Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

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ThankYouJack
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Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years. I'm close to FI and was planning to semi-retire early, but recently started having the drive to push myself more professionally and not sure if I should take advantage of the current job market or stick with my job that I'm happy with.

Things I enjoy most about it are:

- fantastic work life balance
- tremendous flexibility - I sometimes work nights or weekends, but can take time off during the day (great for a midday workout or if I need to pick up my kids at school)
- can do my job very efficiently, typically less than an 8 hour day.
- 100% work from home (even well before covid)
- great job security
- am learning some new technologies
- have some clout which I can strategically use if needed (like being able to work 100% from home)


Things that could be better are:


- I don't want to get stuck doing the same things forever, and have ageism come into play as I get older and possibly look for other jobs. It could even be a negative on my resume that I've been with the same organization for so long.
- Pay could be better. Hardly ever get a good raise/promotion. Been told I'm getting a significant raise, but it's taking a while to go through
- I have a lot of responsibilities. I always want to make significant contributions, but there is pressure of being responsible for multiple important systems and being the lead
- Management is very nice, but not technical and could be more strategic
- One system is a massive legacy system that I have to manage (would prefer working solely on newer tech)


I don't want to get greedy and would hate to chase money only to have it lead to more work (that I may not enjoy) / stress. There's a chance if I did switch and regretted it, I could go back to my current employer as we've had an extremely difficult time finding good additional technical help.

Applying for IT jobs would take awhile (especially if I'm going to practice programming problems, interview prep and study other technical questions/problems) so I'd want to put in more effort applying than just firing off my resume. There's one job I just found that is interesting that I feel pretty well qualified for. Pretty sure it would be a decent pay bump but would likely have to work more hours so that's sort of moot. My current employee may match an offer, but often my manager's hands are tied from certain HR policies. And I want to fully commit if I'm looking for a new job, not just interview around to try to get a pay raise.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
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JoeRetire
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by JoeRetire »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pmI realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess?
Figure out what's important to you. Go in the direction that will maximize that.
I don't want to get greedy and would hate to chase money only to have it lead to more work (that I may not enjoy) / stress.

Pretty sure it would be a decent pay bump but would likely have to work more hours so that's sort of moot.
If you aren't interested in working harder, it seems like the decision is clear.

Not everyone really wants to push themselves professionally.
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Stick5vw
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Stick5vw »

When you say close to FI, how close would that realistically be?

Without seeing any financial stats it’s hard to be too specific.

Personally however I believe that being on cruise control at work (even though your situation generally sounds pretty good!) isn’t necessarily a good thing. What you describe now as being cushy and stable can always change a lot quicker than you might think - Keep your skills relevant and always be on the lookout for opportunities etc.

If you feel things are stagnating a bit, can you change roles or do something else within the same firm while maintaining many of the perks you mention?
Yarlonkol12
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

Why do you think a job that pays more money will be more work and/or more stressful than your current job? Perhaps consider applying for company building software products/services if your current role involves internal facing IT applications, you might find that a refreshing change (not that one is better than the other). A new job always comes with unknowns and risks, only you can determine if the risk of change is worth it to you.

If you have been with the same company for 15 years it's all but guaranteed that you are being paid less than your market rate. At least just spend time fishing to figure out what your market rate is, as you don't seem clear on that based on your post, you don't need to worry about investing a lot of time to prepare to crush interviews, just search, network, apply, and figure out what your options are first.
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idle_researcher
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by idle_researcher »

I think it is worth pursuing applying for new IT job. There is lot of innovation happening and it is interesting to see how the new tech companies are able to innovate and organize themselves to stay ahead while seemingly offering employees good job satisfaction and pay/benefits.
123
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by 123 »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm ... I'm close to FI and was planning to semi-retire early...
I don't think you realize it but it sure sounds like you are semi-retired already. You've been there 15 years and don't seem that enthused about looking elsewhere. Your current situation seems ideal and something many would strive for.

You just have to decide if your career is "over" (no real further advancement) and you will just keep cruising where you're at until you're FI or the clock runs out. It's a very personal choice.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

Thanks all. I'm going to think about it some more, will read additional feedback on here, but am leaning towards at least applying.
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:48 pm Figure out what's important to you. Go in the direction that will maximize that.
Family is #1. My kids are in school close to 8 hours a day now, and making more $ could allow me to better provide for my family. (Pay 100% for college, help support parents if they need it, buy a very nice home and nice vacations, etc)

Hobbies are #2. But my hobbies tend to be pretty physical so they're getting tougher to do (especially for long periods of time) as I age.

