The Hunt for Red Jobtober

This might qualify as the shortest job search ever. I started sending my resume out on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm. By Wednesday at 5:30pm I had a verbal offer. Crazy! I have submitted to 20 or so jobs thus far, and had 3 bites – two through a recruiter, one directly through a company (where the verbal offer is from).

One opportunity I don't think I'm interested in because it is would be a switch to a different technology which, at this point in my career, I don't think I want to do. I'm pretty entrenched in Java. The other one is more promising in the sense that it is Java and is a “lead” role, but would be a whole lot of writing documentation (tedious), like 50% of my time, and working with an offshore development team in India (I've never heard good things coming out of these types of arrangements). And a commute of 40 miles (though it would be right around the corner from The Husband's office), but still, a long-ish commute. The thing with this one, though, is that the recruiter seems to think I am a good fit and that my resume is better than average. However. I haven't even gotten a phone interview yet (well, he submitted the resume late yesterday, so if I were to get a phone interview, it wouldn't have happened yet anyway, it's only 8am), and there is at least one on-site interview to go through (possibly two). The earliest I would see an offer is end of February and, by which time, the existing offer I got last night probably would be gone (I can't expect them to wait). Not to mention, the industry of this second place is financial collections. Not exactly good karma. The pay would be higher than what I make now, maybe 5-10% more and benefits are good.

The place I have my verbal offer from is not necessarily stable. It is a start-up scenario – they have a product that is catching fire with user traffic, but in this market, raising money is like squeezing blood from a turnip, so that makes me antsy in the pants-y. It is a contract position making about the same money than I did at my last job when you factor in benefits. The total number is more, but since it's contractor work there are no benefits and you have to pay your own taxes, so when you count everything else, it's less (though I could easily deduct the crap out of lots of stuff). The commute is only 5-7 minutes more than I used to drive – it's about 30 minutes or so. That is a bonus. The product is very cool – mobile programming (like iPhone!). The environment looks fun, everyone is around my age, very laid back (the f-bomb was thrown at one point in side conversation I observed), and appear to be very talented (the learning potential for me could be big). The head honcho at the office has been very honest with me about their situation which is all I can ask for (my last job was sort of honest, but towards the end, not so much). They are not selling me on something that isn't there, he told me exactly how much money they have and what the story is. He wants to hire someone quickly and it would be bad for me to leave them hanging. So I verbally accepted.

I know, kind of impetuous. While I am generally a careful person, I tend to make certain decisions quickly, jobs especially. The thing that is bugging me though is that every job I have enjoyed (from a working environment perspective) has ended in lay off. Out of the 5 jobs since college (as a software professional, it's very common not to stay in one place for extended periods of time), I left two of them because I was miserable and those were my longest stints (2 years as a contractor at one, and 4 years at another). The other three jobs I enjoyed, but the end result was me getting RIF'd (Reduction in Force). So what do I do? I choose to grab the job I think I will enjoy even with its obvious shortcomings. I have a feeling that I would end up not very happy with the “lead developer” job, even though it appears to be more stable and could move me up the totem pole towards management (but do I even want that? I am a competitive/A-type personality – I will always try to be the best at whatever, it's like an auto-pilot thing – but is that the right fit for me? do I need to incur that additional stress in my life?).

I am awaiting the actual offer letter at this point. I am tryng to figure out what to tell the recruiter of the other job... if I have a verbal offer but have not received the letter yet. He is a typical recruiter, a certain level of sheen on him, if you catch my drift. The conversation left me feeling like I wasn't sure I could trust the dude. He is aware of the interview I had and told me that he would expect I would get an offer quickly since it is a start-up and asked that I keep him in the loop. I am not sure if I should, though, just yet. I need to cover my rear - if the offer falls through (I expect an official letter by tomorrow), I need to keep my options open. Right? I am terrible at telling untruths so if this guy calls me and starts asking me questions, I am screwed.


  1. I don't know if I'm too late at help you, you might have already taken a call from him. But my suggestion is this - recruiters will always want to stay in contact with good potential employees. Be honest with him. "I have an offer, and I believe this is the best fit for me. Should things not pan out as I expect them to, may I contact you and keep my resume on profile?"

    I don't see why in the world a recruiter would say no to this. I worked in a staffing agency briefly and it would be ludicrous to cut ties with a good prospect. :) Good luck!

  2. Recruiters are only interested in making the sale. So, if he thinks your head is somewhere else he won't market you. I say try not to talk to him directly for a day or two to give the start up some time and to keep your options open.

    (Take my advice with a grain of salt; I haven't been on an interview in about 5 years.)

    Life's too short to take a job you are going to hate. And there is no shortage of "worse case scenario" jobs, but you don't need one of those just yet.

  3. I'm with WI and Tooj. Lay low for now. Just let your calls go to voicemail and then contact him or take his call on Monday. Then be honest with him about what is going on. At least you will know more about the current offer.

    But I knew you were a golden child! You didn't even have time to collect unemployment!

  4. I'm so glad you have things on the table and things to make decisions about. I've been thinking about you since you announced your job loss. I have full confidence that you will make the right decision for yourself. It is not always about money and fame..sometimes it's about job satisfaction and life enjoyment too.

  5. Wow - you work quickly woman! congrats on the offers! I agree that you should stick with something you love doing and I like Tooj's advice about the recruiter. Good luck - keep us "posted". (Lame attempt at humor early in the morning)


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