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A Tale of Two Job Offers

by Ryan Guina

OK, this isn’t really a story… it’s more of a decision I need to make, and soon! Last week I received job offers from two companies, and I need to make a decision by this Friday. I’ve been thinking a lot about the job offers since I received them, and yesterday I wrote about factors to consider when evaluating a job offer. Now I am going to share with you a little bit about the job offers, and the factors that are important to me.

Evaluating the Job Offers

When I wrote yesterday’s article, I broke down the evaluations into 10 different factors to consider, though there can easily be many more than that depending on your situation. To make the comparisons in this post easier, I combined a few related factors together.

Job Position & Professional Opportunity. Both positions represent a great professional opportunity for me. The main reason I was looking for a new job was because I felt I had stagnated in my role with my current company and there was no room for me to grow in the direction I wanted. These new job offers represent a nice promotion in terms of scope responsibility. The job offers are fairly similar to each other and I know that whichever offer I choose, I will have plenty of opportunity for future growth.

Commute and Travel Requirements. The commute for both companies is very reasonable. Each is within a 30 minute drive, which isn’t too long and won’t cost too much for fuel. The travel requirements for both companies are practically nil. So neither of these issues will have much bearing on my decision. However, they could have if the commute was very long or if the position required too much travel.

Work / Life Balance. There is an important difference between the two companies. Company A has a rigid 8-5 work schedule with an hour lunch break, while Company B has a 40 hour per week requirement. The hours for Company B are stated as 8-5, but they don’t mind if you come in an hour early, stay an hour late, or take a few hours personal time – as long as you work the required 40 hours per week. There is also the ability to work from home for a few hours from time to time (for instance, if I had a plumber coming by and had to be home).

Salary, Compensation, and Benefits. Both jobs have similar health care plans. I will end up paying a little more than I am with my current job, but based on the professional opportunity and the potential pay raise I will receive, it will be well worth it. Both companies also offer tuition reimbursement, which is something my current company does not offer. The 401(k) plans for each employer offer the same company match, but the funds they offer are different. Vacation time and sick time plans are the same in terms of number of days, but one company separates the two, the other company places them in one pot of days off.

Here is where the offers differ:

Job Offer A. The most attractive part of this job offer is a 40% bump from my current salary. The tuition assistance this company offers is $5,250 per year.

Job Offer B. The salary for this job offer comes in at right about 32% higher than my current salary. Company B offers $10,000 tuition assistance per year, although anything above $5,250 is subject to income taxes (Federal law). Company B also has a pension plan in which I would contribute 3% of my post tax income, and would receive a 1.5% match.

Company Culture and Health. Here, the two companies vary substantially. Both companies are financially healthy and well-respected, but the culture between the two is very different.

Job Offer A. Company A requires a suit and tie M-Th, and has “casual Fridays,” when employees can wear polo shirts or button down dress shirts without a tie. Slacks (not jeans) are required on casual Fridays. The dress code is more formal because it is in a client facing environment nearly every day. The company’s reporting structure is very hierarchal and formal.

Job Offer B. Company B’s dress code is slacks or khakis and a polo or dress shirt; no tie required. There are some days when a tie and jacket may be required, but I hear they are rare and only if you are meeting with clients. Jeans are allowed on Fridays. The company structure is more team based and not nearly as formal.

To sum it up

Both companies offer a great professional opportunity, room for growth and promotion, reasonable commute and minimal travel requirements, good health care benefits, similar 401(k) plans, and the same number of days off.

The main differences are these:

Company A: 40% pay raise, $5,250 tuition reimbursement, formal company structure, formal business attire, rigid 8-5 schedule

Company B: 32% pay raise, $10,000 tuition reimbursement, informal company structure, business casual attire, flexible schedule, pension plan

No decision yet, but I’m leaning toward one company. I haven’t accepted either offer at this point, but I have until Friday to sign and fax the acceptance letter. I will make the decision with my wife, but we are both leaning toward one offer more than the other. If you know me, I bet you can guess which one I will choose. ;)


Published or updated June 1, 2009.
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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 No Debt Plan

I’m hoping you are leaning towards Company B. Much better deal and sounds like a more healthy environment. But that’s just from a few details :)

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2 thrifty homeowner

Congratulations. I’ve been looking for four years and haven’t gotten any offers, and you get two in one week.

