2019 has been an interesting year for me job-wise. I started the year at one company, left after 6 months for another company, and am now getting seriously recruited for yet another company after only 3 months! There are a few different factors in play I’m going to talk about.
DC is a Different Beast
Things don’t work around here like I’m used to. My first company I stayed at 5 years.….. because it was the only global company where it was possible to have a career at in a 200 mile radius. There weren’t a whole lot of options in the area so of course I stayed there. It was a pretty good company to work for overall but it did have some flaws. They did pay very good money for the area, so I’m really happy I hoarded a lot of the salary they gave me.
Now that I’m in the DMV metro area (that’s DC-Maryland-VA, not the Dept of Motor Vehicles), the game is completely different. I was told it was but seeing is believing and I am seeing it for myself. After I left my first job this year, I turned off my availability on LinkedIn and canceled my premium subscription because I wasn’t looking anymore. Well, that didn’t deter some recruiters. I got an email from a manager 2 weeks after I started my new job! If they didn’t care I just started a job, I sure as heck don’t mind. That job didn’t pan out thanks to some internal political games going on, but other recruiters have reached out to me since.
Some are easy to turn down. A help desk position at Ft. Belvoir that only pays $20/hr? No thank you. A Sr. Linux Administrator position? Um… no, I only have 18 months experience from 4 years ago.…
Others.… are not so easy to turn down. I had a manager message me on LinkedIn about a position they’re trying to fill and I’m seriously mulling taking the position if I make it past the interviews. Why am I so willing to leave my new company?
3 months in at the current job
I’m 3 months in at the newest company and I don’t know if this gig is going to last. There are 4 of us on the team in my building and not enough work for all of us. There is a lot of down time to fill. Almost immediately after I started, my team started telling me of all the organizational changes that have been made in the last year. A lot of people were let go and teams consolidated. They told me it’s a very real possibility we merge with the desktop support team and are in charge of supporting every user in the building, not just the executives like I am now.
I love supporting executives. Most of them really appreciate the work we do and treat us well. Since we start a lot of their meetings, we also have access to some of the catered meals they get which really helps my food budget. I would probably be ok supporting the entire building if they left our teams at their current headcount, but rumor has it they’ll use the merge as an excuse to cut some people out. As the newest person on both teams, this leaves me in a precarious long term position.
I also am not the biggest fan of the compensation structure. I took a $5k/yr pay cut to come to the company after I tried and failed to negotiate for more. They told me this was the ceiling for the team, and I’ve since verified that with my coworkers. (One is getting paid a full $9k/yr less than me, even!!) I didn’t like it, but I liked what I was doing even less at the old job so I took it.
New job highs
This position at the new company looks like it would be a great fit for them and me. The position is IT Support at its heart, with some extra flair on top of that. (No, not actual pieces of flair!). I think it would be a challenge for me to take on the new duties of asset management, onboarding new people and supporting a Mac-heavy environment. This would allow me to grow and potentially open up new avenues of advancement, something that’s lacking in the Executive Support world if you want to stay in Executive Support.
The pay is also much better. Tentative numbers before an official offer has been extended look like an $11k/yr jump in base pay, an annual bonus, and RSU’s. In the end, that’s about a 33% jump in pay, which is sorely needed in this HCOL area. While I absolutely love my apartment, it’s undoubtedly expensive on my current budget.
The perks are also better. I’d get to wear whatever I want to the office which does make a huge difference to this Millennial. The office gets catered meals Monday — Wednesday — Friday so I’d continue to get a lot of free food.
The new company is also headquartered in San Fransisco so I’d potentially get to travel to the Bay Area and other places for events. I do love to travel and I love to travel even more on someone else’s dime.
New job lows
While I like traveling to San Fransisco, I don’t think I want to live there. I don’t think I’d mind living there, but if I can barely handle living in DC on a tight budget, I would definitely struggle to live in super HCOL Bay Area. I could definitely kiss having my own place goodbye which would make me sad. As this office in DC is a satellite office, advancement opportunities within the company would probably be limited here. Who knows though, the company is growing quickly and I might be able to create my own niche as time goes on.
Speaking of the office here in DC.…… when I say it’s in DC, I mean it’s in DC business district proper. Savvy readers will note I just moved 20 miles outside DC for my current job, which means the commute would go back to being a pain. I’m not too far from the end of a Metro line that would take me straight there, so I wouldn’t have to drive into DC and deal with the awful traffic, tolls, and parking. So that’s nice, I guess!
The other not great aspect of this job is their retirement plan. At 2000 employees, they’re a relatively small company. They do have a 401k available, but it has no match. That means of my $11k base salary raise, $5k would immediately be taken up by losing my company match in my 401k which is a bit of a bummer. I’m considering asking for more of a raise to make up for that fact, as I was unaware of the no-match status when I came up with a number. When I inquired about the benefits, they did say they’re offering more in RSU’s right now as opposed to a match as they want the employees to share in the growth of the company. It’s reasonable, just not what I’m used to as someone that’s only worked for companies that are huge and have been around for a long time. Another area to grow in!
I don’t see this current job working out in the long term, so I’m open to considering offers as they come in. I’m definitely not in the active job search stage especially as I’ve only paid 2 out of the 12 months on my lease. This new position is absolutely worth considering! It’s a mixed bag of good and not so good, but I think the good outweighs the not so good.
Keep your fingers crossed for me — it’s been 10 days since I interviewed so I hope I hear back from them soon!
Thanks for reading! How do you like your current job? Would you change jobs if you were me?