Long story short: My small-ish town with low cost-of-living basically has two large employers. We are not currently willing to move. I just left the former employer for a job at the second employer, which is also where my husband works. Former employer is a university, and wage increases are done by union-negotiated increases. Promotions are difficult to come by, as people need to vacate above you. New employer has very awesome career ladders and obvious career paths, and a boss already looking to promote me.
I could potentially get a job that pays me when more right now at former employer, but my fear is the wages would stagnate. On the other hand, I feel confident I could make more eventually at current company, but don't know exactly how long it would take to get up to the potential pay at former employer--perhaps 2-3 years? Currently paid 35k plus benefits, new job would probably be low 40s.
The crux of the issue: Do you maximize the cash you can make right this instant, without thinking of future earning potential, or do you stick with the place you think will help you maximize earnings over a longer period? Any and all thoughts/advice welcome.