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Hi all, I'm at a bit of a crossroads right now where I need to relocate and the options for me are either to take a lateral PM position (I'd manage an acquisition program) or stick with contracting but take a grade lower (with pay matching, so step 7). I was hoping I could get your opinions on the two career fields, pros/cons, career and promotion potentials, etc. Anyone have experience in both fields or going back and forth between them that can share? What do you all think about folks who go from 1102 to PM the potential to go back to 1102, would that PM experience be seen as valuable? Thanks!

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If I had to choose personally, it would be on what my interests are.  The PM field is broad and involves lots of different processes, tools, methodologies, and techniques to get a job done (successful acquisitions).  It also involves learning one or more technical fields that the acquisitions support.  The 1102 field involves learning progressively more and more things.  You often become proficient at some (contract law, accounting, business analysis, negotiation, fiscal, etc.) fields but generally not an expert in all.  

To advance at the top end, both require supervisory/management skills.  Many 1102s are happy just doing their jobs in front of their computers in the cubicle.  That’s fine for many.  On the other hand, most PMs have to be more assertive and push people to meet deadlines.

Like I said, I personally would make a decision on what I like in a job rather than possible advancement opportunities

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