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Career decision

Career decision

Career decision

I am mid to senior level project manager and have two job opportunites in environmental engineering/consulting.

Job #1 - OK pay, decent projects, ability to chart my own course and career direction.  Three weeks paid vacation, with ability to buy up to two additional weeks through nominal paycheck deductions. Flex time - as long as you put in 80 hrs in two weeks, the hours are up to you (within reason and subject to client limitations, of course). Company supports unpaid leaves of absence, etc.

Job #2 - Better pay with significantly better future pay potential, better/more technical projects and coworkers, and hence better potential for self-improvement and technical development. Slightly less ability to chart own course and decide which projects to work on. Standard (2 weeks to start) vacation and work hours.

To me it seems to be an issue of quality of life (Job #1) versus quality of career and career development(Job #2).

I realize I am very fortunate to have this "problem", but hope to stay in my new position a LONG time and appreciate any advice, especially from those that have faced a similar choice in the past.

RE: Career decision

IMO, the "quality of career development" is the way to go, the "quality of life will come with it. I pick #2. Reads more stable.

RE: Career decision

Since you've delineated the choices in that fashion, QOL seems to be pretty important to you.  

The question is whether the career is as, or more, important.

Only you can decide that.  When you are at the end of your life, will you regret not spending more time on the job?


RE: Career decision

#1 "ability to chart my own course and career direction"

Ahem. That's worth a lot in my book, and the rest looks very nice, if a bit odd for the USA.

Either way it is a nice choice to have!


Greg Locock

RE: Career decision

If you could negotiate a similar quality of life package with #2 then which would you choose?  With experienced people it is possible to negotiate outside of the "standard" starting package.


RE: Career decision

#2 seems to go along with industry standards... You need to decide whether quality life means more pay or more flexibility, vacation, and career developement.  In my view, #1 has both quality of life and career development potential.  There's something to be said about leaving college and making more than your peers.  But there's more to be said about liking your work environment.

Aaron Spearin, EIT
ChemE, M.E.
"The only constant in life is change." -Dan Andia; 1999, Chemical Engineering Progress

RE: Career decision

I'd be wary of assuming that you are going to stay at any company for a LONG time. It's not that you'd be sacked but that the company will either merge, downsize, go bust, be sold, or whose profits have been calculated by accountants who take their birthday and add three zeros to the end of it. I'd go for #2 as it makes you more 'sellable' should you have to change jobs.


RE: Career decision

I would suggest that you look at where you are in your life.  If you have a family, children, etc... you need to look at how the change will affect or benefit them.  Career choice #1 would definately give you all the time that you need to spend with them and that IS important.  On the other hand, if you either have a young family or no family, Career choice #2 will definately help you better prepare for the future by using the extra money that you will make to invest in your future, prepare for retirement and sending your children to college.  

RE: Career decision

I'd go for job 1. You'll get a better quality of life and can direct your career where you want it to go.

You may also earn more money in the long run. Having a technical job is not very well paid if you are ambitious. How many company Directors have good technical skills?

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