Career advice needed - Niche agency or College

I’ve been offered a job at a well respected College in Canada as their Web Strategist. Small team in the marketing dept but the job itself is right up my alley.

I’ve been at my current gig now for 9 years now. Small niche agency in with some good clients. But over the last few years, those bigger clients have been moving their projects in-house and we’ve been forced to focus more on getting smaller gigs to pay the bills and in the meantime, we’ve been developing our own software. One service is a mobile learning platform that allows the user to upload video and then all members can collaborate around it.

2 years in development and we just landed our first, international client. It’s cloud based and practically infinitely scalable with Amazon. So there’s opportunity there, but I’m not a partner (though I was offered partnership 4 years back and I’m sure I could get it back on the table).

I have incredible freedom at my current job. Telecommute 3 days a week, manage a team remotely, 2 days in the office, never work overtime, weekends are my own, excellent compensation and I have the time to do freelance work. On a sunny afternoon, I’m on my deck in the backyard enjoying the weather and working with my company issued Macbook Pro Retina fully loaded.

The job is great. But like everything there’s baggage and I feel like my career is stagnating.

On the other hand, this role of web strategist is significantly less pay, it’s union based, longer hours and my freelance will potentially suffer as a result. I’d be in a corporate environment and the thought of sitting at a desk day in and day out scares the **** out of me just because of my personality and need to move around and change scenery. I’d be managing 125 internal clients and defining and steering the the web presence moving forward. By owning the web properties I’d finally have the chance to conduct usability studies, A/B testing, etc. I don’t currently have that opportunity because, like most niche agencies the clients would rather push the project out the door and not pay for the smart planning and in-depth analysis of the data.

Telecommuting at the College is also not an option, but it’s a 6 minute drive from where I live. Mon to Friday, 8:30 -5 with a 30 min lunch. It would take me many years to get back to my current salary.

But, the job itself seems GREAT. It’s a day-to-day job where “on paper” having a College is good but then, I’ve already taught there and am on the Web Design Advisory Committee so it’s already part of it.

Any thoughts or insight would be highly appreciated.

Anyone? I need to make a decision soon and I’m hoping for some insight from members here.

The thing is that nobody can decide for you. And it looks to me that you’ve already done it. You want the job. You want the challenge. Then take it.

It may be less pay, that doesn’t matter. It is what you want to do. You need that exciment since you’re bored with your current job.

Myself? I prefer lifestyle than reputation. I don’t mean the difference in salary. Money is always good but it is not that important to me. Although sometimes it should becaue I tend to get into a bit of trouble now and then :lol: Nothing major. I’m not a big spender but it is hard for me to say “no” when my family needs cash.

No, it is more about the freedom and to be able to sleep or read or do what I want to. Probably I’d be doing other stuff too.

Regarding your personality, I wouldn’t worry much about it. We all have a personality. God knows that I have mine and I can be difficult at times! But hey, nobody fired me so far :smiley:

First, I’ve never heard of Web Strategist. Second, I’ve never heard University Employee who complain that there’s too much work… Of course, I can be very wrong but I’ve heard University IT department are very relaxed, low stressed, and a very boring place to work at. You’re right that pay sux unless the funding of work is coming outside of the University. Why don’t you look into commercial side of the IT? Sounds like you’ll enjoy place like Silicon Valley.

I believe compensation is a direct reflection of value. So if the pay is significantly less I would easily turn it down. There are two many opportunities out there to jump at the first or second offer.