What's more important? Company or position?

I've been working at a Fortune 500 company now for almost six months. It's a successful, highly profitable, high-growth company with a very strong domestic and international brand. I like working there, I like telling people that I work there, and I'm proud of being a part of the success story of the company. There's just one problem: I'm in a back-office, operational department and the duties that I have are very specific (meaning I'm not sure if they could transfer anywhere else). I'm very interested in FP&A, so my plan is to work in my current role for two years and then try to transfer internally. I know of at least two people in this exact department (and one more in a similar department) who have successfully made the transfer, so I think that with some networking, I could do that too.

A few weeks ago, one of the companies that I interviewed for before landing my current gig emailed me about a new opening that they had in FP&A. I went in for an interview, and now I have an offer from them. Compensation and benefits are practically the same, but the two companies couldn't be more different. This new company is a moderately sized (~60 billion in TA), regional bank that is performing slightly under the average in their peer group. I don't feel I would take much pride in working there. Also, although I'd be working in FP&A, I've heard that FP&A for a bank is different enough from other companies that I wouldn't be able to readily switch to non-bank companies. This could be problematic, because I don't really feel any attraction to the banking industry, and I would actually prefer to end up in almost any other industry.

So I guess the basic question here is what is more important, the company or the position? If my eventual goal is to work in FP&A at a large, successful corporation, what is my best course of action right now?

Comments (20)

 
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12/31/69

I would personally take perfect company if you think that the chance to move is real. Otherwise, perfect job. Keep in mind that maybe a year or two at perfect company would also allow you to move to perfect job at another (non-perfect, but maybe better than other option) company?

 
12/31/69

Offer 1. No discussion.

Moving to a more elite company in the same role is much easier than transitioning to a more elite position even to a less-elite company.

 
 
12/31/69

Role > Brand most of the time. Sure, BCG might tempt you with "do this role for 2 years, and we may have a spot in the role you really want but 2 years is some time that you could be gaining some valuable experience. I would possibly go with the smaller firm if your role is more important. Otherwise, if brand is more important I would go with BCG. This also depends on your long term goals? Do you want to go to business school? Become a partner at M/B/B? What's the long term plan?

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

 
12/31/69

Long term I would want to do an MBA in the next 3-5 years and after that get into one of the leading firms to work up to partner. I think I know that it's better to take the smaller firm due to how rare it is for the big firms to allow research to consultancy internal movements (having spoken to one of the researchers today, you would have to move to knowledge analyst first).

 
 
12/31/69

I agree with your girlfriend.

 
12/31/69

I guess I'm just depressed that all I can find are lateral opportunities. Feeling a little desperate :(

 
12/31/69

Definitely not. From what I've been told by HHs most hiring occurs at the start of the new year (especially so this year considering the fiscal shit, election, etc)...stick it out man.

 
12/31/69

not unless you wanted to be looked down and be treated like a second class citizen

if you are not in a desperate position, I'd continue waiting for the right opp as they will pop up

Born in hell, forged from suffering, hardened by pain.

 
12/31/69

i was once offered some MO job at Och-Ziff, needless to say i did not accept.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

 
12/31/69
 
12/31/69
Whiskey5:

Are you at a boutique?

Wells DCM/Lev Fin, if memory serves.

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

 
12/31/69

Unless a shop tended to draw its FO from MO ranks, I would never do it. I interviewed at Bain Cap's MO once but honestly had zero interest.

 
 
12/31/69

Just had a discussion about this with a former F500 x 2 CEO and current F50 President and he said neither. He said it is all about the money. I literally discussed this exact question with him yesterday as I have interviews for another BB despite being at my current BB.

What is the first question another company will ask you during the negotiation? ...what is your current salary

He also said titles don't mean shit. He said they could give him the title of waterboy but if he was making more then his last place he did not care.

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

 
12/31/69
yeahright:

Just had a discussion about this with a former F500 x 2 CEO and current F50 President and he said neither. He said it is all about the money. I literally discussed this exact question with him yesterday as I have interviews for another BB despite being at my current BB.

What is the first question another company will ask you during the negotiation? ...what is your current salary

He also said titles don't mean shit. He said they could give him the title of waterboy but if he was making more then his last place he did not care.

This becomes more of a factor as you get older though. The CEO is close(r) to retirement so future positions are of less importance to him vs. money today. For those starting out their careers both brand and title can have a huge impact on your future earnings potential (maybe you were implying this).

OP, I think it would be very situational in a case like that. But if you were looking at something like BB Ops analyst vs. IB MM analyst everyone on this board would say go banking (assuming you want to do banking). One thing you really have to be careful at when dealing with smaller firms is the culture (personal experience here). Make sure you research the shit out of the place, check glassdoor, contact former employees, etc. because if you don't fit in or there are other issues it won't be fun.

 
12/31/69

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