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Ask Slashdot: How Much Is a Fun Job Worth?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the three-hundred-fifty-two-dollars-and-eight-cents dept.

Software 397

Nicros writes "I have the good fortune to be a lead software engineer in a really fun company. The culture and people are great, and while the position has some down sides (distance from home, future opportunities), in general I'm quite happy there, and I wasn't looking for a new job. Now, I've had an offer to go be a software director for a new company. The pay is more than 10% better, the location is closer to home, and the people seem nice. I would get to grow a new group as I saw fit, following some regulatory guidelines. Problem is, I just can't decide what to do, and I'm not even sure why I can't decide. Maybe it has to do with leaving a job that I like (something I've never done) that just doesn't sit well with me. Maybe it's fear. I'm 40, so maybe it's just getting older and appreciating stability more. But then again, I have my current position dialed in, and could use a change. I have ambition, and my current company has made every effort to work with me to develop my career — probably more in the business development side, but that could be fun too. That career path is just more vague and longer-term than jumping right into a director position, with no guarantee that it would even work out. In the new company, software is not what this company does primarily; not many people would use the software, so the appreciation level would be much lower than my current position. Has anyone made a transition like this in software? How did it work out? Did you stay or did you go? Why? What's more important, the people and culture at a job, or the opportunities that job presents for future growth?"

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397 comments

LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317779)

LOL

What's more important.... (1, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41317833)

According to the article:

What's more important, the people and culture at a job, or the opportunities that job presents for future growth?"

Money...otherwise, why would you bother to go to a job at all?

Re:What's more important.... (5, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 2 years ago | (#41317857)

I'd rather have a job I like that pays 70K than a job that sucks for 100K. You spend A LOT of time there, so you might as well enjoy it.

Re:What's more important.... (5, Insightful)

Shag (3737) | about 2 years ago | (#41318035)

I'd rather have a job I like that pays $70K (which is, practically speaking, about what I actually need to pay the bills, pay off debt and support my family) than a job I like that pays $45K and two part-time jobs I like that each pay $10K - which is what I have now.

There is absolutely something to be said for liking a job, but there's also something to be said for at least getting raises in line with inflation...

Re:What's more important.... (4, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | about 2 years ago | (#41318143)

Fair enough.
My job pays enough, barely, but enough. That said I love my job. My boss is awesome, my co-workers are excellent, perks are decent.
I flatly refused offers (same company even) unless they had a minimum 20% premium above what I make now.
That's what a good job is worth to me.

If (in OP's case) it's closer to home and your commute costs saved + that 10% raise == 20% then I'd consider it (based wholly on my model).

To knowingly go into a job that sucked? only if I knew I was losing my good job, or the pay was 7 digits (absurd? sure, but that's what it costs to lease my soul. two years at that then I can retire if I do it right)
-nB.

Re:What's more important.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318161)

But if you make $30k /year more, you'll be able to retire earlier and spend LESS time there.

Re:What's more important.... (3, Funny)

youn (1516637) | about 2 years ago | (#41318203)

I totally agree... don't take the higher paying job, you have to love your job or it is not worth it... send them my resume instead lol :p

Re:What's more important.... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 2 years ago | (#41318529)

Good Ol' 80/20 rules, you get pay 20% for what you do, and 80% for what you put up with. It really depends on the "suck" level. 100K vs 70K is a very significant increase.

Re:What's more important.... (2, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41317893)

could not agree more. You work so you can do whatever else you enjoy, if you happen to enjoy work it is a happy bonus. You may well regret later on not taking opportunities presented to you as one thing is almost certain is that your current working environment WILL change, people will move on, management will change, perhaps for the better. I had a similar problem about 10 years ago and luckily for me I had a fantastic director who I told about the opportunity, his response was "don't be a fucking moron, take the job, you owe no loyalty to me or this company, if you weren't great at what you do regardless of what everyone says about how great it is here we would dump you in a heartbeat. Work is how you pay the bills, not your life", I took the job and that old company was bought out by its main competitor around 6 months later and completely gutted while I marched on happily.

Re:What's more important.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318295)

I was just going to add if you ever see that director again, you totally owe him a big kiss. Probably an emoticon :* or it might be kinda gross :)

Seriously though in my experience no matter how nice a job seems on the surface you should assume the slightest bit of drama and you're out on your ass, and plan your 'raises' and 'job transfers' accordingly. Maybe someday you'll end up in a culture where your company shows as much loyalty to it's employees as they do to it, but currently, in america, and pretty much everywhere else, it seems like the companies are really tapping into their lotalty credits ATM, and most of the employees are on a slide towards loyalty bankruptcy. If you can't trust your job to support you now and in the future, then there's no reason to show anything greater than short term loyalty to them (something which my dad disagrees with, but he grew up in the age where kids could run a paper route and make a decent income, and where most people who got a career kept it at the same company until retirement. Neither seeming to have been true since at least the late 90s, unless you're a founder or something.

Re:What's more important.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317905)

I take it you work at least 2 jobs then right? I mean if you're not working your entire life away why bother with having a job at all.

Re:What's more important.... (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 years ago | (#41318413)

If the prospective job doesn't look like it would be fun then it's not a better job even at twice the salary.

If the prospective job doesn't look like it *might* be fun but you're worried about trading the unknown for the known... you're asking the wrong question. It isn't: how much is a fun job worth. It's what reward merits the risk of taking a job that might turn out not to be for me when I have a job that makes me happy.

My answer when I was faced with this question was about 25%. If I'm happy, actively happy and secure where I am but my unique set of skills is of particular use to another employer and the job there looks fun too... I'll accept the risk for a 25% boost in salary.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318435)

Define "Fun"...we talking clowns and cakes fun at work or strippers and a lot of booze and coke kinda fun?