Stick5vw wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:09 pm When you say close to FI, how close would that realistically be?
...
If you feel things are stagnating a bit, can you change roles or do something else within the same firm while maintaining many of the perks you mention?
Am probably at a lean FI now. But my future expenses will likely go up - due to lifestyle creep and supporting my family. Since I enjoy work for the most part, my goal has shifted from trying to reach a certain FI number ASAP.

I can't change roles within my current group (we're not big enough). I could apply for positions with different groups, but would lose some of the current perks as it would be like going to a new organization.
Yarlonkol12 wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:28 pm Why do you think a job that pays more money will be more work and/or more stressful than your current job?
Maybe it wouldn't be in the long run, but initially I would put some pressure on myself to get onboarded and start making an impact quickly. However, in the past I've enjoyed starting new jobs because I find it exciting and you learn so much in the first 3-6 months. Also, my current manager is very hands off now (almost to a fault) so it would be tough going to a micromanager or a manager I didn't like as much. I've been fortunate in the past with good managers.
123 wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:21 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm ... I'm close to FI and was planning to semi-retire early...
I don't think you realize it but it sure sounds like you are semi-retired already. You've been there 15 years and don't seem that enthused about looking elsewhere. Your current situation seems ideal and something many would strive for.

You just have to decide if your career is "over" (no real further advancement) and you will just keep cruising where you're at until you're FI or the clock runs out. It's a very personal choice.
Good point. I've always wanted jobs with great work life balance and this one is the best one I've had in that regard. That's a big reason why it makes thinking about moving on more difficult.
TheHiker
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by TheHiker »

It is at least worth to interview and find out what the current job market is and if you are seriously underpaid.

I was in the same situation three years ago (after 20 years on the job which was mostly on autopilot with great flexibility, work-life balance, job security, nice people and high level which allowed me to choose what to work on and delegate things I did not want to do).
Ended up switching to work that is more stressful, longer hours, no work from home, longer commute, but 2x the pay (ended up being 3x due to RSU appreciation).

I do not regret switching. Actually enjoyed preparing for the interviews.
hudson
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by hudson »

ThankYouJack,
It sounds like you have a good IT job.
Of course, the grass is always greener.
I would grab a knot and hang on.
onourway
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by onourway »

You may find it beneficial to begin the job search process even if you don't have serious intentions of leaving.

One, following the job market with intention will help you be specific about what new technologies you might like to move into, and may even enable you to work some of those skills into your current position allowing you to remain "current enough" to maintain employer flexibility. If not, as you note, you may need to put in some time on the side. Keeping close tabs on the market will ensure you spend that time in the most effective manner.

Two, in order to actually apply for jobs, your resume will have to be up to date, which for someone who has been cruising in one position for 15 years or so, may not be a trivial undertaking.

Three, by taking the time to complete the first two steps, you should have a much better understanding of how much you are worth and whether there are actually other jobs out there that look interesting and appealing to you. That, in turn, should help you be able to negotiate with your current employer to net a more substantial pay raise because you (without having to say it) should be able to signal that you are a plausible flight risk.

The good news is that there are a fair number of people who feel the same way you do - their job pays well enough but the soft perks and flexibility are what really makes them stay. That means there are other jobs out there with those perks!

Good luck!
carolinaman
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by carolinaman »

123 wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:21 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm ... I'm close to FI and was planning to semi-retire early...
I don't think you realize it but it sure sounds like you are semi-retired already. You've been there 15 years and don't seem that enthused about looking elsewhere. Your current situation seems ideal and something many would strive for.

You just have to decide if your career is "over" (no real further advancement) and you will just keep cruising where you're at until you're FI or the clock runs out. It's a very personal choice.
+1. This is especially true if your FI is within a few years. Changing jobs is always a risk. You never really know what it is like until you are there. You may get more money and opportunity to learn new stuff but a lot of things you like now might not be there.
mrmass
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by mrmass »

hudson wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:36 am ThankYouJack,
It sounds like you have a good IT job.
Of course, the grass is always greener.
I would grab a knot and hang on.
This sounds about right. You're not mentioning if you're 42, 52, or 62. If you're 42 and crap hits the fan and you're iced, then you might have issues finding that cushy job you have now.

Also what part of IT are you in? Are you changing keyboards, banging on SQL or plugging in patch cables? If you're closer to data as in Power BI, and similar products then you're more of a position of strength IMO.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

I'm still vacillating over it but after reading the additional replies I'm thinking I'll wait unless I see an opportunity that is very interesting with a significant pay bump.

