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kratz
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« on: March 28, 2012, 03:29:54 PM »

What to do, what to do...

Long story short: old college friends and previous co-workers have their own company one town away.

They just out of the blue offered me a job.

Pros:
Roughly 60% raise.
Get to work with dudes.
Work looks more challenging.
More opportunity for growth, whereas at the current job, I think they are stifling my personal growth a bit.

Cons:
45 - 60 minute commute each way.  I would need to buy a new(er) car.
Need to transfer from VB.NET to C#.NET. Probably not that bad, but a little intimidating.
Need to buy new wardrobe. This may be a good thing.

There is a the potential for a future partial telecommute.

Discuss.
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SkyLander
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 03:35:02 PM »

I would argue 60% offsets the commute. And I would say challenge is a good thing as long as it doesn't add to your stress as well. Basically will they give you the chance to learn and adapt to all new things before deadlines crash down on you.

So besides the commute I see no cons. I'm assuming there company is pretty stable?
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 03:35:42 PM »

Do it.

Unless your friendships would be at risk. Do you generally suck at what you do? slywink
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wonderpug
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 03:38:23 PM »

Is the commute in horrible stressful traffic?  Unless it's really bad the pros look like they far outweigh the cons, especially with the potential of doing some telecommuting.
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Roman
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 03:47:41 PM »

are you / they able to de-couple the friend vs employee constraints that are most likely to 'poison' the honeymoon phase?

How is the company governed in terms of decisions etc?
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kratz
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 03:50:00 PM »

The commute is 100% relatively low traffic interstate... but over what can be in the winter a dangerous as shit mountain pass.

The company is stable - they've been doing this for... 8 years?  They actually compete with my current org for some contracts, and have a lot of the same clients.  The work would be very similar in a lot of ways, but more advanced, which is good.

I think I'm generally good at what I do, and very good when I'm motivated.  I'm currently unmotivated by management, and my current crappy compensation.

I do LOVE my free time though, and that's what the commute cuts into - time to myself, and time with my family.  I'm just scared because if it turns out I hate the commute, there are not a ton of opportunities for this type of work in this area.

Roman - my impression is that the philosophy there is that people take care of their own shit, manage their own contracts, and there isn't a lot of an employee/boss type relationship.  It's small - I would be the 9th employee.  7 of the 8 employees there now are developers, and one is a business management person.  Work is almost entirely on-site with clients.
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Roman
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 03:57:24 PM »

sounds like a win in my books.

Question - in your current role are you empowered to discuss your feelings etc and either make the required changes OR trust that they can be made? Based on your response to this I would think that this could be your last hurdle in your decision. While there is no implicit guarantee that things will be different at the other company - if things are at a standstill where you are then you need to move on.
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kratz
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 04:02:20 PM »

Heh, I *thought* I was in that position here... but the current employer had a chance to come through for me recently and screwed it up terribly.
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wonderpug
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hmm...


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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 04:13:26 PM »

Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 03:50:00 PM

I do LOVE my free time though, and that's what the commute cuts into - time to myself, and time with my family.  I'm just scared because if it turns out I hate the commute, there are not a ton of opportunities for this type of work in this area.

Commute time definitely does make a big difference.  A few years ago I went from a 45-60 minute commute to a 25-30 minute commute, and the extra 5 hours of free time each week did not go unnoticed.

That said, you're talking some really big benefits being stacked in the pro column.  Those benefits get a multiplier applied because of your unhappiness with your current salary and management.

If the partial telecommute plays out, how often might it be?  One day a week?  Once every other week?

And I'm guessing the answer is no, but is there any way of doing your commute via Amtrak or some other kind of  commuter train?  That can turn your 1.5-2 hour commute into relaxing "me time".

Even without a train, though, books on tape, podcasts, etc. can make an hour drive be not that bad.  And you get a big big boost from the drive being low-stress.  When I lived in Los Angeles, it would sometimes take me 30-40 minutes of white knuckle near-death driving in traffic to go 5 miles.  Two hours of that each day?  No way.  Two hours on a low traffic interstate?  No sweat.
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2012, 04:17:21 PM »

Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 03:29:54 PM

What to do, what to do...

Cons:

Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 03:29:54 PM

45 - 60 minute commute each way.  I would need to buy a new(er) car.
Moving out of the question?  Maybe not now, but later if things worked out?


Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 03:29:54 PM

Need to transfer from VB.NET to C#.NET. Probably not that bad, but a little intimidating.
if that's something you can do or quickly learn, then I say, it's not a con.




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naednek
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2012, 04:20:13 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 28, 2012, 04:13:26 PM

Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 03:50:00 PM

I do LOVE my free time though, and that's what the commute cuts into - time to myself, and time with my family.  I'm just scared because if it turns out I hate the commute, there are not a ton of opportunities for this type of work in this area.


