Job advice

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19 Replies - 1551 Views - Last Post: 15 August 2008 - 08:46 AM

#1 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:54 AM

Hello all, this is more looking for feedback than asking "what should I do" type of post. I'm currently employed at a job I really enjoy and where I'm taken care of financially, but no perks like insurance, 401K, etc. Today I was contacted by Ameresco Corporation looking for a Level III Software Engineer: C#, SQL 2005 - 2008, ADO.NET (typical .Net stuff).

They're offering a huge chunk of change, but a tad less than what I'm making now, but they offer a full benefits package, and travel opportunities. If I take this position I would give up a few perks not offered by this company, like working from home whenever I want, but in my mind that pales in comparison to actually having insurance, 401K, stock options, etc.

If you were in this position what would you do? Would you jump ship to greener pastures, or stick it out to see if the current employer gets around to offering benefits? Pay is comparable (within $7000 a year), there would be more driving (office is 50 miles away) and more time away from the family, but you would get benefits.

Feedback anyone?

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Replies To: Job advice

#2 girasquid  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:08 PM

I would ask whoever's in charge at the first one about benefits - if they're not open to setting them up and willing to fast-track them to being set up, I'd jump ship.

Typically (in my experience at least), employers say "we'll get around to it", and then never do - if they haven't done it yet, they probably won't do it now either. By not having them in place and not (as far as you've mentioned) having a plan in place to work on them, they indicate that setting up those perks is not a priority; which means they are unlikely to actually treat getting them set up for you as a priority as well.
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#3 mocker  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:09 PM

How much are the benefits worth to you, and how likely do you think it is that your current employer will add them (you may want to ask them) ?

The worth of benefits at your job should be considered as part of the sum of how much you make at the job. If I get $5,000 worth of insurance, and another $5,000 of 401k, and I want them, then how much I make is my salary + $10k . If you have a family those benefits are likely worth even more, just because your company gets better deals than an individual could, and you really really need insurance for a family (mostly for kids ).

Unless you can feel assured that your current employer will start offering benefits soon, I'd suggest going for insurance, 401k etc. Though damn.. I'd love to work from home
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#4 biggles2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:27 PM

Well the question is.
Are you happy with the money you get now?

The Ameresco option is better off in the long run.
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#5 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:35 PM

@biggles2008: If I weren't happy with what I'm currently making Id be a complete fool, and so far I don't think I am one

@mocker: Benefits (insurance) is almost invaluable to me. I am a surviving cancer patient and have monthly medical bills in the $750 - $1000 range. My wife just had cancer surgery and I have a son, though currently I have insurance for them. So the insurance, once the pre-existing condition waiting period is over, would save me a ton of money on a monthly basis.

@girasquid: He has said for 4 months now that he was going to set up some insurance for us, but I haven't seen much movement on that topic. At times he seems more worried with getting the product developed, and has said that with what he pays us we should be able to afford some sort of insurance on our own.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with my current position, and Ive always said that someone would have to offer one helluva package to get me to jump ship, but now it seems someone, who searched me out (I never contacted them) might be willing to offer said package. The only 2 downsides I see are:
  • Daily commute of 100+ miles a day
  • The overnight travel that is required from time to time

Since I don't meet with them until Thursday I got some time to mull this over in my head.
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#6 girasquid  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:49 PM

@Psycho: I understand how you feel. I'm currently in my last few days at a job that's been fun, but doesn't have RRSP contributions - a benefit that's important to me. Over 6 months ago, I talked to our accountant about that, and she said "in 6 months we should have something set up" - and over 6 months later, they don't. Next week I start somewhere else.

Being head-hunted for the job as opposed to applying for it yourself gives you a bit of an advantage, in my opinion - generally, the employers who head hunt you are interested in you for your unique skills or experience, and not as just another employee. This leaves you in a better position to negotiate, because they want you specifically instead of just another employee.

That's just my 2 cents though.
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#7 dineeshd  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 01:06 PM

In my opinion you should not change your current job only for few extra pennies. The time you spend with your family is absolutely invaluable. As you said there may be a great deal of money or geek stuff involved, but if you were unable to spend time for your family, its all in vain. And your health condition also demanding, great amount of caring from family. Okay, it was just my opinion ultimate decision is yours. Think about it.
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#8 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 01:14 PM

One thing to consider Pyscho is which job seems to offer more security.

Benefits and 401k are great and all and shit probably one of the most important necessities in this day and age. However I would consider to jump ship in a heart beat if the newer position is more stable, or I know my job would be more stable.

I worked for a bank for the past 4 years, I was axed pretty quickly for downsizing right after an acquisition. I thought I would have been secure being on a small team and generating 30% of the banks bottom line.

I was wrong. I am considering a carreer change to being a truck driver just because I know if I get a CDL I will always have work. I been unemployed now since May 6 had some offers, and still nothing.

So choose wisely - but always consider the cost of benefits vs the cost of not having them. Also stick with what makes you happy.
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#9 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 01:25 PM

Thanks for the advice NYKC. Ameresco is an established company that has been in business for many many years. Where I work now is a start up company that has very deep pockets, but appears content with not offering any kind of benefits. With my condition I am spending lots of money each month that insurance would greatly reduce, and with whats been happening with my current employer (loooong story) I'm beginning to question the stability of the company.

