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Posted: 4/11/2002 10:23:36 AM EDT
Howdy all, I don't post here very often, so most of you probably don't know me too well, but I need some advice on a job opportunity that I need to decide about in the next 24 hours. Background on me as this may affect any input you give: I'm engaged, in my late 20s. My fiancee lives in MO and I am in CA right now. I currently work at a very large company writing application software for the CAD/CAM (computer aided design and manufacturing) sector. The deal is this: I have just received a job offer from the St Louis area. I would jump on it right away, but I have stopped to reconsider. Originally I thought the salary would be in the mid to high 50s (thats 50 as in 50k a year). However, first the company balked and said they weren't sure if the job was available, then they came back and said the best they could do is low 50s. As a comparison, I currently earn in the mid 50s, but that is in CA -- there is a cost of living adjustment for St Louis (Midwest is obviously cheaper). My dillemma is this -- the company that offered looks good, but... The new company is in the telecom sector. The new job would offer a week less vacation than I currently have, it would involve longer hours and more travel, but it would also provide me with more training and better advancement opportunities (so they say). So, basically, I would be earning less money, working harder and longer, with less vacation. It seems like the new company is low-balling me on salary & bennies, but on the other hand I really want to get out of CA, plus my fiancee and her family live in MO (although they live in Columbia, not St Louis). So I've got two questions for the esteemed collective knowledge of this board: 1) Do any of you have an idea of a competitive salary for a C programmer working with Oracle on Unix (5 years of experience) in the St Louis area? All my research seems to suggest the median salary is anywhere from mid 50s to low 70s, but perhaps the high end is unrealistic. 2) Any words of advice regarding this opportunity? If it was a few thousand more I would jump on it like a dog on a fresh steak, but I don't want to take a step backward in my career compensation wise (it might look bad to future employers). On the other hand I don't want to pass up a great opportunity because I am too focused on money and benefits (money aint everything, after all). That's about it. Opinions, good, bad, and ugly are solicited. Let em rip! Also, if I do take the job, I'll look forward to meeting some of you Missourians some time. I worked back in St Louis (with my current company) temporarily last summer and loved it, so weather, location, etc. are not issues. Dilbert
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:30:35 AM EDT
Just the cost of living differences have got to make it a net gain. Not to mention the increase in goodness of gun laws. Future employers will probably not even ask about salaries in previous jobs. Go for it. Doesn't Monster.com have a COL comparison function? I'll have to look.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:42:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:43:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2002 10:49:02 AM EDT by Vector_Joe]
Here's my opinion knowing what I know: 1) Salary- low 50's is a good salary considering the St. Louis area and the fact that the economy is not doing so good. Especially in the telecom sector. The forecasters are predicting that the telecom market will pick up again the last half of this year or the beginning of next year. When that happens, you can ask for a raise. However, it really isn't a bad salary. The COL in St. Louis is really really low compared to CA. According to the cost of living calculator at [url]http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/salcalc.html[/url]: if you were making 50k in San Jose, CA, you would need to make 21.6k in St. Louis. (since I don't know which city you live in) 2) How much longer hours? If the hours are still going to leave you with enough time for you to live and enjoy your life, then it would be a good deal to me. 3) Any job where you can get better training and experience is a good deal. 4) You will probably not be able to negotiate more vacation because most companies have set policies on how you get vacation time, so this is one hit you will have to take. 5) If you are in love, which I hope you are since you are engaged, I would jump at almost any opportunity to be closer to the ones I love. The only reason why I would not take the job is if my fiance' were definitely going to move out to CA and/or she can not get a job near St. Louis. So in summary, I would take it... just my opinion. (plus you get to get the heck out of CA) edited to add in cost of living calculator
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:44:39 AM EDT
Here is a cost of living calculator for you to use. The following numbers assume you live in San Francisco and are a renter. If you make $50k there, you need to make $36k in St Louis to have an equivalent salary. Not sure how reliable their data is though. You'd be living like a king here. :) [url]http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/salcalc.html[/url] I live in Columbia, so anytime you're in the area, give me a yell. We can go put a few rounds into some targets. Best of luck in your choice, whichever it is. Misanthrope
