This question was posed by a client early in her software development career.
Recruiters from software companies have been contacting me about jobs that aren’t my dream roles, but would pay almost double what I make now. Should I stay at a company where I'm underpaid but have a job that positions me for the role I really want or take one of these jobs which pays more in a position with less relevance to the job I eventually want? - Unsure in Early Career
Our Career Coaches respond:
We realize that this can be a tough decision and that there isn’t a one-size fits all answer. However, we recommend that you spend some time identifying your short and long-term goals, then choose how to prioritize.
Option 1: Follow the money
If your priority is earning more right now, then the offer of higher pay in a less dreamy role may be more valuable to you. Of course, this choice may take you away from your career plan. In this case, we suggest you view this venture as an opportunity to learn new skills and develop competencies while providing increased financial stability. Use your network to learn about career progression within the company before you make your move.
Option 2: Grind toward your goal…. with your company’s support
If you are totally committed to your career plan and love what you do, staying where you are and grinding toward that goal would be the likely choice for you. As you make plans to stay in your role, we suggest that you make time with your current manager or a mentor to discuss this very question. You could tell your manager/mentor that you’re getting other offers and wonder what opportunities may become available within the company. Seek this person’s advice on how you can best prepare for increased responsibility at the company. Going into this conversation, you’ll want to be well prepared to discuss your accomplishments in your current role as well as your short/long term goals with the company. Take time to show how you are an asset to the company in your role and have thoughtful ideas to address company needs going forward. Spend some time practicing your negotiation strategy. You should also be ready to hear that nothing will be available within the organization.
Summary: Make a plan then prioritize to meet your goals
Putting some serious thought into your near term plans now could work well for you, in more ways than one. As coaches, we would work with you to dig into your motivations and passions to help formulate a strategy to make it happen. To support your decision making process, consider our My Next Move workshop or a consultation to discuss your unique situation.