Also, hopefully it doesn't sound like a super cushy job. I received a bunch of emails over the weekend for uodates, had meetings this morning and tomorrow morning. Not that I'd want to, but I can't hide under the radar. but I've been doing my job for so long that a lot of it is second nature.
mrmass wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:10 pm
hudson wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:36 am ThankYouJack,
It sounds like you have a good IT job.
Of course, the grass is always greener.
I would grab a knot and hang on.
This sounds about right. You're not mentioning if you're 42, 52, or 62. If you're 42 and crap hits the fan and you're iced, then you might have issues finding that cushy job you have now.

Also what part of IT are you in? Are you changing keyboards, banging on SQL or plugging in patch cables? If you're closer to data as in Power BI, and similar products then you're more of a position of strength IMO.
Early 40s. Lots of SQL / decent amount of programming. I don't mind hustling if needed (I used to have a moonlighting consulting business along with my full-time job). I realize anything can happen but I feel pretty good at what I do and have never been let go.
mrmass
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by mrmass »

ThankYouJack wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:02 pm I'm still vacillating over it but after reading the additional replies I'm thinking I'll wait unless I see an opportunity that is very interesting with a significant pay bump.

Also, hopefully it doesn't sound like a super cushy job. I received a bunch of emails over the weekend for uodates, had meetings this morning and tomorrow morning. Not that I'd want to, but I can't hide under the radar. but I've been doing my job for so long that a lot of it is second nature.
mrmass wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:10 pm
hudson wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:36 am ThankYouJack,
It sounds like you have a good IT job.
Of course, the grass is always greener.
I would grab a knot and hang on.
This sounds about right. You're not mentioning if you're 42, 52, or 62. If you're 42 and crap hits the fan and you're iced, then you might have issues finding that cushy job you have now.

Also what part of IT are you in? Are you changing keyboards, banging on SQL or plugging in patch cables? If you're closer to data as in Power BI, and similar products then you're more of a position of strength IMO.
Early 40s. Lots of SQL / decent amount of programming. I don't mind hustling if needed (I used to have a moonlighting consulting business along with my full-time job). I realize anything can happen but I feel pretty good at what I do and have never been let go.
This is only my opinion but if you're doing SQL and fiddling with SSRS, or maybe converting the SSRS reports to Power BI or using the PBI Gateway to connect to an on prem SQL, you have skills that are very popular now. Maybe not FANG type stuff but many companies want those skillsets. Look at LinkedIn will give you an idea.

Our VP of Data has mostly PBI skills (with DAX) not as strong SQL wise he's about $260K total comp.
srt7
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by srt7 »

My recommendation is to stay put and ride it out to retirement (early or traditional). At this point WLB is important to you and you've worked hard to make yourself a good employee to the company. Based on what you said about them finding it hard to employ other devs it sounds like they won't ever fire you BUT if they do let you go (in good standing) then you can leverage your decade+ relationship to come back as a part time contractor etc. I get the desire to capture on this sweet market but the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Taking care of tomorrow while enjoying today.
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Watty
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Watty »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do?

- One system is a massive legacy system that I have to manage (would prefer working solely on newer tech)
I retired a bit over 6 years ago from a corporate IT job as a software developer and I was in a similar situation but I was in my late 50s when I retired.

No one is indispensable but as long as I kept the legacy system running smoothly and I was not a pain in the rear to work with my job was about as secure as any IT job could be since few other people knew much about that legacy software. That was a good situation to be in when there were layoffs and reorganizations which happened every few years.

If you do change jobs there is an increased risk that you could be laid off even if you are doing a good job. That could result in you looking for your next job in a recession when the job market is not good.

The company was slowing replacing the legacy system with a new system but it ran dozens of facilities and each one had to be converted individually and that was disruptive and expensive and often had very little payback so they were in no hurry to convert all the facilities as long as the old system was getting the job done.

It was also pretty obvious that I would likely be laid off when the last facility was converted. I was actually hoping that would happen so I could get a nice severance package as a bridge into retirement. The conversions were going too slow for that though and it will likely still be a few more years until the last facility is converted.

The company actually gave me several chances to get involved with newer technology, and I was capable of learning it, but that did not work well since that was in addition to my work on the legacy system and that had a priority when there was an urgent project. I also found that when I was learning a new skill there would be lots of things that are assumed that you already know. For example even copying a file might be something you need to figure out when you are on a different platform. Someone who was just out of college likely knew those things so they were hard to keep up with.

