Money vs. Experience

LIBORorBUST's picture
Rank: Baboon | 134

At what point does a higher salary/bonus trump gaining better experience?

Disclaimer: I do not work in IB. I work about 50 hours a week (60 at best during a busy time) at a BB in what is considered a "more desirable" group within Corporate/Commercial Banking. While my pay is decent, I have received offers which pay $10-15K higher than my current salary; however, experience wise, my current role offers much better transaction experience (and financial modeling) compared to the positions which I have received offers for. I do not make a lot of money compared to most people on this forum, but it is ok for working 50 hours per week.

At what point should a person take the pay bump rather than stay at his/her current firm and gain better experience?

Comments (26)

Dec 12, 2017

I don't think anyone can answer that for you without knowing your goals (for example, are the other offers better aligned with your long term goals?)

Probably the easiest decision metric is asking yourself if you're happy with your current role, group, and path. If yes, then stay (I imagine you're making pretty good money and working 50 hours a week isn't too bad).

Dec 13, 2017

to start, how many years into your career are you? are the offers in the same city or if a different location, have you adjusted for cost of living? is this a lateral offer - sr analyst to sr analyst or a promotion - like sr analyst to AVP or something like that depending on the org structure?

Dec 13, 2017
td12:

to start, how many years into your career are you? are the offers in the same city or if a different location, have you adjusted for cost of living? is this a lateral offer - sr analyst to sr analyst or a promotion - like sr analyst to AVP or something like that depending on the org structure?

Roughly 2.5 years. Analyst at BB. I have been at the BB for 1.5 years and prior to that I was at a no-name shop for 1 year. This would be a promotion to Associate at what is considered a mid-sized REIT. I have no RE experience.

Offers are in the same city.

Dec 14, 2017

@BreakingOutOfPWM beat me to the punch. I directionally agree - the first 1-10 years of your career should be focused on getting the best experiences as possible to build a solid foundation for the remainder of your career. If you feel the experience at your BB is materially better than the offer, then I'd consider staying. Don't be too worried about leaving money on the table this early in your career. Get solid experience and it'll be will a rounding error later down the road.

Dec 13, 2017

It's called Net Present Value.....of course I wouldn't necessarily get a calculator out, but just think about it. What is the net present value of each career path 5 to 10 years out?

Does the job with more experience lead to a greater NPV or is it the higher salary right now? If the NPV isn't greater from the job with more experience, it isn't worth it unless it has other intangible benefits such as better work/life balance etc.

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Dec 13, 2017

Pretty much every good employee can leave their firm for more money somewhere else. My feeling is in your 20's, you shouldn't worry about the size of the paycheck, it's all about crafting an early career that will launch you later.

There are two factors I would consider.
1. Am I satisfied with my current employer in terms of both my present job (including work life balance etc) and future opportunities/likelihood for advancement?
2. Will the new role offer additional experience that augments that which I have now from a resume standpoint, or is it a step towards a role I want to do within the next 5-10 years?

If the answer to 1 is yes then I wouldn't leave unless 2 is a resounding yes. If the answer to 2 is no I wouldn't leave just for a pay bump. I wouldn't take a new job just for pay unless my career had already peaked (i.e. pre-retirement).

From a resume standpoint, it's usually more impactful to see someone who was able to successfully be promoted multiple times at one organization that someone who leverages into roles with new organizations. Just my two cents.

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Dec 13, 2017

Great post. So, going from say $70K to $85K is probably not worth it if the experience at the $70K job is better?

Dec 14, 2017

Fully agree with BreakingOutofPWM from a job learning / resume stand point.

The other thing to think about is what does an additional $15k pre-tax and $11k post-tax really get you? Is your life meaningfully better with that incremental amount of money (I don't mean being able to spend money on more discretionary shit like clothes or fancier meals)? For most people, if they were a happy person making $70k, they're equally as happy at $85k. If they were a miserable person at $70k, they'll be just as miserable at $85k. Now, if the extra $11k got you out of an external situation that made you miserable, then it's worth at least taking into consideration. For example, if you were like living in NY on $70k having to literally share a room with someone you hated and an extra $1k a month allows you to get your own room, that is at least worth a thought. But for the most part, life isn't all that different. Even then, I would still think about the long goal, which goes back to the BreakingOutofPWM's response, will the experience you're get at a new job better position you for your longer term goal (5 years, 10 years, etc), whether that's a higher pay, better work life balance, better relationships, etc.

From the sounds of it, the new job doesn't get you much besides paying more in taxes every year.

Dec 14, 2017

Not if it doesn't move you closer to your long term goals than your current job.

Dec 14, 2017

This is a really great response. I will note that something to be cognizant of if you do pick #1 is that you need to be careful to assert yourself during annual reviews regarding market level compensation. Internal promotes, over time, will tend to be disadvantaged from an overall compensation perspective so you need to continuously gauge the market for your compensation, align your performance to that and set it as your goal. Not saying it will work, but, you should at least be mindful of it.

Dec 14, 2017

You can always do an MBA down the road. Don't worry about taking the best offer available.

Dec 14, 2017

You can reinvent yourself a million times if you want. Hell after college, Bruce Kovner worked as a tax driver and Phil Falcone played minor league hockey.

Dec 14, 2017

I have a very strong belief that when you're young you should always take experience over more $$. More $$ now doesn't necessarily mean more $ later. However more experience now usually converts to more $ later.

I don't get this 'financial services' stuff you talk off. Brokerage sales is pretty much financial services. Analyst is more on the research side than financial services. Just my opinion.

Dec 14, 2017

I guess I was trying to say that analyst positions are more quantitative and technical which I feel gives you a better foundation for most of the areas of finance if you want to move into different sectors.

Dec 14, 2017

Best way I know of to make a bunch of money is to focus on 1-2 things and be the best at what you do in those areas. Unless ADIA was swooping in to triple my salary, I'm not relocating to the fucking desert to be a widget in their organization; especially when you're doing soup to nuts real estate in your current role. That is personal preference, and you have to decide for yourself.

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Dec 14, 2017

Would you happen to know the typical compensation package for an associate at ADIA? How difficult is it to land a job there? Looks like they invested in some pretty high profile deals.

Dec 14, 2017

Stay where you are. Although if you do leave, can you pls send me your employer's contact info so I can apply for your old job?

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Dec 14, 2017

Would like to be added to this mailing list.

Dec 14, 2017

I would think down the road you are going to want to specialize somewhere in development, so if "development management" roles are where you see yourself, the international experience seems pretty cool.

I'm curious, what is your current role/level in your company, Associate,VP? That seems like a pretty decent comp package you have right now.

Dec 14, 2017

I eventually want to do development on my own. I know and understand multi-family but I've worked in retail development before and wouldn't mind making the switch back and choosing to focus on that going forward. Considering I want to do my own deals I do enjoy having the opportunity to source deals at my current company however we only have so much capacity so I wont be likely to source another deal for a year or maybe two.

I'm currently an associate probably soon to be VP.

Dec 14, 2017
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