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#1 Nykc   User is offline

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Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 04 September 2014 - 07:55 AM

So lately I have been contracting for about 4 months, left a steady full time job in favor of life in the fast lane with more compensation and an opportunity to do what I love to do - Open Source stack in a development environment I am comfortable in.

Lately the recruiters have been hounding me non-stop (Courtesy of LinkedIn) knowing that my contract is set to either expire, become renewed or I get offered FTE with my current company, I decided to play the field and see what else is out there. Well it backfired - I received 4 phone interviews and 2 in-person interviews within the week. Of the 4 phone interviews I was invited to 3 more In-person interviews. All of them significantly more in compensation. This is too good to be true right? Well here in lies the problem:

First in-person was a 4 hour interview for a large company located 1 hour away on a clear day. Not only is the 1 hour commute each way an issue, with no remote option (this was the deal breaker) but I was expected to take a 1/2 day off work (with no pay) for this in-person (second interview). After looking a little deeper, while this company had good Glassdoor reviews: It was back in .NET world (Meaning pain in the ass to get a Linux VM working well with it or installing a Windows VM on a Macbook if they let me use mine) Too many cons, easy choice I respectfully declined.

Second in-person interview was a 45 min interview that went well, good place to work but a little more leaning towards out of comfort zone doing game development with languages I am familiar with, however never really done the game-development using Canvas, Javascript and a little bit of Python. (I may or may not pursue this further.

Third in-person interview another 4 hour interview, I am the front-runner for this role, team lead on a small dev group for a large corporation. While this is almost a sure thing, 5 mile less commute from my home and full time opportunity, it also bears the burden of 4 hour interview, no-pay during that time and in the .NET world. Once again abandoning the technology that got me to where I am today. I have yet to decline this opportunity but am considering it based on the 4 hours and I don't think my current employer would appreciate me missing all this work.

Fourth Interview in-person I completely turned down. Sub-par Glassdoor reviews, large company that works closely with the financial industry, much of the work is off-shored (that means horrible work/life balance since the time-differential and the horrors of dealing with poorly written offshored code) This recruiter refused to take my rejection and keeps hounding me. No means No. Also a .NET shop (I am regretting ever working for a .NET shop)

With that being said, I was initially unhappy at my current contract, the company I am with is usually pretty good and will help me find another gig after this is up, or even give me some bench time and pay me while I wait if the need arises. The company I am at will most likely offer me FTE or extend the contract I was already informed. This company is open-sourced and gave me a choice between macbook or windows and is also a largely recognized brand name. Also the recruiter when I asked him about my contract essentially begged me NOT TO LOOK ELSEWHERE!!!

So my dilemma is maybe I shouldn't have tested the waters, the vehicle started rolling down hill and the brakes went out. Now I am stuck rejecting all these potential opportunities. I could pursue them, follow the money, take a gamble - but I also have that comfort zone of my current employer.

I just needed a place to vent, share my experience and maybe hear others. </livejournal>

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Replies To: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 04 September 2014 - 08:29 AM

I hear ya.. I've been on the recruiter speed dials again (it must be that every seven months alarm they have set).. some shit jobs I turned down.. a few that were okay, but not in the industry I care to deal with, and one that just told me to talk to my boss for more money.

Quote

This recruiter refused to take my rejection and keeps hounding me. No means No. Also a .NET shop

Heh.. sounds like this guy out in Jersey that thinks I should pull up stakes for six month contract job.

Quote

So my dilemma is maybe I shouldn't have tested the waters, the vehicle started rolling down hill and the brakes went out. Now I am stuck rejecting all these potential opportunities.


It doesn't sound like any brakes are off.. They cannot make you change jobs, just call you a lot. I am always a big fan of keep a partial ear to the ground for anything that might come up.. no harm in that.

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#3 Nykc   User is offline

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Re: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 04 September 2014 - 08:41 AM

Quote

Heh.. sounds like this guy out in Jersey that thinks I should pull up stakes for six month contract job.


The recruiters that want you to relocate with no assistance and for short term contracts are great!! I know a few guys that play this game, they will go from city to city and work short term gigs.

So there is this app idea I am kicking around, maybe someone will build it quicker than I can - basically a rate-a-recruiter app. Good and bad, because there are some great bait and switch recruiters out there.

Quote

"This great opportunity will pay up to $175,000."


Really? Sign me up shoot! Then when you talk to them, well we are willing to offer you $80,000.

Quote

I hear ya.. I've been on the recruiter speed dials again (it must be that every seven months alarm they have set).. some shit jobs I turned down.. a few that were okay, but not in the industry I care to deal with, and one that just told me to talk to my boss for more money.


You know what surprises me the most? Third quarter and this many companies are out trying to fill roles.
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#4 xclite   User is offline

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Re: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 04 September 2014 - 12:48 PM

In my experience 4 hour interviews are the norm for any job I'd be interested. I feel you on the tech stack thing - fortunately I'm in a field and city where I can be picky and not have to work with technologies I'm not interested in.

I'm also afraid to do any sort of looking for similar reasons, even in cases where I know I want a change:
1) It's a lot of work
2) It's stressful
3) I may end up going someplace that I like less than my current situation, and coming back isn't trivial
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#5 Nykc   User is offline

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Re: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 04 September 2014 - 02:04 PM

Xclite I think you hit the nail on the head, although I still don't agree with a 4 hour interview. I don't need to talk to every employee in the company, or worse a panel at the same time to determine if I am a good fit for the company. Maybe I am just being picky, scared of failure, the fact I hate interacting with people regularly.

I kind of did this to myself, because I "strayed" and ate the forbidden fruit. My current employer did not want me to look around without going through them first, however I am being presented opportunities with better compensation. It is hard to resist the money, but at what cost? What are the trade-offs.

When I rejected the final interview, this was the second recruiter to up their sales pitch. I suggested an extra $6k, bitched about the interview and the tech stack - and yet he still said think about it. So for that reason, I will go to the interview. If this turns into a cool kids club and they want a bunch of answers for homework help like I have seen in the past, that 4 hour interview will turn into a 30 minute interview real fast because I will leave.
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#6 depricated   User is offline

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Re: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:26 AM

I haven't been looking for a job since last November. I'm very happy with my current position (and it's a .NET shop :P) but I still get recruiters calling at least 2-3 times a week. I keep telling them I'm not interested.
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#7 Lemur   User is offline

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Re: Work Life Balance and Career Changes

Posted 16 September 2014 - 07:49 PM

Try being within 20 feet of DevOps in San Francisco. If you have a phone up, it will be off the hook the entire day during the week. I'm still just a month into this job, and most of the recruiters are still trying for it if I mention that to them. Out of purely morbid curiosity I asked about them paying back the entire relocation and starting bonus package I had received, and without a pause they said it was trivial and they'd offer a larger starting bonus. It's insane out here....

The things I tend to ask about now are Styleguides, Test Practices, CI Workflow, and Organization Methods (Agile, Kanban, etc.) I don't want to have to clean up after cowboy coding, writing hours of retrospective testing. Combine that with no structure like Agile and you're asking for problems.You'd end up spending far far more time babysitting and cleaning things up than actually working on code. I've left multiple interviews from just that, because a Rails app with no styleguide, tests, ci, or organization is a living hell to be within 5 feet of.

Yes, style is a big deal to me. I don't care what it is as long as it's consistent and not left up to whoever coded this section of the app.

Basically my question would be if I'm interviewing to make cool things, or clean up after someones mess until I get cross and walk out the door?
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