Didn’t realise the role I accepted is a step backwards. What to do?

The end date of my previous project / contract was approaching, so I needed to find a new job. Applied for a permanent “Senior” position and got the interview. They were very keen on me and kept upping the salary offer to a point I couldn’t refuse (35K increase). They seemed lovely, it’s interesting work, so I accepted.

However, 4 weeks in, I’ve learned that there are “Senior” and “More Senior” roles in the team. My skills and experience are better suited to the “More Senior” role. My fellow “Senior” colleagues literally have half my years of experience, and most people I’ve talked to so far are shocked when they hear where I came from and that I’m not in the “More Senior” role. (Lesson learned to actually ask about hierarchy in future job interviews and not assume).

I feel unsure about what to do… On one hand, I’m on the best salary I’ve ever been on and I’m doing less = less stress. On the other, I feel frustrated that I’ve lost my seniority and decision-making power. (The best way I can describe this feeling is that I’ve been an independent adult for a decade, now I’m a teenager living under my parent’s roof again haha).

I also wonder if I screwed up my career progression. If I start applying for new roles, would they look down on me for ‘accidentally’ ending up in a more junior role than what I’m used to.

Progression in this current company is an option… They seem very good with internal progression, but I don’t know how long it will be for the next opportunity to come along. People seem to stay here a long time!

I think exploring a range of different perspectives will help me decide my next steps. So, if you have a similar experience to share or thoughts on how you would approach this, it would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

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