Author Topic: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?  (Read 4289 times)

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« on: August 07, 2015, 07:26:38 AM »
DH is a senior level DBA for a Fortune 100.  We live in a MCOL in the midwest. 38/37 years old.  2 school-aged kids and I work part-time from home.  He has been at this current company for almost 8years.  He is "moderately" happy there.  He has some flexibility with working from home....but he has "on-call" hours that get crazy and TONS of off-hours work.  He makes 125k per year. In general, he doesn't feel like he has much opportunity for advancement at his current company (largely because he is SO good at what he does and is THE go-to for most issues.  They need him where they've got him).  He asked his boss at his last review where he sees him in 5 years and his response was still  an on-call DBA.  This did not sit very well with DH. 

So, through his network.....DH has been interviewing with a huge company for a sales-engineer role....selling the product he currently administers.  He is very excited about the opportunity....but we have some hesitations/concerns.  He is well into the interview process and we are pretty confident that he will get an offer in the next few weeks.  The job requires a relocation to his territory....which will include an increase in cost of living by 27%.  He will be traveling 2-3 days a week and working from home the rest of the time.  The travel is not a concern.  The cost of living increase is.  We have no idea what kind of compensation package they might offer....but we've looked on GLASSDOOR and it seems that the median for this position is around 123k.  That includes base plus commission.  Obviously, that is less than he makes now.  There was a pretty large range though.....going up to 187k on glassdoor.

Some other concerns.  The hiring manager mentioned at one point that he wasn't sure if this position included any relocation assistance but possibly a sign-on bonus.  Our current house is 20 years old and needs some work.  I really worry what we will need to do before selling...or TO sell.  We have the original roof....original a/c.....and some windows that need replaced.  We have replaced some siding and replaced the heating unit and newer appliances.  We have an updated kitchen and hardwood floors.  Housing market is pretty hot here....but we are almost out of selling season so that concerns us as well.

SO, based on the details I just gave.....what would it take to relocate?  As an aside, there are not many opportunities for positions like this where we currently live.  And as far as DBA work, DH is at the top of the payscale for the midwest....so finding another job without moving is not really an option. 

skunkfunk

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 07:43:42 AM »
$125k is good money. Given that, and given that the new job is a traveling sales position, and given that I would absolutely hate such a job (I specify stuff so I see what those salesmen are up against and it is not pretty) I say fuck that.

SnackDog

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Latin America
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 07:51:43 AM »
Most people would not jump jobs on salary and benefits alone unless the bump was at least 15%.  Given the relocation, I would want 15% plus moving costs plus COL.  Only you can factor in the quality of life with the new job and in the new location.  You don't really give much information on what the problem is, aside from one manager's view of career development and some overtime.   Why is DH asking the boss where he will be in 5 years?  Why not inform the boss where he expects to be in 5 years, in either an existing position or one which will be created for him, and explaining how that will add value to the company?

Do you like living where you are?  Some people love midwest MCOL life and would hate a move to a larger city.  Others would die in the midwest, haha.

Be careful of jumping from the frying pan into the fire.   I see a lot of relatively young types who are not advancing as fast as they want and make big, stupid jumps which they quickly regret.  A jump from DBA to sales it a huge switch and most computer geeks relate well to machines but not so well to customers and thus make less than stellar sales people.

Valencia de Valera

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 07:59:12 AM »
Are you planning to retire early, and if so, when? If you're planning to retire in just a few years at the current job, I would be inclined to say stick it out and then move wherever you want afterwards, if you want to move at all.

Presumably you'll get more information about how much money he'll be making (or at least a range if he's paid on commission) before he has to make a decision on the job. I would just run the numbers when you have that information available, or do some estimates based on the information you found online. How much of a hit would the increase in cost of living make to your savings rate and FIRE plans? And would the other intangible benefits of the job (better hours, type of work, how much you like the new location, etc) make that worth it to you?

As far as selling the house, I have zero experience with that. Maybe talk to a realtor or someone else who knows the housing market and see what they think it would be worth in the current state, and whether they think it would sell better with some updates?

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4835
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 08:22:28 AM »
I see uprooting lives and family at your expense, adding long hours and travel and a higher cost of living, for... a pay cut. What was your question again?

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 10:08:17 AM »
I see uprooting lives and family at your expense, adding long hours and travel and a higher cost of living, for... a pay cut. What was your question again?

Well, part of the overall problem is pure speculation on our part about what kind of offer they will present.  If the offer IS in the median range, we would never take the job.  The question is WHAT would be enough to accept the position. 

