I’m currently relatively happy in my current role working on challenging problems, I like my technical peers and management and during my 3 years here I got promoted from entry level engineer to senior engineer (SD1 to SD3).
However, given the scope and impact I provide, it feels like I can potentially make ~100k more (50% increase) with a job hop talking to multiple recruiters.
The worry is that I lose the equity I built in my current role and be exposed to layoffs at the new company. Also, getting promoted to staff engineer for a similar compensation increase would probably take a while. I’m tempted to switch jobs to maximize compensation.
As with all of these questions, it depends on what your priorities are. If you have a burning need for more compensation (e.g. you are starting a family soon and kids are very expensive), then it makes a lot of sense to look outwards aggressively. If not, then things are a lot trickier as you're in this complicated world of tough trade-offs. Interview preparation on its own, even if you don't land any offers, is a cost in and of itself as it's draining and takes away time from growing and focusing on your job.
What I will say though is you might be able to "have it all" by negotiating a raise at your current job using a competing offer as leverage. However, there are some things to make sure of before pursuing this path:
We also have these resources in Taro around negotiating a raise at your current job:
As I've said many times before, people seriously underestimate the value of having a supportive team, which I'm glad you have. In this economy, holding onto those teams becomes more valuable an option, so I think this "in-house" negotiation path would be the most optimal.
... during my 3 years here I got promoted from entry level engineer to senior engineer (SD1 to SD3).
This is insanely fast career progression, and you're working at a reputable company like Zendesk too. I wouldn't discount the option of growing to staff too much - It's possible that you can accomplish it sooner than you think (and Taro is happy to help with that!). I have seen senior engineers grow to staff in just 1 year - It might be possible in your case as well. If reaching staff level is important to you (which it is for many people), this will be much easier staying where you are since you have the existing context/relationships vs. moving to another company (which will likely hire you at senior again).