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:46:18 AM EDT
One consideration I don't see you looking at is the long term viability of each company. In New England over the past few years, a lot of people I know were jumping at jobs that looked better than what they had. Within a short period of time, they were looking for jobs again, as their new company started laying people off. Around here, telecom has not been a stable field, cad/cam is. This may not be as true in other geographic areas.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:52:25 AM EDT
I think the salary difference is more than made up by the difference in the cost of living. My guess is that you'll end up with more pocket money although you will be making less. One thing to check if you are concerned about the telecom industry, is to check the want ads in St. Louis and see how many cad/cam positions are available. If there are others available in your field, that should lessen the concern about a problem with the telecom industry. Neil
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 11:02:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2002 11:04:14 AM EDT by mattja]
Are you tiring of Autodesk? Just a guess. First of all, most of the C/Unix/Oracle guys I know are in the six-figure range. But these guys are consultants. Perhaps you might want to consider that avenue if your job sours after a few months. Which, btw, is a good reason why you should have a back-up plan. Some employers are known to screw new transfers because they figure you don't know anyone, don't have local connections and support networks, and just because they can. So, if you do decide to take the job, be prepared in case you have to make an exit after 4-6 weeks. Don't wait until things get bad, the minute you get there start developing a professional network and start interviewing for new positions (but don't let your employer catch on). That way, if things do turn sour, you will be prepared to make a quick exit. Also, consider your options for training outside the job. Are their local colleges offering up to date software training at reasonable rates? I know here in the Bay Area, between UC Berkeley Extension and UC Santa Cruz Extension we have a great system of extended education. Many areas do no offer that. Of course, this area is software Mecca. Other things to consider are: Is there a local software industry? If not, you may have a difficult time finding a new job. Are there local software user groups and the like? Also, consider are the area, distance from your family and friends, etc. Anyway, if you do decide to move, do it because you want to, not to please someone else.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 12:55:54 PM EDT
Good state for hunting and fishing. If you reload, you can get reject bullets cheap at the Sierra Plant. Rams football is good. Bass Pro Shop's home store is down at Springfield. Great Zoo. Not to far to PASA if you want to shoot the Master's and see other Nat'l and Inat'l matches. Bianchi Cup's at Columbia. Grand American is moving to DuQouine, IL or somewhere near there. The Job market is much more mobile now and you may be 1 place for 2 years and find something better. Movement both laterally and vertically is estimated at about 8 to 10 moves in a career whereas years ago it was maybe 2 to probably 4 at the most. Software is going to stay in demand, so I wouldn't worry about unemployment. Enjoy it while you can.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:11:15 PM EDT
No advise from me, boss. I just wanted to tell you I liked yer screen name.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:18:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:30:22 PM EDT
...and you would be much closer to the BRC!
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:37:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2002 1:41:36 PM EDT by Zoub]
Dilbert, I own an IT consulting firm in Indy. Dollars sound a little low, but it depends on how you tech out and your maturity and people skills. Do you have a degree? Did the company offer any kind of relocation package? How good is their training? Careful on this. A lot of them talk it but don't walk it on training. How many years of each do you have? What versions of Oracle and Unix Any OOD experience? Any web/JAVA If you are serious about gettig good advice, call me at my office Friday afternoon and I will give you all the advice you want. 317-573-3955. If I am not available leave me a voice mail with a number I can call you back at during the day or home phone and I will call you over the weekend. I will give you some of my time but you have to be serious enough about it to call me, no e-mails. I do this stuff every day, so I will help out a fellow shooter. I have some good IT contacts in St. Louis I can share with you, or I can at least help you get to Indianapolis for now and then get to St. Louis later. I gotta run to a client, if you want, e-mail me your resume tonight so I can review it and I will tell you what I think you are worth when we talk. Zoub
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:44:29 PM EDT
Dilbert, Are you happy where you are? If so stay. If not, go for it. The biggest regret most people have at the end of their lives is not having taken more risks. This sounds like an opportunity. I can relate because I am on the verge of a major career change myself. Take a chance!
