Part of what we really try to push on our candidates is the idea of “Career Equity” when seeking out a potential job change. Many of our candidates initially think in black and white terms such as base salary, vacation time and bonus potential. Right behind those three things usually come benefits, commute and overall quality of life. Now…all of these things are huge factors when making a change but we also need to examine the not so obvious “career equity” gained in your next move.
What is “Career Equity”?
When I’m talking about “career equity” I am referring to the gain you receive from working at a specific employer or gaining access to pathways which could lead to a more rewarding financial picture down the road.
So lets take the example of Tim who is a 7 year Project Manager with a small Civil Construction company in New York and is looking at making a move. Tim feels he is a bit under paid and also would like to one day run large construction projects in the $100MM range. Tim is earning $ 87k per year with a car allowance and working on $10MM project.
Tim takes two interviews. The first company is a direct competitor of his current employer and the interview goes well. He knows the exact type of work they do and they recognize he would need no training on their end. The company offers him $110k plus a vehicle and the title of Senior Project Manager.
The second company is a major player in the $100MM plus mega project market. The company is national and has a great presence in the New York area. The VP of Opps likes Tim even though his experience is on the much smaller side than what they do. He thinks Tim could be a star down the line but needs to really learn how they do things. He offers Tim the title “Project Engineer” and a base salary of $100k plus the same allowance he has now.
Using the Crystal Ball
So a lot of people will automatically say that Tim makes a mistake going to the bigger company. After all he leaves $10k on the table, plus a vehicle and the better title right? Wrong.
Tim’s move to the competitor would do nothing to increase his marketability 10 years down the road. At that point he would be pigeon holed into the market of smaller sized jobs and would be priced out from moving to a larger company as he won’t offer them value.
If he moves to the larger company with more challenges and less money his 10 yr expectation sky rockets. Not only will he be marketable to all the major players but he would be just as marketable if not more to the mid-level and smaller companies as well. He has in essence opened up 10x opportunities for the future.
Considering All Factors
No situation is simply black and white and we understand that a job search is a complicated process with many layers from commute to future earning potential. What we advise our candidates to do is consider that long view and the unseen equity they will get out of their next move.