Out of college, I accepted a position at a company(Company 1) that I had been working for as an intern basically throughout my entire college career.
Company 1 doesn't negotiate with salary at all, however they are usually very competitive in terms of similar companies in the area.
After a year and a half of working for Company 1 full time, I decided to switch jobs to Company 2 that was paying me about 18% more than the previous.
After working for Company 2 for only 6 months, I quickly realized that it wasn't a fit for me. I ended up going back to work for Company 1.
Originally, I was told that I would receive matched salary of Company 2 however, HR decided that it would be unwise to offer the match, as it would condone the idea that in order to get a raise at Company 1, the best way is to find a different company that will pay you more, and then come back later.
Instead, Company 1 offered me an 8% raise from my previous salary and a promotion, which is likely the course that would have happened had I stayed with Company 1 in the first place.
This offer was very much "Take it or leave it"
This is somewhat frustrating for me, as the amount I was making before at Company 2 fulfilled the criteria in order to meet my financial goals. However, Company 2 also had very little room to advance compared to Company 1.
How does one handle working for a company like this? I enjoy the company, I enjoy my work, and I enjoy the people that I work with. It is safe to assume that within 5 years, I will be making more with Company 1 then I would have with Company 2, and it is also safe to assume that if I do well and exceed expectations, then I could be making substantially more.
Is it best to just "go with the flow" if you will, and not worry about the fact that I have very little control over the situation?