Looking for some professional advice

SixStringSlinger

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So I started a new position early this year at the company I’ve been with since 2014 (a lateral move; basically the same job in a different department with a slight bump in pay). My old department was sold off and I was able to get this new position before the handoff was complete. I’m not one to gush about a workplace but so far, so good.

A number of people from my old department stayed on under the new company, including a friend who is now running that office (it’s a national company with offices in I-forget-how-many-states. The old company [that I’m still with] is local but the largest private employer in the [very large] county).

My friend had an employee put in her notice and she offered me the position. It’s something I know I can become proficient in given a little training (I covered a similar function on occasion before so it’s mostly a matter of learning a new computer system and the new company’s particular process).

The pro’s include:

Higher pay. It won’t change my life substantially but it would be helpful.

I’d be working for someone I know and trust, and who’s also a friend. I’ve always said that your boss cannot be your friend, because the day “boss” and “friend” conflict, “boss” will win and lead someone to treat you in a way a friend would not (regardless of the right or wrong of it). However, I’ve seen her be a boss to other people for years and never thought she did anything wrong or unreasonable. And I’m not one to rock the boat at work.

It sounds like a very “chill” job that will give me time to study or do whatever I need for whatever comes next. I’m not currently in a “field” and there’s no progress from where I am without making some big move. In other words, there would be no “promotion” but rather a change in career (be it within the same company or elsewhere). This would require some new education, certification etc. The same would be true if I take this new job, the difference being that the new job should have more down time in which I can study or do whatever else I need to do to make that happen.

So get paid more working for a friend while preparing my next move more conveniently than I can where I am.

I’m not sure if I have any cons here, but some concerns:

I don’t know this new company. I’ve heard of them, and my friend reports “so far so good”. But that’s not much compared to my 8 years actually seeing and experiencing this company. Again, I’m not one to gush about work, but overall this is a good place to work. Maybe I’m paranoid. Maybe just a little too comfortable. Maybe the new company is the devil.

I’ve only been at this department for a few months. I’m not very much about “company loyalty”. I do what I agree to, get what they agree to give me, and otherwise offer help, be curious and learn new things, and treat people right. This move (if it happens) is just good business sense to me. I’d be getting more than I get here while giving a little less, and I’d be able to take advantage of that to further my life/career and not just bask in the downtime. I’m not under contract. I’d give notice not out of obligation but rather courtesy, I’d train any new person they’d like and I may even have a replacement in mind. But I have to admit I still feel weird leaving a place I basically just got to. Probably no way that that interaction gets comfortable.

Benefits. Insurance is MUCH cheaper at my current company. I’d pay about the same each pay period but deductibles, copay’s etc. are significantly higher. That said, some quick and dirty math tells me that even after predictable healthcare costs (doctor visits, prescriptions…) and taxes, I’d still come out ahead of where I am now.

Thoughts? I’m not necessarily looking for “do it” or “don’t do it” (though, hey, have at it) so much as perspectives. I’ve never been in this situation before and certainly didn’t see it coming, sonI’d appreciate reading what you all have to say about it.
 
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Mjark

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I went back to new position at a company I worked at before to work for a woman I was friends with but didn't work with. It ended ugly, I guess I got the best of it, a cash settlement and they paid for my health insurance for a year.

I guess my point is you'll be rolling the dice. If it sucks, move on.
 

Old Verle Miller

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You didn't mention retirement/401K availability - which is one of the key factors in what your life might be like in your 60s and 70s.

And then there's the volatility of the industry the two companies are in and the turnover in employment for each of them. In my largest client's line of business the average tenure for a specialized C-level executive is less than three years. 😠 Every time you turn around there's a new boss and new strategies and plans.

I have worked with friends but never for friends and depending on how the other staff members react to her bringing you in it could be good or bad.
 

nvilletele

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A number of people from my old department stayed on under the old company, including a friend who is now running that office (it’s a national company with offices in I-forget-how-many-states. The old company [that I’m still with] is local but the largest private employer in the [very large] county).

I got a little confused. Did you mean that "A number of people from my old department stayed on under the NEW company?"

That would seem to make more sense, since you immediately thereafter say the new company is a national company and the old company is local.
 

