I've begun negotations with the Chicago firm about taking a job there and commuting from North Carolina. Actually, I'm in the middle of final interviews. We'll see what happens. Although I expect an offer to be pending (they already began discussing compensation), we might learn about incompatibilities during the interviews - so far we seem compatible, but it's not over until the fat lady sings.
My inside contacts at the firm tell me it's best to go for the lower pay amount (about 5% - 10%) less than I would otherwise have. In exchange I'll ask for additional vacation and a sign-on bonus (though sign-on bonuses seem to be sporadic). They will pay for relocation if we decide to move back to the big city. Well this is jumping the gun.
To prepare for the meetings I researched the firm - not only by networking with current employees, but also found financial analyst reports - very interesting materials. I also talked with 15 executives and managers in the same industry (and the same geography) to capture current trends, risks and opportunities. Such knowledge should help me seem proactive.
Finally, I researched and obtained journal articles written by the firm's senior leadership. I've already talked with one member - insights into their strategy will be key.
I have to run now. I'm not sure if I'll have computer access, so I may need to post more on Saturday.
Have a wonderful weekend,