Friday, July 28, 2006

New Job

Well, it looks like I’ll be taking a new job today, officially leaving my big software company and moving on to a massive tech company that originated in the northeast and that was, at one time, accused of collaborating with the Nazi party.

It’s amazing how you can go through so much stress and suffer so much dysfunction at your job, and yet when it’s time to cut the cord, there’s a feeling of regret. You want to flip your old company off but hug it and weep at the same time. Rather strange, actually, how all of this played out. On Monday, I got the letter from the new tech company (NTC). I told my boss at the current tech company (CTC) that afternoon. Yesterday I had a meeting with a director at CTC, and to prepare, I wrote down a list of demands which I felt they would never meet.

Example: Match the new salary, give me a promotion, don’t make me relocate, give me two reports to do my old job, give me autonomy in making technical decisions. They agreed. As I read off my list, the director at CTC kept saying, “No, that’s fine, I think we can handle that.”
I just kept thinking to myself, “Well, why didn’t you give me any of this sooner? Why wait until now? Two months ago, before I got the job offer from the NTC, I would’ve called this new offer my dream job and I would’ve been singing your praises from the rooftops!”

Who know? Maybe CTC has finally finished their five year layoff-and-outsourcing plan, and they’ve actually got budget again. Sigh. That’s the way it works, though. You have to go outside, get the money from somewhere else, before they value you. I even thought about taking the counteroffer for awhile. It would, after all, be the slacker’s dream. More money, better title, all for doing essentially the same job but with a few more meetings thrown in, and some budget for professional development. I could still probably surf when I wanted, put in 6 hour days sometimes, and so on. What’s not to love?

But I have a friend, KJ, whose opinion I trust, and his take on the whole situation was, “Never accept a counteroffer.”
“Come on, never?” I said.

I don’t know if that’s what swayed me, or if I’m just itching for a challenge, but I think I’m going to turn CTC down today and go with NTC. The new job will mean more travel, and I’ll be the dumbest guy in the room for awhile, and I’ll have to deal with the pain and excitement of moving into a new space (Service Oriented Architecture). In other words, I gotta do it.

But you know, I like to agonize. It’s something I’m good at. If you think the Hamlet soliloquies are tiresome, you should’ve been at my house this week as I forced my poor wife to help me evaluate my options. I threw in the surfing thing, I threw in that she was pregnant, I threw in every objection I could think of to the job with the NTC, but she remained firmly convinced throughout that my best bet was to leave the CTC and start fresh. Okay, not throughout. At a certain point she got tired of my nattering and banned the issue from further discussion. Doesn’t mean I didn’t work it back into the conversations in subtle ways, such as: “You look nice today, honey. Almost as nice as the counter offer from CTC.”

So, I’m leaving my wildly dysfunctional but strangely exciting job, starting something new. I don’t know what I’m worried about…I’m sure I’ll find plenty of dysfunction at NTC as well. Who knows, maybe they’ll cut my team from 16 people down to two! Maybe they’ll freeze all travel and professional development for five years. Then I’d feel right at home.


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