Today I face an oddity of the new millenium - Two job offers, presented at exactly the same time.
Good offers. Very good offers.
Both offers are roughly equivalent, a slight nod to company #1 for more money
and better benefits, a slight nod to company #2 for more (theoretical) options and a higher projected growth rate.
Company #1 has been around 5+ years, and is stable-ly growing in an established market (embedded Linux)
Company #2 has been around for 2 years, and is entering a high growth mode in a brand new market (voip)
I like mostly everybody, on both sides. They all like me.
I've got every concession I've asked for, from both sides.
I must be a lousy negotiator, because I've been refused very little.
Only a few years ago, I'd have chosen company #2, because I get off on creating startups. These days I've slowed down a bit, and I've been through a bunch of companies like #2, and so company #1 seems more appealing from a stability perspective.
#1 and I have been negotiating for 3 weeks. #2 just leapt back into the picture with something substantial at the very last moment. (a few months back I turned down an offer from them that was very insubstantial, pre-first-round sort of fluffy stuff)
Company #2 leads me closer to my life's goals - at higher risk - offering me a chance to become bi-coastal, among other things. In the voip world, I'm a one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind, although there are people way better than me, I'm way ahead of the curve of most on understanding how it all fits together.
Company #1 lets me work on issues closer to my engineering heart, in a world that I get around in best. In the Linux world I'm just another very knowledgeable hacker.
I've been doing linux for 13 years, embedded Linux for about 7 years now, voip pretty intensively for the past 2, and embedded Linux/Voip for the past year, so I'm qualified to do either gig.
I've got a little burnt out on voip recently, but I gotta admit I know the code base and want to keep pushing that technology forward, and certainly use it, day to day. That said, recently I've been stuck in the 2.4 kernel and I want to be able to work in 2.6 again....
No matter which company I choose, one will be disappointed. A bunch of brilliant people on both sides have spent a lot of time trying to convince me to work for them.
No matter which company I choose I will wonder if I chose rightly - possibly for years - but I will force myself not to look back, only go forward.
Both are pressing me hard for a decision ASAP. Since this decision is going to direct my life for the next couple years, I'm stalling as much as I can, but I have to decide, today.
I really wish that there was some radical difference between the two offers that would make the choice easy, but there isn't.
I think, after talking more with my gf, that I'm going to go surfing, or take a long walk, and talk to myself a lot
And the other thing that has worked so well for me has been to blog about my problems. And perhaps, a clear solution will show itself in a couple hours.