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Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

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Benedict_Arnold's picture
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 I'm in the offshore / subsea oil and gas business, engineer by background, project manager due to decripity and loss of mathematical skills.  25 years at it so I know my stuff.

I've been where I am now, on contract since the beginning of December last year, after six months out of work, and quite like the place.  The project I'm working on right now (by offshore standards a tiny one) will finish in about two weeks time and there's a strong possibility, I'll put it no more forcibly than that, of a new project for the same client kicking off straight afterwards.  The new project has me down as the Project Manager and will last 18 months to 2 years.

The company is a small privately owned one, and most of the owners are in their 60s.  They're obviously not planning to retire, but are looking at having to replace the second tier of management who will be retiring soon (two have since I've been here).

I wasn't sure I'd be hired permanently and so when a headhunter aproached me about a permanent job elsewhere I interviewed and got the job.  It's with one of the biggest petrochem engineering companies on the planet.

So, do I stay at the small company or go to the big company?

Smal Company:

For:Very interesting project on the cardsChance to build my own team on the back of that projectContract rate is higher than the salary at the new job by 40% (both are well into six figures gross)Small firmCloser to home, like driving round the M25 from Uxbridge to Egham (sorry my points of references - I studied in Uxbridge and have worked and lived in Egham)Lots of "grey beards" so the chance to rise to the top quite soonKnown quantityAgainst:No holiday pay, sick pay, no health insurance, no pension, etcCrummy office - no window and a desk that looks like it's been shot, several times, with a 12-bore, no bookcases, etc.Typical small firm "feast or famine" workloadNo idea "how to spell QA" ( (c) Dave Matthew, formerly of Mentor Project Engineering Aberdeen)Big Company:Forsticking out tongueerm jobHuge firm so should be more securePaid vacation, pension matched up to 9%, health insurance (important int he US remember)Title "Director" (yeah, I know what value a "Director" has over here - sweet FA)Tasked with building up my own teamAgainst:Daily drive comparable to driving round the M25 from Uxbridge to AscotMedium sized fish in a HUGE pondStalinist managementStalinist building - unlikely to have an office window eitherUnknown quantityHave to decide by Monday.  I've already passed the background checks and dope test for the new job.Thoughts?

Benedict_Arnold's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Small company:

For:

Very interesting project on the cards

Chance to build my own team on the back of that project

Contract rate is higher than the salary at the new job by 40% (both are well into six figures gross)

Small firm

Closer to home, like driving round the M25 from Uxbridge to Egham (sorry my points of references - I studied in Uxbridge and have worked and lived in Egham)

Lots of "grey beards" so the chance to rise to the top quite soon

Known quantity

Against:

No holiday pay, sick pay, no health insurance, no pension, etc

Crummy office - no window and a desk that looks like it's been shot, several times, with a 12-bore, no bookcases, etc.

Typical small firm "feast or famine" workload

No idea "how to spell QA" ( (c) Dave Matthew, formerly of Mentor Project Engineering Aberdeen)

Big Company:

For

Perm job

Huge firm so should be more secure

Paid vacation, pension matched up to 9%, health insurance (important int he US remember)

Title "Director" (yeah, I know what value a "Director" has over here - sweet FA)

Tasked with building up my own team

Against:

Daily drive comparable to driving round the M25 from Uxbridge to Ascot

Medium sized fish in a HUGE pondStalinist management

Stalinist building - unlikely to have an office window either

 

Unknown quantityHave to decide by Monday.  I've already passed the background checks and dope test for the new job.Thoughts?

skippy's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

So larger firm has security, but you are just a number

Smaller firm seems more risky, but you are instantly recognized for any success.

I personally like working in a smaller group, have more of a feeling of being part of the project, but that's just me.

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jjbomber's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

It depends how you coped with the 6 months out of work previously. If you are fine with that happening and accept that the bad times are part of the good times, then take the small company with more chance of progress. If the 6 months out of work were tough mentally to take, then you should go with the big company offering job security. 

Superaintit's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Sounds like the small company is the place you do what you like and has possibilities to make a difference.

Looks like you can find a more steady job when things don't go the way you've planned.

If I were in your shoes, I'd stay at the small company.

 

Best of luck! 

 

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ukdavej's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

I had the same sort of thing about 18 months ago. My hospital was taken over by a bigger one and I had the choice of staying with the bigger hospital or taking a job in another one (which fortunately came up at the same time). I'd worked where I was for 32 years, since leaving school and the thought of moving filled me with dread. I agonised on what to do for about a week and asked all sorts of people what they thought I should do and a colleague said to me "never mind the pro's and cons, what you think may be best, what may be more secure, what may be easier, what DO YOU WANT to do?", so I did and it turned out alright.

So I guess you could consider asking yourself the same question.

