The next day I’m back in Denver, recovering from the trip. It’s a Thursday and I have off from work — I’d taken three days away to cover the interview in Boston.
I’m napping or something, just relaxing, letting the day pass me by, when the phone rings — it’s FinancialCompany and they’re prepared to make me an offer.
The person I’m talking to is an HR rep. They urge me to take the offer without negotiating. Our firm believes in making a fair offer on the first pass. If you ask for something more, it’ll look like an insult. People have lost opportunities as a result. This is a very special place to work.
I’m feeling ballsy, though. The offer is good, but there’s no signing bonus. I ask for 5K.
There’s a deep sigh on the end of the other line, and the HR rep asks if I have a competing offer.
Nope, I say. But I will have to relocate for this job, which will cost a fair amount.
Okay, the guy says with audible relief. We missed that on the offer somehow, I’ll work with you on this. I’ll fax over a new package with terms to move you out here for free, all of your furniture, everything. We’ll send people to your house to pack your things. We’ll requisition a realtor to help you buy a house or rent an apartment in the area. We’ll even ship your car. This work for you?
Yep. Works just fine.
Great. I can make that happen without getting additional approvals.
At the end of it all, the change in compensation looks like this:
|401(k)||6% match||17.6K dump (20% of base contributed at end of year).|
|Bonuses||seemingly ad-hoc, usually none||10% of base guaranteed, 10% additional based on performance|
Plus, absolutely zero cost to move.
In a heartbeat, I nearly doubled my earnings, from 72 to about 120. In particular, the seventeen and a half thousand dollars directly contributed into my 401K blew me away. It was hard for me to believe. I’d been getting about 4K/yr with the 6% match with my old employer. This was going to more than quadruple that amount, each and every year.
Once I started projecting numbers into the future, I became giddy. Who the hell cares what it’s going to be like? They could chain me to an iron link embedded in the concrete floor of the basement of a puppy slaughterhouse with absolutely zero noise insulation for that amount of money. I couldn’t sign the papers fast enough.
I’m about to work at a very self-satisfied special place.
So sure, I’ve picked up on more than a bit of a weird vibe. The not-quite-jokes about overwork by my new muppet cohorts. An odd love of whatever it is that they call the culture.
Whatever it turned out to be, I was pretty sure it was going to be interesting.
On that front, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.
A brief note to anyone who is reading and saying: See! livingafi had a big break and that’s the only reason he can retire early!
I only worked for FinancialCompany for three years. It’s true the compensation was amazing, and helped out quite a bit, but I would have eventually made it to my goal without taking this specific path.
I figure that I shaved perhaps two years off my working career by putting in some time with them, but my best estimate is that even without it, I would have retired by 40.