The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #5, Part 2

The Package


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:

SoftwareCompany FinancialCompany
Base Salary  72  88
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.

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8 Responses to The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #5, Part 2

  1. Dwayne Hoover says:

    “After a while certain things build up in your mind over time like plaque in your arteries and the only way to flush them out is to get up and walk to a new place. I could feel the bits of congealed frustration breaking loose and getting cleared out.”

    This part is a punch to the gut. B2B sales role for 4 years, but I’m about to take a non-selling role with my company if I can last another 30 days or so without quitting. The closer I get, the harder this job is. Probably twice a week, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, after basically have a nightmare about a technical issue with a customer – some former, some current, some a figment of my imagination. Can’t wait to clear my arteries. First thing I’ll be doing is changing my cell phone number (which my customers have).

    You’ve got a really unique voice. Keep up the awesomeness.

    • livingafi says:

      Hey Dwayne, really sorry to hear about the job situation. That totally sucks and as you know from my blog posts, I can completely relate, especially to the sleeping bit. Too many nights like that and you know it’s time for a change or you’re going to start getting ulcers. You can definitely make it for a month though, and when you get there you’ll feel SO much better, trust me. That big fat job-change reset button will get hit on the stress. Sure, your new position will be challenging but good-bye clotted up old junk. A good trade.

  2. Gamergirl says:

    I can’t believe they chastised you for bringing your lunch to work!

    And I agree with you about dressing up for work when you work in Accounting or IT is stupid. I turned down several job offers at places with strict dress codes.

  3. DS says:

    Really appreciate this series! Found your blog through either MMM or BNL and have been reading for 3 months or so. Just hit my one year mark in IT (basic project mgmt and data analysis) at a financial-based company. Between the incident counting, meeting sitting, and progress reporting, I have related a little too much to what you’ve written. Wishing every day I was hiking or doing anything but sitting in that office. Thank you again – I will continue to read, and I hope to reach FI some day soon!

    • livingafi says:

      Hey DS, thanks for stopping by. You’ll definitely make it — the only thing really required for FI is a good savings rate, and consistency i.e. sticking to your plan over time. Looking outside your window on nice days when you’re stuck in the office will help keep your motivation up and there’s no doubt you’ll stay on track. GL!

  4. Raffy says:

    I’m a new fan! I’m enjoying reading through this series. This week I had to deal with the disappointing feeling of failure and being a fake when everything is riding on you. I’m learning to accept it and move on… it’s just work after all, and the harshest critic is always yourself. Keep up the excellent writing!

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