I would add though that I didn't have the added dilemma you face of a significant difference in wages and the like. As I understand it, holiday pay, sick pay and health insurance are significant things to have.

Either way, at least you'll have a job party time!

Benedict_Arnold's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

The main attraction is job security, although Texas is a "right to work" state, which means, perversely, you employer can fire you at will, no notice, no redundancy, just "clear your desk and eff off".

Health insrance is a big factor as well, although not so much as it was now that my wife is providing health insurance to her employees, and our insurance (about $2500 a month) is paid for by her paying me a small salary to cover those costs, which she deducts in full from "my" pay cheque, leaving me with about 50 cents a week (tax fiddle, too complicated to explain).

Paid vacation is a luxury here too.  I think employers are obliged to give you 10 days paid vacation a year, including public holidays, but most large companies just give you 20 or 25 days "personal time off" to cover public holidays, vaction and sick time and you can use them as you like.  It gets around the "Christians get Easter, so why can't I have the Giant Spaghetti Monster's birthday?" issues as well.

jonathanRD's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Write down all the job related factors you can think of, then place them in order of importance to you at this time. Then using the same factors, do the same for each of the jobs and see which best matches your current priorities/preferences.

Also, draw a graph of your career, plotting the highs and lows over time (your own criteria of how you judge your work). Then do the same for your personal life. See if there are any correlations - that might tell you something too.

I'm not sure of your age, but personally if I was under 40, I would go for the small company because of the possible opportunities. Over 40 I would go for job security. 

I've been made redundant a few times, so after the last occasion, I went for the lower paid, more secure option. Problem is - it's also less interesting, less challenging, etc, etc. Life is a balance!

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steve_1979's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

It's a decision that no one else can make for you but it's worth asking yourself these two questions before you do make a decision:

 

What does your gut instinct tell you?

What will make you happy?

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Amadeus1756's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

I don't believe working for a large company offers security (I don't think there is such a thing any more).  In the Dot Com crash I was made redundant because my department was closed, tho I was managing the 2 big revenue earners in the department.

I now work for a large organisation (35k employees worldwide) - numbers are determined by people who have no knowledge of individuals.

I have worked for small companies (1 good, 2 very bad).

 

I'd base it on what I wanted to do (as I'm assuming that both pay enough to allow you to pay your bills)

 

 

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steve_1979's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Which one did you go for Benedict?

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Benedict_Arnold's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Had a chat with the boss this afternoon and they don't have much work after my current project finishes, UNLESS the 2-year project comes in.  He's not confident there'll be an immediate start on that one as it's tied up in the bankruptcy of the oil company that operated the facilites.  It could be years before the project starts or it could be next month.  No-one knows.

So the upshot is I've agreed to work to the end of the offshore work on the project and leave on good terms then go to the new job.  If the new project does come in in the interim I'll reconsider.

Doubtless the new employer will want me to take another urine test, seeing as they know I'm going on a skiing trip (never skied before in my life - hope I don't do a Schumacher - would rather do a Leonard Rossiter (see linkey) ) to COLORADO in between....

http://youtu.be/DKfUpV_vmHg

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Yep, depends on your age and aspirations.

 

Working for a major will guarantee you a job in the future at any company

Working for a smaller oil company whilst potentially benefitting you hugely will take a toll on you (stress, lack of holidays, competitive etc.)

 

All depends what you want. Alternatively you could go to Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia and get more than you are being offered at the smaller firm, work easy hours, have free schooling, free housing, free healthcare, 50-60 days holiday a year, 1 holiday a year paid for and incentives such as guaranteed health insurance at retirement in the USA if you are at the company long enough... etc.  That is great for someone approaching their 50s, but for someone like me (30s) it wasnt challenging enough.

 

Understand what you want from life. Understand how comfortable you are if you lose your job tomorrow... will you be employable etc.

Crystalarts's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Yep, depends on your age and aspirations.

 

Working for a major will guarantee you a job in the future at any company

Working for a smaller oil company whilst potentially benefitting you hugely will take a toll on you (stress, lack of holidays, competitive etc.)

 

All depends what you want. Alternatively you could go to Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia and get more than you are being offered at the smaller firm, work easy hours, have free schooling, free housing, free healthcare, 50-60 days holiday a year, 1 holiday a year paid for and incentives such as guaranteed health insurance at retirement in the USA if you are at the company long enough... etc.  That is great for someone approaching their 50s, but for someone like me (30s) it wasnt challenging enough.

 

Understand what you want from life. Understand how comfortable you are if you lose your job tomorrow... will you be employable etc.

MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

Looking at the title of this thread I'd pretty much decided that our very own Mr Benedict Arnold was in fact David Moyes.

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Benedict_Arnold's picture
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RE: Take the New Job or Stay Where I Am?

What?  Manage that bunch of "Norvern Monkeys"?

Not likely!

I'm holding out for the keys to Ashton Gate.party time!