Fun vs Happy (4, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 2 years ago | (#41317785)

A fun place to work is, well... fun! But if you aren't happy (pay, commute, promotion, etc) then you aren't happy and soon you'll start to resent the fun place.

Take my advice, find a job you are happy with and make it the fun place!

Re:Fun vs Happy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318041)

Forget money. Acquire bitches.
Many many bitches.
And treat them like bitches. Bitches love that.
If I'm going to pick a job for a word, my word is poontang.

Re:Fun vs Happy (5, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 2 years ago | (#41318051)

Take my advice, find a job you are happy with and make it the fun place!

Nerf guy alert...

dyk (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317787)

It's the devil you know vs. the devil you don't. That's the hesitation, I'll bet.

Re:dyk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317819)

Yes, if you got to know the people at the new company better - hang out with them, go to bars, etc - you'd know better one way or the other what your decision should be.

Re:dyk (4, Insightful)

tylernt (581794) | about 2 years ago | (#41318357)

It's the devil you know vs. the devil you don't.

That's the situation I was in a couple years ago. Got an offer from a startup-type place at a significant pay increase from my current stable job. After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to take it... however when I went to give notice, my old employer volunteered a counteroffer... so I stayed, and got the best of both worlds.

To the OP, you might just tell your current boss that you're thinking about leaving and see what he says. His answer, either way, will help you decide what to do.

Hard decisions? (2)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about 2 years ago | (#41317793)

Flip a coin!

Coins work (5, Insightful)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about 2 years ago | (#41318011)

It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.

Re:Hard decisions? (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41318023)

Flip a coin!

You haven't finished explaining the algorithm

Flip a coin!
a) If you agree, great.
b) If you want to flip again, go for 2/3 or otherwise reconsider the rules, then you wanted the other decision.

Really, while the question is not short, there is still much data missing (how far is "further away", how fun is "fun", etc, etc.). There is no exact formula that can help.

Always Go with the Fun (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317799)

I've changed jobs several times to find one that was more fun or closer to home. I've never had to choose between more fun and a shorter commute. I'd think about the commute and the entertainment value well before I thought about the money.

Maybe You Know at Some LeveL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317801)

Perhaps the reason you are reluctant to change is that there is something you don't like about the new company. Nothing you can objectively point to, but some subtle attitude or cultural issue.

Good work environment is everything (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#41317809)

Don't forget that you spend a major part of your life there. Unless this is an "up or out" kind of situation, stay. 10% more money is not that much. And building up a team comes with a serious risk of failure, often by factors outside of your control.

Re:Good work environment is everything (0)

mrmeval (662166) | about 2 years ago | (#41318447)

Don't be a fungus. Yea all the things that's been said but consider the people in your team. If there is one who has been there for you and your company and they can do your job you can leave it to them and go see if the new one is more fun. Stuff that 10 percent in another account by payroll deposit and the savings in travel time and if it gets bad you have a cushion to find another job. Since you've said you competent even factors outside your control should not wreck the new job in under a year.

Closer to home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317823)

This one could be what swings it. If the new job allows you more life outside work then go for it.

Take Fun (5, Insightful)

Herkum01 (592704) | about 2 years ago | (#41317827)

Unless they are paying you drastically more (20 or 30%), stay with the place you enjoy. Hell, you could just move closer to your current job.

It is hard to find a job you enjoy with people you like to work with. If this new place has problems, personal as well as business side, you are screwed. It will be hard to find a "fun" job again.

Re:Take Fun (5, Insightful)

hardie (716254) | about 2 years ago | (#41318077)

I agree. Maybe these days a 10-12% raise is all you can expect---if you are going to a similar job. That's not the case here. There should be a larger increase for the step up to director. 10-12% is a pittance for the risk and chaos of changing jobs, especially if the other job doesn't reach out and grab you. They probably think you are an amazing bargain at that salary.

It sounds like the new job is further away from your interests, compare:
"lead software engineer in a really fun company" vs.
"software is not what this company does primarily; ... the appreciation level would be much lower than my current position"
Faint praise for the other job.

Do you really want to be a director? With 'regulatory guidelines'? I'm strongly biased toward small companies, you can probably tell.

Steve

Re:Take Fun (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 2 years ago | (#41318157)

Fun? Bah humbug. Not everything in this world must be fun. That and "Mom" are the two most overused words in modern English.

Nothing in my job is "fun". However, I get great satisfaction and enjoyment (which is not the same thing as "fun") at my job thinking up ways to make processes efficient and maintainable, and then going back later and making them even better.

Re:Take Fun (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41318275)

However, I get great satisfaction and enjoyment (which is not the same thing as "fun")

Close enough.

Re:Take Fun (1)

cryptizard (2629853) | about 2 years ago | (#41318305)

But how much would it be worth it to you if you could have a job that was fun? For me, a lot (of money).

Wow, a timely post for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317831)

Funny, I'm in the exact same situation...I do not know what to do or what I will decide when the job is posted...

Lucky you... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317835)

It all comes down to whether you think you will be happy with 10% more pay.

I've made similar leaps before for much greater increases and found the new company had some stuff under the carpet that I couldn't see until I was working there. If you choose to jump, jump carefully.

Also mind that you seem to be very happy with you current job and they seem to want to work with you. You *might* (be careful with this, use your own judgement here) tell your current boss that you have an offer in hand for 10% more and you are conflicted about the decision. You current boss *might* be willing to consider a pay nudge to keep you.

But of course, if you do this and get fired for looking over the fence, it is you own damned fault.

