Working for a Competitor

pneumonicpneumonic Registered User regular
Need to be talked off the ledge.

I work at an advertising agency primarily on one account. I was approached by a recruiter that hails from a competitor to the account that I work on.

Pay is several thousands more. Benefits are substantially better. Opportunity to learn, as well as the mobility and job security is greater. I haven't signed a non-compete.

The agency that I work at isn't particularly healthy, and while I've been given an offer letter, my title and role at the competitor is kind of vague. I would be coming on board as a consultant and they would find out what I'm particularly good at.

Would I be an idiot for taking it considering how this might look to my coworkers and current client? Would I be an idiot not to take it given the higher pay, benefits, and all that comes with it? If this was anyone else it wouldn't be a big deal, but I feel like this could be a cluster because it's within industry...need perspective.

Thoughts?

Posts

  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    I'm not sure I understand your hesitation. Would this job be in addition to or instead of your current job? Because if it's instead of, all it's going to look like is you got a better offer somewhere else.

  • pneumonicpneumonic Registered User regular
    Instead of my current job. It feels like I'm turning my back on my current employer and team, but that might just be me being overly emotional about things.

  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    You're taking a new job, it's not personal.

    Feral815165NobodypirateluigiAngelHedgieRainfallMadpoetShadowhopeMuffinatronSCREECH OF THE FARGwrong_buttonInquisitor77DarkewolfeDisruptedCapitalistzepherinPsykomaEncCaptainNemoShadowfireCroakerBCcrimsoncoyote
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    But the "consultant" thing, to me, sounds like "temp job". They want you to do something that might take something from your current workplace then drop you, leaving them richer and you with burnt bridges. I always assume that a company is always looking for themselves and will screw you over for their best interest. Before you sign up, make sure they do have a place for you, something more permanent then consultant.

    Daenris815165AngelHedgieMuffinatronDisruptedCapitalistCelestialBadgerzepherinCaptainNemocrimsoncoyote
  • pneumonicpneumonic Registered User regular
    Yeah the title sounded kind of weird to me. Originally I was approached by the recruiter for a "specialist" position, but when I interviewed with the team and VP, they were really excited to have me join and wanted to make it easier to justify a higher salary, so from what I understand the title contains consultant, but I would functional as an internal consultant rather than an external consultant...but I'll be sure to cover myself.

    Appreciate the additional perspective...the reason why it feels so personal is because I'm going from a smaller, more tight-nit company to a national corporate entity.

  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    pneumonic wrote: »
    Need to be talked off the ledge.

    I work at an advertising agency primarily on one account. I was approached by a recruiter that hails from a competitor to the account that I work on.

    Pay is several thousands more. Benefits are substantially better. Opportunity to learn, as well as the mobility and job security is greater. I haven't signed a non-compete.

    The agency that I work at isn't particularly healthy, and while I've been given an offer letter, my title and role at the competitor is kind of vague. I would be coming on board as a consultant and they would find out what I'm particularly good at.

    Would I be an idiot for taking it considering how this might look to my coworkers and current client? Would I be an idiot not to take it given the higher pay, benefits, and all that comes with it? If this was anyone else it wouldn't be a big deal, but I feel like this could be a cluster because it's within industry...need perspective.

    Thoughts?

    Moving agencies is VERY common. Don't hesitate.

    FeralMagicToasterwrong_buttonInquisitor77
  • chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    Yeah, moving to competitors is not uncommon in a lot of industries.
    However, it sounds kind of like they're promising a rainbow bridge to a pot of gold. My suggestion would be to try to parse through the sales job of the recruiter and see what it would actually be.
    Then feel free to make the best decision for you, without too much regard for your bosses feelings.

    Drez wrote: »

    Being quoted out of context is honestly what I live for.
    815165Smrtnik
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    Particularly in advertising, this is extremely common. I had a friend that was working at one agency only on REI... and then got hired by another to work on Patagonia. Generally, the most clear path up (particularly when you're beginning your career) is to move to a new agency.

  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    Consultant doesn't necessarily mean you're consulting to them, but rather that you are consulting for their clients. My job title is i]Thing[/i Consultant because consultancy services is what the company I'm at sells, and its certainly not a temp job.

    Feral
  • pneumonicpneumonic Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback guys. The position is going from agency side to client side, which is why the benefits are so much greater. I'm becoming more comfortable thanks to everyone's input, but the responsibilities are still a little ambiguous and didn't come through on the offer. Going to see if they would be willing to clarify those more...maybe change the title.

    From what I gather, consultant is just the term they use for someone who isn't a manager, so fears allayed there.

    It helps to hear about others and their experiences, so if anyone has anything else to add I would be great fun. Thanks again.

  • SolonASolonA Registered User regular
    Sounds like the main hang up might be the vague responsibilities. Like you said, it would be a great idea to get that cleared up by your potential new employer before you make your final decision. It's not weird to ask about that, since it's a big change for you.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Whenever leaving a company to work at a competitor, if you weren't already planning on leaving, give them right of reply to the offer - ie, give them a chance to match or beat the offer. This way allows you to preserve the relationship with most bosses (some will still be jealous idiots but you can't win them all)

    Rainfall
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    How is a client side job a competitor? Do you mean that the client is a competitor of your current agency's client?