Ironically the system they were converting facilities too has already been superseded by yet another new system so it is now also a legacy system too. The facilities they are converting now are going to this newer system.

A huge question is how long you want to work before you retire or semi-retire and if you might be able to get a severance package if you stick around until the legacy system is phased out.

Timing is real important. I sort of ended up in that roll in the early 2000s during the dot com bust when few companies were hiring any IT people so having a secure job was very important to me especially since I had a teenage kid then. That was followed by the 2008 financial crisis and by the time that was over I was looking towards retiring soon and I retired in 2015. With all that going on in retrospect staying on at the same job on the legacy system worked out well for me.
jmw
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by jmw »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm
Things I enjoy most about it are:

- fantastic work life balance
- tremendous flexibility - I sometimes work nights or weekends, but can take time off during the day (great for a midday workout or if I need to pick up my kids at school)
- can do my job very efficiently, typically less than an 8 hour day.
- 100% work from home (even well before covid)
- great job security
- am learning some new technologies
- have some clout which I can strategically use if needed (like being able to work 100% from home)
I bolded the most important things.

The status quo sounds pretty good to me.

You gotta define great job security though. For example, are you part of a union and have a good collective bargaining agreement? If it's just a private company that is slow to fire underperformers, I wouldn't call that great job security.

So if it's almost an iron-clad guarantee you will choose your exit date decades from now, then I'd stay where you are and don't chase extra money.
Shael_AT
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Shael_AT »

Hey, I'm going to give you a "challenge perspective", please take no offense, but I feel often when someone asks these questions, they are secretly asking for their counter-person or counter-value to poke at their rationalizations:

I'm the polar opposite of you, usually the youngest person to start a new job, with higher title, pay and WLB each hop, focusing on complete E2E automation of all existing job functions, roles and generally manual processes inside of IT & Cloud operations big and small. New job every 2-4 years for the last 15 years. Everything from Hyperscale cloud providers to small startups. Making less than a million in equity over 4 years is considered to be a lowball, and this is in a MCOL area. 6-8 weeks PTO. No weekends. Rewarding work. Blah blah.

While the grass is greener, there is also immense downside risk as you sit comfortable in the same spot.

Anecdote: Everyone I've met who has been in a spot for over 5 years in Technology has been 100% of the time, in my experience, / is immensely out of touch with the market, tools, techniques and technologies of the upcoming portfolio of tech stacks that are emerging, changing or going extinct. These are usually self described "life time learners who get to learn new tech at their long time job". In reality, there is something about a near assured employment that I have found makes people too complacent and soft, but they need to create lies in their head to justify why they stay so long.

I'm not saying this is you, or implying that you are at risk for a new VP/Director/Mgr of something who comes in and realizes they can kill off entire teams, orgs or the majority of a department and replace them with Google Suite, Salesforce, and some cloud + saas stacks, but I've seen it happen so many times. I've been the one who facilitates and executes on that body of transformation, inside of 3-6, sometimes for bigger projects 12-18 months.

Cheers on being close to your goals, and ultimately its up to you to decide what you value out of your life. It's fine to not value your Career and Professional Growth, that's ultimately what staying in the same place will do to you in IT/Tech/Cloud/Software. Just make sure to remember that even those of us who are the most focused and well intentioned while in the same spot always get fat, lazy and stupid when we are too comfortable for too long.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

my 2 cents and challenge for you to chew on, because someone with your years of experience making < 500,000 total compensation in any MCOL or HCOL metro area is absolutely nuts, and describing WLB as "sometimes work nights or weekends" is pretty silly, flex times =/ WLB, it's just a corporatist/capitalism lie that destroys our perception of continuous & contiguous, guarantee'd days of leisure, and the loss of that is just another nail in the coffin for actual boundaries set between yourself and the employer... that sounds like stockhold syndrome to working in traditional IT and Tech roles pre-2015 at a Sr & above level.

Good luck friend :mrgreen:


Ultimately, it's fine to decide on balancing your ambitions and focus on work/career with other parts of your life. Just understand the missed opportunities and downside risk, and if you accept them, power to you. I hope one day to be able to finally put the foot off the gas and re-orient my own life away from career growth to personal fulfillment.
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Watty
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Watty »

One more thought.

It sort of sounds like you want to stay a techie and if you move to a different company it would be sort of a lateral move.

You may be at the point in your career when the best way to move up is to shift towards management. I never had any desire to do that since I have don't have the right personality for it and would likely have been bad at it.