I hate to say that because the owner, my boss, is a friend of about 8 years now, but he has began to make some pretty questionable decision of late. The insurance alone from Ameresco could actually be worth $12,000 - $15,000 yearly for me, which isn't exactly chump change. I think Im going to go to the meeting with them on Thursday and see what they have to offer before making any kind of decision, but you're right I have to look at longevity and the well being of my family.
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#10 Moonbat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:42 PM

If you are thinking about the short-term benefits, I'd stay with your current company. Besides the fact that (I assume you live in the U.S.) gas prices are sky-high and a 100-mile commute ain't no joke, you get better pay from your current job, whcih is good in the short term, and you also have a flexible schedule.

But if you have the long-term in mind, I'd go for this new offer. If you're willing to take some financial hits in the begining, it'll pay off in the end.
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#11 rjolitz  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:53 PM

From my standpoint, Insurance is a major thing these days. Even the crap insurance we get where I work now, it is better then nothing.

Is there any room to negotiate working from home, say, even 2 days a week? It would cut down the commute cost some.

Also, is the value of the insurance in what it would cover and the cost for you in premium share worth more then the pay cut now?

The other piece of the puzzle is are you worth enough to your present employer to fast track some sort of coverage for you to keep you. If not then I agree, go for the Insurance / 401k.

As someone who works in healthcare, and is having some interesting health challenges of my own, the insurance could be worth the weight in gold.

Just my .02 worth.

Good luck in your decision!
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#12 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:59 PM

You're looking at roughly a 7K per year pay cut plus gas costs.

Are the benefits you'll be receiving going to meet or exceed 7K plus gas costs per year?
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#13 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:04 PM

You're the one that goes to the hospital, so really only you know how much coverage would be worth. Plus, like BenignDesign pointed out, gas expense. Also, didn't they buy you a kick-ass laptop?

If it were me, I'd stay, but only cuz I hardly ever go to the doctor.
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#14 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:36 PM

View PostBenignDesign, on 11 Aug, 2008 - 06:59 PM, said:

You're looking at roughly a 7K per year pay cut plus gas costs.

Are the benefits you'll be receiving going to meet or exceed 7K plus gas costs per year?


Right now I spent between $750 and $1000 a month on medical supplies and medications for my condition, that's $12,000 a year. Insurance covers (normally) at an 80/20 rate, which would be an annual savings of around $9600 (which exceeds the $7000 a year in pay that I'll lose). I have to think long term here, not only for me but my family as well. Right now I pay a little over $575 a month for insurance for my wife and son, and have zero insurance for myself. This position will offer benefits that my current employer doesn't seem to feel is that important, but was one of the items I said needed to be completed if I were to accept the position.

I have to weigh the $583 a month less pay versus the addition of insurance, 401K, stock options (which doesn't really matter a lot to me personally)

View Postno2pencil, on 11 Aug, 2008 - 07:04 PM, said:

didn't they buy you a kick-ass laptop?


They've bought me a lot of stuff, laptop, monitors, quad core processor for my desktop, all to try and keep me happy (which speaks volumes on how important he feels benefits are in my opinion). I mean, Im happy at my current job so that's not an issue, its the insurance that's the issue and it truly makes financial sense for me to take that versus an additional $583 a month.
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#15 Thorian  Icon User is offline

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Re: Job advice

Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:21 PM

View PostPsychoCoder, on 11 Aug, 2008 - 03:25 PM, said:

Thanks for the advice NYKC. Ameresco is an established company that has been in business for many many years. Where I work now is a start up company that has very deep pockets, but appears content with not offering any kind of benefits. With my condition I am spending lots of money each month that insurance would greatly reduce, and with whats been happening with my current employer (loooong story) I'm beginning to question the stability of the company.

I hate to say that because the owner, my boss, is a friend of about 8 years now, but he has began to make some pretty questionable decision of late. The insurance alone from Ameresco could actually be worth $12,000 - $15,000 yearly for me, which isn't exactly chump change. I think Im going to go to the meeting with them on Thursday and see what they have to offer before making any kind of decision, but you're right I have to look at longevity and the well being of my family.


This is a tuffy there hoss.

Pros for change
Medical insurance. I know from having bad insurance that any improvement is one huge weight lifted off ya. With both of yall being cancer surviors that is huge right there.

The company is established and has a history granted that is a moot point when it comes to tech as we are expendible however I have watched relitively $$ rich startups flame out hard and with out warning. Usually when you start getting that uneasy feeling it is too late to jump ship. And surviving one round of layoffs does not job security make.

Cons

50 freaking mile commute. If you can I suggest moving closer my wife and my relationship was strained to the max because I spent 2 hours a day commuting. It seemed like I was just home to shit shower shave sleep and eat dinner. I was too wiped to spend time with the kid and all I wanted was a good nights sleep. Also wasn't there some sort of black out episode a while back that involved a car crash?

slightly less pay but the proof is in the puddin as far as insurance goes with the gas the cost of higher car insurance from commuting more and faster wear on the vehicle the savings of insurance alone is going to get eaten unless a move is in order.

I say flip a coin and see what the fates have woven for ya. Heads you stay tales you go.
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