And I'm guessing the answer is no, but is there any way of doing your commute via Amtrak or some other kind of  commuter train?  That can turn your 1.5-2 hour commute into relaxing "me time".



Or possibly doing some of your work on the train that counts towards your hours....
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kratz
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2012, 04:21:42 PM »

Guy said that the people who end up telecommuting are on site 2 - 3 days a week, which isn't bad at all.  Whether or not I could do that, and when I could do that, would be up to the client.

No trains or anything of that sort.  It's Wyoming.  I guess I could hobo it.  The only intensity on this drive is weather related.

Moving is basically a 'no' for me because I don't want to live in Cheyenne, Ken.

And yeah, learning C# is probably a good thing for me.

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rickfc
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2012, 04:22:49 PM »

Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 04:21:42 PM

Guy said that the people who end up telecommuting are on site 2 - 3 days a week, which isn't bad at all.  Whether or not I could do that, and when I could do that, would be up to the client.

No trains or anything of that sort.  It's Wyoming.  I guess I could hobo it.  The only intensity on this drive is weather related.

Moving is basically a 'no' for me because I don't want to live in Cheyenne, Ken.

And yeah, learning C# is probably a good thing for me.



Sounds like a win kratz.
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Nonnahob
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2012, 04:23:08 PM »

Do it.
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2012, 06:06:22 PM »

Quote from: kratz on March 28, 2012, 04:21:42 PM

Moving is basically a 'no' for me because I don't want to live in Cheyenne, Ken.


There's bound to be places to live that are closer without being inside the city.  We've had friends move to Australia, the Netherlands and Singapore recently for their jobs so my perspective may not be the best.  Still, I wouldn't rule out all options that could improve the commute.
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2012, 07:36:03 PM »

You put VB -> C# in the wrong list smile

Run, don't walk.

(Also, 45-60 mins beats my 1h30 in, 1h45 back, though I do get to sit back on a bus for it.)
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kratz
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2012, 07:37:46 PM »

I see you've never been to Wyoming, Hrothgar. smile

Please refer to this map.

I live in Laramie.  Fort Collins, CO, would be marginally closer, but not appreciably.  Those 'towns' you see around Cheyenne and Laramie are not towns... they are like... maybe 2 houses?


Yeah, I think you are right, zinckiwi... change just makes me nervous sometimes, even though when I look back historically at similar things, I tend to do quite well.
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Covenant
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2012, 10:28:04 PM »

Moving from VB to C# is easy. You won't have a problem with it.
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2012, 12:08:25 AM »

Well, after recently moving to the LA area for a job despite that initially being the last place I wanted to live, I would say don't count out a new area based on some preconceptions you may have. 

Also, my general philosophy is that if you want things to get better at work you have to be willing to push yourself into new territory, especially in a tech job.
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2012, 12:18:53 AM »

If you're going to stay in MS development - I think C# is more marketable these days. However, even if not, having solid experience in both would definitely be a boon for you.

I've dealt with long  commutes in the past  (and I travel full time these days) - it's amazing how quickly you get used to it. That new company might even give you some flexibility to deal with it (i.e. working 4 / 10 hour days to get a 3 day weekend, etc)

So I'd say Go for it. Sounds like it would be a win for you.
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kratz
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2012, 03:30:23 AM »

Yeah, meeting with them Friday afternoon to take a look at what they are doing.  I think it's going to be a go.  Totally unexpected...
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rickfc
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« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2012, 01:28:39 PM »

Quote from: kratz on March 29, 2012, 03:30:23 AM

Yeah, meeting with them Friday afternoon to take a look at what they are doing.  I think it's going to be a go.  Totally unexpected...

That's awesome, kratz. Hopefully things turn out well with that. Don't let the added commute stress you out too much - get some audiobooks and such to help pass the time.
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« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2012, 02:30:58 PM »

What does the wife think of it?
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Blackjack
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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2012, 02:33:23 PM »

Quote
Get to work with dudes.
This can be highly overrated, if you've never worked FOR your friends as opposed to WITH them.

I was in 1990 lured out of "newspaper journalism retirement" to work for a daily newspaper by a former work-friend (he'd helped me get some part-time proofreading and freelancing work my initial year out of college). While I knew the pay was just OK, he made many promises about what a great place to work it was, what an advancement in my career it was.

By Thanksgiving 1991 I was laid off twice, along with most of the folks I had worked with (including the "friend" who made all those promises). The hours were horrible, the publishing company was so screwed up they were telling us to wait several days to cash our paychecks by the end. It makes for great stories now, but at the time, I thought joining my friends' sinking newspaper sank my whole career.

