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Old 01-01-2014, 01:36 PM
 
151 posts, read 240,600 times
Reputation: 188

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My former employer has been asking me to come back since I left 9 years ago. Back then a
boss that I like and look up to left and I didn't like his replacement so I went to a
competitor. I never seriously thought about returning but now my former boss came back and
is asking me to join him. I loved working under him in the past.

If this happened a year a go I would have jumped on the chance because back then I was
unhappy about not getting the promotion to the Principal Engineering postion I seeked the
last 3 years. Now, my current company will give me the promotion at the end of this month
and I am quite happy. No, I didn't tell my current boss about my previous company contacting
when asking for a promotion. I get along well with my colleagues and like the nice work-life
balance my company offers and we also have much better benefits like a pension, better 401k
matching and less expensive out of pocket for health insurance.

My current salary+bonus with the new Principal Engineering position at my current company
will be $103k base +$7k bonus. My previous company is offering me $125k base + $5k bonus.
Although the lack of a pension, smaller 401k matching and larger out of pocket contribution
for healthcare at my previous company will cost me around $7k more.

Here are the pros and cons of going back to my previous employer:

PROS:
* Much larger base salary. I just feel much better with a base salary of $125k vs $103k. I never
thought that I would make $125k in my lifetime and I may never will if I stay with my current employer.
Since I got promoted to the Principal Engineering position with my current company, I have no way to move
up any more without being the Engineering Manager which I don't intend to be, my pay increase in the future
would be very limited. Probably will be in the 1.5 to 3% range. I know b/c this is what happened to other
Principal Engineers.
* Overall basically a $13k increase.
* I really really like the boss.

CONS:
* I also like my current boss [although not as much as my boss at the previous employer],
and I am also very close with my current colleagues and I hate leaving them. About half of the
Engineering department at the previous employer is new people, I don't know if I will get along
with them or not.
* Longer work hours, 8 hour day currently vs ~10 hour day if going back.
* Job security. Because I am fairly productive right now and work well with my current colleagues
I know I am very secure here. My current employer is also known to be a very stable work environment.
No (non-managerial) Engineer has ever lost his/her job in the last 30 years. The situation at my
previous employer is somewhat more volatile.
* No pension at previous employer, smaller 401k matching, higher out of pocket cost for insurance.

I am really torn over this decision. FYI, I am 39 year old. Please give some advice.

Last edited by MattNguyen; 01-01-2014 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:51 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,936 posts, read 65,408,820 times
Reputation: 41364
Do you feel like there's any chance that telling your current boss about the offer could result in a raise to keep you? Worse case, he gets mad and fires you so you accept the other offer. How many other jobs are available in your area? Is the extra money worth the higher risk of layoff? how important is it to like the other employees, is the work done mostly as a team? I don't know your tax situation, but how much difference will it make to your lifestyle to have an extra $300-400 per paycheck after taxes?

I am not making any suggestion because only you can make this decision, just offering some questions to consider.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:53 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 9,692,259 times
Reputation: 6547
I'm in the same field (not an engineer), if it were me I would highly consider the transfer back to the old company under the boss you like more. How old is your old boss? When will he retire? It seems like a given that when he retires you would slide into his position.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 43,126,210 times
Reputation: 16209
While you mentioned you won't have much chance for a larger salary at your current place besides nominal raises you didn't mention what the chances of that would be at the new place.

Just breaking down the 13K increase. I like to look at things like that after taxes to figure out what the real impact is going to be. Let's assume you have an effective tax rate of 20% (obviously this could be different for you). That knocks the 13K down to about 10K. Since you will be working more hours that is another way to look at it. You are looking at an extra 10 hours a week. So for 50 weeks (assuming two weeks vacation) that is another 500 hours a year. That comes out to $20 an hour for those additional hours.

Also, how does the pension factor in? Is that part of the 7K you calculated?

Personally the job security alone probably makes me not want to switch. Not many places can make the claim you made about no one losing their job for 30 years at your level.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:03 PM
 
6,092 posts, read 6,966,682 times
Reputation: 8323
Job A
$130k -7k = $123k
$123k/2500 hours(50 weeks x 50 hours) = $49.20/hr

Job B
$103k/2000 hours (50 weeks x 40 hours) = $51.50/hr

On an hourly basis, you are making more at the $103k job. Only you can decide, if the extra money is worth the hours and a new team. Employers will provide a COL increase at best, if you stay.

You will have to leave eventually, if you want to get more than a $10k raise. If you turn down the new job only to leave later, you will be with another boss with no relationship or political capital.

If the money is not that important, it's better to stay. You will have to look at your own personal goals for retirement, buying a home, etc. Can you still make your goals with the current salary?
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:08 PM
 
151 posts, read 240,600 times
Reputation: 188
Hi Hemlock,

My boss just gave me a promotion and a 10% raise and I told him that I would be happy. That was before my former boss contacted me. Now, I feel uneasy coming back to my current boss asking for more . Yes, I think I would get around $400 more per paycheck after taxes.

There is another competitor in the same area and I think I can get a job there too if I try.

Our type of work is that we individually support the Sales Managers to provide custom engineering solutions for Aerospace customers. We rarely cooperate with other Engineers in the same department.

thanks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Do you feel like there's any chance that telling your current boss about the offer could result in a raise to keep you? Worse case, he gets mad and fires you so you accept the other offer. How many other jobs are available in your area? Is the extra money worth the higher risk of layoff? how important is it to like the other employees, is the work done mostly as a team? I don't know your tax situation, but how much difference will it make to your lifestyle to have an extra $300-400 per paycheck after taxes?

I am not making any suggestion because only you can make this decision, just offering some questions to consider.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:16 PM
 
151 posts, read 240,600 times
Reputation: 188
Hi Move4ward,

Correction:
Job B
$103k+$7k [bonus]/2000 hours (50 weeks x 40 hours) = $55/hr

thanks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by move4ward View Post
Job A
$130k -7k = $123k
$123k/2500 hours(50 weeks x 50 hours) = $49.20/hr

Job B
$103k/2000 hours (50 weeks x 40 hours) = $51.50/hr

On an hourly basis, you are making more at the $103k job. Only you can decide, if the extra money is worth the hours and a new team. Employers will provide a COL increase at best, if you stay.

You will have to leave eventually, if you want to get more than a $10k raise. If you turn down the new job only to leave later, you will be with another boss with no relationship or political capital.

If the money is not that important, it's better to stay. You will have to look at your own personal goals for retirement, buying a home, etc. Can you still make your goals with the current salary?
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,923,005 times
Reputation: 1948
You're already very lucky to have your career... What is the exact type of engineering you do?

I wish I had a good career like you.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:21 PM
 
403 posts, read 693,132 times
Reputation: 416
Your gut will tell you what to do, but I am curious as to why your boss went back to the old company, what role he went back into compared to his previous role, and why didn't he recruit you in the 9 year period you were apart?
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:22 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 9,692,259 times
Reputation: 6547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
You're already very lucky to have your career... What is the exact type of engineering you do?

I wish I had a good career like you.
how is it luck if he worked hard to be where he is?
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