For a little more information.....my DH is extremely gifted technically....but he is nowhere near a tech-y nerd lacking social skills.  He is tired of being cubicle-bound and on-call.  He is nothing like the co-workers that he works with.  He has expressed an interest in sales or consulting for a long time...because he thrives in more customer-facing roles and frankly, he enjoys it much more than being in the dungeon he currently works.  The travel does not bother either of us...at all. 

He has expressed to his boss that he doesn't desire to be an on-call DBA long-term (he is already more of an architect and would like that title switch and to do more large-picture work vs. the day-to-day fire situations) and was met with less than optimism on that from his boss.  Instead, they give him fairly good raises (5%) to try to keep him happy.  The bumps in pay are great but it doesn't help the job satisfaction....or the fact that he is not thrilled with the prospect of working at 3am for the rest of his life despite 50+ hour work weeks and getting called constantly.

We aren't in a hurry to retire and are on track and planning for about 20 years (in our 50's).

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3366
  • Location: New York
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 10:22:43 AM »
Your DH sounds a little worn out by the job he's doing and wants to make a change. Production DBA work is very intense - it's not that hard, but one tiny mistake (at 3am after an 80 hour week) and your career is on the line. But, it doesn't sound like the job he's about to get is really the change he wants. Would it make more sense to take his time and look for a better fit?

My experience with sales engineer jobs, is that they can be a mixed bag. It's very rare for the travel requirements to be accurate. I would anticipate 4-5 days of travel a week instead of 2-3. You must also inspect the hiring agreement for the commission portion. Many jobs like this, pay the commissions out over long periods (2-3 years), forfeited if you leave early, which locks you in to the role. But, wait and see what they offer and come up with a counteroffer that gives you what you want.

Consider launching a more expansive job search and considering multiple offers before you make the change.

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 10:29:13 AM »
I will also mention that he has had interviews and offers from companies for data architecture roles or Technical Lead....but the offers haven't been more than he is making currently.  It "seems" the grunt-work of the senior level DBA commands pretty good pay and it's a double edged sword because it feels like they have him by the balls. 

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 11:06:37 AM »
What makes your husband think he would enjoy a sales role? 

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 11:11:26 AM »
What makes your husband think he would enjoy a sales role?

He loves giving presentations and solving customer problems.  He is an expert in the product and believes in it and its capabilities so much (after facing and fixing so many customer issues for the last 15 years). I just think that he thinks he would excel in selling this system. 

Of course, he hasn't been directly in a sales role....so it can be risky.  But he is a risk taker in general.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3955
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 11:24:33 AM »
My H is a well paid engineer, and unhappy-ish at his current job for a variety of reasons.   He hasn't actually interviewed for new job, but he is running into the same problem- every other job out there that catches his interest pays less. 

To some degree we are willing for him to make less as we aren't on the cusp of FI and will likely work for ten more years.  10 years is too long to be unhappy.  OTOH, its hard mentally to take the step to lower pay, ESPECIALLY if a higher COL goes with it. 

At this point we are open to considering lower pay as long as it is the same or lower COL to what we have now.  But we aren't in a rush either.  We will ride the gravy train of his current employer until just the right thing comes along. 

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2994
  • Location: WDC
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 11:34:43 AM »
In my experience (from 15-20 years ago), sales engineers are the ones who really make the sales.  The actual sales professionals (account execs, whatever you want to call them) get the glory and the money (and a lot of the stress).  So if he would be commission based, that sound great. 

First, everything in sales is negotiable, and this will be his first test for selling.  I wouldn't really care what the base rate is, but rather what a reasonably-likely income would be for a good performer.  And for an SE role, I'd want the floor for income to be $200 with NO CAP on commission.   

Many sales companies offer a relatively low base rate and high compensation through commissions.  He needs to know how to ask the right questions to negotiate a commission based package.  I'm not an expert here, but these are a few things I'd start with:
what is the base pay?  (and negotiate all the base benefits including vacation time and how soon to start in 401k)
what is the quota?  Is there a cap on commissions?
What is the average take home of all your sales-engineers?
What did the highest paid Sales Engineer take home last year?  (ask to see documentation or to speak to one or more SEs.)
What did the last five SEs in this territory make?  Why is this territory open?
How long is the sales cycle?  How long will the company pay a higher base rate so that he can start up his pipeline? 
Think about negotiating a non-recoverable draw against commission for the first year or even two years if a long sales cycle. 

