When to swallow your pride and when to leave?

I am facing a quandary in my career and I am not sure what to do.  I figured I would put this post together to see if I can come up with an idea as to what I should do.

First a little background:

About a year and half ago I was working for a distribution company when a Specialty Retailer Recruiter called me and asked me if I was looking for a position.  She spoke about the position and told me that it was going to be the Network Engineer who would be designing their network for the next several years.  They had a little under a 1000 nodes on their DMVPN and were committed to Cisco as their networking vendor.  I thought what the heck lets do the interviews and see where the position leads me.  I met with the then, Manager of Technical Services, Director of IT, and CIO.  During the interview process I told them about my wants and desires, I didn’t want to manage anyone, I had done that in the past and was tired of dealing with people.  They said no problem, we want someone who can troubleshoot anything we throw at them and can build our network for the future.  This included both the WAN and LAN.  After the 5 hour interview I was excited by the opportunity, the company seemed like it wanted to grow and it wanted to do things correctly moving forward.  I had an ace in the hole at that time in that one of the guys I had worked with at a previous company was working there and corroborated everything I had been told.

Flash Forward to now:

The company has hit some hard financial times.  All of the plans I had for the network were put on hold because of the financial issues for the company.  While I wasn’t happy with it, I understood that other company initiatives came first.  So I put all of my plans into a folder and set them aside for now.  Now is when it gets interesting, the IT staff has been cut in half, I am now managing a staff of 5 people and all of the people that hired me are now gone from the company.  We have a new CIO who has decided to bring in his own Network Engineering company and could care less about my designs.  The new CIO is less than interested in what the existing staff has to say, although he wants to keep us around to do the work.  The new Engineering Company while competent is only listening to what I have to say as it pertains to what they want to do and what they are comfortable doing.  My input is less than desirable and they only want me to maintain the existing infrastructure and then become the caretaker for the new infrastructure.

So my question is this:

Do I look for something new and then leave?  Do I stay where I am?  With the new CIO comes a lot of money and we are going to get Nexus 5k/2k and 5585x ASAs.  We are also getting some much needed money to do some additional logging and replace some of the older infrastructure.

Do I swallow my pride and give up design work right now, knowing that I will have a chance to learn new technology and get to implement new things?  Or do I pack up my stuff and start looking for a new job?  I still have my plans of getting my CCIE, which the company is not helping me with so that isn’t changing.

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