Is a New Job worth it?

I have the opportunity to apply for a new position at work.  If I were to get the job, it would mean a 3% (I know huge right – I work for the government) raise.  The position essentially formalizes the job that I currently do, which is why I will probably end up applying for it in the end.

There are a few positive things that going for this position may lead to (other then the tens and tens of dollars I would get as a raise).

Higher potential earnings:  My workplace classifies positions into specific job bands.  I am currently at the maximum of my current job band, as I have been in the same position since I graduated University 6 years ago.  The new position is one job band up, which would allow for salary growth to occur in future years.

Management Experience:  I don’t have any management experience – this position is almost ideal for me in this aspect as I would not really have people reporting to me, but I would have a mentoring/training role.  I am leery in dealing with personnel issues, such as performance reports and dealing with people’s personal problems, but I enjoy teaching people new things.

More interesting work: As much as I enjoy my current position (hence the reason I have stayed in it for an extended period of time) the added complexity of the work in the new position might make my workday more interesting.

There are a couple of potential negative outcomes if I were to get this job:

Greater Scrutiny of my work: The more complex work I would be doing would come with increased scrutiny by management.  Although not a bad thing, it could add more stress to my workday that I currently don’t have to deal with.  Additionally, right now I am one of 50 people doing a similar job – the new position would make me one of 6, which I guess would put more of a “spotlight” on me than I currently have.  Now, I can essentially fade into the background, which wouldn’t be possible in the new position.

I could continue doing what I am doing and do it well:  I have gotten excellent performance reviews in the past few years and am good at my current position.  There is a potential of failure, as I would be leaving my comfort zone with some of the duties I would have to carry out.  If I were to stay in my current position I wouldn’t have to worry about this issue.

For me, the potential positives outweigh the negatives in this situation.  My goal is to be highly employable – hence the reason for the accounting designation and other training I have gotten on the job.  The added responsibility will hopefully help me quickly find a comparable position if I were to ever lose my current job (something that could potentially devastate my plans for early retirement).  The added benefit of higher potential earnings in future years could also help in paying off my debt and creating a pool of savings.

What do you think?  I realize I have been somewhat vague on specifics, but does this seem like a good idea?  How do you decide whether to go for a promotion or stay where you’re at?

6 thoughts on “Is a New Job worth it?”

  1. One of the most intelligent supervisors I ever worked for had a philosophy…he would change jobs every 5 years. It worked well for him.

    In contrast,I, playing the fool, remained in basically the same cushy position for about 20 years. This in part lead to my quasi early retirement at age 55 due to reorg and my boredom etc. Now I go sailing while some of those guys who took those promotions are still at work.

    In hindsight, in some ways at least, I would have been happier going for the promotions that I could have gotten. There were a few that would have been a slam dunk since I knew the guys who were hiring.

    In the end, there is no perfect way to go. There are some advantages to not loving your job too much if your pension plan encourages early retirement and you are suited for it. On the other hand…there are a lot of years to put in even if you retire early.

  2. About three years ago I had a potential opportunity for promotion that I didn’t pursue due to a combination of lack of confidence along with not being sure that the new position would be challenging enough to keep me interested *plus* loyalty to my existing team and a dislike for my would-be manager. Although I was an expert at my then-position, that job was practically sucking the life out of me (lots of stress and unpredictable long hours) and I felt “ready” to move on to the next level … so I didn’t hesitate when the opportunity arose again recently (under a different manager). Now after being promoted, there are some things I definitely miss but overall I have no regrets because this is a positive change for me in the grand scheme of things (better quality of life and higher pay, both of which will allow me to reach my goals faster). In a nutshell, I believe that you should go for it rather than stagnate in something that’s merely comfortable.

  3. I drop my two cents into this discussion. I generally believe we all need a challenge in our work to be happy doing it. Repeating the same tasks over and over long enough and it will get to you and you likely will start to dislike your job.

    Now to take the job or not. Well that is a deeply personal decision which involves money, quality of life and happiness factors. I can’t make it for you.

    Best of luck,

  4. If it’s making you more marketable in the future, even if it didn’t come with a raise, I would say go for it.

    I would actually say go for it, and start planning your exit strategy out of government completely as soon as possible. Personally, I wouldn’t hire anyone in industry who had worked for the government a long time (more than a couple of years).

    Greater scrutiny of your work is only a positive, I can’t see any negatives to that at all. Fading into the woodwork is for drones that don’t want to get anywhere.

    I also found in my career that being “higher up” and having a bigger and better title creates a much better impression in other people’s minds when you move on.

  5. This is a scenario that a lot of people face, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to become more employable is a wise move, sitting still is no longer an option. Financial security and future planning is in the back of all our minds and as people get closer to retirement it is too late to say “what if I took the promotion…”

  6. First off, it seldom hurts to apply for different positions. Doing so keeps your job-seeking skills sharp.

    Next, never forget that, even in a government job, the starting salary is negotiable. If you’re offered the position, then ask for the customary 10% pay raise above what you’re currently making.

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