Should I (26f) stay at current job or leave for better paying opportunity?

TLDR: should I stay at a job where I don’t make enough money to make ends meet but enjoy my work and the company culture?

I (26f) have been in my position for 2 years and enjoy the job. I started at 38k and after two raises make 45k. Im not able to live on my salary and pay off credit cards, student loans, and keep up with bills. I have excelled in my position and had great performance reviews where my bosses have discussed promoting me to a senior level after I take on more leadership. My reasons for thinking about leaving are:

1) I was the first hire on my team, trained and mentored my current colleagues, and started internal processes so the team is functioning better and producing more. In the past 6 months one coworker (32m) who has been at the company longer but very new to my team has seen me take on more leadership opportunities and seemingly took that as a sign that he should do the same. We are now in a position where my bosses see us as kind of a duo and they want to promote both of us to senior positions at the same time. At first this was exciting because we worked well together and both have similar ideas for how to improve the team. Lately though he has been challenging my ideas and processes, not collaborating well, taking on the biggest projects without consulting the team via our usual process, and very obviously makes a point to be the team spokesperson in meetings by interrupting and speaking for the team without consulting us. We have hired a junior team member that we are both training/managing and since then he has become even more difficult to work with and self-promotional. This has turned my job from enjoyable and fulfilling to be incredibly frustrating and the recognition he gets for bulldozing the rest of my team makes me question my bosses judgment.

2) While my bosses have been mentioning a promotion for quite a while (at least a year) they have given no timeline and I have met and exceeded every goal they have set for meeting a promotion. There are a lot of times that I feel I am vital to my team but very unappreciated because I’m not a shark like my male colleague.

3) even if I do get a promotion I do not expect the salary to be more than 5% which is unfair for the workload. I work at a small company and it’s well known that my bosses do not give large raises and underpay everyone. Most employees work here for a few years and leave due to lack of growth opportunities. If this is the case, it will be years before I am financially stable.

To help make ends meet I’ve been freelancing for a client that pays very well. They recently reached out to me to let me know that they are going to hire someone in my field for a full time role and wanted me to consider applying (this also might mean my freelance work will dry up). I took a call with my contact and they hinted that I was the first choice for the role since we have a history working together so I have a good shot at it. They estimated they’d be offering somewhere between 50-60k with very similar (plus some) benefits as my current job. It would take years for me to make that salary at my job, and I’d be be the first hire on a new team at a large, quickly growing company. This could mean potential opportunities for leadership and growth. My reasons for hesitating are:

1. Huge fear of the unknown since I am very comfortable at my current job and worry that I would hate the new job or end up being really bad at it
2. New job would be fully remote. I’m a homebody but after college I moved across the country and don’t have friends here besides my boyfriend so I get a lot of socializing done at work. But if I’m making more money I’ll have more flexibility to travel home to see my family and enjoy my life instead of working 50 hours a week and sitting at home on the weekends because I can’t afford to do things I enjoy.
3. I would be going from a very relaxed, casual office environment to a more (but not overly) corporate, professional job. I’m not opposed to this but it would be new for me.

I dont have much more information about the new company but have done work for them for a while and there haven’t been any red flags. I’ve agreed to an interview and plan to ask for more information. I’m feeling very unsure if I should take the risk or if I should stay where I’m comfortable (but kind of uncomfortable bc I’m uncomfortably broke haha)

If you read this far, thank you and please give any advice at all!!

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