Anyway, if you want to move up one option would be to look for more of a management position possibly at your current company.
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cashboy
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by cashboy »

let me provide an answer with a very short version of a long story.

a married guy was unhappy. thought this was due to his wife. so, he thought perhaps he could do better and started looking around on all the dating sites at what was available in his area and age range. turned out that after all of that he decided his current wife wasn't that bad after all. lol.

so, for you, go ahead and look for other jobs; no harm in that. in the meantime make the best of your current situation (which many would be enviable of).
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

jmw wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:27 pm

You gotta define great job security though. For example, are you part of a union and have a good collective bargaining agreement? If it's just a private company that is slow to fire underperformers, I wouldn't call that great job security.

So if it's almost an iron-clad guarantee you will choose your exit date decades from now, then I'd stay where you are and don't chase extra money.
No union but I try to add a lot of unique value as an employee. Who knows but I'd say maybe there's a 5-10% chance I'd be let go over the next 5-10 years. And I'd likely get a nice package for being there so long and I've always had solid success finding work so it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Shael_AT wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:31 pm
Ultimately, it's fine to decide on balancing your ambitions and focus on work/career with other parts of your life. Just understand the missed opportunities and downside risk, and if you accept them, power to you. I hope one day to be able to finally put the foot off the gas and re-orient my own life away from career growth to personal fulfillment.
I appreciate the alternative perspective and agree about finding a good balance. For me, I think about later stages in life. I know I won't be on my death bed thinking man, I wish I had worked more spending more time behind a computer. I doubt anyone at my funeral will say, he was an ok family man and sorta fun person to be around but man could he code.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ClevrChico »

Are you planning to be 55+ when you retire? If yes, were you planning on taking distributions from your 401k in your 50's? If your current 401k is a good one, be careful about joining a company with a bad one this close to the finish line.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:24 pm Are you planning to be 55+ when you retire? If yes, were you planning on taking distributions from your 401k in your 50's? If your current 401k is a good one, be careful about joining a company with a bad one this close to the finish line.
I'm not sure when I'll retire or semi-retire. Couldn't I just roll the good 401k into an IRA or just leave it as is if the new 401k is worse?
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ClevrChico
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ClevrChico »

ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:39 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:24 pm Are you planning to be 55+ when you retire? If yes, were you planning on taking distributions from your 401k in your 50's? If your current 401k is a good one, be careful about joining a company with a bad one this close to the finish line.
I'm not sure when I'll retire or semi-retire. Couldn't I just roll the good 401k into an IRA or just leave it as is if the new 401k is worse?
If the money is in an IRA, then it couldn't be accessed at 55 like a 401k. (Assuming your meet all the Rule of 55 requirements.)
shess
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by shess »

ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:42 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:39 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:24 pm Are you planning to be 55+ when you retire? If yes, were you planning on taking distributions from your 401k in your 50's? If your current 401k is a good one, be careful about joining a company with a bad one this close to the finish line.
I'm not sure when I'll retire or semi-retire. Couldn't I just roll the good 401k into an IRA or just leave it as is if the new 401k is worse?
If the money is in an IRA, then it couldn't be accessed at 55 like a 401k. (Assuming your meet all the Rule of 55 requirements.)
I retired a few years ago, and I sometimes semi-seriously ponder whether I should go back to work for a few years around when I turn 55, entirely to take advantage of the Rule of 55. As it stands now, we try to fit in Roth conversions to draw down our 401k/tIRA accounts to reduce future RMDs, but we also need cash to live on which results in selling stock in our taxable account - which in turn impacts the amount of Roth conversion we can do. Using Rule of 55 would allow us to just draw down the 401k directly without the rigamarole.

[Yes, you can use a 72t/SEPP plan to pull from a tIRA, but using the Rule of 55 would be much more flexible.]
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:42 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:39 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:24 pm Are you planning to be 55+ when you retire? If yes, were you planning on taking distributions from your 401k in your 50's? If your current 401k is a good one, be careful about joining a company with a bad one this close to the finish line.
I'm not sure when I'll retire or semi-retire. Couldn't I just roll the good 401k into an IRA or just leave it as is if the new 401k is worse?
If the money is in an IRA, then it couldn't be accessed at 55 like a 401k. (Assuming your meet all the Rule of 55 requirements.)
It's not a big concern as I'd probably have a Roth ladder and/or 72t and/or taxable.

