Hi all,

I would be appreciative of your thoughts on this. I have the luxury of choosing between two roles. Either

1) A regional management role for global firm very similar to my current role. Remuneration is similar. eg. $100K, Or

2) A technical, mainly independent contributor role at a smaller domestic firm which brings in 70% more in guaranteed bonuses over two years. eg $170K. The motivation for the firm being to attract talent.

This seems to be a real choice between career or high remuneration for a over a two year period.

Any thoughts from you on the consequences of "stepping out" of a career for a couple of years? Money now is better than money later? Go for the career and the remuneration will soon follow?

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. I am also aware that analysts are expecting a recession (or depression) through to 2012!


TomW's picture
Training Badge

I think a big question is the "guarantee". As you mentioned, the economy is not great right now. If the company is tanking, they may not be able to give you a bonus at all, let alone $70K worth in two years.

Anything outside of salary is not guaranteed at all. There is always a major "IF" or "AS LONG AS" clause in there somewhere. If it's salary, it's still not a guarantee, but it's more secure than a bonus is. As Mark often says, "If you don't have something, then you have nothing."

The best long-term role will be the one in which you gain new marketable experience and accomplishments. Also, consider which one you may want to stay with longer, building some seniority and other benefits.

If that's role #1, then it's worth more than the $70K in bonuses. If it's role #2, then the possibility for extra money is just gravy.

To me, it seems like there are a few things to consider:
1) Why are you changing jobs? Is either of these new roles better for you than your current one?
2) Just how "guaranteed" is that "guarantee"?
3) What happens if #2 does not offer better experience and performs poorly enough that you do not get the bonuses? Is the risk of no gain at all acceptable?
4) Is company #2's only idea to attract talent to offer them bonuses? If that's as creative as they are, do you really want to work there?
5) When you are leaving the #2 role in the future, what will you tell recruiters about why you took that jobs and why you are leaving it now? It better be something other than "They had a rocking bonus plan"

jhack's picture

Do what you love, and the money will follow.


AManagerTool's picture

I don't know what your goals are but ..... Nobody ever got rich doing what they loved. They get rich being OUTSTANDING at doing what they love. Sometimes they can make a living at being GOOD at what they love. But nobody gets rich SUCKING at what they love.....with the exception of like Neal Young. The best of the worst guitar players that ever lived.

Example: I love guitar....Try as I might, I suck at it. My wife hides my patch cable and steals tubes out of my amp so she doesn't have to hear it. It is simply that bad....LOL I just don't have the time (I'm 40) or determination to get there and nobody will pay me for my current skills. Seeking a career as a sessionist would be a mistake even though I love it.

Look, it all depends upon what you want. Personally, a 70% increase in salary would definitely get my attention. Things are tight, I could use the money. I don't know what your financial situation is or your career plans. I just read a book about managing your career called, "The millionaire in the mirror" by Gene Bedell. It was a pretty good book that tells people to be a heat seeking missile in your career plan. That is, have a career plan and only take positions that help you reach those goals. I don't know how practical it would be for someone out of a job and in danger of loosing their house, car, kids, wife etc. I think in that instance, finances rule!

misstenacity's picture

Interesting segue about having home/family obligations.

It makes me wonder if taking MORE risks, career-wise, is absolutely appropriate (and possibly recommended) if one's external obligations are very minor.


TomW's picture
Training Badge

[quote="misstenacity"]Interesting segue about having home/family obligations.

It makes me wonder if taking MORE risks, career-wise, is absolutely appropriate (and possibly recommended) if one's external obligations are very minor.[/quote]

I'd say that depends on the person. Some are more risk averse in general. Some people prefer a slow, steady progression, others want to see huge gains in a short span.

It all depends on where you want to go, how fast you want to get there, and your own personal tolerance for change.

jeremyjgreen's picture

Thanks all. I really agree with much that you have written. My current obligations are fairly light - no children. I wholly concur that there is no better scenario for taking risks and to not be aggressive in your career with that risk scenario really is pretty mediocre.

I am going to go for the guarantee. Actually the employment contract through my lawyer and am aware of what it would take to not get the guarantee. However, this was not what swung me...

I actually sat down with these guys at interview and aired several of my concerns regarding how they were going about their hiring and project; namely that they had not thought out an IT management structure. It would a case of get everyone in and it would happen.

Anyway, it seemed to strike a chord for them, as the next meeting was with their CIO and CEO and as I was taken on with a global management role with this project as a initial delivery.

I do not think I would recommend this tactic to people at interview as there were a number of contributing factors to their eagerness to hire, however it does go to show that having a conversation with stakeholders can go a long way.

Thanks again!

HMac's picture

Congratulations Jeremy - sounds like your professional approach was noticed, and it paid off. Good luck!