Re:Lucky you... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41318491)

I wouldn't tell the boss about the other job. But I would ask if you could have a bump in pay during the annual employee review.

And I would not change jobs. It's nice to work at a place "where everybody knows your name & they're always glad you came". ;-)

More money is good... (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41317837)

And so is career growth and a shorter commute. On the minus side there's uncertainties of many kinds (job definition, future of the new company, potential happiness at new job).

You need to figure out how much these things are worth to you. And only you can do that.

Quality of Life is #1 (5, Insightful)

Tanman (90298) | about 2 years ago | (#41317841)

At 40, you should know by now that it isn't what your reward is, but how much you are enjoying it.

If a job offered me a 100% raise, but I had to commute an hour each way, I'd say no. My current commute is 7 minutes. That would mean I lose almost 2 hours of personal time in the evening every single day, and that is not worth doubling my salary to me. However, other people have different priorities for what they are looking to achieve.

If being closer to home and earning a little more money is more important to you and will bring you a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment than your current situation, then make the change. But if money isn't that important to you, you are "close enough" to home, and you are really happy at your current position, be sure you aren't just moving because "the grass is greener."

Re:Quality of Life is #1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318267)

That's situational dude.

100% for me would mean an additional $130K/year. I would gladly do that if it means I get to retire in 1/2 the time. It's all about priorities and what it means for you.

TO THE OP: listen to what everyone has to say, consider it, but make your decision based on what YOU want to do. not because of what AC says. With that said, I say stay with the company you ENJOY working at. I am leaving, in my mind, the best job in the world to be with my future wife. The job is hella fun, but my gf brings me way more enjoyment than work ever could (not saying she doesn't have her share of downsides)

Give your current company a chance to counter!!! (4, Insightful)

virtualXTC (609488) | about 2 years ago | (#41317867)

I've been there several times. Tell your current company about your offer, they will counter if they appreciate you as much as you say they do. Finish the negotiation process before you try to sort out your feelings about which position is best. If they don't your decision is made for you (you can't stay and still have any cred' if they don't try to keep you).

Re:Give your current company a chance to counter!! (4, Insightful)

muhula (621678) | about 2 years ago | (#41317997)

The conventional wisdom says never take a counteroffer. Your loyalty is questioned so you'll be the first to go during layoffs, they'll take the pay bump out of your future raises, and other people will eventually find out. I've also heard about people taking a counteroffer and not actually getting one... by the time you realize this, the other position is filled.

Re:Give your current company a chance to counter!! (5, Insightful)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 2 years ago | (#41318121)

This is ridiculous, unless you like work for the mafia or something. Maybe there is some lunatic employers out there that hold their positions like a girlfriend but most realize that people (especially talented ones) might be tempted by outside offers. The only time I could think of that a normal employer would do stuff like that is if you are obviously leveraging the new position to twist their arm. A little honesty goes a long way, if he brought this question to his current employer they would respect the honesty and heads up most likely. I've left a couple companies who have countered and they would gladly take me back tomorrow.

Re:Give your current company a chance to counter!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318505)

Every business I've ever worked for has a "no counter offer" policy. Once you're willing to quit, your heart is likely no longer in it for the job you have currently.

Re:Give your current company a chance to counter!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318571)

Completely agreed. If you've been there a while you usually have a pretty good sense how "petty" management might be with respect to you seeking opportunities elsewhere and accepting counteroffers.

Personal story: After quite a number of years of meager if non-existant pay increases across the company (even before the recession), and even a few pay cuts, I received a +10% offer from a company composed mostly of some of my former coworkers. When I took the offer to my boss he confided in me that he'd been worried about my low pay level and what it might mean for my future for some time, but given the company's history the past few years he had no way to address it unless something like this happened. The counteroffer was also +10%, and knowing that I really enjoy my work and have a great set of coworkers, as well as job security being a flip of the coin as to which company was the better situation, I took the counteroffer and stayed put.

Shortly thereafter a competitor unexpectedly offered me about an additional +15% to come work for them (they pursued me, and I humored them by interviewing with them, but didn't have serious intentions of switching). I was expecting and prepared for a much lower offer and fully intended to turn it down, but I really wasn't prepared for such a large offer and it totally threw into doubt whether I should stay or go. Unfortunately coming just few months on the heels of the previously mentioned offer my company wasn't prepared to counteroffer, but it did get me face time with people further up the management chain who wanted to talk about why I was unhappy with my current situation and what they could do to make it better for me. Finally being listened to by higher management, able to air my concerns, and with assurances that they'd do right by me as time went on, I turned down the new offer. Sure enough, every year since then I've gotten a healthy bump in pay, and management continues to be open to hearing and addressing my concerns as they can. I'm quite satisfied with how everything turned out.

Re:Give your current company a chance to counter!! (2)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#41318439)

Counters and accepting them may be more common these days due to the high cost of onboarding new employees but a company RARELY forgets you accepted that counter and you may pay for that raise in more ways than you expect.

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/03/26/why-you-shouldnt-take-a-counteroffer [usnews.com]

To hell with better pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317899)

Can you provide for your family? Are you making enough to have a domicile that is to your liking? Are you making enough to eat the kinds of food you want to eat? Do you have the gadgets, widgets, and doodads that occupy your time when you're not at work.
If so, better pay is pointless. Money isn't happiness, it's a means for survival. Certainly, there are things that we enjoy that cost money, but it sounds like you can afford those things. If the difference is "with job A, I can have a PS3 or an xBox, and with job B, I can have a PS3 _and_ an xBox" or "with job B, I can afford an extra car," then why turn away from a job you truly enjoy?