To clarify as well, money can always be accessed from an IRA but you may owe a penalty depending on one's age and situation, correct?
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ClevrChico
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ClevrChico »

ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:04 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:42 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:39 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:24 pm Are you planning to be 55+ when you retire? If yes, were you planning on taking distributions from your 401k in your 50's? If your current 401k is a good one, be careful about joining a company with a bad one this close to the finish line.
I'm not sure when I'll retire or semi-retire. Couldn't I just roll the good 401k into an IRA or just leave it as is if the new 401k is worse?
If the money is in an IRA, then it couldn't be accessed at 55 like a 401k. (Assuming your meet all the Rule of 55 requirements.)
It's not a big concern as I'd probably have a Roth ladder and/or 72t and/or taxable.

To clarify as well, money can always be accessed from an IRA but you may owe a penalty depending on one's age and situation, correct?
Good point, I agree.
gogreen
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by gogreen »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
If no significant raises were given to you for the last 15 yrs then you might easy double you salary. What's your current comp if you don't mind to share (pm also works)? I manage a team of data engineers so can give you some insights.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

gogreen wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:46 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
If no significant raises were given to you for the last 15 yrs then you might easy double you salary. What's your current comp if you don't mind to share (pm also works)? I manage a team of data engineers so can give you some insights.
Just over $100k. I know that could be higher but I'm satisfied with it in terms of time I need to put in for my day to day responsibilities.
gogreen
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by gogreen »

ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:55 pm
gogreen wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:46 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
If no significant raises were given to you for the last 15 yrs then you might easy double you salary. What's your current comp if you don't mind to share (pm also works)? I manage a team of data engineers so can give you some insights.
Just over $100k. I know that could be higher but I'm satisfied with it in terms of time I need to put in for my day to day responsibilities.
Only one data engineer in my team has TCO ~ 200k, others have more. Not FAANG. So doubling you comp is real :sharebeer
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

gogreen wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:09 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:55 pm
gogreen wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:46 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
If no significant raises were given to you for the last 15 yrs then you might easy double you salary. What's your current comp if you don't mind to share (pm also works)? I manage a team of data engineers so can give you some insights.
Just over $100k. I know that could be higher but I'm satisfied with it in terms of time I need to put in for my day to day responsibilities.
Only one data engineer in my team has TCO ~ 200k, others have more. Not FAANG. So doubling you comp is real :sharebeer
Good to know. I see loads of jobs on LinkedIn and other job sites but what's the best way to get a feel for salaries? On Glassdoor they often seem low.
wojo8625
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by wojo8625 »

Similar situation here! I have no advice but the responses are interesting.

I have been looking and have received some offers that are slightly better than current position, but none enough to entice me to jump ship.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

Here's one example of a lower salary. I saw a data engineering opening at Fidelity that I feel qualified for so was a bit excited about it thinking the pay could be significantly more than my current comp. Then I went on Glassdoor and with "very high confidence" it said the average data engineer salary at fidelity is in the 80s with less than a $10k bonus.
brianH
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by brianH »

ThankYouJack wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:45 am Here's one example of a lower salary. I saw a data engineering opening at Fidelity that I feel qualified for so was a bit excited about it thinking the pay could be significantly more than my current comp. Then I went on Glassdoor and with "very high confidence" it said the average data engineer salary at fidelity is in the 80s with less than a $10k bonus.
That seems unlikely.

The best way to find out is to reach out to Fidelity's (or other company's) recruiter and start the discussion. Ask for the salary range for the position to 'make sure you're a fit'. I won't waste time with recruiters that won't give at least a broad salary range for the position. Why waste time in the interview process if the salary is way off?
ScootyPuffJunior
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ScootyPuffJunior »

my 2 cents and challenge for you to chew on, because someone with your years of experience making < 500,000 total compensation in any MCOL or HCOL metro area is absolutely nuts,

I humbly disagree.

There, I hope nobody is offended by that.
gogreen
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by gogreen »

ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:27 pm
gogreen wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:09 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:55 pm
gogreen wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:46 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
If no significant raises were given to you for the last 15 yrs then you might easy double you salary. What's your current comp if you don't mind to share (pm also works)? I manage a team of data engineers so can give you some insights.
Just over $100k. I know that could be higher but I'm satisfied with it in terms of time I need to put in for my day to day responsibilities.
Only one data engineer in my team has TCO ~ 200k, others have more. Not FAANG. So doubling you comp is real :sharebeer
Good to know. I see loads of jobs on LinkedIn and other job sites but what's the best way to get a feel for salaries? On Glassdoor they often seem low.
It's close to impossible. For the same skills you get an offer from 70 to 190k base. For my current company all the salary websites show crappy info
Topic Author
ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

brianH wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:30 am
The best way to find out is to reach out to Fidelity's (or other company's) recruiter and start the discussion. Ask for the salary range for the position to 'make sure you're a fit'. I won't waste time with recruiters that won't give at least a broad salary range for the position. Why waste time in the interview process if the salary is way off?
That makes sense and I completely agree about not wanting to waste time. Any tips on finding the recruiter's contact info?
Lou Sevens
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Lou Sevens »

