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Thread: At a cross road, will I regret for the road not taken?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    At a cross road, will I regret for the road not taken?

    Somehow, I found myself at a point in my life where now I have to make a decision.

    As a background, I am currently at a decent(if not a bit under paying) engineering job in commercial vehicle sector. This job started as an automotive job at a company that dabbles in both commercial(trucks) and automotive(cars), but after the automotive apocalypse of 2008/2009, they transitioned fully commercial business. That in itself isn't a huge issue, in the past 5 years I've worked on various projects that spans a large spectrum of applications. The problem is, a lot of those ended up going nowhere as projects often gets canned or put on shelves due to either corporate strategy or need to slim down budgets. This gives my work a bit of an air of unfulfilled promises, mainly because while I was working, I don't seem to have anything to show for. The group within the larger company I work for was meant for a bit of a skunkwork group, the group is located at a different location than the corporate mothership, and our director has pretty free reign on how we operates, as such we have a small company feel within a larger organization. The people I work with all shared very similar background as I do, and are all at a pretty young age(I'll be 30 this year) for an engineering organization. We have a pretty lax atmosphere and unlike a lot of these companies, we get some additional perk in we get full use(under the table) of the vehicle lab and machine shop(hoist, mill, lathe, tire machine...etc). So the coworker and the side benefit of this job is quite nice, if not a bit less pay for me and the work satisfaction, both interms of feeling of accomplishment and the inherit subject matter we work on(truck stuff).

    Then in the last month, I got approached via linkedin(as usual) from a recruiting person working directly(not a recruiting firm) for a well known automotive supplier. The opportunity they offered would be in automotive, and from the personnel I've met during the interview process, the people seems decent, though I am not sure if it can replicate the type of environment I am at(much larger, more structured multi-national organization). The field would be different, but the type of work and job responsibility seems fairly comparable to my current job. They extended me an offer that while being a sizeable(but not overly so, in my mind I feel it'll still put me just below industry average for the experience and the position) raise over the current job, that other benefit in most cases is more or less a wash with my current job, and this would be without the perk that I enjoyed now in terms of access to some interesting tools and equipment. I would likely need to move for this job also as it will change my commute from 20 miles/day to 80+ miles a day(I rent so its not a huge problem outside of moving itself). I feel like the offer could be better, but part of it was due to the fact that my current pay is hindered by the 2008/2009 when everyone at my work took a paycut, then the year after it was "raise" to the initial level, then the raise applied from there at that point on. The work itself probably would not be terribly different, except the work might ended up going somewhere.

    Before the whole job search process really got under way though, some new project at my current work started and I feel like I am working on something interesting again, the interview with the new company and the new project at the current work kinda goes concurrently and at the point they presented me with an offer, I feel like what I am working on could actually go somewhere(difference being this project has potential client lined up, compare to some other ones before that were more internal R&D in nature). So part of me wants to get a point to see the work through(or to find ultimate disappointment again), but part of me feels the company might just be going the same way as it does. The new opportunity would be a change, although I feel from the the day to day its not a huge difference. I know my current manager, who I know well and get alone with just fine went through a similar situation a couple years ago and he ended up staying on. I decided to let him know what the deal is and see if he has anything to say(note that I have not accepted any offer). We talked pretty frankly and he said more than likely the salary can be adjusted without issue to match whatever the new offer is, and like myself, he is somewhat optimistic in the new projects. While I trust the man and his words, and he is also recently promoted into his current position(2 years after his potential job switch), I still am not entirely sure of the whole counter-offer situation. While I feel like maybe this can also be used as leverage to get more from the new offer, its unlikely that it'll be that much more to tip the balance on its own.

    The way I see it, currently I am looking at these points, assuming if the pay ended up being equal:

    Simpler life
    Great Coworkers and work environment
    Shorter commute without need to move
    Get to still do work without need to start over
    "side perks"

    Will I still be treated the same?
    Will I be "marked"
    Still truck industry
    Corporate issue will remain

    New environment
    Automotive sector
    Big name company
    Projects that will go somewhere

    New environment
    Long commute if not move
    Big company, less direct input in the project itself
    loss of "side perk"

    Its really hard for me to make a decision either way. There are things I value highly going either way, and I feel in both cases I would be looking at the other as something that could be a regret....

    TL:DR, tough career transition choice....more or less a CSB....looking for other inputs...
    University of Toronto Formula SAE Alumni 2003-2007
    Formula Student Championship 2003, 2005, 2006

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    East Coast of the United States
    This is a tough decision indeed. Are you averse to change? For me at least, I find it hard to adapt to new situations. For instance, it kind of sucked for all my friends from college to graduate and yet I was to stay an extra year. If you're kind of like that, then you may wish to stay. It is hard to give advice since there are so many variables in both cases.

    In any case, I wish you good luck whichever path you take.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I really feel like I could go either way. I am somewhat afraid of being too "settled" but at the same time I don't really like to alter a routine.....damn conflicting feeling is conflicting...
    University of Toronto Formula SAE Alumni 2003-2007
    Formula Student Championship 2003, 2005, 2006

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Personally, I would stick with your current job. When the economy picks up again, your company will more than likely return to the automotive sector. And when they do, they will reward loyal employees, doubly so if they knew you were unhappy or disappointed, depending on who your superiors are.
    "Don't think your time on bad things
    Just float your little mind around"
    Jimi Hendrix

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't have much experience outside of internships because i have yet to graduate but the one saying i have always been told is "you'll never work a day in your life if you love your job". I don't know if this helps any but to me work is an unavoidable burden so you gotta make lemonade out of lemons. Maybe think about what makes you happier, a good workplace or money

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Working in one, I'd say beware of the big, huge multinational corporation. Yes, you get more resources and more opportunities, but everything is far more convoluted and complex, everyone wants to "get in the picture", etc.

    Also being in a "special operations" team is cool too. Makes work far more interesting (aside from the "side perkes" as well).

    I'd probably stay.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Californian by nature, living in Teggsas.
    I say stay with it. I left a job sevaral years wasn't that great and the benefits awful, but I felt comfortable there and did it well. I was pretty well-versed in all of the different aspects of it. I haven't had that sense of security since and really regret leaving. By now I'd have ascended the ranks quite a bit I imagine.
    An it harm none, do as ye will

    Approximately 79% of statistics are made up.

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