Re:To hell with better pay (2)

cryptizard (2629853) | about 2 years ago | (#41318341)

Completely agree. Sometimes I get depressed with how much stock people put in money around here. Work hard to get enough to support yourself and your family, but above that do what makes you happy.

10000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317901)

For me, a good job is worth 10000.

If you have to ask, you probably already know (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317907)

Somebody with those kinds of doubts doesn't really want to move. It's OK to stick with what you know. Just give yourself permission to be more concerned with security. Really. It's OK. A lot of people would love to be in your position. Yeah, somebody else might take job B, run with it, and make senior VP. They have no doubts; but if you try to do the Evil Kneival jump with doubts, you're gonna miss the ramp. When the jump is right, you won't even think about looking back, and you'll hit it just right.

Options A or B (1)

Jaysu (952981) | about 2 years ago | (#41317913)

...I choose C. Seriously, find a job that is closer to home and more fun. Those jobs do exist.

Nothing (4, Funny)

SoupGuru (723634) | about 2 years ago | (#41317921)

Take the new money and be sure to burn your bridges on your way out the door.

Ah... reverse psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318191)

You think to make him realize that he really likes the friends and job at the old place?

I say:
#1 - stability - which position is the most bullet proof? I would guess the old one.
#2 - fun (but the shorter commute of the new job counts as fun)

Unless your commute goes from an hour, down to 10 minutes, a 10% pay raise isn't much. This supposes that you are comfortable and not desperately strapped for cash.

One last pair of things.
- if you stay where you are, consider telling your boss that you had an offer, but like this company. Don't ask for a raise, (say no if asked whether you are bucking for a raise) but accept it if offered later if you think it doesn't make you overpaid (and thus subject to replacement). The good will generated will be worth a lot.
- don't play the new job against the old by asking for a raise because you have an offer. After that they will be looking to replace you when it is convenient for THEM.

Re:Ah... reverse psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318349)

(I am the AC above)

Oh and another thing... Directors are generally combinations of salesman, HR, and company direction, not so much coders.

Do you want to move completely to the management side where you are not allowed to be friends with the people under you because you may have to fire them?
Do you want to be the final say on all the hiring and firing?
Do you want to take the heat when the teams don't get the job done on time because the big boss changed the specs?

Do you want to code or to manage?

advice from this user (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317937)

No can tell you with 100% certainty. That includes you. I'm pretty sure you know that, but I'm stating it so you think about it.

If you have a family, the value of a short commute now may mean a WHOLE hell of a lot 20 years from now when the kids are gone, or, deity forbid, someone gets sick. Take the long view if your'e currently stable and think that will remain the case.

My advice is stupid sounding, but it actually works. Make a calculation out of it. Usually, I put pay as a 1:1 value and base things around that. Make a spreadsheet, think of ways to enhance the current job. Think about the satisfaction vs risk of the new. Try to fiddle numbers out of it.

Many times, it's not really the numbers that make it clear, but the thought you put into the numbers. :)

Re:advice from this user (1)

ukpyr (53793) | about 2 years ago | (#41317957)

Oops forgot to log in, but i'm a real person not an evil advice bot

Re:advice from this user (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41318359)

Are you implying that your advice is evil? :)

Re:advice from this user (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318409)

"Oops forgot to log in, but i'm a real person not an evil advice bot"

Read a few of your advices and I disagree, you're no person, you're a good advice bot.

Happiness is worth a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41317943)

Ambition means that you have to take risks and dive headfirst into difficult situations. Are you prepared to deal with the toll it will take on you, mentally and physically? Is your family prepared as well? (Don't kid yourself about isolating the your work and home life; unless you have the patience of a saint, problems at work *will* jump the fence and follow you home.) Will you still think it was worthwhile even if it doesn't pan out?

Personally, I'd take a 1/3 pay cut for a job where I was guaranteed to be happier without batting an eyelash.

Re:Happiness is worth a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318437)

"Ambition means ..."

Eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, honor, superiority, political power, or literary fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other people.

You're thinking of motivation.

college pool hall (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41317945)

I worked at my college's pool hall for a couple months. It was a great way to socialize, but paid just minimum wage. Definitely not the sort of place anyone's expected to work long term.

Need more details! (1)

eepok (545733) | about 2 years ago | (#41317951)

How far (time, distance) from work now?
How far (time, distance) from new place?

Are you willing to move closer to your current job?

Do you have other people to whom you are obligated that have commitments near where you are now? (schools, other jobs, family)

My bias: Happiness at work (job satisfaction, challenge, belief in the work, being around good people) is more important than wage. I don't say this as someone who has already made a bunch of money. I'm 29 and making under 50k in an area with high cost of living. I also live only 3 miles from my office and bike commute. I would need an offer of at least a 40% increase in pay WITH all the job satisfaction, challenge, and belief in my work to *consider* changing my place of employment. I have no kids and have had the same partner for a decade.

I'll second this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318065)

Since I'm in the other situation. I make a decent (80-90k) salary but my current job is driving me nuts. Even though the commute is good the time at the job just isn't worth it anymore. I made less at my previous company (60-70k) and had a longer commute but if I could go back there I'd drop this place in heart beat. (Since that amount of money is enough for me since I'm single and I was actually happy with the people at the old place.)

Negotiate harder (1)

muhula (621678) | about 2 years ago | (#41317961)

It sounds like you've determined that the positions are close in desirability (or you wouldn't be asking this question). Since you have nothing to lose, you might as well negotiate harder for what you want -- more pay, vacation, or other benefits. Perhaps this might push you over the top for the director position. Moving from a lead developer to a director position for 10% more salary seems low. I would imagine that you could ask for a 25% bump

Herzberg's Hygeine needs (4, Insightful)

Kittenman (971447) | about 2 years ago | (#41317975)

I took a course decades ago that mentioned 'Hygeine needs' - google that. From that sort of thing...

