Having trouble making a decision
I've been at my current employer for over a year and so far I like the job. Recently though, I've had a few things get on my nerves. The management is very lenient on employees (i.e. no punishment for being late or missing days/performing bad), there's almost no desire to show up on time or to perform well because you will achieve no more than the under-performers. Management promises raises and promotions with nothing to show for it; promotions and reviews are incredibly slow and have a "when we feel like it" attitude. Nevertheless, what I love about the job is the people. I have tons of friends and actually enjoy my time there, despite some of the flaws. I have a sense of accomplishment with my daily tasks and I have a large ability to assist customers.
On the other hand, I recently got a job offer from another company. It's a much larger company and I would have a lot more competition for promotions. Although, due to the companies larger size there's more promotions to give and more ability to grow long-term. They have scheduled timelines for reviews and raises based on performance and semi-annual cash bonuses. I would be making $1.50 more an hour and have more vacation and sick time; tuition assistance and other benefits are included as well.
My problem is this:
I love my current job, and I could see myself growing with the company long-term (if they ever get around to promoting me, fingers crossed). The passion is there, I don't dread driving to work every day. The money isn't terrible, although, the benefits are lackluster. The new job, however, has many appealing benefits and is much larger which means I higher plateau point. It may take much more time and effort, but the reward may be worth it? Or maybe I'll hate the job? I'll work with 1,000+ people instead of 300ish which could be cool? I've also heard time off requests are cumbersome to try to get (at the new place) which sounds like a bummer. Ultimately I won't know until I try the new job, but is it worth risking the past year and a half I've spent at the company I'm with? I'm not so sure...
The new job seems to be a upward move, (no job will ever be perfect).I say go for it.
This may be the change/challenge you need. Be sure to leave in good standing. Proper written notice, nothing but positive comments about the company etc.
Continuing your education is important. Company's that offer tuition assistance benefits to their employees are interested in their employees higher education, this is usually a sign of a good company. Take advantage of this benefit.