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Ask Slashdot: Career Advice- how much is a fun job worth?

Nicros (531081) writes | about a year and a half ago

Software 4

Nicros (531081) writes "So 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. Software is what this company does, and people are happy to get their solutions.

Now to make life more interesting, I have the even better fortune to have an offer to go be a software director for a new company. This company sought me out personally because of my background, which is very flattering. 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.

Maybe I feel like I'm just trying to climb some corporate ladder and chasing a title, and I don't like that. 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.

This is keeping me awake at night. 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?

Advice?"

4 comments

What's your priority ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295051)

Since you put both "FUN" and "WORTH" in your question, you are giving us a mixed signal - that is, you haven't yet set up a concrete priority list for what you want in life

Do you value money over everything ?

Or do you value life ?

If you value life, "FUN" is worth everything

But if you value money, a fun job will become very "un-fun" in a very short while, since the take home pay is less, much less, than a non-fun job

Re:What's your priority ? (1)

Nicros (531081) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295245)

Ah. Well the problem arises because I like a fun job, and I like money- probably like most people I suspect. That's what makes this difficult- if it was obvious to me which of those were more important in my life the decision would be much easier.

Have you told your current job yet? (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295671)

Make a two column list of all the things that you like about each job. Then go to your current job and see what things about it you can change to make it more like the new job. It's probably going to be easier to get the good things from the new job into the current job, because the things that you like about the current job relate to it being your current job. Some things might be difficult. For example, it would probably be difficult to make the current job closer to home. Can you compromise? What about working from home one day a week and teleconferencing to meetings? Or simply skipping meetings that day. What is it about the greater distance that bothers you?

Personally, I'd be unlikely to switch jobs because of a 10% raise. That's more along the lines of something that I would ask my current employer to match. I might switch jobs if my current employer refused a match, but I would at least try to get them to do so. Do they read slashdot? Maybe they now know.

What's your backup plan if you don't like the new job? I've jumped and then wanted to go back. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. If you don't think that you could here, what would you do? Will you be worse off?

Re:Have you told your current job yet? (1)

Nicros (531081) | about a year and a half ago | (#41295807)

Great comments. I like the idea of trying to make my current job more like the things I like about the new offer. They have expressed willingness to work with me to get into new areas, without jumping with both feet into a new position- they want to make sure that they are happy with where I am, and that I am happy with where I'm going. They have really been great with the working with me- so I feel like they would do what they could to make the job what I want it to be.

Paywise, it's actually more of a 15% increase, with options (it's a startup). So there could be a financial windfall. I haven't asked my company to match that because it feels a bit like blackmail to me.

I don't know what my backup plan would be though if I left for the new gig and didn't like it. It would be hard to go back, and I'm not sure that I would want to, without feeling like it was a step forward and not back. But I also don't know what else I would want to be doing... so I need to think on that one some more :)

Thanks!

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