Herzberg asked people about times when they had felt good about their work. He discovered that the key determinants of job satisfaction were Achievement, Recognition, Work itself, Responsibility and Advancement.

He also found that key dissatisfiers were Company policy and administration, Supervision, Salary, Interpersonal relationships and Working conditions.


So - more salary isn't as important a thing as other stuff. If you're underpaid (or think you are), you're unhappy. If you are paid enough you're happy. More than enough isn't a great lift.

I tend to agree - I could earn a helluva lot more in the US or Europe - meantime I'm enjoying low-stress NZ while we raise the kid and walk beaches with the dog. And I earn enough.

What motivates you? (5, Interesting)

debest (471937) | about 2 years ago | (#41317991)

This all comes down to if you want to play it safe (stability motivates you), or if you want to roll the dice and gamble (change motivates you).

I speak from experience. I made a risky choice in 2000 and joined a startup, quitting a secure job at IBM that I would (in all likelihood) still have today. The job I went to paid better, was a lot of fun, exciting, challenging, and in the end a failure. My career has never fully recovered, and I am certain that had I stayed at IBM I would be finincially way further ahead than I am now. By all reasonalble criteria, I should regret my decision.

Yet I *had* to do it: I crave re-invention and change. I wouldn't be happy stuck in the douldrums of a stagnant work environment. I work for myself now, but I have no problems envisioning myself going back to being a cog in a big machine again. I'm open to, and embrace, the possibilities.

But as for you, you have to make that decision for yourself. The operative word about your job is not "fun", it's "happiness". You're in a fortunate position of being satisfied with your career, so you need to decide if you will regret not taking the opportunity to do more (and risk that you will fail). Good luck.

10% more pay... really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318005)

If you were gettting 30%+ more pay, then yes this would be a serious discussion.

You said you are quite happy where you work. You apparently don't realize yet how lucky you are. The rest of us slobs have to work for ingrateful management along with lazy, incompetent coworkers for probably less than what you make.

In my experience (4, Informative)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 2 years ago | (#41318021)

The people and culture were worth more. You spend such a large amount of your waking time on the job, its miserable not to like it 100%. Even if you have to sacrifice advancement, or commute, or whatever. There were times when I commuted 25 miles farther each way for half the bennies, just because of the team.

  Conversely if you can't stand a place because of the atmosphere or management style, or whatever, then it doesn't matter if they're next door and offer a 200% premium... it just won't be worth it, and you won't last very long there.

Been there, done that. A few times no less.

What are you afraid of ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318049)

Director ? And u're still thinking ?

Afraid of success are we ?

If u're as good as u seem to be .. There should be nothing to fear.

Will open up the possibility of running your own fun unit in the future !

All the best !

Life is change... (1)

Jahoda (2715225) | about 2 years ago | (#41318081)

Well, these kind of opportunities are how we can best expand our skill sets, and often times are how we grow in our careers and as people. However, it's great that you work for a company that has taken an interest in you and helped you to grow your career. That's a lucky thing. Not an easy decision at all, but since this isn't a "grass is greener choice" maybe just look at it as I've said above - about your evolution as a person.

read this.. (0)

isyanq4r (2728853) | about 2 years ago | (#41318083)

Unless they are paying you drastically more (20 or 30%), stay with the place you enjoy. Hell, you could just move closer to your current job.It will be hard to find a "fun" job again. A HREF=”http://fullpornoizle.pro//”>Porno izle daha önce okumadnz Sex Hikayeleri [slashdot.org]

10% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318091)

10% raise means 10% more hookers means 10% more fun!

Profit Center vs Cost Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318101)

"Software is not what this company does primarily..."

Huge red flag. Stay away unless you have an overwhelmingly compelling reason to move.

Re:Profit Center vs Cost Center (1)

happyhamster (134378) | about 2 years ago | (#41318369)

I second that. Since software is not the primary business, you will be regarded as "cost center" by bean counters. If business is not going well, your side will be cut or outsourced first.

Isn't it obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318103)

... a pithy soul.

In a way I saw this on United Stats of America (2)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 2 years ago | (#41318105)

Where they pointed out people were happiest at either 75K or 85K. I can't remember which. The reason was that above that salary level you pretty much have enough money to meet all your important needs and the extra money was pretty much worthless since you basically have to find excuses to spend it on. So I guess one question would be "Are you making enough to cover your needs, IE what can you do with the extra money?" If you're in the situations where you really can't find anything to spend it on then I wouldn't worry about the money.

Re:In a way I saw this on United Stats of America (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318283)

Where they pointed out people were happiest at either 75K or 85K

Travel. Nothing would make me sadder than watching my kids turn into insular jingoist xenophobes like their classmates. The only way I know of guaranteeing that that doesn't happen is to haul them around the world and let them loose. It's an expensive education, but it's worth every penny.

Granted, ignorance is bliss. If I had never known what is out there, I wouldn't care, and certainly wouldn't spend so much on airfare for my family.

Re:In a way I saw this on United Stats of America (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318525)

Retirement. Kids college education. Medical.

I have 3 kids. Estimating tuition (in a decade or two) at over 300k per child.

Retirement - how much do I want to live on? Candy bars were 20 cents when I was a kid. Now they're a dollar. What will food be when I retire? How much do I need saved up to live on?

