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Practicality vs. Dreaming
Old 07-09-2008, 06:22 PM   #1
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Practicality vs. Dreaming

Hi all,

My father is very practical. My mother is a dreamer.

Put yourself in my shoes. You've been relaxing and recuperating after getting let go from your job five weeks ago. You have savings, and you live very frugally, but you're obviously going to need a pretty good income for the next six years or so in order to finance your retirement.

You've just about worked up the motivation to start looking for jobs, and then a job opportunity finds you -- a consulting firm finds your profile on LinkedIn, they email you, and you apparently pass the phone screen.

The one significant catch is that it's very similar to the job you got let go from. You wonder about motivation. But you think you may have grown up a little and are now willing to work at a somewhat unpleasant job in order to pay the bills, particularly if the people you work for and with are decent.

Pursue it and pay the bills? Reject it out of hand? Talk to them and see what happens?

Votes and comments appreciated.

2Cor521
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #2
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Talk to them and see what happens. It can't hurt. If you're set on going back to work sooner or later, might as well kick the tires of this opportunity that seems to have fallen in your lap.

Would it be a full-time gig or consulting work? If it's the latter, you can avoid making a long-term commitment to this new job.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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Full time for at least a year, possibly longer. Working on a IT project for the state govt upgrading one of their systems. But it'd be through a IT consulting firm.

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Old 07-09-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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I'm missing what choice b) would be. You are unemployed, need work, and someone is hiring. Is your other choice to burn cash and hang out for a while longer? Find a more appealing job? If it's just a one year gig, heck, I can't think of a better scenario. You make good money, ride out the recession, and get to walk away from it without any burned bridges after 12 months.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:41 PM   #5
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Only six years? Gee, I've been dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 AM to go to a job I don't really adore, for longer than that and I still have fifteen months to go.

If you took a lower paying job this late in the game, for all you know it could morph into something you hate pretty quickly. The higher paying job could get a lot nicer.

But what should you do? I am really not sure. I am "in a mood" to say you should take the job. But tomorrow I might sincerely feel the opposite would be best, KWIM?
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
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What Laurence said.

You'll meet new people at the new gig (never underestimate the power of networking when it comes to getting jobs), and if you do a good job, may get a more interesting assignment from the consulting firm after a year. Hell, even if you can't stand it, you can quit in a couple of months and be no worse off than you are now. I really don't see a downside.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:00 PM   #7
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I'm missing what choice b) would be. You are unemployed, need work, and someone is hiring. Is your other choice to burn cash and hang out for a while longer? Find a more appealing job? If it's just a one year gig, heck, I can't think of a better scenario. You make good money, ride out the recession, and get to walk away from it without any burned bridges after 12 months.
Let me try to clarify.

I've just been vegging the last five weeks. I haven't submitted any applications, made any phone calls, anything. I've taken note of a company or two that I think I would like to work for, but mostly I've just relaxed and decompressed.

The only reason to reject it out of hand is the (completely unfounded and possibly erroneous) belief that I could find a (possibly much) more appealing job if I actually went out and worked the job search, did the networking thing, etc. -- a process I was planning to start today. However in my little world sometimes Today turns quite easily into Real Soon Now which can turn into Never after a while. Another reason, I guess, would be if I took the job and it was so unappealing to me that I didn't work at it and therefore didn't succeed.

I would say, however, that the salary they've mentioned is more than what I was making in my last job and probably quite a bit higher than what I could make were I to switch to a new career.

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Old 07-09-2008, 07:05 PM   #8
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Only six years? Gee, I've been dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 AM to go to a job I don't really adore, for longer than that and I still have fifteen months to go.

If you took a lower paying job this late in the game, for all you know it could morph into something you hate pretty quickly. The higher paying job could get a lot nicer.

But what should you do? I am really not sure. I am "in a mood" to say you should take the job. But tomorrow I might sincerely feel the opposite would be best, KWIM?
Sorry, W2R, I know you're counting the days...

Your second paragraph makes it sound like there are two jobs out there. I'm not sure I follow. At this point I have three choices: (1) the job opportunity that has fallen into my lap, which is a high paying job doing stuff I've done for 15 years, or (2a) beginning the job search in earnest, looking for a job in my former field of software development, or (2b) beginning the job search in earnest, looking for a job in a different field. I kinda feel like if I were to switch careers fields I'd have to take somewhat of a cut in pay.

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Old 07-09-2008, 07:16 PM   #9
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Gee, take the job. It's only a year; not like you're getting married to it.

At age 18 I found out that the people you work with can make or break a job. During Christmas season I was unloading trucks at Woodward & Lothrop (a regional department store chain) and have never since worked in a place that had a more petty, bickering, negative atmosphere. They're out of business and I have to think that's why. They asked me to stay on after the seasonal job was over but I wasn't interested in staying there.

Later I worked at Sears doing heating and A/C repair work. They didn't pay much, but the people made it a great place to work.

So this is a chance to find out what it's like working for that company. If it's not a good match you're free to walk in a year (or sooner if it's horrible). If you like it there and they offer you something you like then you're home free.

I don't see the downside.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:22 PM   #10
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Sorry, W2R, I know you're counting the days...
486... I'm getting there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Your second paragraph makes it sound like there are two jobs out there. I'm not sure I follow. At this point I have three choices: (1) the job opportunity that has fallen into my lap, which is a high paying job doing stuff I've done for 15 years, or (2a) beginning the job search in earnest, looking for a job in my former field of software development, or (2b) beginning the job search in earnest, looking for a job in a different field. I kinda feel like if I were to switch careers fields I'd have to take somewhat of a cut in pay.

