A Nice Problem to Have

The past week has been an absolute whirlwind – and a complete 180 from the 13 weeks beforehand.

I’ve been interviewing like mad (5 work-days, 5 companies, 7 interviews) and find myself presented with two offers (well, 3, but one is totally unsuitable, and the other two companies just haven’t replied yet).

In any case, I’m firmly wedged between the proverbial rock and hard-place with these two offers. Both are great. I’m having a really hard time deciding. So I figured, why don’t I ask the internets what they’d do?

First, the similarities: title, job scope, commute, industry, opportunities for mentorship, vacation time and benefits. You know, the things I was going to use as my differentiators when making the decision on the really *right* place to be.

And now, the differences:

Job One: Is exactly what I asked for when I first started this job-hunt thing. Mid to larger sized company on a growth trajectory. They have made a lot of recent acquisitions in the past months and need to expand their marketing department to deal with it. The majority of work would be doing brand unification and change management. I found this job through an internal referral. There wasn’t actually a position in existence, but a combination of really clicking with the VP of Marketing and their need for people led her to push through the creation of a position to bring me into the team. Speaking of which, there is a team of about 6 people – so lots of opportunity for collaboration. From the state of the company today this could be a great 3-5 year (or beyond) opportunity.

Job Two: Came out of a posted position I applied for. The company is a startup, going to market ideally in September. After researching the management team, questioning their motivation, business plan, beta program, funding and talking to some industry people who may be interested in their product this is a good opportunity. The majority of work would be doing product launch and buzz generation. There is some limited travel involved (about 10%). I’d be working primarily with the VP Marketing, VP Project Management and Director of Business Development. The position has been designed to ramp up to management (where I’d build a team of reports) in a fairly short timeframe. The starting pay is 13% higher. The offer comes with stock options – though I generally don’t take those into consideration. More often than not they turn out to be worth less than the paper they’re printed on. I don’t think this company will fail – but taking into consideration the current state of things, I see this to be an 18-month to 2-year opportunity before IPO or Acquisition takes place. I see acquisition with this particular product more likely, and that move would likely render my position redundant.

So – taking into account the facts I’ve presented (and probably ignoring my speculation) – what would you do?

I’ve even included a handy poll for your voting pleasure!

UPDATE! would those who are voting in the poll care to actually comment with why they’d make the choice they have? Thus far the comments and poll results are diametrically opposed.

I need to have an answer by the end of the day tomorrow. Of course I’m going to choose the one that I ultimately decide is best for me, but I am interested in what *you* would do, or if you think there are other factors I haven’t considered.

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11 thoughts on “A Nice Problem to Have

  1. Darren

    If it were me, it’d be an easy choice. I’ve always enjoyed working in start-ups. There’s more diversity of work (I get bored pretty easily), a more casual work culture and more responsibility. The downside is that there’s more risk.

  2. Jer

    I would go for the start up. I know the larger company, and I would be concerned (personally) about compartmenting of my role – not being let out to play with other departments. I agree with Darren that the startup would be more stimulating in the medium to long term. Just my two bits of course.

  3. Darren

    Ah, right, I also meant to add that you’re also right to discount the stock options. You should totally ignore them as a factor in making your decision.

  4. col

    i guess you the question is what makes job #2 so appealing that you would pass up exactly what you want from job #1?

  5. gillian

    My recommendation would be that you don’t put such an important decision in the hands of random strangers. It kind of goes along the lines of Darren’s “should I have a baby” wiki from a few months back, though not quite as extreme.

  6. peechie Post author

    Job 2 is “sexier” plain and simple. The nuts and bolts of the daily work are more exciting to me. Also the position is geared to ramp up to management. The other advantages are basically what Darren and Jer have said. Job #2 is also in very heavy *woo* mode right now.

    The pull of Job 1 is stability, plain and simple. I’m a bit gun-shy since my 4 jobs in 4 years resume has been a liability so far in getting me interviews (though once I get the interview, everyone has been okay with it).

  7. peechie Post author

    gill: Oh I’ll definitely not leave this up to random strangers (or even non-random acquaintances). I’m just hoping someone can come up with a question, or way of asking it, I haven’t asked myself yet.

  8. grant

    Are you a “work to live” or a “live to work” kind of person?

    A ‘sexy’ job is great if your life to centres around work. You need that satisfaction to keep you going. Working in a startup on the fast track to management, i imagine the job requires a lot more hours.

    A ‘stable’ job is good if you want a way to earn money for 40 hours/week, and eave it all behind at the end of the day and concentrate on other things.

    I voted for job “1” because I actually think you will find more job satisfaction there. The fact that this position was “created” for you shows the corporation is willing to adjust job duties to suit the talent they have access to. However, with an active startup… tasks could get assigned to whoever can do it, with less regard for their personal preferences… there’s just not enough personnel flexibility. My experience with small start-up companies has been disapointing: the hope & hype of a fantastic, free-wheeling position which exercises all your wonderful unique talents doesn’t actually materialize (even if all parties involved thought it could).

  9. Darren

    peechie: That’s odd, because I totally decided to have a big schwack of kids based on what the Internet said. There’s more pros than cons on the wiki, after all. Heh.

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