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:53:19 PM EDT
More information..... Thanks much for all the advice guys. I am leaning more and more towards taking the job. I think I initially balked when I got the offer because it was much lower than the recruiter led me to believe it would be. But when I sit back and listen to how you all view the offer, I gotta admit it is a pretty good deal even as it stands. Regarding cost of living, I ran across one web site that said 55k in my current area is worth about 50k in St Louis. BTW, I live in SoCal, not north. I'm not sure how they figure cost of living, but as far as housing goes, the average house looks about 50% cheaper in STL. That is huge! Mattja, nope not Autodesk. Guess again. Think much higher end. As far as I know we are the only company of our kind in SoCal, so it shouldn't be tough. Regarding my experience, I've got almost 6 years, but most of that is strictly writing end-user apps in straight C. I got into Java and C++ in college, but there aren't many opportunities to use that stuff in my current job. Oracle DB stuff is really a sideline for me right now. I sort of volunteered for an ad-hoc project so I could get into it, so I have about a year of iffy experience with that. I guess that was a good hook to get me the job offer, but that is probably also why the offer is at the lower end of the scale. However, Oracle is very much at the core of the new job I am considering. Regarding the BRC, I agree completely! That's something I could only wish for in CA. There are lots of firearm related bennies to living in MO! Zoub, thanks much for the offer. I will probably need to decide before the afternoon, but if it works out I will give you a call. See more info on my tech skills above. Regarding people skills, I have been told they are excellent. As I said, I'm guessing salary is a little low due in part to my limited experience with Oracle (which I hope to change), and also due to the economy. Thanks everyone for the great advice! You know, we could probably charge money for access to the brain trust on this site! I'll let you know how it works out. Regards to all, Dilbert
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 1:56:49 PM EDT
thedave, Moved to NV huh? Man I am envious. My fiancee and I looked in Reno before we looked anywhere else. Unforunately, there aren't too many jobs up there right now that fit well for me. Maybe some day though.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 3:57:02 PM EDT
Sometimes the immediate loss is made up in the future. I am switching jobs in two weeks and taking a pay cut. However in the long run my income will increase. I should say switched careers. The loss of income right now is worth it to me.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 4:49:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 4:55:54 PM EDT
freedom has no redeemable value.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 9:36:59 PM EDT
Zoub, You've got (voice) mail. Thanks, Dilbert
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 9:58:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2002 10:05:51 PM EDT by Necromancer]
OK speaking from personal experience here. [b]Cost of living do not mean shit!!! add up all your bills and see what you end up with[/b] I took a pay cut to come to TX. Figuring, "hey, its a lower cost of living, and no state tax" WRONG!!. My bills did not get adjusted down along with the cost of living. Groceries still cost the same. Only thing cheaper is rent and there is no state income tax. Not only did I take a pay cut, I also took a cut in vacation time from 4wks to 2wks. [b]So my advise is this, do not take anything less than what you are worth. Financially you will regret it.[/b] I've been kicking myself in the ass since I got here. I came here to enjoy my hobby in firearms. Yet I am too damn broke to even get out to the range. To top it off, I've had to sell 2 firearms since I've been here. Don't do it man!! As far as your fiancee, think on this. 60% of all divorces in America stems from financial reasons. If I had to do it all over again, I would've have stayed in CA in a job I LOVED getting paid the money I deserve and held out for a job equivalent to that position.
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:23:47 PM EDT
Any chance that you get to excape CA, go for it. I did. Will they pay for your relocation? If you go to Yahoo and type in "cost of living" you will get a few good site to review. Excape CA...run...run. With the difference in the cost of living you will be able to all of the things you can't do in CA (buy guns, hunt, eat fatty foods, marry a woman, buy a house, etc). Good luck to you. (Take it easy CA guys, I am just kidding...I think) Tom
Link Posted: 4/11/2002 10:33:08 PM EDT
I took a 25% pay decrease when I came into my current position. Which isnt a big deal because in just over two years I doubled my salary. It all depends on the opportunities available at the other company.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 9:22:01 AM EDT
Update: It's done! I called and accepted this morning. Too bad my poor boss is out on business -- he won't get the news that I'm leaving until Monday. Thanks to everyone for the well-thought advice. Within a month or so I will be moving back to the the land of the free and home of the brave! It is tougher than I thought to leave. I'm happy to be going, but I will be sad to leave my family and friends behind, as well as the place I was born. But when all is said and done, it is worth it to step into a good opportunity and get FREEDOM too! To those who were concerned about the long-term stability of the job: I think it will be stable enough. Even though telecom can be rocky, the company I will be working for is a second tier service provider to other telecom companies. So if one of the telecoms goes out of business, it shouldn't affect my new company too badly. Even if it does, there are lots of other opportunities in St Louis. Regarding LT/Necro's comments: I appreciate your insight. I feel for you, bro, and I wish you the best with those opportunities in VA and WA. However, I think my situation is a little different from yours. I don't have very many bills (just a very modest car payment), and it also sounds like your field is a little more specialized than mine. I do appreciate your input though. Regards to all! See some of you in MO soon! Dilbert
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 9:34:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dilbert: It is tougher than I thought to leave. I'm happy to be going, but I will be sad to leave my family and friends behind, as well as the place I was born. But when all is said and done, it is worth it to step into a good opportunity and get FREEDOM too!
View Quote
Glad you made your decision!! You will miss CA. If you were a beach addict like me, that will be worst. But congrats!!!
