I am a 2020 grad, and currently an "apprentice" to the co-founder and director at a relatively small online company I'll call company C; this is a paid internship, so to speak, that I started September 2020, and my boss expects full-time hours.
April 18,2021 at 1:21AM UTC
He is also aware I'm currently doing an executive masters program, remotely, from which I graduate August 2021.
I truly like the work that they do, I enjoy the people in the company and the flexibility of the work, and I believe the company has huge potential to grow well. Currently my salary is not that great, especially considering that I'll have a masters degree soon (even though the masters degree is healthcare informatics, which is not directly related to the operations and logistics type stuff I'm doing here). My boss, M, said while he was searching for apprentices he preferred someone who could stick around for at least 6 months. But I think what the "end" of the apprenticeship would look like was left vague.
In March, I told him I really enjoy company C and I would love to have a full time position as a long-term team member; would that be possible? He answered "to be honest right now I'm not sure", and told me he'd like to see growth in my ability to research and problem solve independently, my technical understanding, and my demonstrated ability to grow and learn. He said let's say you for sure will work through the end of June and then we'll re-evaluate July 1. (I did sign a contract at the beginning of this arrangement where the end date I left as some time September 2021; I believe the contract says either party can terminate it at any time)
A week or two after that conversation, my boss M asked everyone in the company what their ideal salary would be in 3-6 months, 1-2 years, and long term 5-10 years. I asked him does this question apply to me too, given that conversation we just had about re-evaluating later my progress in terms of staying long-term? He said yes. So I said it's hard for me to say what long-term salary I would like because currently I am more focused on growing my skills so that I can stay long term full time. Then I said given that that's my primary focus, I'm ok with maintaining the same salary in 3-6 months and maybe a $10k increase in 1-2 years, if I stay.
Ok, so - I just received the first ever true full-time employment offer in my life, for technical account manager at Qualtrics, which is a much larger company. The salary is 50% higher than what I currently make at company C by about 50% (but it's still not super high and I'd like to negotiate it). I also believe there's structure and room for professional development with this new role. I really don't want to lose my foot in the door at company C though, because I do believe that in the future they will be much larger and there will be more awesome opportunities for me to interact with people and organizations in the niche/field that I love. (and that my salary at company C could grow too - but that's IF my boss decides to keep me on, which honestly is a big part of all my uncertainty currently - at least I know Qualtrics has actually given me a formal full-time offer). Qualtrics would also require me to move across the country to Provo, UT, but they have a $2500 relocation bonus. I'm not necessarily worried about moving - although I am a little concerned about if I can cultivate social life in a highly Mormon (?) area as an atheist - but I would like a higher salary than what they offered, if possible.
So basically I'm really conflicted over a lot of things. IDEALLY I really don't want to let either of these opportunities go, even though there are aspects of both that are not ideal. I would like to do Qualtrics full-time and tell current company C "hey I love the work we do, but may I do part-time for a while? I got another great offer at Qualtrics I'd like to pursue". There are other people at C that do part-time. But, even as I'm already nervous about expressing my desires professionally (and I'm so green professionally), I'm also made anxious by the thought that I don't have the best footing anyway with my current boss. He didn't straight up say no let's end your apprenticeship when it's time, but he also didn't enthusiastically say "yes we have a place for you", and a few people have told me "tbh I don't know" is basically a really nice, non-confrontational way of saying no.
Any thoughts or advice DEEPLY appreciated, please.
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