While sorting through the official offer packet yesterday, I began to have some doubt. Did I make the right decision about taking the job? Is this what I want? Didn’t I tell myself that I wasn’t going to work for a large company like this again, after my unhappiness with corporate world at Caterpillar? Wasn’t I really happy with the small-company work environment?
What did I like so much about the small company? Lax dress code. Flexible hours. Flexible (to a point) leave schedule. Bring-my-pet-to-work days.
Then, I thought about the things I didn’t like about small company enviroment: not much chance for official promotion or recognition of advanced skills. Not much in the way of raises. Benefits could be shakey. Paychecks could be shakey. If there was a personal problem between employees, it affected everyone until and after it was resolved. One bad mood had the potential to make everyone’s day worthless.
Next, I thought about what would be solved by working for a large company. The benefits and paychecks would be regular. The first salary review is listed in my offer letter. There are more benefits offered than I can take advantage of (like the stop-smoking program for pregnant women… I only meet one of the three criteria for that, since I don’t smoke and am not with child.) The interpersonal issues will probably still hold, but at least they should be diluted. They stressed the training available as part of the benefits of working there. And, when I asked the hiring manager, she told me that each group has its own dress code, some involving jeans and t-shirts.
And then I reminded myself of the reality of the next two years: we’re going to be moving. I won’t have this job forever. If nothing else, it’s a stable paycheck while TCB finishes his degree and it’s a job with programming training that I can take to our next location, and I can choose again to look for a small or large company. I’ll find new pants to wear if I need to.
I guess I’m just nervous about starting a new job, meeting new people and learning new skills. And lunch. I’m also nervous about eating lunch- does everyone hit up the cafeteria(s)? Can I eat the food in there? Am I better off still bringing my back-up cans of soup? I think that these questions, like most of my nervous questions, are best addressed in the wait-and-see model. In just over a week, these questions will all be answered.