Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Decisions, Decisions


Even I'm surprised by my Network. I had two interviews last week, as a result of openings passed my way by its members. The results came in pretty quickly: I had two offers sitting in front of me by afternoon Thursday. So now, I have been thinking through the process of deciding on which of the jobs I should accept.

It is not as hard as you think.

As it turns out, I really only want one of the positions[1]. They both have their reasons for interesting me. They both offer a competitive salary and benefits. They both come ready made with people I've worked with before (and, therefore, an easier transition into working again). One of them is just more compelling to work for, however.

One just has a bit more interesting work, is populated with a bit more interesting people, and has a more interesting location. Otherwise, it's actually hard to compare the two. They are apples to oranges, completely different jobs, targeting completely different types of software.

So the choice for me is quite simple. I just need to get what I want out of the company. This is the really selfish stage of job hunting. The potential employee (me) needs to try and get as much out of the potential employer (the people with the money) as possible[2]. Everybody at this stage is trying to get all they can out of the deal.

Sure, there is a little bit of compromise on both sides. I'm usually a pretty poor negotiator with, in the past, all the compromise on my end of the table. This time, I'm trying to move it back into the middle with some give-take on both sides. I'll give a little on salary, if you give a little on benefits.

I like to think that the last three months of traveling has emboldened me to think this way. I would like to think that I learned a thing or two about haggling, bargaining, and negotiating to get the best deal. I would like to think that it has given me more confidence to judge my value at a higher level.

Really, it's those two offers on the table. Says to me that I am one damned desirable little coder.

[1] I won't say which one. I don't want to tip my hand here. I'm still doing a little bit of negotiating. You'll have to guess, really. I'm hoping that I don't give too much away.

[2] With in reason, of course. It's not like I'm asking for a leased Porche, or a corner office. I'm just looking for a little more vacation time. I'm giving up my travel freedom that I get with contracting. I see that as a big sacrifice that I'm willing to make because I like the company, and feel like it would be a good fit. Otherwise, I'll just stick with contracting.

No comments: