Career progression dillema

IT-FellaIT-Fella Member Posts: 63 ■■□□□□□□□□
I had a conversation with a recruiter for a position at an MSP yesterday. The reason why I wanted to bring it up is that it might be a food for thought for others on this board.

A little bit of a background. I started as a desktop support about 3 years ago at my current job (I had approx 6 years of experience in IT but due to the large gap in relevant employment I had to start from the bottom again) at 30K a year. By being at the right place at the right time I switched through several positions and was able to double my initial salary and got promoted to an IT Manager about a year ago. At some point I started feeling that I came to the dead end at my current company and I began looking for something else. Even though I manage a team of 6 and could have been searching for similar roles I decided to switch over to a hands-on technical position, most likely a generalist type.
So yesterday, I was basically told that my experience is only enough for System Engineer L1 position with a paycut of 5K and I will have a hard time competing with other IT veterans with 7-10+ years of experience who would apply for SE L2 position (pays 70K+). I was also told that my company put "golden handcuffs" on me by giving me an IT Manager's title which would limit my potential employment possibilities due to inability to stand against similar title in a larger working environment (I work at a relatively small company - 200emp, 2 locations, 30-40 servers).
I haven't responded to an offer yet but I feel that it would be pretty dumb to jump ship, take the paycut and work as a SE L1, especially that it would require driving to clients way more often than SE L2 position. I understand that working for more a successful MSP (it is one of the largest in US) in a fast-paced environment might help me grow professionally even faster but I feel that taking a paycut, deal with the strict schedule (my current schedule is very flexible), going to clients' sites would not fit the bill.
By no means, I wanted to start the discussion on MSP vs Corporate IT but I'm just looking for an advice. I have a feeling that I should stick with my current job and get more certs which would in turn give me more opportunities in the future rather than moving into a more progressive environment now.

I would appreciate any advice and thoughts.

Thank you!


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    zaleonardzzaleonardz Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    In South Africa, the union's would have their butts on a plate if they did something like that.

    Regardless, jumping ship into unemployment is dumb,

    Accept the pay cut, but get a clear path from your employer in writing, over a notepad piece of paper and coffee, that goals = x reward = y

    If they need you to go and study more, plus get 1 year more, and you will be at current remuneration + x%, get goals, if the guy does not want to give you goals, assume that your days are numbered there anyway, and prepare to jump ship,but on your own time.
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    IT-FellaIT-Fella Member Posts: 63 ■■□□□□□□□□

    It's not about quitting my current job and being unemployed. If I leave my current company and get a position at an MSP it would be a 55K vs 60K I get paid now.
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    markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As someone that has gone to a half-management half-technical role and started at a help desk, I can understand where you're coming from. Ultimately, will jumping over to the SE L1 get you further along in your career than where you are at now? If so, I'd take the 5k paycut and do that. If you can get to a SE L2 within 6 months to a year, then you'll be making more than you do now and have more technical experience on your resume.

    Until you get to upper management, I think the technical stuff is what really gives you job security. I only have a little over a year of IT experience, but I never want to stop learning the technical stuff. I want to always be working on a cert or some technical project on the side.
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