the_wanlorn: The Doubtful Guest (Default)
The Wanlorn ([personal profile] the_wanlorn) wrote2012-01-19 07:06 pm
Entry tags:

Help! Which Job Do I Take?

Hello, the flist. I have not talked to you much lately! Or seen you much. Or anything. Because I have been super busy doing things like, uh. Other. Things. ANYWAY. My most recent thing was a frantic job search! And now, internet, I have a massive fucking dilemma. It is kind of like a size two jeans problem, but I could still really use your advice, or the advice of everyone you know, especially if they have been in a similar position before.

So, I have two offers. One from company Y and one from company Z.

Company Y is a software development job. The company is okay, I enjoyed the few people I got to talk to there. The work would be interesting enough. It's half an hour away, so I wouldn't have to move. The company is mid-sized and is in a good-sized urban area. They're into agile development and do pair-programming. The product isn't something I'm super interested in, but it wouldn't be that bad. I'm fairly familiar with the language.

Company Z is web development. The company is great. The people are amazing, the work environment seems awesome. I got to see a lot more of it than most interviewees get because there was a bit of downtime in the middle of the interview so I chilled with the developers for almost an hour while they worked. I love the sites they work on, and their attitude toward new things and the input everyone gets to give. The company is really, really small, but is over ten years old and is growing. They have big plans, and are in the position to actually do them. Web development seems like a better idea career-wise because it seems like it's an area where the demand is growing faster than the supply? I'm not sure. Regardless, it's something that I would enjoy doing a lot and the people and location are great. It is, however, an hour away, so while the commute is okay temporarily, I'd have to move eventually.

The kicker, the thing that is tripping me up hugely, is that after negotiations, company Z is offering 15K less than company Y. Company Z does guarantee a review and likely raise at 6 and 12 months,. whereas Y doesn't. And Z's offer is nothing to sneeze at! But Y's is just so, so much better money-wise. I mean, 15K is an entire fucking year's salary for a shitload of people.

I could live on Z's salary, I'm pretty sure. However, given my student loans, it would be tighter and I'd definitely have less of a savings cushion than with Y's.

Internet, what should I do? Is the 15K difference worth taking Y over Z, even though I like Z so much more? If you need more information, then ask away because I will pretty much tell you anything because this is a hard fucking decision and I want a lot of opinions to make sure I'm not forgetting to consider something. Like, I know this is something that I have to decide for myself in the end, but other people's opinions are still nice, you know? Especially when they have more experience than me.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 10

Which offer should I accept?

Company Y
1 (10.0%)

Company Z
9 (90.0%)

If you have a specific reason, what is it?

aedifica: Photo of purple yarrow flowers. (Achillea millefolium)

[personal profile] aedifica 2012-01-20 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
I think I would go to Z and tell them how awesome you think they are, but you're torn because you have this offer that's *financially* awesome where Z is *generally* awesome, and ask if they can offer you a salary closer to Y's offer (while making it clear that you don't expect them to be able to make up the whole difference). But I've never been in that situation, so I don't know--I'll watch the comments here, I'm curious to see what other people have to say!
aedifica: Photo of purple yarrow flowers. (Achillea millefolium)

[personal profile] aedifica 2012-01-20 12:46 am (UTC)(link)
Go you for already talking with Z about it! In that case I'd be torn too. So, I think my next suggestion is to try to weigh the monetary difference against the estimated happiness difference and see if you can figure out which one weighs more. Which is easy to say and hard to do, I know.

Oh, and if you'd have to move eventually if you go with Z--what's the cost of living like in that area? Would your salary go farther than if you stay where you are, or not as far?
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2012-01-20 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, ah, yeah.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2012-01-20 03:33 am (UTC)(link)
My answer to "If you have a specific reason, what is it?" was "You could tell Company Z about the better offer at Company Y and see if they'll match it. That's what I would do!" Then I saw your response to [personal profile] aedifica. So keep negotiating. Everyone who feels they're worth it should. You say, "How often do you do reviews? Are these reviews coupled with raises based on performance? If so, how long might it take for me to get to Company Z's pay scale here?"

You're asking these questions not because the Human Resources person or your boss or whomever is going to take one look at you and go, "OMG, you seem so wonderful you should be making Company Z's money in no time at all!" but to get a realistic idea of what you're in for, so ask for specifics and for things to be worded concretely so you know what they expect of you and what to expect in turn from them.

You can decide from there if it's worth pursuing - but as long as you'll make enough money to put food on your table, gas in your car, crunchy stuff in your dog's bowl (assuming you own anything that barks), pay your bills and pay off other stuff like loans as you go along, you should follow your heart - it's rare that any of us get much of an opportunity to do that. Company Z simply sounds like it might fit you better (which in turn will help you fit better in it).