I’d definitely go with Company B. Much better environment.

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3 Ryan

Thrifty Homeowner,

Thanks. The market I am in right now is currently growing, and the companies are ramping up for a couple large projects.

I also had a couple recommendations from people who worked at the companies I interviewed with. Using my professional network was a big help in landing the interviews.

Good luck with your search! :)

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4 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Wow. I think I’d choose B myself. I’m working for an A type company now and it’s getting old…

The tuition thing is huge, as is the company culture.

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5 Dividend Growth Investor

If I were you, I would also be leaning towards company B. Would it be too much to ask for the industries these two companies are in?

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6 Ryan

deepali,

In my current job, I wear a suit and tie M-Th, so it’s not a big transition for me to go to Company A. I was also in the military, so I understand a hierarchal structure.

I’m not 100% sure how the tax situation works for tuition assistance over $5,250. Give me a few days, and I can write a post about it. ;)

Yes, Company B has both the 401(k) and a pension plan. That’s not a bad deal. :)

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7 Becky@FamilyandFinances

I, too, hope you go with Company B. To me at least, more money is never as important as flexibility and being able to wear comfy clothing :)

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8 fathersez

Congratulations. My belief is that you’ll choose Company B.

Regards

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9 Lisa

Keep in mind with company A, you are going to have to invest quite a bit more in wardrobe to have enough suits (which aren’t cheap) and nice ties, etc. to wear daily to work, not to mention a dry cleaning bill! With an 8% difference in salary, which really isn’t all the much, and the flexibility of company B’s hours and attire, I would go with company B. Tuition assistance is moot unless you are planning to take advantage of it to work towards some kind of degree or professional certification to enhance your own marketability.

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10 deepali

I dunno, you seem like a suit and tie kind of guy… :)

I’ve been told that the tax on the tuition reimbursement (over $5250) is deductible…?

Does company B have a pension plan and a 401K?

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11 Jarhead

I tell you what after being in the military for the past 13 years I think it would be time for a less rigid and formal enviroment so I vote B.

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12 Ryan

Lisa,

Great comment. I actually have 5 suits and enough shirts and ties to last. (I wear suits 4 times per week at my current job). I also wash and iron my dress shirts instead of dry cleaning. Suits don’t need to be dry cleaned very often, but they are fairly expensive when they need to be.

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13 deepali

Well I figured someone had to give Company A a vote!

But, given the better retirement options, I’m going for Company B. :)

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14 Frugal Dad

Ryan, I don’t know you offline, but I think I know enough about you online to throw my vote for Job Offer B. The schedule flexibility could allow you to alter your schedule a bit to come in early and leave early, which would be nice for added family time in the afternoons, and blogging time when required. I used to work until 5:30-6:00 and now get off at 4:30. That hour makes a big difference in our evening schedule.

I am also used to a hierarchal structure, but that doesn’t mean I like it! LOL! I just feel more at home in a less stuffy environment, where new ideas tend to flow freely and the spirit is more entrepreneurial.

Doesn’t sound like you can go wrong with either decision, but your heart is probably pulling you one way or another. Listen to your gut (and your wife) and you’ll be just fine!

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15 guinness416

The thing (in my experience) about a company like A is that if they are strict and “by the book” about hours and dress code, they’re likely going to end up being inflexible about everything else too. So you want to move to that office on the other side of the floor with the better light? Has to go through three managers. You need an extra personal day this year? Can’t do that, everyone would want it! Your boss may have no real input re bonuses. Etc. This inflexibility can be very wearing over time.

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16 Dividend Investor

One more day to think about what you are going to decide. Friday is the day we all expect a post how you chose company X over the other etc ;-)

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17 FFB

Hmm, more lenient hours and dress code and the opportunity to occasionally work from plus higher tuition reimbursement? I think I’d pick company B. Of course only you know what is better but it sounds like I’d be more comfortable in B. Either way congrats on both offers. They sound like great opportunities for you and I’m sure whichever you pick will be ripe for new posts for us!

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