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Accept Job When I Think/Know I'll Leave within 6 Months?

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Data Engineer at Financial Company5 months ago

God, the universe work in funny ways. I've been in my current job for a couple of years and have been looking to get out basically since I started. The job was never as engineering-oriented as I wanted it to be, but my manager was really nice and I grew comfortable, so that slowed my exit a lot. I also went through an evolution in my job search, from certificate gathering to blind Leetcode grinding to job hunting over those 2 years that made me a better job-seeker.

And then finally, this week, fortune smiled on me: I got not one, but two job offers that pay decently (both comfortably above my current role) and where I would develop much more valuable skills as a Software/Data Engineer.

One is at a large financial data vendor (think Bloomberg) with 10K employees. The other is at a boutique data science and analytics consulting firm that only has 10-15 people. The latter offered actually a little more money, but not significantly more. The title at both is "Senior Software Engineer", which is good, because even though I'm actually a Data Engineer in both places, I know I'll be an Engineering-oriented one rather than an Analytics-oriented one.

But here's the twist: I'm pretty sure I want to move to Asia now. The reason for the move is personal: I have a lot of family and friends there and it's been something I've wanted to try for a long time.

So here's my dilemma: do I stay or do I go? If I don't end up leaving, then switching companies is obviously the right move. However, this is unlikely. I'm pretty sure I want to go. I cite this because making the move to a different country is a process that will take me 4-6 months, and stuff can always happen that might change my mind. Again, not likely, but needs to be said.

The more interesting and likely scenario is where I do go ahead and move in 4-6 months time. Do I accept a new job then? I think the straightforward answer is no and that's for 2 reasons: 1) it can look bad/odd on my resume if I list working at a company for 4 - 6 months prior to moving; 2) starting at a new job is usually stressful and there's a lot to learn. Moving, especially to a new country/continent, is also stressful, so why add to my stress? My current job is comfortable, so it won't stress me.

However, changing jobs also has a compelling reason which is I will learn more at my new job (whichever it is). Probably a lot more. I feel like I've stagnated at my current job and haven't learned the best and latest tools in the DE space: Spark, Airflow, Docker, Cloud. Changing jobs will give me that exposure, and 4-6 months is not nothing! Heck, university co-op terms are only 4 months! Plus, if go to the consultancy, I might get assigned a project that is only 4 months (or fewer), so I might be able to add value before the move. So the "odd-look" on my resume could be totally offset by the learning/growing I do and the tools /projects I'm able to add to my resume as a result.

To answer the question of whether I can take my job with me, I'm pretty skeptical, particularly for the big vendor. They want me in the office 3 days/wk, and on top of that, I will have been there max 6 months by the time I go. Not prime time to ask to relocate. Plus, I'm pretty sure the role is tied to my current location, so it's almost certainly a no. The consultancy has greater chances, but even there, not sure they'll want someone to continue working for them who can never come in and who's in a different timezone.

So that's a wrap! I think I gave a lot of context, but happy to provide more if needed!

Thanks :)



  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    4 months ago

    Congrats on getting 2 offers! It's a lot to take in, but here are my thoughts:

    • Follow your heart - I know that Taro is a platform for career advancement, but at the end of the day, I just want everyone here to be happy. If moving to Asia will maximize your happiness, then you should be all means move to Asia, even if it means some slowdown in career advancement. Careers are long - You can always catch up later.
    • Figure out the logistics behind the move - It's really hard for me to recommend anything concrete here as it's very gray and immigration is very difficult. You should do some broad strokes research and figure out the logistics here. If it could take 1 year+, then you should probably take the better job in the meantime (the extra $$$ will help with moving as well).
    • Tell your offers about the move - If you're 95%+ certain about moving, you should just let these companies know beforehand. Maybe they'll let you work remote? It's not likely but you might as well try. It doesn't feel like you have a ton to lose here.

    When it comes to the 2 offers, I'm leaning towards the biggest Bloomberg-esque firm. 10-15 people is not a lot, and career growth can be limited in very small companies, especially in consultancies. But of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

    Best of luck!

  • 3
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    4 months ago

    I feel strongly you should take the job. The future is uncertain, so the best bet is the "greedy" approach and take the better opportunity. So much can change in 6 months:

    • the trust you build at the new company (they will make an exception about remote work if they really like you)
    • you may not end up moving to Asia
    • another job may come along
    • ... and a lot more that are hard to predict

    Also, given the plateau you hit in your earlier job, the new role will expand your network and force you to learn new technologies and tools.