Edit: of course I hadn't seen [personal profile] synecdochic's answer before posting my own - there's even more to think about. :)
Edited 2012-01-20 04:06 (UTC)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

my advice cannot fit into a simple poll box

[personal profile] synecdochic 2012-01-20 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
If you're positive you want to stay in the tech industry and are willing to be aggressive in the future about where you go and who you work for, take company Z's offer, despite the salary difference. The difference in happiness is a big factor, but the difference in potential career advancement is huge. Traditional software development will get you to a decent-paying job eventually. Web development will get you to a decent-paying job eventually, and has the potential to get you to a fucking insane paying job down the road if you follow certain paths.

This is assuming you'd be willing to eventually relocate to Silicon Valley for a job in a startup, since that's where most of the fucking insane-paying web development and architecture jobs are located. If the job market where you are is more traditional software development and you aren't willing to relocate, or if you'd prefer to stay with a single company for a while rather than hopping jobs every 2-3 years, take company Y's offer, because the $15k difference in starting salary will affect your overall earnings over time, and the cost of commuting will hit you at first.

If you take Z's offer, do everything you can and utilize every single resource inside the company to learn everything you possibly can from everybody who's been working in the industry for more than a few years, and become the person who's always saying "Sure, I can do that!" even though it's not your technical job title. Not only will it make your boss happy with you, it will give you a very very broad skill base that you can start building on.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

Re: my advice cannot fit into a simple poll box

[personal profile] synecdochic 2012-01-20 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, exactly. The environment you describe for Z is a lot more the kind of place where you can avoid getting pigeonholed as "just a developer" -- like, it sounds like it'll give you a chance to learn web app architecture, new technologies, sysadmin stuff, etc, etc.

I would really encourage Z over Y in terms of being better for your long-term career options.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

Re: my advice cannot fit into a simple poll box

[personal profile] synecdochic 2012-01-20 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
Sometimes you have to go with something that is less money now but better in your career for the long run!
kerrypolka: Contemporary Lois Lane with cellphone (Default)

Re: my advice cannot fit into a simple poll box

[personal profile] kerrypolka 2012-01-24 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
SEE LIKE THE THING IS if I went with Y, it would be a job that I moved on from in a couple years. I can't see myself staying there for very long, unless it turns out that I have a secret and undiscovered love of pair programming. Which, given my experience in school, I would not hate it but I would not love it! Whereas with Z, I can see myself staying there for a lot longer. And I can also see myself moving to definitely better things from there, whereas with Y I can see myself... Like, moving to similar things but not necessarily better, you know? idk if that makes sense.

man, I hear what you are saying but basically this paragraph reads to me:

kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

Re: my advice cannot fit into a simple poll box

[personal profile] kate 2012-01-20 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
And this right here is why I told [personal profile] the_wanlorn to ask the interwebs.

cinco: Spock looking doubtful: "O RLY?" (Default)

[personal profile] cinco 2012-01-20 04:33 am (UTC)(link)

I read your post, and I was going to say the thing about Go to Y and tell them Z offered you A+15, and then... but I see you did that! Which was amazing of you, and I am ordering the book you linked. But then someone further down said something really smart, which was--Talk to Z about exactly what their promotion and pay and benefit structure is like. Try to bargain for more vacation time, or some money towards eventual moving costs, or mileage, or whatever. Get the best deal out of Z so that when you accept, you feel like you're getting the best possible deal at the company you really want to work for.

Because I read all of this and all the comments, and dude, you want to work for Z. You're going to think of Z as the company that got away if you take Y's offer--even though I totally agree with everyone who said that 15k is, well, damn, girl.

And also--congratulations! It's a really hard spot to be in, but at the same time wonderful, because you win either way. \o/
kerrypolka: Contemporary Lois Lane with cellphone (Default)

[personal profile] kerrypolka 2012-01-24 01:57 pm (UTC)(link)
IAWT negotiating for more vacation time!
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2012-01-20 06:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Company Z and move as soon as you can to keep those commute costs down.
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2012-01-21 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
How much is your rent going to be when you move to be closer to Company Z? A shorter commute is worth approximately a bazillion dollars, but if all of the rents are way high near company Z, that might be an argument against.
kerrypolka: Contemporary Lois Lane with cellphone (Default)

not having read the rest of the comments yet

[personal profile] kerrypolka 2012-01-24 01:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Is the 15K difference worth taking Y over Z, even though I like Z so much more?

No. I mean, maybe, but from the way you're talking about them I'm pretty sure no. Job satisfaction is so important to health, happiness, etc etc, and I really don't think $15k makes up for that click you get in a job you really love.