Medical - We are all like ONE major medical disaster away from financial ruin, even with top-notch insurance. A rainy day fund is the difference between a roof over your head and living on the street. It will rain. It always rains eventually...

85k is not going to cut it unless you are really REALLY frugal and saving every possible cent.

Only you can answer this. (2)

Zadaz (950521) | about 2 years ago | (#41318119)

For me, without kids or a mortgage, and with a significant other that will support whatever wage I earn, I can make job satisfaction the primary, and in fact only reason for having a job.

However that would change if I had kids or debt or a dependent. Making sure the people you're responsible for are taken care of is your #1 priority. Being fiscally responsible is your #2 priority. Fit "fun" in after those are taken care of.

So, you know, make your life choices wisely if you think you'd like to have more fun.

Keeping Skills Current (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 2 years ago | (#41318129)

If the present job keeps your skills current then the 10% pay difference may not be worth the hassle and extra hours. On the other hand if you're just showing up, slacking in the clubhouse while your skills slip away you're going to wake up one way with out the fun job, fun pay check or fun job prospects.

Equation for this answer (2, Insightful)

Grendol (583881) | about 2 years ago | (#41318145)

Back when I was working on an MSEE degree, my professor enlightened me to a simple equation to help compare happiness.

Happiness = (Location) x (Pay) x (entertainment value or pleasantness of what you are doing)

try to normalize all inputs to a scale of 0 to 2, yielding a result ranging from 0 to 8. You will quickly see that any one thing can kill the whole deal (multiplying by 0 tends to do that), and that some things can only compensate for inadequacies to a limited extent. So... in a practical sense, this quantitative answer to such qualitative things as job pay, location, and how much you like what you are doing, might help make the analysis comparison easier. Tweaking this to fit your specific situation makes all the sense in the world. Good Luck!

Bad normalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318503)

""try to normalize all inputs to a scale of 0 to 2""

C'mon this is Slashdot. Given a linear scale, that normalization puts the center infinitely closer to 2 than to 0. You can completely wash a job out with a single zero but you can't get a 100% yes with a single two.

I propose that you use 0 to infinity. If you find that you use either 0 or infinity anywhere, your answer should be obvious, unless you are trying to multiply 0 by infinity.

Pay is only a part of COMPENSATION! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318153)

be sure to compare 401k, bonuses, health benefits, perks. not to mention annuallized commute time!

all other things equal, 10% more pay is not really worth jumping ship IMO. you're talking single digit or low teens thousands a year.

Do you want to be a manager or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318167)

I think it's going to come down to whether you want to be a manager or a lead engineer. Being a manager / director has additional responsibilities (having to do reviews, decide salaries and bonuses, hire / fire) compared to a lead engineer. Only you can decide whether this is something you want to take on. I work for a big company, and don't know anybody at a director level who doesn't have several people reporting to them, so unless their titles are way out of whack, you should expect that you'll be growing that team as soon as you join.

Personally, I don't like the "software is not what [the new] company does primarily" part. I like to be in the group that makes the company. If I were at Proctor and Gamble, I'd want to be in marketing. Since I'm at a software company, Engineering is where it's at.

Take the new job (2)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | about 2 years ago | (#41318197)

Closer to home: Consider every minute commuting as work time, and every dollar spent on gas as after tax wages.
The challenge of something new: That can be a major contributing factor to your happiness, even if the employer isn't any more fun
The risk of taking a new position: You might think you are beloved and stable in your current position, but all it takes is new ownership and even the best workplace can turn into hell, so just because it is nice where you are doesn't guarantee it will stay that way.
Better pay: Yes, it's only %10 more pay, but think about it, they are starting you at that, chances are you have peaked out at your current position, now you have room to grow


No matter what, it could backfire, and be a bad decision, so don't burn your bridges, there is always the possibility of returning if this job doesn't pan out. Either way, Good Luck!

"Safe" and "stable" don't really exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318207)

Outside of academia and tenure, the reality is this: no job is safe and stable. At any point, your company could downside and cut you, or, the company could make a turn for the worse quickly and fail. In either case, you'll be out. The longer you've been at your current job, the less employable you will be. So consider that. Does taking a new job expand your skillset for the better?

Another thing to consider: raises and promotions have gone the way of the dodo. The only way to make more money or upgrade to a better position is to take a new job. You need to look 2 jobs down the road: the one you have is not your last, and it's likely the next one you take will not be either. Each job you take can be an upgrade (you have leverage if you can say "Well, I have ~this~ now, and..." and your the candidate for the job), but staying is most certainly staying at your current level.

Career Advancement (2)

skelly33 (891182) | about 2 years ago | (#41318213)

When faced with a choice like this, I have always chosen the path that would further advance my career, usually in combination with better pay. It is not that important to me to have fun at work or enjoy it - work is work... I'm not here to screw around, make friends, waste time, or engage in office drama. There are only so many years we have as top-earning grunts to plan for retirement, etc. and I don't plan to waste those on some whimsical notion that I should be having fun all the time. In other words, for me, it is a business decision, not an emotional one. Good luck!

In a similar boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318223)

I'm only in my mid 30's, but I'm in the process of finalizing a career change to move to a company half way around the world. My advice to you would be not to listen to anyone on Slashdot. Listen to your heart. 10% more money isn't bad, but you need to consider what effect the new job will have on your happiness and your work-life balance. Leaving a job is a leap of faith. Sometimes you stick the landing and are happy. Other times you are stuck in a place you'd rather not be.