SixStringSlinger

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I got a little confused. Did you mean that "A number of people from my old department stayed on under the NEW company?"

That would seem to make more sense, since you immediately thereafter say the new company is a national company and the old company is local.

You’re right, fixed it
 

nvilletele

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I’m not very much about “company loyalty”.

That's good, because in nearly every case, no company has any loyalty for its employees. They will lay off employees whenever the need arises. Yes, of course there are rare exceptions. But no employee really owes any loyalty to any big company, because the fact is that the company doesn't really care about you beyond ensuring they maximize their profits from your work.

Regarding your request for advice, do as much in-depth research as you can about the new company -- working conditions, employee morale, financial prospects, etc. There are a lot of online resources for such things I believe. Talk to your other former colleagues who are working there, if you can. It's hard to tell you what to do really, without knowing the specifics of these companies. Good luck in whatever decision you make.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Here's what I'm reading:

- The new pay is good, but you'd be losing benefits — and it's good to judge a company by the benefits it provides.

- You like your job.

- You like the way the company treats you.

- The new job would have you swapping an equal friendship for employee inequality.

- The only person who's told you the new company is a good one is a recruiter, your friend.

- Working for a friend doesn't always end well. You can't predict how the new relationship will affect what you have now.

So there are some red flags. Which means it's a gamble.

So assess the risk: Are you married? Engaged? Do you have kids? Do you owe a lot of money? Do you have other responsibilities?
 

SixStringSlinger

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Here's what I'm reading:

- The new pay is good, but you'd be losing benefits — and it's good to judge a company by the benefits it provides.

- You like your job.

- You like the way the company treats you.

- The new job would have you swapping an equal friendship for employee inequality.

- The only person who's told you the new company is a good one is a recruiter, your friend.

- Working for a friend doesn't always end well. You can't predict how the new relationship will affect what you have now.

So there are some red flags. Which means it's a gamble.

So assess the risk: Are you married? Engaged? Do you have kids? Do you owe a lot of money? Do you have other responsibilities?

I take your point, but just to be clear, then increase in pay more than covers the loss in benefits. I still end up with more money in my mock key after all the same stuff is taken care of.

Who bought it? Were they in that same business before they bought it, or are they just a financial group that bought it?

They do the same thing my old department did, across various states, as well as other related things (all healthcare related).
 

SRHmusic

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Lots of variables on benefits. If these are in the same ballpark then it's probably better to look at the bigger picture for each company: long term career advantages- learning new and more in demand skills , experience, work environment, commute, actual hours expected each week, time away on travel, and how stable and successful the managers are. Higher up managers moving around too often leaves a big chance for their long term impacts to not catch up with them(!). Also there's nothing wrong being a "big fish in a small pond" if you are still advancing and learning. If you're not able to learn new stuff at present that's a real downside, probably worth discussing there.
 
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FuncleManson

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This is all I can contribute. My boss for 13 years was a good friend. Technically, he was my boss first, but we became friends almost immediately. We both retired last year and we're still friends.

As a matter of fact, although I've since lost contact with him, I'd consider my boss from my previous job (founder of the company where I worked for 17 years) a friend as well.

Absolutely never had an issue with either of them.
 

kennl

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concerning your #2 pro reason
I’d be working for someone I know and trust, and who’s also a friend

I worked 27 years in a management position - replacing a guy who left the role after 15 years to work for a good friend as a sales rep
the friend moved on to another location after 6 weeks
the new supervisor totally revised the operation, and the sales rep flopped under the new business model
within a year, he was searching for employment, without insurance, and an expectant wife

consider that the person for whom you will be working might change (less likely if it's a family member in a family-owned company)
 

Charlie Bernstein

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I take your point, but just to be clear, then increase in pay more than covers the loss in benefits. I still end up with more money in my mock key after all the same stuff is taken care of.



They do the same thing my old department did, across various states, as well as other related things (all healthcare related).
Mock key?
 

kuch

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I would do the get a sheet of paper, draw a line vertically down the page, label one side pro, one side con, list everything you can think of in each column. Be as realistic and honest as you can. If you have a wife/sig other, have them do one too so you can see their impressions/opinions. Look at the results and sleep on it.

