can go elsewhere.

It's very much in your interests long-term.

However, I will temper that with a word of warning: If you're going to another company, make sure that they're paying you based on your inexperience as a manager. If it is simply that they underpay everyone, you're going to have a hard time building a good team, you'll end up doing half the work yourself and still failing (because you won't have time to be a good manager), and responsibility for that will be entirely yours. ("Hey, we hired you as a manager -- you said you could do the job already.")

Your experience as a failed manager will get you nowhere in the future.

  • 1
    good points, it makes sense. As I see it, one year from now where I am would not be as promising as one year from now on the new place. – user1220 Jun 22 '12 at 0:16
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    @user1220: Because your comment suggests it will be a different company, I have added one piece of advice. – pdr Jun 22 '12 at 0:34
  • Thank you, it is correct - it is a move to another company. – user1220 Jun 22 '12 at 0:36
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    how much do grommiteers make these days? also, +1 for long-term. – acolyte Jun 22 '12 at 12:37
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    @acolyte - right now there is a high demand for Grommiteers, they are in short supply so the pay rate is quite high (IMHO). – user1220 Jun 22 '12 at 13:21
8

Compensation has many forms:

  • Cash

  • Benefits

  • Equity

  • Learning

  • Resume value

If you're long term greedy, you can't just focus on the first 3 items. If a job will advance your career, in the right cases it's ok to gain learning and resume value even if you don't get more cash. In some cases, it's even worth taking a pay cut.

The question is: Is the underpayment part of a larger problem? Or is it corporate culture? In a made up example, P&G could pay less for a brand manager than Kraft would pay for an assistant brand manager, because P&G has great learning, future opportunity, and brand value. Then again, some places underpay because they don't need the best talent, and there you need to be careful.

2

There are so many factors it is almost impossible to answer completely, but I would use some of these criteria to judge if it is worth it in any individual case.

  • How bad is your current work environment? (There are some jobs so bad a pay cut is worth it to escape)
  • How stable is your current job? Is the contract going to be up or is a layoff coming?
  • Are you going to be resentful if you don't get a pay raise? In this case you should forget it, you will start out unhappy and it never goes up from there generally.
  • Is the job better for your overall career prospects? Is is something you want to do that you can't do where you are? Is the business domain likely to be more lucrative in the long run?
  • Would the work be interesting and challenging? Personally I can accept less money if the job is really something interesting. YMMV.
  • Do they appear to have a corporate culture that you think would suit you better?
  • Will they commit in writing to a payraise after a probationary period?
  • Will they offer some other benefit that compensates (more vacation time, better 401K match, flex time, ability to work remotely, better health insurance policy)
  • How much do you make right now? Is money tight in your household where you need a raise or are you doing OK without it?
  • Would you be moving from an old or almost obsolete technology stack to a more modern one?
2

Pay is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The goal is to live the life you want.

On a personal level, only you can decide if the new position looks like it is what you want.

If you are worried about future employmers looking askance at the change, most will consider it unexceptional.

If you are worried that the new company won't live up to it's promises, the only thing you can do is get everything in writing -- training, promotions, power and responsibility.

1

No - I am sure that the employer says "there are opportunities for growth" but they would say that wouldn't they :-) In a lot of cases you are giving up Overtime - or becoming non exempt.

And from direct experience with a a large telco having Linemen (Engineers) earning much more than their managers it was not good for mangers morale and industrial relations.

It also indicates that the employers ethics are not what they should be.

1

It depends on more that what you have said.

For example some larger companies do not pay as much as small companies but they have much better promotion prospects. Some small companies pay more because they do not want employees to leave, so there is less chance for promotion.

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