Make sure they're not dysfunctional (3, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 2 years ago | (#41318225)

I left a secure and extremely low-paying development/dba where I was the only programmer and got to call all the development shots to work in a dev team for a company that paid me 60% more than I was making at a previous company. In the year and a half I worked there, almost all the company's original founders were purged, we went through three directors of software engineering, two directors of qa, and two head product managers. The UX guy was ran off by a VP who wanted to do the usability themselves. And I had to serve under junior programmers who were only senior in the sense that they had been with the company for years, and every boneheaded thing they wanted to do was rubber-stamped by management. Project management for the desperately needed rewrite of the company's code was given to someone who had never done project management before. At some point development of that core product was transferred to an Indian offshore company to be worked on by programmers not familiar with the project's programming language; of course this didn't matter, because I wasn't doing very well at this company because I wasn't invited meetings where important architectural details were being discussed (which I was nevertheless responsible for implementing even though no one told me about them). The company was owned by a private equity firm, whose goal all along was probably reducing headcount and maximizing short term profit at the cost of large employee turnover and bad code. So looking back at my situation, I'm really not surprised at all that it happened.

Was this experience worth the 60% pay increase? I supposed I learned how to not run a software company, which might be valuable in the future. But my advice is to look for warning signs that might indicate that the new company might be extremely dysfunctional. Warning signs like the company being owned by a private equity firm, or all the founders of the business who made it great being purged, or lots of turnover among senior engineers and a dev mix made up of recent college grads and mediocre lifers who coast on their seniority. And try to figure out if possible why the previous guy left.

Re:Make sure they're not dysfunctional (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 2 years ago | (#41318561)

Very wise advice... but would it change if the position was advertised as a growth-related opportunity? Given that most companies are really just one step from the nut-house... what is dysfunction really? Type-A owners/managers butting heads?

Comfort Zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318243)

You can't decide because you're working within in your comfort zone right now. You're dialed in, and secure. There's a little bit of fear and anxiety holding you back.

Snap out of it.

Get out of your comfort zone. Embrace the excitement anxiety. The career growth and success will be well worth it.

Easy peasy (3, Insightful)

Bozovision (107228) | about 2 years ago | (#41318277)

What are your drivers?

If you enjoy making software, and maybe running a team, then don't switch.

If you enjoy not knowing what's coming, dynamic situations with lots of change, and continually dealing with things that you haven't dealt with before, then change.

The money difference is not a big inducement, I'd say. Especially since you don't say how this new company will be funded - so you may be buying into 6 months of salary at 10% more, and then no job.

If after that you do think you are still interested in the job, it's really important to ask what you will control. If the big decisions are already made, and you are just a caretaker, then think twice as hard. Check how much budget you have. Check the constraints you'd be under. Check when you have to deliver software, and decide how viable it is. And ask for shares. A directorship without ownership is a fantastic way to load legal responsibility onto someone without the benefits of that responsibility. Culture of a company is important, what are your co-directors like? You'll set the tone for the people in your department - if you think they don't fit in, you'll be able to lose them - so that part of culture the culture is less important. The hat you wear as a director is completely different from making software; it's as table-tennis is to riding a bike.

Yep, I've done it. But it absolutely wouldn't be for everyone. Do the things that make you happy.

Depends on you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318289)

Several years ago, I took a project lead on a 3 year, 5 man project and it was a success. IMO, management is nice if you've never done it before, but it becomes tedious and you have to deal with silly stuff all the time. You're responsible for what other people do as well. I enjoyed it, and am glad I did it, but if the pay isn't significantly better, I'd rather be coding.

Another anecdote, Early in my career, I was working at a place where I stopped learning anything new and the work was boring and monotonous. The people, for the most part, were nice and easy to get along with. I wanted to leave but was offered a 33% raise to stay and I took it. It made me happy for about 3 months, then I was miserable again. I left for a consulting position that was fun, was closer, paid better and I got to learn new things. After the contract was over, the dot bomb happened and I was outta work for 6 months. I ran outta money and credit and I had to move back home, but found a very challenging job that paid nearly as much. Moral of the story? Money can't buy happiness and you could always loose your shirt when things look great. When things look terrible, it will eventually get better.

Avoid getting screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318319)

I agree completely with the commenters who have advised you to keep the fun. If your present commute is bugging you, consider moving.

One thing I haven't seen is this. You're 40. If the new company folds, you are completely screwed, at least until the economy rebounds.

What are your long term goals? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#41318351)

Where do you see yourself being in 10 years? Do you expect to be doing the same things you are doing now for (roughly) the same inflation-adjusted pay, or do you expect to be managing a large(r) group, or running your own company, or living on a farm in Iowa?

If you find yourself at a job which is not aligned with your long term goals, it's probably time to start looking.

Note that just being offered a new position with better pay is not necessarily a reason to leave your current position immediately, unless what you are being offered works towards where you eventually want to find yourself. However, if being offered a new position with slightly better pay has you asking the question, it's probably time to start looking, even if you're not immediately departing.

I would almost say that you should keep your eyes open all the time, if doing so won't interfere with you doing your current job to the best of your ability, even if you are perfectly happy where you are now.

Stay put! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318363)

HA! I'd commit murder to find a job that didn't make me totally miserable or wasn't eventually going to screw me over in some way. If you are happy and have job security and work for people you can trust, stay where you are. You can't put a price on your sanity. It's BAD out there. The extra money is no good if you end up in the nut house or get laid off.

lots of things to consider (1)

raw-sewage (679226) | about 2 years ago | (#41318375)

How much shorter is the commute? That alone will add "pay" to the new position. I think a lot of people fail to recognize just how expensive car commuting is [mrmoneymustache.com] . If the new work place is close enough that you can bike, you can really save a lot of money.

