Since I graduated college 5 years ago I have been working in a nice job doing software development. It is a good company and most to their credit, they let me spend one of those years working from home in a different city for 1 year for family reasons. It didn’t really cost them anything to let me do that, but my boss did consider it a big risk, and made me assure him that I would indeed come back after 1 year (which I did, 6 months ago).
However this job has very little to do with the career that I studied. I feel anxious that I am going to lose all connection to that career if I continue in this job. I also see little room for promotion or further career development in this job – I feel like I have learned all there is to learn. I know everyone in the company and don’t really see any other jobs here that I aspire to: my current job is the only one I find remotely interesting in this entire company of 150 employees.
Still, I haven’t been actively looking for a job. But I was recently offered one with a much smaller company (< 5 employees) from somebody that I’ve known for years. The company is fully related to what I studied (green building / environmental type industry). The pay is the same, plus a small amount of revenue sharing.
I feel excited by the risk of growing a smaller company, and of broadening my experience base. By the nature of the job I will be forced to wear many different hats and learn immeasurably more about so many interesting fields compared to my current job, where I’ve basically stopped learning. However I feel guilt for quitting my current company just 6 months after they let me work remotely and am worried that by quitting so soon (?) after, I will totally burn that bridge.
I have become a pretty vital employee in my current company and I think telling them that I’m considering another offer will come as a bit of a shock to them. I imagine they will offer me a raise to keep me, and I would seriously consider staying for a raise of 30% or so. Everyone has their price right? But what would even happen if I accepted more money to stay? They would think I was ready to jump ship any time, and this new company will certainly forget about me if I refuse this offer (they have plenty of other applicants waiting behind me). There is a 50/50 chance I will have to quit 6 months from now anyway because my wife may study in another city. I assume quitting again after threatening the first time will just make me look even more like a jerk. I'd have to quit the new company after 6 months as well, but at least this way I will have the experience in my career to be able to find a job more easily when I'm forced to move to a city where I don't know anyone.
Anyway sorry for all the words, a lot of factors here, I really appreciate anyone who can recognize any part of this and can tell me your experiences or just your common sense thoughts from what I’ve written.