I did end up leaving my contract position in April. Twice, actually.
I was not particularly happy with the previous employer, as an environment. Not a bad place to work, great people, good assortment of hardware….but they were/are a “company in flux”. That phrase came from a colleague of my new recruiter who had also recently left my previous company. 🙂
It’s not anyone’s fault, per se, but the corporate direction was less a business plan, and more a funeral plan. The upper management seemed to be far more concerned with getting someone to buy us out than to actually run the company. (They were on year 5.5 of a 5-year plan.)
At any rate, I started entertaining offers, and man did they come fast and furious. By the end of the week I had lined up a dozen interviews. Some I really wasn’t a good fit for, some I was a great fit for, but we weren’t in the same league as far as comp went, and two of the dozen were matches. I decided on one of them, and let the other know I was out.
Then things got interesting. This whole ordeal was FAST. The one I thought I was the best fit for and accepted started like this, literally:
Monday, 16:30 : Recruiter called, said they had an interest, could I do an interview? I said sure, they said can you do it tomorrow morning? I said, wow, holy short notice, but as it happened, yes I could. In person? Sure. Interview set for 9AM Tuesday, for 1 hour. we set what my expectations were, and what the job would entail, including salary and benefits. We were on the same page.
Tuesday, 9:00 A: Interview begins. I like the environment, I like the people, the job site seemed a little stuffy (it’s a pharmaceutical company) but plenty livable, site was halfway between home and school. Not bad all around. They kept bringing more people in, and I felt I owned the whole interview. I was exactly what they wanted, but the interview started going a little long…
Tuesday, 12:45 P: Interview then (yes, almost 4 hours into a 1 hour interview) proceeds directly to the hiring director (hiring manager decided we might as well get approvals now, I guess) and that went swimmingly as well. He’s a veteran, so we could bond over that, and one of my co-workers at the contract job was one of his at his last company. I was able to get a read from my co-worker that this was a good guy to work for. At the end of the process, he says : “well, we’ve got a few more interviews, but I think you’re a lock for this. We’ll let you know by Friday.” I thought that was completely reasonable, and left for work.
Tuesday, 1:45 P: Call from Hiring director. “We’ve decided to make you an offer. We’ll have the hiring recruiter send you a document.” To which I replied, “Great, send it over, and I’ll let you know in the morning. I need to talk to the wife, and see if this will be the right fit.”
Tuesday, 2:00 P: Email from the recruiter spelling out the details, including salary and benefits info. Tuesday evening, we discuss and decide to accept.
Wednesday, 8:30 A: Conference with the boss at the contract gig. He’s a really great guy, and I’ll actually miss working with him, but he’s good with the decision.
Wednesday, 9:00 A: Call recruiter and give verbal acceptance. She says they’ll send an official package overnight to sign. Tell recruiter I’m putting my two week notice in.
Wednesday, 10:00 A: Send out email to team letting them know I’m leaving, due to a quirk of the calendar, my notice is really only 10 days, (which is not a problem with the management team.)
Wednesday, 1:30 P: Call from the recruiter. “Hey we sent out your package via FedEx. Oh, BTW…there was a problem with HR at the new company, so your salary was lowered 5K. See you tomorrow!” ExCUSE me? We have *in writing* my salary requirements. I was already taking a pay CUT in accepting a full time out of contract work. The benefits still didn’t make up the difference, and by any metric, my gross was going to be $5,000-8,000 less than my contract gross annualized. It was a step down, but less responsibility. I had explained at the beginning of this that the range was from $X to $Y – at $Y it would be worth it to me to take the offer, anything less, like $X, would NOT be worth me leaving. The offer they were sending? $X. Bastards. They said they’ll make a few phone calls and see if they can fix it.
Thursday, 9:00 A: The recruiter calls back and they aren’t going to budge.
Arghh. So for the next couple of days they call me and explain how next year I’d be eligible for bonus/merit raise, etc, which could maybe get me back to $Y anyway. Bonus and merit had already been factored into my decision- those gave me the possibility of almost geting back to even after a year or two. This made it a three or four year turnaround. I was LIVID.
At the time I accepted, I decided to stop entertaining offers. After this happened, I got a call from Credit Suisse, and I said, why, yes! I would entertain their interview request. I sailed through that process over the next two weeks, but couldn’t count on anything, so I started at the company the screwed me anyways, already disgruntled. One week later, I accepted the offer here, and quit there, effective immediately. I didn’t like to do it, but I can’t trust a company that would hamstring someone like that. I feel for the manager and the director, because they had absolutely no say in the matter at all, HR deemed a number, and wouldn’t budge. Apparently the last person hired for this job had a masters degree, and was paid $Y. I didn’t have a Master’s degree, so their argument was they couldn’t offer me the same as the guy with the Master’s. (I didn’t remind them that he lasted less than three months- either he couldn’t do the job, or someone else offered him a lot more money to do it for them…either way…)
So, I am happily gainfully employed again, not contracting. So far I still have a lot to learn about the new environment, but things at least look bright. 🙂