The answer is, it depends.
Let’s assume you are highly regarded employee at your present company and are not in a position where you need to make a change. In general, there are short term and long term reasons for making a career move.
Compensation is only one component of a bigger picture. It’s certainly a big component. Who does not want more money?
However, there are certainly other issues to consider.
Are you growing any further?
Have you hit a ceiling?
Is your technological expertise becoming outdated?
Are there other more cutting edge technologies out there that you don’t have experience with?
Do chemistry or cultural issues at your present company impede your ability to grow?
Has your company plateaued and/or in decline in terms of growth?
Is your network limited where you are?
These are several questions you may want to ask. Let’s say you are well paid where you are and well respected. You get an offer from another company that can offer you much more, in the longer term, in terms of new, more cutting edge technology and/or career growth. They can offer you opportunities that you can’t and won’t get where you are. However, the offer is not what you had hoped for, may be a pure lateral move, or may even be a pay cut from your current compensation package.
Our advice is look at all the components carefully. The answer may not be so simple. We had a situation recently where our client company could not match the candidate’s compensation package. The role was a bigger role at our client company. It was a a Director of Product Management for a high growth SaaS Software Company that offered lots of future opportunity and potentially a bigger salary down the road. In the end, our client decided to stay at his/her present company and, to this day, regrets making that decision. he/she has got more money in a counter offer, but when the smoke cleared, this person was still at the same company, not growing in terms of new technologies, and will most likely be less marketable the next time he/she decides to look outside. Certainly, there are times when taking a cut in pay or making a lateral move might not make sense, and and it’s certainly not a preference, but it is something to consider when looking at the long term components regarding your decision. Making a career change that would enhance your marketability in the future, or allow you to grow even further at another company, also has tremendous value as well, in addition to the compensation.
As always, the Techpros Team would be glad to weigh in on your career decisions. More than likely we have helped guide several candidates in the same or similar situation over the years, and you can benefit from our experience.