Sunday, October 01, 2006

entering the nitty gritty - or the back end of the job search!

Job meetings went very well.

Actually far better than I had expected. We discussed critical terms, however, the details haven't been examined and as we all know "the Devil is in the details." As positive as things seem, the details could torpedo the deal.

Just before leaving town I was asked to cancel my flight and come back for an early evening meeting followed by dinner with my potentially future boss (he).

Over drinks - I have to learn how to drink again - I do it so rarely now - I was asked if I would find the job sufficiently stimulating and intellectual - if not - the head of a higher brow firm could be called to schedule a special emplyment interview. In part, I think, this was a negotiating ploy - well done by my potentially future boss. I replied that I liked selling donuts and preferred the greater profits over crescents (BTW, since I've never disclosed my industry, I should let you know that we're not in the baking industry - this is a metaphor). We then rolled up our sleeves, drank more and had a level conversation.

He would offer a salary about 2% lower than I really cared about, which was better than the 5.5% difference I was prepared to accept. The 2% keeps me out of the eye of sr. management for enough time to build my team and put operations into high gear. In addition there might be a cash bonus (the vagaries of publicly traded companies amaze me), as well as a relocation package kept open (I told him I'd need it open for 8-12 months, he'll have to push it beyond the standard 6 months). In addition he'll try to accelerate salary reviews to bring me up to where he needs to be. The emotional sweetener on the deal was his disclosure that he (my potential boss), would move south within a year and planned to have me be his eyes and ears in his absence.

Obviously, he'll have to put some details and muscle into the idea of making me his number two, including disclosing it to my peers. I imagine he will wait 3-5 months to see how things work out. He needs, as he said, "a clone of myself" to run the office in order for him to reduce his frenetic pace and even consider moving to the Southern office.

He also exepects me to hit the ground running.

In order to have some time to enjoy with my wife we've a greed to a mid-November start date.

Although I need only commit to four days a month at the home office, it seems like I'll be travelling four days a week - he tells me I can do it in 2-3 days a week, but that remains to be seen (or maybe I need more practice to become as efficient). Initially, I'll be at home office as much as possible - possibly moving my family there for the first month while my wife is on leave.

My only concern, besides the acceptance of more pressure and responsibility, is his decision to hire a fellow deficient in character - I know the person from past experience. Initially, I was going to withdraw from consideration once I learned this person was also interviewing with the company, however, a friend advised that I shouldn't let the presence of such a curr spoil a good opportunity for myself.

A did ask him what his motivation was in hiring the other person (the curr), he indicated that he was well aware of his flaws, but that his strengths were appropriate for the role he would be asked to play. I then made it very clear that if the person were allowed to perpetuate toxic(dishonest) politics, I would resign. I was assured that wouldn't happen (the curr thrives in toxic work cultures). Time will tell. If we were in the army, I would have the curr fragged or sent on a suicide mission without remorse. I wonder what the corprate equivalent would be?

Over the next week the corporate recuiters will contact me. We will enter the final depths of negotiations and perhaps arrive at an agreement and contract. If not - perhaps due to legal restrictions such as non-competes, inflexibility on relocation, inflexibility on additional vacation (I want 1-2 extra weeks beyond the standard) - the deal will die.

Fortunately, my canvassing of executives within the industry uncovered hiring opportunities with several other firms for similar positions.

Have a wonderful week,

PS If we do agree, our household income should increase by over $150k - at least until we relocate to a big city, whereupon the net increase will probably be between $50 - $100k. North Carolina's ridiculously high state income tax (8.25%) offsets a good amount of the property tax increases and cost of living increases when we move to a lower tax state.


fin_indie said...

Your income will increase "by over" $150k or "to over" $150k? The former is absolutely incredible and I see your motivations, the latter is also great...

Congrats on coming close to closing the deal... I hope to be posting similar posts over the next few weeks...

makingourway said...


My income would increase by more than $150k, but moving to a major city would reduce my wife's income substantially and double our housing expenses. Property taxes would increase, while state income taxes would decrease.

I would work remotely for 6-8 months, maximizing our savings less unreimbursed travel expenses.

Our household income would have a NET increase of $50-$100k once my wife took a new job and we bought a new house.

hope this clarifies things,

makingourway said...

btw, since we've moved to a rural area, my wife's income went up dramatically, but mine declined in a corresponding and disappointingly dramatic amount.