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Old 02-06-2011, 07:40 PM   #21
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I assume you are over 55 so you do not have to worry about 10% penalty on the 401k at your current job.
If the 401k is rolled over to an IRA or to the new employer's plan, I don't think there is any penalty, even if under 55.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:56 PM   #22
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You are asking people who think that it is wrong for kids to get liberal arts educations and dream to be artists.

You won't lose the pension. Negotiate for the best deal and then do what your heart desires.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:58 PM   #23
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You may want to push the start up offer for more $$ and stock options or other benefits. If you get whatever extra you ask for the decision will probably be easier. Nothing to loose.
Thanks. It's something to ask for if management is the path that I want to take.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:01 PM   #24
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Why does the start up want you? Do you have some specific experience/talent they need? Do you know the other people in the startup? Would it be fun to work with them? Is it a cool product or service you would be proud to bring to market?
They are looking for one who has software development expertise of medical device and mobile communication.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:04 PM   #25
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PS. Rereading your posts, it looks like you see no reasons to take this job, and already make up your mind, it appears.
You are reading it correctly. I do not see any big benefits of making the transition.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:08 PM   #26
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You won't lose the pension. Negotiate for the best deal and then do what your heart desires.
Martha,
Thanks for the advice. I should continue on what I like to do.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:22 AM   #27
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I would negotiate for ownership, which might make the venture worthwhile and interesting (if you help make the business successful you share in the earnings). If you are FI and comfortable in your current position why change jobs unless there is the opportunity for considerable compensation? I spent half my career (technical) working for a salary then moved to another company (as a manager) but got ownership. I liked the technical work better but the money is very good when you are getting a piece of the profits.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:47 AM   #28
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I would negotiate for ownership, which might make the venture worthwhile and interesting (if you help make the business successful you share in the earnings). If you are FI and comfortable in your current position why change jobs unless there is the opportunity for considerable compensation? I spent half my career (technical) working for a salary then moved to another company (as a manager) but got ownership. I liked the technical work better but the money is very good when you are getting a piece of the profits.
xyz,
Thanks. Since I am FI and pretty content at my current place, there's no need to jump skip unless the compensation is considerably higher.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:31 AM   #29
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From my own experience...I compared what people managers had to put up with versus what technical managers had fun doing. My personality is not correct for management material, so when I was offered a temporary branch chief spot, I politely turned it down. I preferred to stay a 50% hands-on techie and 50% contracts manager. It was MY best decision.

Try going through exercise of listing the Pros and Cons of making such a change. Go back and revisit it a month later.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:53 AM   #30
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Let's supposed that you receive an offer to get into an engineering management position with a start-up company, but the pay is similar. You are only a few years (< 5 yrs) from retirement, working for a mega-corp with a pension (albeit small) in a comfortable environment as a technical lead engineer. Would you make that switch? I would imagine that you probably think it's crazy to make such a transition unless the start-up offers more exciting work and a much better compensation package.
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Martha,
Thanks for the advice. I should continue on what I like to do.
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xyz,
Thanks. Since I am FI and pretty content at my current place, there's no need to jump skip unless the compensation is considerably higher.
The question reminded me of a career sea story, and yesterday I started to write a post about it, but it didn't seem to really cover all the issues.

Then this morning I had the thought: Five years after you ER, when you look back on this decision point, will you really give a crap about either one of these "choices"?

Unless the new job is likely to significantly accelerate ER without significantly raising your stress level, then I'd stick with the status quo. Once you're FI then you could easily decide to explore all the cool choices you've always wondered about-- on your terms and on your schedule.

Another way to handle the "grass is greener" syndrome would be to read about startups. I'm really enjoying "Founders at Work", and I can't help but notice that their success seems to be directly correlated with being FI or with being indigent single grad students in their 20s with very few possessions or family responsibilities.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:37 PM   #31
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I was offered management assignments a few times and always turned them down because I didn't want the stress of dealing with negative situations with people, like having to fire someone or even give them a bad appraisal. I know myself well enough that I'd lose sleep over that. I also liked the technical challenges.

On the other side, a technical lead has a lot of responsibility but little ability to make real decisions, like who is on your team, or major decisions about the project. If you're lucky you are consulted on these things, but you may not have any real say.

But as I understand it, a first line manager doesn't have much say either. It's a foothold to a higher management position, and is usually protected in layoffs, but I don't see a lot of other advantages unless you really don't want to keep up technically or would just rather be dealing with people more.

Anyway, like the other comments say, I wouldn't make the jump without a big upside. The risk/reward factor does not sound very high.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:49 PM   #32
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Assuming you want to FIRE soon... not way in H3LL would I go to a startup for the same money... for that matter any other company.

There is a certain amount of stress and hassle in changing j*bs. For me to tolerate that... they must pay... and quite a bit!

IMO - With a couple of years left... why complicate your life with unnecessary BS?

Now... if they were going to pay me a huge hiring bonus Plus a large salary increase or the same salary a large $ amount in stock options... I might consider it if I wanted to continue working.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:00 PM   #33
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Since I am FI and pretty content at my current place, there's no need to jump skip unless the compensation is considerably higher.
And you mentioned you did not want more stress than you currently have. Between management responsibilities and all the change, there almost no chance you would not find the new role noticeably more stressful for at least a while.

I am a BSME who became a manager over 30 years ago. I've lost way, way more sleep over people issues (many unnecessary in an ideal world) than anything technical by a wide margin FWIW. Good luck, but it appears you've already made the right decision for yourself.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:45 PM   #34
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Then this morning I had the thought: Five years after you ER, when you look back on this decision point, will you really give a crap about either one of these "choices"?
Nords,
You are right - who really cares about the past decisions? They key is to do something that you enjoy. Management is not very appealing other than a slight increase in pay.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:51 PM   #35
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On the other side, a technical lead has a lot of responsibility but little ability to make real decisions, like who is on your team, or major decisions about the project. If you're lucky you are consulted on these things, but you may not have any real say.
Agreed - being a lead is no picnic either.

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Anyway, like the other comments say, I wouldn't make the jump without a big upside. The risk/reward factor does not sound very high.
My inclination is not making the move.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:54 PM   #36
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IMO - With a couple of years left... why complicate your life with unnecessary BS?
I have been asking the same question.

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Now... if they were going to pay me a huge hiring bonus Plus a large salary increase or the same salary a large $ amount in stock options... I might consider it if I wanted to continue working.
I do not think that will happen.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:58 PM   #37
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And you mentioned you did not want more stress than you currently have. Between management responsibilities and all the change, there almost no chance you would not find the new role noticeably more stressful for at least a while.
A new job with increased responsibilities in an agile (unstructured) software development while managing 16 developers will definitely be very, very stressful.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:55 PM   #38
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What is the real value of the potential job? If you look only at money, then there is no reason to switch. Why do more for less? If you were much younger, then a lateral move might mean significant new experience.
When I considered a job change at 55, I measured about a dozen factors. The answer I came up with was that others could come close to megacorp, but not really match total job value. I decided to sign up for an advanced degree, and let the company pay.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:22 AM   #39
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Worked for three start ups, all of which had financial issues, including stopping healthcare coverage and/or pay. Can you live on 80% of what they are offering and no bennies?

Also, management is like adult day care. I tried it but have gone back to what Mega calls "an individual contributor role."
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:38 AM   #40
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..........Also, management is like adult day care.............

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

So true.
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