Where to head now? Career advice.

Hello community! Newcomer looking for career advice.

I have a year experience as QA, almost fully manual. Changed two companies already. First one was rubbish – no process, not much to learn, starter that lasted 6 months. Next company seemed good, but I didn’t get lucky to be in cool project/team and quit,low salary, but at least got ISTQB certified. Now I’m hoping number 3 will be lucky one. We are using Salesforce to build ecommerce websites. People are cool, platform of Salesforce seems good to have in resume and valuable skill, salary meets my expectations.

But I am really keen on automation, have some experience with Java and basic Selenium scripts and trying to study after work and on weekends. However, the current job is purely manual testing and I don’t really want to end up doing only it. I do believe it will get boring at some point. Automation is really interesting to me and I believe the future of this profession.

What I am asking for is should I stick to the current company and hope for Lead QA role in the years to come. The company is small and it’s highly possible this will happen in 3-4 years. Or should I hunt for Automation QA position as soon as I have the opportunity, where I believe I won’t be able to grow so quickly to a lead role, especially in bigger company. To rephrase it on the one side I have possibility for lead role with management skills that might lead to PM/PO position afterwards, on the other – automation with highly valuable tech skills for the market but possibly harder road to reach seniority.

My higher goal is to get into Product/Project Management. I believe the Lead role will be better and the automation QA despite providing tech skills will not aid me in this pursuit as it lacks management skills. Or maybe I should directly aim at PM or Project Coordinator positions and not wait for QA Lead or put any effort in automation beforehand?

submitted by /u/gichka
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