One of the biggest considerations in my opinion would be the opportunity to advance your career.

Good luck

Edit: trust your gut
 
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1955

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My viewpoint will be very different from many, as I have very limited experience with the corporate world.

I will always lean toward a smaller outfit, preferably a family business.

I have worked for and with friends, with no problems, because they are good hearted people.

My eyes have been opened to the cold game that is played by employers and employees in the world now, and truthfully, it disgusts me to my core.

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I understand the logic and rationality behind doing what is best for yourself, your future, your family, and the tough decisions that must be made.

The only time I’ve ever left a solid job is when they left me and left what was right. I have had temporary jobs where there was no commitment implied or expected, or terrible working conditions and pay, etc., but those were just out of absolute necessity in emergency situations.

I believe in loyalty and giving 100 percent. I believe that the employer should do the same. Turns out, what I believe in is about the farthest thing from reality.

If your current employer appreciates you, is understanding regarding things like family emergencies/deaths, etc., is genuinely interested in your development as a person, respects and considers your input, pays you fairly, values the other employees enough to not overload them all the time trying to always do more with less, has a mission/product/service you truly believe in, takes good care of their customers, doesn’t micromanage, gives you the resources/guidance/autonomy/etc. you need to do your job and succeed, etc. etc. etc., then you really have it made.

If both jobs are more impersonal, transactional, and offer no profound meaning for your life, or the lives of others, then steer towards that innocent dream, that fleeting glimpse perhaps of your young heart, that charged out of the gates to better the world, and keep searching until you find that work, that job, that life.

And always, do it with all of your might.

I know that even though I do not have much in the way of material gain to speak for my efforts, I chased my muse down the path of winding thickets. I know the smell of that ignorantly sweet savor, the bloodlust of my human dream’s breath in my bloodied fingers.

Hunt.

Hunt for the true call that gives you and others hope, that cuts scissor blade secrets across clothesline nights to illuminate the soft white sun smiling back upon floral sheets, wrapping themselves in gusts.

Do not perch like the versed hawk over worldly opportunities, as a master of the eyes, of possibilities, venerable for knowing just the small of how the weakness gives you the life, look to the why you are able to see, why you have been given your poised sharpness. Perhaps the dull are behind your shadow watching.

 

Tenderfoot

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Managers do NOT always have sole discretion in making employee evaluations or who stays and who goes during a LOW (Lack of Work) period. If she is a manager of integrity with strict adherence to company policy/requirements, then your friendships wouldn't be a positive factor in making business decisions that directly affected you. Others above her and at peer level would/could have influence on decisions made about your performance effectiveness and company contributions.

If it were me, I would want to know as much a possible about the new company. Large multistate/country companies tend to see its employees more as a number than a person. What is the employment status of the position? Exempt? Non-Exempt? Does it contribute to the company's bottom line or looked at as "overhead"? Try and obtain copies or access to the policies/procedures you would be expected to comply with and make sure they are within your agreement and abilities.

While you would be expecting "chill" time, there could be potential collateral duties only made known after accepting and moving into the new position.

Before making a final decision, ask yourself this question: Are you thinking about making the change to the new company motivated by a solid career plan (looking ahead five years) or being mainly influenced by the fact that your friend has offered you the opportunity to fill the vacant position she has open?

Good luck and best wishes in whatever you decide to do.

I provide my comments based on:

8 years US Navy, 30 Years GE retired as Senior Professional holding various management positions, 8 years Upper Management positions at FMC Oil & Gas.
 

highwaycat

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I would do the get a sheet of paper, draw a line vertically down the page, label one side pro, one side con, list everything you can think of in each column. Be as realistic and honest as you can. If you have a wife/sig other, have them do one too so you can see their impressions/opinions. Look at the results and sleep on it.

One of the biggest considerations in my opinion would be the opportunity to advance your career.

Good luck

Edit: trust your gut
I second this draw on a paper and tell the wife to draw one too.
Then take the job cuz it’s probably well over twice as much as I make.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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In general, in order to get ahead significantly, one needs to change companies. People advance logarithmically within a company, but can advance exponentially by jumping to an outside company.
 




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