Work advice: when is it okay to move on?

  1. Hi everyone, so many of you ladies are so accomplished that I know you will have good advice.

    I'm in marketing/PR and have been working in a small firm for about seven months. I'm thinking of leaving, however, because it is extremely clear that there is no way to grow in this firm... there simply isn't a need for me to expand my role, plus, a small firm does not have room to promote or the money for consistant raises.

    However, I get along freakishly well with one of the partners who is my immediate boss. I really enjoy his company and like him as a person. No kidding, he has literally searched years to find a person he can "click" with to fulfill this role. Prior to arrive, my tasks were split between other members of the firm to do in bits and pieces. I also really like the other people I work with (except one man, which is pretty decent odds in my opinion) and we socialize frequently outside of work.

    I remember upon being hired that my boss was very paranoid I would leave. He used to tell everyone they had better be nice to me! This in large part is because I'm sure he, too, knows that a firm like this cannot really support someone eager to grow into an advanced career... so because of that, he is really not especially eager to see my skills grow... he likes our set-up the way it is and hopes it can remain that way.

    The field I work in is a close-knit community, and although my firm is fairly small, everyone knows the partners and they have a lot of influence in the city of Chicago. I am apprehensive about ticking off the partner I work with by quitting too soon. The only real con to my job is that as far as I can see, there's just no room to grow. I'd rather start at a larger company and move up the ranks rather than stay in a small company and hope to end up somewhere in the middle of the ladder at a big corporation when I decide to make a move... I think the latter is a tougher situation.

    I'm not seriously looking for another job, but I did email a partner at a large firm I had interviewed with prior to taking a job at this firm and to my delight, he said that he would love to have lunch with me. We're having lunch this Friday.

    I really do not want it to seem like I'm going behind my boss's back. I also don't feel like this is really something I can speak openly to him about.

    Am I being too antsy? Or should I try to move to a bigger firm? I do not want it to seem like I'm unwilling to pay my dues (trust me, I am PAYING at this current firm, and I don't mind... I can handle the 70 hours a week and the grudge work on top) but I don't want to pay them forever!

    Thanks so much for any advice you can give me.
  2. How long have you been there? How do you know there's no room to grow. I mean, Microsoft started with a couple of geeks writing code.
  3. You said you've been there 7 months. I'd say stick it out through the holidays and make it one year. Any less and it won't look great on your resume. I'd also specifically ask for a one-year review from your boss. This way you can map out what you've done/learned in the past year and make goals for the future. In this kind of atmosphere you can voice your concerns about potential for growth. Perhaps your boss doesn't realize how ambitious you are and that you want to take on more since your workload is so much already -- he may not want to burn you out. Also make sure that there are salary raises in your review based on performance and cost of living, so you can continue to move up the ladder. Good luck and keep us posted!
  4. Seven months. I know there is no room to grow because the partners do not want to grow. This is not part of their business plan. Small firms and large firms, as I'm sure you know, produce very different qualities and types of work. Not everyone wants to grow into a larger company or a giant corporation, to be the biggest is not the goal of my firm... and size doesn't mean a lot in my industry. It's also a firm that is floated by family money, so profit is not the prime objective.

    Not only that, but we own the building we work in. There is literally not a single extra desk, we will not even be bringing another person on board. They are very much about maintaining a status quo, which works very well for them.
  5. I missed where you said 7 months...oops.

    I'd go with what Lori said. Just be careful..I've had employers flat out ask my why I jumped from job to job. In my case it was cause of layoffs or bsiness closings, so if def doesn't look good when an employer sees lots of jobs in a 5-10 year span.
  6. ITA to stick it out at least a year. My Dad always said give everything new career wise 18 months to really get a full rhythm and cycle of how the firm operates. When I was 22 that seemed like a LOOOONG time. Now it can be a mere blink of an eye!

    Ditto to what lorihmatthews said! Rock on, intl, you've got huge fans here.
  7. I think you should try to stay there for a couple more months, at least one year. Though you aren't getting paid what you'd like, it sounds like you have a pleasant work environment and that counts for something. Also, I think it looks better on your resume when you've been somewhere for awhile and aren't jumping from job to job. Good luck!
  8. If it's your 1st job, I'd stay there for at least 2 years.
    #1 Would not look good in your resume that for you 1st job, you didn't last long.
    #2 Eventhough you don't see any room to grow, stay for the learning experience.
    #3 From your story it seems like the working environment is pleasant, that's very hard to find in a job.

    My 1st job was not ideal for me, but b/c I was offered a position in a very highly-skilled area (unheard of for a new graduate), I couldn't pass that opportunity. I stayed there for 3 years eventhough I hated the drive and the location of my job. Because of that sacrifice and experience, I got another job with higher pay and hours I wanted. Not to mention that I've always been marketable ever since. I'm now in a position to pick and choose where I want to work.
  9. Agree with the others, you should stay minimum between 1 and 2 years.
    Any shorter than that looks bad on a resume, and should be justified by very serious reasons. If only after 7 months you go onto your next employer saying you couldn´t see any possibilities of career development, he won´t think you´re smart and ambitious, he´ll think you´re far too ambitious and will wonder if you´d do the same to him if he employs you.
    You´re lucky to have found a good place where to work, with a nice atmosphere....2 years will pass by so fast ! You´re still gonna learn a lot, see it in terms of experience, not just going up the ladder....
  10. It probably depends on your field, but in mine, there's such a shortage of workers and such great demand that companies are constantly competing with each other and even the worst workers get hired. It's very common in my field for people to jump from one job to another in the span of just a few months, and several contract independently with many companies to get benefits from each one and still retain independence.

    Personally, I suggest you go ahead and look at other companies, careful to tell them to not contact your current employer yet. At the same time, keep track of your productivity and any time you do anything wonderful for your company, like land a big account (I don't know if this is proper terminology for your field-sorry!) or fix a company problem, even something that seems small, like fixing the copier or fax machine (I'd imagine that would be important for your company). And continue to show a good work ethic, like always arriving on time in the morning and when you come back from lunch (staying late may work against you, as it may show that you need extra time to finish your job). Waiting another 5 months sounds like a good idea, unless you're in a hurry to make more money or move to another town. At your annual review, you can bring up all the positive things you've done, and they will see how valuable you are. Then you can decide whether or not you want to stay.
  11. Personally you desribe the enviornment as one you enjoy being in. That alone I would suggest you remian where you are. Additionally you have been at this firm for less than a year I would suggest you remain there for at least another year, otehrwise it will imply to potential employers that you can't remain in one place for to long, when it is quite the opposite.