2Cor521
Oops! I only thought (1) and (2b) were the possibilities. My bad. I would still tend to take (1) just because it is the bird in the hand.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:27 PM   #11
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The only reason to reject it out of hand is the (completely unfounded and possibly erroneous) belief that I could find a (possibly much) more appealing job if I actually went out and worked the job search, did the networking thing, etc. -- a process I was planning to start today. However in my little world sometimes Today turns quite easily into Real Soon Now which can turn into Never after a while. Another reason, I guess, would be if I took the job and it was so unappealing to me that I didn't work at it and therefore didn't succeed.
I would say, however, that the salary they've mentioned is more than what I was making in my last job and probably quite a bit higher than what I could make were I to switch to a new career.
And the downside is...?

You can always start a job search whenever you want, and as many times as you want. It seems that you have an opportunity to do that while you're actually working and getting paid pretty well to do so, to say nothing of collecting another résumé bullet. If you can tolerate the job & coworkers for a year then great, and if not then you can always start the job search again.

You know how to do a job search, you know what the experience is going to be like, and eventually it'll probably end up with a job. Not many surprises or learning experiences there.

OTOH you don't know how you're going to like this job or the people. Plenty learning opportunities there!

Otherwise it seems a case of bird in the hand vs two in the bush.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #12
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W2R,

Frank better take you out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner in about 486 days!

(2a) isn't really necessary if (1) comes to fruition, of course. From what I know so far, (1) is actually a pretty good option among the options in the software development arena. If (1) doesn't pan out, my priority is probably to pursue (2b) before (2a).

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Old 07-09-2008, 07:31 PM   #13
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And the downside is...?

You can always start a job search whenever you want, and as many times as you want. It seems that you have an opportunity to do that while you're actually working and getting paid pretty well to do so, to say nothing of collecting another résumé bullet. If you can tolerate the job & coworkers for a year then great, and if not then you can always start the job search again.

You know how to do a job search, you know what the experience is going to be like, and eventually it'll probably end up with a job. Not many surprises or learning experiences there.

OTOH you don't know how you're going to like this job or the people. Plenty learning opportunities there!

Otherwise it seems a case of bird in the hand vs two in the bush.
I haven't said this explicitly but if I were to be offered and accepted this job, I know that I am lazy enough to not look for a better job elsewhere as long as the paychecks are rolling in.

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Old 07-09-2008, 07:55 PM   #14
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As I understand you do not have the offer yet. Why not start your search now as you say you were planning to. If you turn something up, you'll have options. If you find that finding work is more difficult then you have all the more reason to take this job if you get the offer. Doing nothing and hoping this materializes and that it is okay and that you couldn't find anything better seems like it saves you some effort, but you might be missing out on something much better than whatever happens to fall into your lap.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:21 PM   #15
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This is not the best job market, I'd say there is more than a 50% chance it will be better in a year, and like others said, it's possible you'll love this job because of who you work with. I say accept the job and stash the cash. Worst case scenario it's not what you want to do for the next 6 years, you end it with just 5 to FIRE.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:51 PM   #16
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This is not the best job market, I'd say there is more than a 50% chance it will be better in a year, and like others said, it's possible you'll love this job because of who you work with. I say accept the job and stash the cash. Worst case scenario it's not what you want to do for the next 6 years, you end it with just 5 to FIRE.
I think this is good advice. The down side is not that bad as you would be in the same place you are now if it doesn't work out. The only thing I'd be careful about is taking a job, dumping it quickly, then trying to explain to a future prospective employer why you bailed after such a short period of time.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #17
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I haven't said this explicitly but if I were to be offered and accepted this job, I know that I am lazy enough to not look for a better job elsewhere as long as the paychecks are rolling in.
Still not seein' the downside!

Don't let that bird go...
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Learn from this
Old 07-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #18
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Learn from this

I used to love to apply for jobs that I wasn't that thrilled about. Makes you learn about how to play hard ball when it comes to their making you an offer.

You are free to counter on the high side for everything. Go for the moon if they want you. If they actually offer you the moon, you might think differently about the job.

The other thing that often happens is the company hears your demands and suddenly has new respect for you. "This guy must be very good to demand that.

If they say no, so what, you didn't want the job anyway.

Works with offers on Real Estate also. Doesn't always work but when it does, it makes a nice package.

boont
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:03 PM   #19
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I used to love to apply for jobs that I wasn't that thrilled about. Makes you learn about how to play hard ball when it comes to their making you an offer.

You are free to counter on the high side for everything. Go for the moon if they want you. If they actually offer you the moon, you might think differently about the job.

The other thing that often happens is the company hears your demands and suddenly has new respect for you. "This guy must be very good to demand that.

If they say no, so what, you didn't want the job anyway.

Works with offers on Real Estate also. Doesn't always work but when it does, it makes a nice package.

boont
+1 on that. Booze Allen Hamilton asked me to interview, and while I was completely happy with my job, I did just to see what's what. My calm and confident manner ("I don't need this job") translated well and they actually "declined" me on that job and asked me to fill a more senior job making big $$. I declined, as I really didn't want to leave my current company ( 5 weeks off a year plus every other Friday). But the bottom line is there is no better time to land a sweet gig than when you don't "need" it.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:02 AM   #20
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Works with offers on Real Estate also. Doesn't always work but when it does, it makes a nice package.
Seems that it almost never works the first time, and when it does it works so well that it's almost always the last time...
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