These days, when considering what a job pays, you can't just look at the salary. I really recommend reading Your Money Or Your Life [amazon.com] . Yeah, the language is kind of mushy and touchy-feely at times, but the general points are important. All for-pay jobs should be considered in terms of their real pay. Which is your salary, minus taxes, minus commuting expenses, minus work incidentals (uniforms or other equipment you personally need to buy), etc etc. Any non-reimbursed expense that you must incur as a result of your job must be subtracted from the advertised salary. IOW, would you spend this money if you didn't have to work? Furthermore, you need to break that real pay into an actual wage, i.e. what is your effective per-hour pay? Take the salary, minus all the expenses I mentioned, and divide by hours spent on work---including your commute, forced breaks, overtime, etc. (So, for example, consider two otherwise identical jobs, but one with different commute times. The one with the longer commute has a lower overall real wage.)

Consider also health insurance benefits. If you're single, it's probably less of an issue. But if you're married and have kids, then it becomes a big deal.

I will say this: I've now had two positions in my career, and in both case I was part of the "expense" structure. In other words, the stuff I worked on was necessary and provided real value to the company, but was not the primary revenue generator. So management views it as an expense, and cost-cutting is the name of the game. How little can we spend and still get the same result? But when you're dealing with a part of the business that is directly responsible for the profits, management tends to be a little more flexible, and willing to take bigger risks. Just something to consider: if you're moving from a position where you work on your company's end product, to one where you are simply part of the "support" structure, you may find the new environment to be frustrating.

FWIW, I was faced with a loosely similar situation: I had a relatively stable job at a big company. It paid a decent wage and I more or less liked it. But from a friend's invitation, I took a chance on a completely new job in a new city at a startup. The startup has been quite successful, and I'm making considerably more money. But I'm not particularly happy with the job itself; not miserable, but it's certainly not something I'd do for free. I stay for the pay. But I don't regret my choice; even if I knew then what I know now, I'd still take the job. The way I look at it, I'm "buying" greater future freedom by sticking with the not-enjoyable-but-high-paying position for now.

My first link in this comment was from Mr Money Mustache, a blog about facilitating early retirement through frugality and saving money. The retirement goal isn't so much of being able to sit around and do nothing, but being financially independent so that you're no longer a wage slave---you can strictly chose what you do based on the fulfillment factor, rather than worrying about putting food on the table. IOW, you can find the job you like so much you'd do it for free.

Do you know anything about the department/group you'd be managing in the new position? What are the people there like? Are they naturally happy and motivated to do good work? Or is it a sweatshop, where your job will be to crack the whip? Are they struggling right now, and just looking for a patsy to take a big fall?

Ultimately it's a personal decision, no matter how many details you provide about each position. I would use Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) to analyze the finances of both positions. In a lot of cases, you'll find that one job has a higher salary only on the surface. But seen through the eyes of someone who's read YMYL, the pay might actually be lower! And after YMYL, do as much work as you can to understand the "feel" and intangible side of the new position. What are the people like? What are management's expecations? What's the culture like?

Company mainstream (5, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | about 2 years ago | (#41318389)

The red flag for me was,

In the new company, software is not what this company does primarily.

I've always tried to be in companies in which what I did was directly tied to the company's main business. There is an analogy to a river: You want to be in the main stream, not in some backwater, so that when things get tight and money dries up, you're not left high and dry -- as in, a department or division that can be conveniently closed as a "cost reduction," with little (immediate) effect on their main business.

A corollary to this applies to physical locations, too: Remote sites will be closed before corporate headquarters will be, so pay attention to your job's location.

Besides, if you're not in the company's main business, you could develop a fabulous thing, and nobody at your company will appreciate it. (Think Xerox PARC. There are many examples at smaller scales.)

Slashdot: Life advise from nerds to nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318417)

Personal decisions should be personal.

It's a bad deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41318469)

The reason you are hesitant is that 10% is too little a bump for going from a Lead to a Director.

It goes:
  - developer
  - senior/lead developer
  - manager
  - director
  - VP

Each level up should be a 20% increase, so Lead to Directory should be a 44% increase (1.2 times 2). If for example you make $100K as a Lead, you should make $150K as a Director.

Did you remember to tell your prospective employer that you are making %120 of what you are really making? That way, when they say they can only match, but not increase, then your raise is built in.

Not this one (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 2 years ago | (#41318493)

A formal title or position or delegated power does not imply "leadership". You may be a director with a bigger budget but without buy-in from the people below and above, nothing may get done. The other thing is, the whatever "regulatory guideline" seems to be a yellow flag to me. It seems you have more latitude in your current job and that you're working well. I'm not sure why you think the BizDev path is more vague and longer-term. The other yellow flag is the non-software core business thing. It really doesn't sound like it's the best thing to jump ship. 10% is really marginally better. If another opportunity without those 2 flags and a better raise, then you may consider... Sounds like the ONLY attractive thing is being a director and managing more folks?

Easy. (2)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | about 2 years ago | (#41318547)

A fun job is worth precisely the amount of money you need to live the way you want. Oddly enough, though, so is a crappy job.

Working's about paying the bills; if you do something you love, you're "jobbing" right, but bills are gonna come either way. Like most things in life, it's all about the various types of bastards:

-If you enjoy your job AND are living the way you want, stay there, you lucky bastard.
-If you don't enjoy your job and ARE paying the bills, establish a minimum salary you can accept and then bail on the shitty job like the bastard you are.
-If you have a job (enjoyable or not) that doesn't let you live the way you want, you'll have to find a new job of either type, you poor bastard.

Establish your "necessary salary" threshold, and then go from there. Keep in mind this salary changes based on location. Good luck.
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