I have been at my current position for a while, but it has allowed me growth ,both technically and being able to invest. I get 5+ weeks of vacation but in turn do work 1 weekend a month. But when I need to go to doctor appointments for me or my family it is not difficult as I can start work 6am etc. as we are now remote. Another thing is I have control of the processes I have created. I would also consider flexibility and control in addition to compensation.
onourway
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by onourway »

ThankYouJack wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:45 am Here's one example of a lower salary. I saw a data engineering opening at Fidelity that I feel qualified for so was a bit excited about it thinking the pay could be significantly more than my current comp. Then I went on Glassdoor and with "very high confidence" it said the average data engineer salary at fidelity is in the 80s with less than a $10k bonus.
It's important to make sure that you are comparing the same things. Above you mention ~$100k, but don't specify if that is base, base+bonus, total compensation, etc. The $200k comment made just after indicates TC, so it really matters what you are comparing to.

The Fidelity job at $80k seems low, but again, that appears to be base pay. TC for an $80k job at a firm like Fidelity that has a reputation as being a pretty good employer, might be more like $130k+ TC.

Do you know what your current TC is?
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by ThankYouJack »

onourway wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:21 am
ThankYouJack wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:45 am Here's one example of a lower salary. I saw a data engineering opening at Fidelity that I feel qualified for so was a bit excited about it thinking the pay could be significantly more than my current comp. Then I went on Glassdoor and with "very high confidence" it said the average data engineer salary at fidelity is in the 80s with less than a $10k bonus.
It's important to make sure that you are comparing the same things. Above you mention ~$100k, but don't specify if that is base, base+bonus, total compensation, etc. The $200k comment made just after indicates TC, so it really matters what you are comparing to.

The Fidelity job at $80k seems low, but again, that appears to be base pay. TC for an $80k job at a firm like Fidelity that has a reputation as being a pretty good employer, might be more like $130k+ TC.

Do you know what your current TC is?
A little over $100k. I think I could make a decent amount more but don't think I'd be as happy since I have a really great set up now and don't need the extra money. So I'll plan to stay put. But I do plan to keep on learning and implementing some new tech as I continue on so I have more options down the road.
boogle_12
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by boogle_12 »

ThankYouJack wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:40 am
onourway wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:21 am
ThankYouJack wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:45 am Here's one example of a lower salary. I saw a data engineering opening at Fidelity that I feel qualified for so was a bit excited about it thinking the pay could be significantly more than my current comp. Then I went on Glassdoor and with "very high confidence" it said the average data engineer salary at fidelity is in the 80s with less than a $10k bonus.
It's important to make sure that you are comparing the same things. Above you mention ~$100k, but don't specify if that is base, base+bonus, total compensation, etc. The $200k comment made just after indicates TC, so it really matters what you are comparing to.

The Fidelity job at $80k seems low, but again, that appears to be base pay. TC for an $80k job at a firm like Fidelity that has a reputation as being a pretty good employer, might be more like $130k+ TC.

Do you know what your current TC is?
A little over $100k. I think I could make a decent amount more but don't think I'd be as happy since I have a really great set up now and don't need the extra money. So I'll plan to stay put. But I do plan to keep on learning and implementing some new tech as I continue on so I have more options down the road.
Good choice. There are arguments for sticking in a comfortable environment vs chasing higher pay, but if you think your future at current employer is solid and relaxed, it is a good idea to avoid forcing a change when it’s not a clear upgrade. Especially since interviewing for companies that pay 200k like some people say is a rare occurrence. That’s not the norm, and usually you have to be prepared to do 3-4 rounds of interviews with lot of algorithm based questions. You might be able to avoid the Leetcode questions based on your role type though.

