Friday, October 20, 2006

Job search over ... for now

I've accepted the job with the big international company (hereafter called big company).
My new job will entail significant interaction with other big companies. I'm quite excited about the opportunity - it should help build my career and let me work with interesting people.

My income will increase by about $150,000, which is a nice boost for our family.

They expect me to commute from rural NC to Chicago about twice a month. Certainly manageable and fly to other meetings as needed (frequency will probably be slow initially and pick-up as time passes). Some time next year we are expected to relocate to Chicago. It would be nice to live near a big city.

Of course since my wife does not yet have a job in Chicago, we really don't know where we will be living. Today, we agreed that at least one of us should live close to the house in case a problem were to occur at home (children, grandparents, etc....). As I am most likely to travel for work, it means that we cannot find a house until we know where she will be working.

Strategically, she is looking for work within a one hour's drive from my office. Hopefully we can live 20 minutes from her office and 40 minutes from mine.

I have no idea yet what my new employer's culture and expectations will be. When do people arrive at work, when do they leave? How often do people work from home, etc.? I imagine after a few months I will understand.

Very soon I will attend an indoctrination meeting. Company values, mission, accounting standards, processes and approach will flood my brain. I'll also receive my laptop. I have a feeling it won't be gaming grade! I just hope it's not running Windows 98 or something similarly pathetic - maybe NT?

It's still unclear to me how things like cell phone reimbursement works. I really don't want to count all of my work minutes on my telephone and file for monthly reimbursement - that would be pathetic. My gut tells me it will be something ridiculous like that.

I will be eligible for the 401k immediately (I'm told). It looks like I have enough pay periods to reach the 2006 401k $15k employee salary deferal limit. Oddly, I would be able to do it very quickly, but I fear there maybe limits on the percentage of deferal from each pay check.

The more I can defer the less impact my new income will have on our current 2006 tax obligations. We had worked very hard to manage these obligations knowing my wife would take an extended leave. But as we were uncertain when my new job would start, we were not able to incorporate the new income into our withholding model.

We will manage either way. Next steps, once I confirm payroll details with HR, will be to schedule a pre-filing meeting with our accountant to manage our withholdings and prepare for 2006 income tax due. It's so close to the end of the year, we will not have too much flexibility. This meeting is best held in September or early October at the latest.

Despite the pescimism over beaurocracy, I'm quite excited about the job and eager to get back into the big boy's game.

Have a great day,

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