I've been asked to make a choice about my next role with my employer. Do I want to manage an internal Support Function (basically a compliance unit), or manage a Profit Function (responsible for generating revenue from external clients). How would you go about making this decision? I'm not so much interested in a survey of preferences as I am in input on the factors you might consider and how you would weight them. Thanks!

pneuhardt's picture

First, all other things being equal, which job would you prefer to have? Never overlook the happiness factor. Happiness and job satisfaction are often a good trade for money and position. If it were not, we would have very poor police, fire and military protection as well as nothing but poor teachers in the schools. Thank goodness so many good and capable people work in these generally underpaid and under-appreciated professions.

Next, consider which position is the better stepping stone to your long term goals and plans. A general rule of thumb is that the profit center is going to be the better path to upper and senior management. Not always, but it's how the safe money bets. If that level of management is your goal, that should probably be a factor.

Also, does one department/career path offer more growth potential to you. Is one path more of a professional "dead end" either in terms of advancement or challenge?

Lastly, which job fits in to the lifestyle you want to lead right now. Is one more likely to have an impact on home and family, and if so are you willing to accept that impact? Does one position pay more?

bflynn's picture

The profit center role would be most career enhancing if you've never done it before. If you can prove that you can reliably operate for a profit, then you're above others who have never had that chance.

All else equal, I suggest the profit center role. Talk to others to discover what both roles really entail. Try to ignore feelings of comfort and focus on whether you can be effective.