I ran into the "friend" on the DC Metro (subway) a couple years later and exchanged pleasantries. No ill will but I stopped using him as a reference and sort of became extremely skeptical when future employers (friends or not) promised me the world.

I'm not saying anything remotely like this will happen to you. Just that you should do your own research and due diligence on any company you plan to join, esp. if you're leaving a dependable if modest-paying job to take a new position. If a couple "friends" tell you a company is awesome and plans to be around forever, I'd still dig for some background info. If they're really your friends, this shouldn't offend them.
=========
OK, that's "devil's advocate."  icon_smile On the surface anyway, it sounds great and I hope it works out for you.  icon_smile

I still earn a modest salary today (for a 46 year old "dude"), but I probably make about 90% more than I did in my last newspaper editor job in 2006. That sounds impressive but when one makes shitty salary and almost never gets raises (common in weekly community newspapers), and the next job simply pays a fair wage, the % change can be crazy.  icon_cool
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kratz
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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2012, 04:53:07 PM »

Wife is totally on board.

Blackjack, I think this is a very different situation.  There is no 'hang with us, and then you will make money'.  There is a contract, it's signed.  The money is there for at least 2 years, with options to renew for 2 years two more times, and an apparently very happy client (which I can ruin!)  They've given me information on the company, and it's shown steady revenue growth every year, and a satisfied client list.  The job I'm getting hired for (continuing development on a system them just completed) was apparently originally a bid that went to a competitor, who spent an insane amount of money over a couple of years and never delivered anything.  These guys came in and knocked it out in a year.  There seems to be a lot of independence with the way the company is run... I feel pretty good about it.
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« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2012, 06:53:30 PM »

I used to commute an hour to work every day and found the best way to pass the time was audio books. That and a satellite radio subscription and I was good to go.
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« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2012, 02:29:24 PM »

If you have unlimited internet on your phone and the signal is pretty stable along the freeway, you can stream a lot. That and you can dial in a lot better the music you want to listen to. My issue with satellite was just how crappy it sounded since they can only do about a 64k stream.
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kratz
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« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2012, 05:57:46 AM »

Job accepted. Notice given.

After meeting with them today, I'm feeling very good about things!
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« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2012, 03:11:28 PM »

Quote from: kratz on March 31, 2012, 05:57:46 AM

Job accepted. Notice given.

After meeting with them today, I'm feeling very good about things!

Awesome! Congratulations kratz!
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Lee
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« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2012, 05:36:03 PM »

Congrats, but you are not going to want to do that drive everyday. I did the Cheyenne - Ft Collins drive everyday for a year and it sucked. Your drive is 10x worse with that pass.
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« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2012, 06:25:17 PM »

Gratz!
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kratz
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« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2012, 08:18:57 PM »

Quote from: Lee on March 31, 2012, 05:36:03 PM

Congrats, but you are not going to want to do that drive everyday. I did the Cheyenne - Ft Collins drive everyday for a year and it sucked. Your drive is 10x worse with that pass.

Thanks, rain cloud. Tongue

Hopefully I will be doing it less as time goes on.  I know it'll be less fun than no commute, but most of the time I think it'll be okay.

I figured out that my base pay, before bonuses, is equal to what I currently make at my job + what I was made when I started my current job.  That'll ease the sting considerably.  I will leave work a little closer to Curt Gowdy than if I drive from here, so that'll make a round trip post work Gowdy ride actually take *less* time, which is cool.
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Lee
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« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2012, 11:09:41 PM »

You should get one of those little houses in Vedauwoo, sure they aren't too expensive. smile

I bought a Golf TDI when I was doing that 100 mile/day drive. 500+ miles on a gas tank meant I wasn't having to fill up every 3 days which was nice. And satellite radio made the drive a bit better.
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« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2012, 11:14:02 PM »

Congrats on the new job, Kratz! 

Hopefully by the time winter rolls back around you will have more flexibility to telecommute on days with crappy weather. 
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kratz
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« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2012, 11:48:28 PM »

Quote from: Lee on March 31, 2012, 11:09:41 PM

You should get one of those little houses in Vedauwoo, sure they aren't too expensive. smile

We were just fantasizing about a Curt Gowdy house and splitting the commute!
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« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2012, 01:26:26 AM »

I am late to the party, but going from VB.NET to C# is never a bad thing. I went the other way and having to put "dim" before everything makes me want to gouge my eyes out.
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kratz
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2012, 03:52:36 PM »

Last day at this job after 7+ years... new job on Monday!
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2012, 03:55:19 PM »

THUMBSUP.
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« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2012, 03:58:14 PM »

Do it, Kratz! Take that risk. It's scary to choose personal growth over job security, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

Late to the party. Good to hear you took the plunge.
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wonderpug
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hmm...


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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2012, 04:08:54 PM »

You have made a huge mistake.
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