Glassdoor can be inaccurate, but for a large company like Fidelity, the data is probably more accurate. 80k base, even with a generous bonus, won’t beat out your current pay, and I highly doubt they give RSUs and stocks like tech companies. Individual reviews can also give you an idea if the company tends to give low pay as people usually write that as a negative.
Invictus002
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Invictus002 »

Shael_AT wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:31 pm
my 2 cents and challenge for you to chew on, because someone with your years of experience making < 500,000 total compensation in any MCOL or HCOL metro area is absolutely nuts.
This is sort of misleading. Can you give some references like glassdoor or other places wich can substantiate that everyone with 15 years in IT makes > $500k a year?
tRacer4201
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by tRacer4201 »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:45 pm I'm mid-career, am in IT and when I began my work career I switched jobs numerous times, but I've been in my same organization and role for about 15 years. I'm close to FI and was planning to semi-retire early, but recently started having the drive to push myself more professionally and not sure if I should take advantage of the current job market or stick with my job that I'm happy with.

Things I enjoy most about it are:

- fantastic work life balance
- tremendous flexibility - I sometimes work nights or weekends, but can take time off during the day (great for a midday workout or if I need to pick up my kids at school)
- can do my job very efficiently, typically less than an 8 hour day.
- 100% work from home (even well before covid)
- great job security
- am learning some new technologies
- have some clout which I can strategically use if needed (like being able to work 100% from home)


Things that could be better are:


- I don't want to get stuck doing the same things forever, and have ageism come into play as I get older and possibly look for other jobs. It could even be a negative on my resume that I've been with the same organization for so long.
- Pay could be better. Hardly ever get a good raise/promotion. Been told I'm getting a significant raise, but it's taking a while to go through
- I have a lot of responsibilities. I always want to make significant contributions, but there is pressure of being responsible for multiple important systems and being the lead
- Management is very nice, but not technical and could be more strategic
- One system is a massive legacy system that I have to manage (would prefer working solely on newer tech)


I don't want to get greedy and would hate to chase money only to have it lead to more work (that I may not enjoy) / stress. There's a chance if I did switch and regretted it, I could go back to my current employer as we've had an extremely difficult time finding good additional technical help.

Applying for IT jobs would take awhile (especially if I'm going to practice programming problems, interview prep and study other technical questions/problems) so I'd want to put in more effort applying than just firing off my resume. There's one job I just found that is interesting that I feel pretty well qualified for. Pretty sure it would be a decent pay bump but would likely have to work more hours so that's sort of moot. My current employee may match an offer, but often my manager's hands are tied from certain HR policies. And I want to fully commit if I'm looking for a new job, not just interview around to try to get a pay raise.

I realize there's a lot to factor and it's tough to get a feel based on an online post but any recommendations for how I should assess? Anyone been in a similar position and what did you do? Any general advice?
If you’re close to FI, would leaving your current job really pose a risk to your financial well being?

It sounds like you’re in a position where you can take risk. Let’s say you go somewhere else where you like the tech but the people are horrible or the stress is too high. You could quit and try something else, no?

When you leave a job, one of the things to consider is the human capital. At your new company, they can pay you the same or more money. The technology might be a lot newer. Great.

But you will have to build relationships, establish trust - basically rebuild the social capital. Not that it’s too difficult or unachievable, but if you’re well respected and treated in your current company - some of that you’ll get from day one at your new company, but some of it you will have to build again.

In my opinion, if you’re close to FI and money isn’t as big of a concern, go for it. If you’re not satisfied with your job, there’s little reason to stay if there are other opportunities.
Shael_AT
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Re: Apply for new IT job or keep cruising at current job?

Post by Shael_AT »

Invictus002 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:40 pm
Shael_AT wrote: Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:31 pm
my 2 cents and challenge for you to chew on, because someone with your years of experience making < 500,000 total compensation in any MCOL or HCOL metro area is absolutely nuts.
This is sort of misleading. Can you give some references like glassdoor or other places wich can substantiate that everyone with 15 years in IT makes > $500k a year?
Levels FYI and Blind.

This is for folks who are in post-Modern IT shops, where it's essentially IT + DevOps + Security all in one. Anyone who is engaged and actively skilling and re-skilling over 7,10, especially 15 years can interview and land those roles making ~200 range base salary with 200-400 per year equity in FAANG, FAANG-Wannabes and companies that are being poached by FAANG+.

15 years of experience with some applied focus, re-skill and modernization is absolutely a multiple six figure career, sure in some LCOL / MCOL , that would be in the low 200's to high 300's as a cost of living adjustment, so I could have been more clear.

However, I will re-calibrate and say, if someone is doing the same thing, coasting and personally & professionally stagnant and non challenged for 15 years, then it's possible they are eternally stuck in non-Senior technical roles or "Senior but not actually Sr" roles.

Hope that clears the mud.
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