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 10:08:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2002 10:10:32 AM EDT by Philadelphia_GunMan]
Dilbert, you never mentioned if you have a bachelors degree or not. Some companies give lower salaries to people who don't have a degree even if they have the experience. Something doesn't sound right about you making high 50s with 6 years experience. People in my school are graduating and getting 50k to start right out of school. After 6 years experience I hope to be making at least 70k.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 10:56:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2002 10:57:03 AM EDT by Dilbert]
PHILEDELPHIA_GUNMAN writes:
Something doesn't sound right about you...
View Quote
LOL. Man, I can feel the love already! Just kidding I know what you mean. Yes, I've got a BS in Computer Science from a fairly prestigious private university. My marks were not honors quality, but definitely above 3.0 GPA. I only graduated in 97, so some of my experience with my current company was paid at an intern rate, although I would say I worked as hard and as much as any other employee where I am now. I think the only thing that "is not right" about me is that I hired into the same org where I worked as an intern, and they offered me a low salary because they had a good hunch I'd take it. Also, they didn't give me very substantial raises because they are cheap [:)]. When I was first out of college I was much less assertive about my career path than I am now. Late bloomer I guess [:D] LT, yep I will definitely miss the beach! Oh well, I can always visit I suppose. Every decision has its trade offs, unfortunately.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 11:50:00 AM EDT
Nice talking with you Dilbert. Life will only get better for you now! Plenty of room to shoot, a major beer producer near by, and now, the constant sex. Ask any married guy who hangs out here. After you get married, they can't get enough bootie action. Oh, you can also expect breakfast in bed on weekends and she will probably take the trash out too. If you don't believe me, just tell her what your expectations are and you can judge for yourself based on her reaction. I have a ton of 20 round Colt mags. I am going to try refinishing some of them soon with the Perma Slik stuff. I will set the worst one aside for you as a wedding gift, so drop me a line after you get settled in. I don't know about St. Louis, but the gun shows in Indy are good. Zoub
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 12:46:10 PM EDT
This thread is cheering me up. I work for a not well known but well postioned (from a cash perspective) telecommunications firm. Our department just layed off 5 folks including 3 managers(the worker bees were let go last round), and our department is still over budget by 2 at least 2 headcount. Our headcount is down about 25% from last year and unless budgets are revised will get even smaller. That means more work for those that survive. Needless to say there have been no pay increases in the last two review cycles. Verizon is still laying off, WCOM may be the next big bankruptcy. XO-BR Global Crossing - BR PSI NET - BR etc. etc. Tell me again how great it would be to get into a communications/telco/web hosting company at this point?
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 1:27:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2002 1:35:27 PM EDT by usmcdjb]
[b]Dilbert[/b] - best of luck to ya (on the job and marriage). I don't remember if you said you were native CA or not. My story is similar, and I think I'll relay it here for various reasons. Guess I could start my own thread, but....hope you don't mind me piggy-backing. I'm a Hoosier, but been in CA since '96. 12 years in the Corps and got out in late '99. 2d wife didn't like the Corps because they got the final say and not her. I cured that problem and am heading back to IN in June. Currently working in the IT industry in CA. For me, there is no doubt about it - I hate CA and I'm getting out. No job when I move. Custody of my 2 little boys. I'm goin' home. To me, it's a quality of life issue. Unfortuantely, I won't make it to the BRC this year! [b]For Zoub and Shotar[/b] - you guys be willing to help out a fellow AR lover and jobless vet (as of June jobless)? I honestly haven't really begun to search for work yet. Oh, I'm currently working as a Network Manager with multiple industry certifications but no degree. BTW, I'm a [newbie] and usually quiet. I lurk but don't post much. But this site has motivated me to try and build my own AR when I get home.
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 1:46:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/12/2002 1:55:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 6:25:47 PM EDT
Hipower, I'm gonna lie to you and tell you the Tcom biz is great! So great I got out of it in "90", I use to be with what they call Lucent now. usmcdjb, Hoosiers unite! You hit my soft spot. Any Veteran in the IT business always gets an extra look from me. You reminded me, I wanted to contact Shotar. I will be honest Indy is kind of crazy right now, but it ain't bad. I suggest you start your search NOW. The good news, I have a client that needs to hire 25 IT people right now. Our primary focus is consulting, but we recruit for key accounts. We closed the deal today but I don't have the job specs in my hands yet. Team will have it Thursday. Some of these postions are network--NT, some are UNIX, maybe a security guy blah blah blah, and a dozen or so oracle and VB guys? I am flying out Thursday to visit a client, family and shoot my ass off in Virginia at a pistol match being held at Blackwater Lodge this weekend. Drop me your resume, and I promise to read it this weekend and maybe we can start with some e-mails then talk middle of next week when I get back.
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