    What's your market and job role?

    From the perspective of NYC/LA, there might be somewhat more job security in a client job in the 3-5 year range but all it takes is one change in management or an arbitrary increase in KPIs and suddenly you're out the door and it is far more difficult to find an agency or in house job from that posture.

    kaliyama on
    fwKS7.png?1
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    Whenever leaving a company to work at a competitor, if you weren't already planning on leaving, give them right of reply to the offer - ie, give them a chance to match or beat the offer. This way allows you to preserve the relationship with most bosses (some will still be jealous idiots but you can't win them all)
    I have heard and in my experience that if you ask your current employer to match an offer and then you stay. When there is a problem you are first on the block.

    That being said if you want to stay having a pocket offer is a good way to negotiate from a position of power.

    Gaslight
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Get a contract before you leave. Read EVERY word. If you don't understand, have it clarified. If you don't like it, get it changed.

    And whilst you can take the offer to your current employer, don't do that until you have a solid offer (a contract, not a letter of intent) because if you are dismissed from job A and then job B fails to materialise you are screwed.

  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    pneumonic wrote: »
    Yeah the title sounded kind of weird to me. Originally I was approached by the recruiter for a "specialist" position, but when I interviewed with the team and VP, they were really excited to have me join and wanted to make it easier to justify a higher salary, so from what I understand the title contains consultant, but I would functional as an internal consultant rather than an external consultant...but I'll be sure to cover myself.

    Appreciate the additional perspective...the reason why it feels so personal is because I'm going from a smaller, more tight-nit company to a national corporate entity.

    Will you be a self-employed consultant? If so you're not going to get benefits, so you'll need to be prepared to buy your own health insurance, fund your retirement accounts, and pay the full payroll tax from the deal they're offering.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    Whenever leaving a company to work at a competitor, if you weren't already planning on leaving, give them right of reply to the offer - ie, give them a chance to match or beat the offer. This way allows you to preserve the relationship with most bosses (some will still be jealous idiots but you can't win them all)
    I have heard and in my experience that if you ask your current employer to match an offer and then you stay. When there is a problem you are first on the block.

    That being said if you want to stay having a pocket offer is a good way to negotiate from a position of power.

    This is usually dependent on the relationship you already had, and how you approached it. If you come at it like "hey I got this offer, match it or I'm outta here" then yeah that's going to fuck you over later.

    But if you approach them in a totally different way - "I'm extremely happy here, but this offer came out of the blue and is too much to turn down. I have to think about what I can do for my family with this new opportunity. I really don't want to leave, however, as I'm really happy here. Is there anything you can do for me on this offer?"

    MrDelishcrimsoncoyote
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    One thing to consider when moving from agency to industry is that while industry often pays better at lower levels, the top range of your salary can also cap out. On the other hand, if you can stick it out at agency until you're approaching a relatively senior level, the offers you'll get to go into industry are staggering. Like 200k plus to go to big companies.

    Edit: This could take 5-7 years or more... but it's super worth it. Also GETH WHYYYYYY???????!!!!!!!!!!

    Pacificstar on
    CroakerBC
  • pneumonicpneumonic Registered User regular
    So to elaborate a bit...this would be a competitor to the client that I work on at the agency...

    I decided to take the client-side position for a few reasons...

    1. It is higher pay, the benefits are amazing, but I make enough money to be very comfortable right now so while this was a nice directional nudge, it wasn't the be all end all.
    2. I feel like I'm hitting the peak of opportunity at my agency, which is a smaller shop. While I'm seen as a do it all super star where I currently work, I increasingly desire a mentor or coworkers that I can exchange ideas with, which I don't really have at my current place...
    3. I get to learn several new technologies, learn how to navigate a larger corporation, and manage media from the client side which I believe will give me more control over the larger strategic vision, but we'll see...
    4. I'm feeling increasingly isolated. A pointlessness to my work. It might be a lack of mentorship as well.

    My direct boss was really upset. Director tried to tell me that they could switch me to other accounts to reignite my passion, but it's kind of hard to go from defeating sauron to living life in the shire so to speak...Given the size of the agency and the personal nature of the team...I get it...but I've automated a lot of processes and mentored other team members to the point of making myself almost redundant! So they'll be fine...

    The title "consultant" is really just a misnomer...I'm an employee of the company.

    @kaliyama - vertical is finance and I would be managing a portfolio of digital media. The company isn't very cut throat...very family orientated despite its size and interested in maintaining work-life balance. The team seems highly intelligent...and the opportunity to grow in various directions strong (some people went from IT to this team, or onto HR, etc). In the future I'd likely want to move into Boston and continue managing digital media/paid search in some capacity. In your experience does going client side tend to hinder a person's ability to transition back to the agency side?

    chromdom
  • pneumonicpneumonic Registered User regular
    I also suppose this is a good sign...but they said that if I ever wanted to come back that they would be more than happy to have me...

    chromdom
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    pneumonic wrote: »
    I also suppose this is a good sign...but they said that if I ever wanted to come back that they would be more than happy to have me...

    Awesome, you never know what the future may bring! Advertising is all about the networking.

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