One other thing for your husband to consider is that as a sales engineer, he'll no longer get to tell the truth about fixing problems.  There are no problems in the sales cycle.  Who has to service the accounts after the customers buy?  If it's him, he may find a problem between selling and servicing the accounts.  When I was a pre-sales engineer, I didn't think of the ramifications of assuming a feature was in working condition.  As a consultant after the sale, I often got pissed at the sales engineers for overselling or being dishonest about limitations. 

If he has the opportunity to talk to the representative who owns his current account, I'd take him out to lunch and ask him a lot of questions -- technical and businesswise.

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 11:42:53 AM »
In my experience (from 15-20 years ago), sales engineers are the ones who really make the sales.  The actual sales professionals (account execs, whatever you want to call them) get the glory and the money (and a lot of the stress).  So if he would be commission based, that sound great. 

First, everything in sales is negotiable, and this will be his first test for selling.  I wouldn't really care what the base rate is, but rather what a reasonably-likely income would be for a good performer.  And for an SE role, I'd want the floor for income to be $200 with NO CAP on commission.   

Many sales companies offer a relatively low base rate and high compensation through commissions.  He needs to know how to ask the right questions to negotiate a commission based package.  I'm not an expert here, but these are a few things I'd start with:
what is the base pay?  (and negotiate all the base benefits including vacation time and how soon to start in 401k)
what is the quota?  Is there a cap on commissions?
What is the average take home of all your sales-engineers?
What did the highest paid Sales Engineer take home last year?  (ask to see documentation or to speak to one or more SEs.)
What did the last five SEs in this territory make?  Why is this territory open?
How long is the sales cycle?  How long will the company pay a higher base rate so that he can start up his pipeline? 
Think about negotiating a non-recoverable draw against commission for the first year or even two years if a long sales cycle. 

One other thing for your husband to consider is that as a sales engineer, he'll no longer get to tell the truth about fixing problems.  There are no problems in the sales cycle.  Who has to service the accounts after the customers buy?  If it's him, he may find a problem between selling and servicing the accounts.  When I was a pre-sales engineer, I didn't think of the ramifications of assuming a feature was in working condition.  As a consultant after the sale, I often got pissed at the sales engineers for overselling or being dishonest about limitations. 

If he has the opportunity to talk to the representative who owns his current account, I'd take him out to lunch and ask him a lot of questions -- technical and businesswise.


This is exactly what I was looking for.  THANK YOU so much for your advice and candor.....I'll be forwarding this all to my DH. 

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 739
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2015, 11:43:44 AM »
You are underestimating yourselves.  What will it take to get your family to move, if you so desire, and your husband wants this job? We don't know your expenses or how much your home is worth? How would he be traveling in this position?  By plane, by car?  If it's that much per week, negotiate in a company car.  Also, negotiate in---I don't know how it's done in sales, but if he's traveling by plane and does xxx amount of sales, I would be asking for business class.  You should also be asking for relocation expenses and a COL adjustment.  How much are homes where you are, and how much are homes to where you would be moving??  More information is needed.

Is the hiring manager going to be his boss?  If not, then I'm not sure why your husband is asking him about relocation expenses.  He would need to be negotiating with his "future" boss. 

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2015, 11:59:05 AM »
The hiring manager WILL be his new boss...and my DH did not bring up relocation at all (he would never at this stage).  The hiring manager just mentioned in one of their phone conversations that he "wasn't sure if this position offered relocation package....but there are other ways to skin the cat."  That was all that was said about the topic. 

rugorak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2015, 12:44:40 PM »
Working in IT I can say your husband is making what he should for that DBA work from what I have seen. I know my current and past workplaces would never pay that much. So take that to heart.

I'll also suggest another option since he isn't miserable. Figure out a way to have far few on call and off hours things. I have the same thing and it can be really rough. But there are lots of ways to mitigate that. Build redundant systems that you can work on live through fail over. Fix things and have proper change controls to prevent issues. That sort of thing. Basically see if he can improve his happiness and reduce the stress at his current job. No need to relocate or take as big of a chance on a career change that may or may not work out.

That being said don't let me or anyone talk him out of it if it is good offer for him and your family and something he really wants to do. I just like to point out even in situations where it seems like things cannot change you can spur change for the better.

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: What would it take for you to relocate in this situation?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 06:28:23 PM »
I wouldn't do it unless it paid more and there better opportunities there for DBA work. 27% cost of living increase with no increase in pay is essentially a 27% pay cut. If you are going to move, make sure it is to a place where the salary is commensurate with the cost of living and that there are plenty of opportunities to move around employment wise. In the big city it's much easier to find a high paying IT job than it is to find a decent paying job in small town USA.