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I have a question about a possible shift in my career.

Right now, I'm overseeing 25 people. I like to call them my "indirects", because while I'm running operations and training, writing reviews and giving feedback, their project managers have as much or more authority over them as I do.

I have a company that is actively, almost desperately, trying to recruit me to do the same job for them. I've made a bit of a name for myself in my field of expertise, namely switching architects from 2D CAD to the newer BIM technology. I'm also known for making templates and small add-ons to the program to cut down on repetitive tasks and simplify the usage for a company's specific needs. My work in that area (before I knew how to manage and was just the tech geek) cut an average of 5 to 10% off the production time of each project we did.

This company's transition was not going well when their current leader of the transition left. Now they want me to help get them on course... the difference is that they have some 200 users compared to the 25 I have now.

It is fair to say that improving the effectiveness of 200 users is much more valuable to a company than doing so for 25 and that my salary should be significantly higher in the new role?

WillDuke's picture

It certainly sounds like you'd have more responsibility and a greater impact. It certainly seems reasonable to expect greater compensation for more impact. We all hope our compensation increases throughout our career. So, yeah, I'd say you're looking at a bigger paycheck.

TomW's picture

I realize there are a whole host of reasons to or not to change from one company to another. I'm already going back and forth on that.... I have a list of pros and cons a mile long. A side of me likes the staff I have now (both personally and professionally), another likes the challenge of improving a whole other company.

I also like the idea of spreading Manager Tools philosophies to a whole new group!

WillDuke's picture

Uh oh. An MT disciple! :lol:

TomW's picture

I should also mention my direct superior would be the CIO, which I think is a relatively high-level position. Is that a fair call?

vinnie2k's picture

[quote="TomW"]I realize there are a whole host of reasons to or not to change from one company to another. I'm already going back and forth on that.... I have a list of pros and cons a mile long. A side of me likes the staff I have now (both personally and professionally), another likes the challenge of improving a whole other company. [/quote]
What does your gut tell you?

I have found (from personal experience) that my gut makes decisions and my head rationalizes them.

vinnie2k's picture

[quote="TomW"]I should also mention my direct superior would be the CIO, which I think is a relatively high-level position. Is that a fair call?[/quote]
I think it is, but we'll talk about that when we meet :-)

TomW's picture

[quote="vinnie2k"]I think it is, but we'll talk about that when we meet :-)[/quote]

It will be a recap by then. My interview dinner is Thursday!

US41's picture

I currently manage less than 20 people. If someone offered me a position managing 200, I'd expect my paycheck to increase in size a substantial amount.

If I was reporting to the CIO, then I'd expect a very large paycheck - that's a VP position where I am currently, and those guys are pulling down around the $500,000 mark in my company with huge bonuses.

Also account for the size of the company. If you report to a CIO who has 30,000 folks in his tower, you'll be justified in asking for a small fortune. If you are moving to a smaller company where the CIO has 400 people, then you can expect a far less substantial increase.

It has been my experience that small companies pay proportionally smaller amounts for the same work at the upper levels.

TomW's picture

I'm looking at moving from managing 25 staff members in a 50-person company to overseeing (I can't bring myself to say "manage") 200 members of a 400-person company (with offices in 5 cities over 3 countries)

US41's picture

[quote="TomW"]I'm looking at moving from managing 25 staff members in a 50-person company to overseeing (I can't bring myself to say "manage") 200 members of a 400-person company (with offices in 5 cities over 3 countries)[/quote]

I would expect an increase. I would not expect a massive one. A 400 person company is a smallish medium-sized company and probably has limited resources for extravagant salaries.

mikehansen's picture

Tom,

A lot of good comments so far. My take is to look long term.

The company you are looking at already has an idea of the salary range for this position. The salary range of the new company vs. your current one will depend on a lot of factors, most of which are outside your control. I would suggest focusing on if the salary and opportunity are a good fit for you rather than a comparison against your current role.

To me, 90% of the money decision should be “If I go down this path, what will I be making in 3 years and 5 years?” I have trouble getting excited about short term compensation bumps if they come at the cost of longer term growth opportunity. Look at your list of pros and cons with the “long term” filter and it may shed some light on what is really important.

As to the CIO question, typically it is a very senior position. However, there are a lot of variations on the role the CIO plays in the organization. Here are some questions I would want to know about their IT environment:

1) Is the CIO part of the senior leadership team? Does she participate in the highest level of discussions with the CEO, CFO, etc? Is she part of the solutioning, or just the person who implements the idea?

2) What has the IT budget been over the past 5 years? You do not need numbers, but you need to understand if they have been ramping up or cutting back.

3) Do they consider IT to be a strategic competitive advantage, or is it a cost to be managed?

4) Where do they see ITs role in 3 years and 5 years? What might your role be for them in this time frame?

Again, it all feeds back into looking at the long term opportunity for you.

Hope this was helpful. Good luck in your decision!

-Mike H

WillDuke's picture

Nice post Mike. Good details. Obvious thought went into it.

I'm still constantly amazed at how much effort the community here donates.

James Gutherson's picture

I agree with Will - good post Mike.

My thoughts on the overall topic are that yes generally more people under you equals more pay - however I do not necessarily think that is a good thing especially as we move to flater organisations - I think recompence should be linked to breadth of experience/competence and the ability to influence across a wider part of the organisation rather than just the number of people below you on the org-chart.

TomW's picture

Thanks, everyone, for your input!

I'm trying to look at a few things. Among them are:
[list][*]present happiness - the short story is that I'm happy where I work with the people I work for. I love the staff and I am well paid for what I do. In order for me to move, there needs to be overwhelming positives to the move
[*] the long term - will I be happy I did this 5 years or 10 years from now or will I wish I had stayed where I am? Will the new company keep me around that long even?
[*]am I setting a pattern - I got one company up and running very well. Am I looking to stick with that one company or am I looking to be a traveling gun?
[*]impact - I have a chance to make a huge impact with this company and an even bigger name for myself, giving more of a resume builder for the future (if I want to go the traveling gun approach)
[*]difficulty of work - much of what I do now is in the maintenance and progress mode, keeping an well-oiled well-functioning machine working. This would be a huge increase in difficulty, since my sources tell me their machines aren't so oiled and functional.[/list:u]

There's a lot of other things in there, like the longer commute and the change in compensation. The compensation is the easy one to ask others about if it's likely or not. It's also a venue to other things. My girlfriend is likely to soon be my fiancee and we're talking about buying a place. We'd both like to live in the city and higher compensation is a way to pull that off... you get the point ;-)

The rest are things I need to work out for myself to determine what I really want in my career!

Mark's picture

All comparisons regarding salary and potential for influence break down completely when organization size drops below about 500 people. Those kinds of comparisons only work with much larger firms.

I wouldn't assume that because of the two criteria suggested there would be a large increase...to say nothing of what various folks would consider large.

Yes, 200 people is more...but it depends on the structure of those 200, and how many layers between you and them. and how related those folks are to the core revenue (or costs) of the new firm.

Sure, there's a good chance pay will be higher....but what difference does it make? Why not go get the offer, and then you won't have to worry about what the difference MIGHT be....you'll KNOW it.

Sorry this took me so long, and surely this post is OBE...but it's a learning point nonetheless.

Mark