I have been on this website for more than ten years and thought I would dish out a bit of advice.
A bit of background:
I worked up to director level in trading, before going to get an MBA and changing industry to work in private equity. The exact same story repeated itself, so I thought I would share it and give some pearls of wisdom.
I was on a trading floor at a BB - my entire team had been decimated by the Lehman crisis and the year that followed was awful. I hated my job, worked with a trader who was an absolute ass hole and the other traders were not particularly good people either. I was mentally and physically abused every day, that was to be expected on a trading floor at the time, but this was made particularly worse given the constant state of fear of losing your job everyone was in. Long story short: I wanted to get out and seek a better life despite the BB I was at being top in their product group.
I interviewed at a few different places at the time but had one year of experience, not particularly great. Everyone was happy to interview me, I had a solid education and started to have a small reputation on the market.
I was offered the same job, with the same salary at a BB with the MD telling me he would shake with me on a guaranteed bonus but could not put it down in writing. My mentor at the time fortunately told me not to do this, as this was a stupid move. You have to understand I hated where I was and just wanted to get out. I listened to him and stayed put. Another bank offered me the same conditions, I did not have enough experience for them to hire me at a more senior level or pay me more - they just wanted to chance it on me.
Tip #1 - Don't Rush
When you are a junior, stick it out a few more years, don't rush out to move in your first or second year. PUT UP WITH THE SHIT. Remember that when you feel like the world is about to end you still have a job and you are not an ISIS sex slave.
After I was promoted to associate I was made an offer by another BB, this time with a guaranteed bonus and a decent salary. I went to my mentor, who again told me not to take it, as they were having me at a discount as he said.
Tip #2 - Two Jokers
He told me you have two jokers in your life, once you change job you burn one of your jokers so you better make your move count.
I listened to him and refused the offer. Just a week later a bank came to me and offered me a VP role and made me a stupid offer paying me pots of money. (The BB was guaranteeing me but taking me at the associate role I had just been promoted to), here I climbed a ladder in hierarchy and got paid. I took that offer and never regretted it.
What completely threw me off and the point of me writing this story is that I just had a similar experience happening to me.
I am in private equity at the moment as a post-MBA associate, been in the role for almost two years now. Love the job, don't like the instability of the management team. Had a few head hunters calling me so I took that opportunity to interview. Received three offers, just said no to all three...
Two wanted to promote me to a level higher than my current one, but one wanted to pay me below my current base... The other one was a startup fund and did not want to sign any carry but promised that after six months they would give me some carry. The last one wanted to offer me the same level of seniority with an oral promise to promote me after six months.
Fortunately in this case I do not need a mentor to figure out what to do with my life, but I still ran this idea with people more senior than me and asked them their opinions.
Tip #3 - Get a mentor
Get a mentor and run things through him, if you don't have a mentor never make a decision on your own - get some feedback from others, keeping in mind you don't have to listen to everything they say
Tip #4 - Headhunters = BS
Head hunters will bull shit everything, NEVER listen to a word they say. They do not have your interest at heart, ignore the fuck out of them. I was thinking to myself just now: if I had been just a bit younger, those ass holes were so persuasive about me leaving I could have potentially listened to them
Tip #5 - Don't rush to make a decision
If you hate your place, do not think of how great it will be to leave your job. That thought is fantastic, but this should not drive your decision. You might rush things to get to this nirvana of saying fuck you to the people you don't like. Don't follow that idea (incidentally one of the head hunter kept on telling me "remember why you want to leave", they play on this emotion as it is extremely powerful)
(sorry if the above was hard to follow): I still don't like the management where I am - I am not paid what I should be paid - I don't have the title that I want. But it's a long game. I have time. The longer I stay where I am, the more I learn and the higher my value goes up in the market. I compare it to trading, you can trade in and out of a stock and make a bit of cash, but if you stick with it you get to collect the dividend and sell for a much bigger payout, in this case a better title, bonus, etc... I might be wrong in what I did, one of the offer could have been for a much better future job, but I don't want to risk it. A new environment has too many variables you do not control - where you currently are you know everything and have some built in goodwill, this should never be underestimated.
I am sure I can dish out some more wisdom following this post - but at this point I can't be asked. I hope that this LONG ass post might hopefully give some sort of feedback to some of you out there. Don't rush into things and consider everything. They are doing a lot of DD on you, do the same on them.