What on earth should I do?

Two companies are about 24 hours away from giving me official job offers. Meanwhile my old boss has a consulting project for me to start Monday – if I want it. I’m on unemployment now and the messed up thing about unemployment is if you take a side project that’s short-term you can end up losing your unemployment earnings (which aren’t that much at all but still) — I mean, I make about $1800 a month on unemployment so theoretically I would work one week a month and make that at my going rate… so it’s not like, the end of the world if I lose unemployment, but it would still rather suck if I can’t find consulting work and these full-time ops don’t pan out.

I’m trying to be really smart about this next job thing. And I’m really not sure what to do. I wish I was comparing apples to apples here but I’m really not. I have so many things to take into consideration. The logic side of me says to go work for the slightly larger company that is more stable and get a solid name on my resume that people will know. The passionate, excited, wants-to-do-something-i-love side of me is really interested in this opportunity to run a department at a very small company (<20 people.) One thing I would do for the second opportunity is make sure to negotiate in specific headcount before I accept the job. I’m looking to build a team, not be a one-person-machine masochist. Which is what I normally am.

I could also feasibly convince everyone to hire me as a consultant, but I’m not sure that’s an ideal route either. I mean, I’m not sure what my rate would be. My friend said I should bill $125 an hour. I think I’d try $150 and see if people would go for that. Compared to FT salary it isn’t that much w/ self-employment taxes, health insurance, buying supplies, non-covered transportation, loss of unemployment income in the future if needed, PTO & maternity leave (if provided by company), et al. Those costs add up fast. I figure if I could work 40 hours a week for $150 an hour, though, I’d be doing very well for myself. And I’m sure I’d be a whole lot happier and way more productive in those 40 hours. But I really don’t think these companies would be open to hiring me PT, or for that rate.

The problem with the small company is that it’s far away from where I live again — big red flag — but I’d also really focus on negotiating remote work before I sign on the dotted line (like 2x per week remote plus occasional longer periods to work from east coast.) If they really want to hire me, I’m going to make sure it’s on my terms. Otherwise I’ll go to the bigger company which is closer to home and that probably has better benefits since they can afford them at this point.

But — there is a part of me that’s thinking this is my last big shot to do a startup and really run with it. Yes, I’ll prob be a young mother at some point in this journey — but I can get a good year in before I have a kid right now (i mean, it takes 9 months to have the kid even if I get pregnant at some point in that year.) I can do a lot in a year with the right team. When I have a kid I’m def going to want a job closer to home and such, and there will always be those opportunities out there. But now… I just want to go somewhere where I can make some magic happen.


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3 thoughts on “What on earth should I do?”

  1. The way you’re describing it…it isn’t even close, you should definitely go with the bigger one. You hated the long commute, and being virtual/remote so often isn’t going to exactly make you feel more secure about the office politics that have frustrated you in the past few jobs.

  2. Please dont take the small company.

    You have talked many times on your blog about feeling insecure, or trying to learn on the job etc.

    Your old boss wants to hire you, that tells me you are exceptional at doing some things. The fact that you have had a tough run with a couple of times with smaller companies, and have possibly been a little inexperienced with leading large teams (according to your own words), says to me you will be much better off having a smaller more defined job at a little larger company. It will let you build up your skills, and more importantly it will give you the confidence that you have built up your skills.

    In a larger company, the absolute need to change and build at the speed of light isnt there, you can get more resources and have the opportunity to consult with more individuals who can help develop your career.

    Dont fall in love with the idea of working for the next great startup, take your time and get some confidence back in a little easier pace.
    George H Puck recently posted..Property #3….

    1. I agree to an extent. I feel like I’ve learned a lot on the job in the past – especially in my last job… it was just too late to apply those learnings. I can really hit the ground running this time. I’m not 100% on the really small startup… but the 300 person company seems like a good size for me with the balance of a larger firm but still one that’s small enough where I can make a substantial difference. The larger company I think I’d just get bored at — I need something that moves fast, just the resources to execute and a good boss, which makes me lean to the mid-sized company.

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