Author Topic: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?  (Read 4611 times)

tkaraszewski

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I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« on: October 09, 2012, 09:18:28 PM »
So, I quit my job. I didn't want to work there any more. It was 52 miles from my house, and I didn't want to do the drive (which I had been doing three days a week). I gave notice yesterday, next Friday will be my last day.

What next?

I have a job offer from a former employer. It is a pretty cushy offer. Annual salary is about the same as my current job, but with bonus and stock that add up to more in total. I am giving up startup equity by leaving the current job, though. This place is 59 miles from my house, which sounds even worse than before, but I wouldn't have to go to the office more than once a week. The risk is that I'm afraid I might get bored. That's essentially why I left in the first place. I also wonder how this might look on my résumé in 5 years, if it shows "company A 2007-2012" followed by "company B" for less than a year and then "company A" again from "2012-present". I'm not sure if this is a thing to worry about or not.

I have a job offer from a friend in the early stages of a new startup. It would be significantly less salary and a lot more equity. The idea is promising and the business seems to have a good chance. This is full-time from home. They would at least give me enough salary to cover my living expenses. There might be a big payout in a relatively short time frame. Or not.

I had an interview today with another big company. It is 28 miles from my house, but they'd want me to come in every day. This company has the reputation of paying very well, so they might well make the highest offer. They haven't offered me anything yet, but the interview went very well, so I'm anticipating that they will. I'm leaning away from accepting it, though, due to the distance. My wife and I want to move in the next couple years, but we'd really only end up maybe 3-5 miles closer to this place.

I have another interview tomorrow with a medium sized company. I don't know if they'll be able to match the salaries of my old employer or the big company mentioned above, but they'd probably come pretty close. I've been told working from home four days a week won't be a problem, and the work seems less likely to get boring than going back to my old job. It's about 50 miles away as well, but like I said, one day a week in the office. I haven't actually interviewed here yet, so I'm not sure if they'll even want to hire me, but I found this place through a friend who works there and so far have a positive impression of my chances.

The reason these jobs all have ridiculous sounding commutes is because I've chosen to live outside the Silicon Valley but work in a Silicon Valley field. For years I've been commuting 75 minutes plus each way, at least three days a week. That's why all these options are either mostly remote, or in the one case, about as close as you can get to my house and still be a Silicon Valley software company. I've decided that living where I want to live is important for me and my family, and I'll find a way to make that work with my career. I seem to have some good options. What would you do? Pick the closest place with the potentially highest salary and hope to get some work-from-home arrangement in the future? Pick whichever of the one-day-per-week-in-the-office jobs comes back with the biggest offer? Gamble on the startup and revisit the other places in a year if it doesn't work out?

All input welcomed.

Done by Forty

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Re: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 10:03:35 PM »


I have a job offer from a former employer. It is a pretty cushy offer. Annual salary is about the same as my current job, but with bonus and stock that add up to more in total. I am giving up startup equity by leaving the current job, though. This place is 59 miles from my house, which sounds even worse than before, but I wouldn't have to go to the office more than once a week. The risk is that I'm afraid I might get bored. That's essentially why I left in the first place. I also wonder how this might look on my résumé in 5 years, if it shows "company A 2007-2012" followed by "company B" for less than a year and then "company A" again from "2012-present". I'm not sure if this is a thing to worry about or not.

I unfortunately have to give the "do what you think is right for you advice".  But if I were in your shoes, this is the one I'd lean towards.  Boost in overall pay, only communting once a week, and it's a 'bird in the hand" offer.

I also would not worry about how this would look on the resume as it's an easy story to tell: you liked working there, tried something else that didn't pan out, and then you went back.  Nothing weird there.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 10:05:22 PM by Done by Forty »

$_gone_amok

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Re: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 10:16:02 PM »
I'm leaning toward the startup gig. Often startups fail due to poor execution, the idea isn't as important. If you have done your homework and understand the market, do you trust the startup team to execute and delivery?

Coming closely in second place would be the former employer and this is the safest and most rational choice. One day a week is great deal but I have a feeling that you are not excited about the work at all.


JT

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Re: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 10:55:26 PM »
Hiya

This is a tough one, but my thoughts are this:

If you're wanting FI sooner rather than later, then maxing out your income is a great way to get there.

However, as MMM points out, (and I'm sure you know this) a long commute adds up nastily over the years.

And so, my suggestion is to go with the biggest offer that's also capable of reducing your commute.

(Shoulder shrug)  Caveat: I've only got stubble though, so this may not be what more senior mustachians with handlebars would say.

In terms of how it looks on your resume, working for big established companies can look good but I actually find bringing the right skill set and attitude to a job and doing bloody well in the job is also great for your resume.  (ie If you think you'll get bored don't do it)

Hope this has been helpful.

Go well.

twinge

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Re: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 05:55:52 AM »
How close are you to your intended f.i.?  If it's not too long I would probably go with the former employer.  Instead of focusing on somewhat boredom in the work, focus your energies to some other goal that excites.  Only commuting 1x a week sounds pretty good.  I wouldn't assume the other solid place would evolve to let you work at home if it's not part of their culture.

If, however, you have a long time and enough of a buffer to absorb the risk I would look more carefully at the start-up--mainly because of the boredom factor of the other job and its effect on your career growth, and the upside potential of the start-up. 

MoonPilgrim

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Re: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 06:54:26 AM »
If I were in your shoes, I would go for a hybrid.  Is that possible for you?  I'm friends with a few hired guns who combine regular part-time ongoing programming gigs that they find a little boring with fun projects as their schedules allow.

If you can, negotiate a slightly reduced salary package (but with full benefits) in exchange for reduced hours at your former job.  It sounds like they like you, and might be open to it.

Talk with your friend about how you could contribute to the startup on a contract or part-time basis. 

The benefits are that you'll have something inspiring to work on, a regular income, and the option to jump into the startup with both feet if the situation is right.  It would be one day of commute, and the rest from home.  This also gives you the freedom to live where you want to live (within reason, of course).

As far as the resume concerns go, when I'm hiring and I see someone has gone back to a former employer, that shows me that the individual was worth hiring back--that they don't burn bridges, that their company valued them.  It's actual proof that the company you previously worked for would hire you again.


tkaraszewski

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Re: I quit my job (but am not F.I.). What should I do next?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 10:20:28 AM »
I decided to take back my old job. I'm going to work with my manager to try and ensure the work doesn't get boring. Part of the reason it got boring before was because I let it, so I'm going to ask for interesting projects to do and try to keep involved with the rest of the company.  This will hopefully both keep me happier and make me more productive for the company.

I had a good discussion with my current manager about why I'm leaving, and how the job just isn't really the right fit for the rest of my life, even though there are a lot of great things about the company.

If I were closer to F.I. (I'm really just starting out) I probably would have taken the startup job, as it would have seemed a lot less scary with a bigger stash set aside.

I do thank you guys here for your input. It does help to know that the wider world doesn't view going back to an old employer as a bad thing.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 10:22:30 AM by tkaraszewski »