Monthly Archives: September 2012

Antsy…

Originally I had said that I will be making my decision by yesterday. I guess I sort of did but not 100%.

I have one company (the one that I think I will go with) start the background check since that will take a week or so to complete. I don’t think there is anything that will be flagged (other than my 1 speeding ticket) but it has been intimidating. I have had other jobs that required background check, etc but most had me fill out a form and everything was done behind the scene. This one actually had the third party administrator call to ask questions and I know that they have been hounding my previous employers and references. They told me everything has come in, including the criminal background, but they are waiting on a few other items. Huh? When I asked what they were (if they are looking at my background I figure I have the right to know what information they are gathering), they couldn’t even tell me. Has this happened to anyone else? Is this a common practice that I just wasn’t aware of previously?

The other company is still finalizing their offer. They sent one over but it did not include some important elements so it is back to their corporate office for a revision. I am sitting on both hoping that with meditation and prayer, the choice will become more obvious.

Until then, I am just waiting for the background check to clear and for me to make the official choice. The choice would determine when I can take a week off between work, so I can’t make any travel arrangements right now. I am also trying to determine whether I can take 2 weeks off instead of one (I have 2 weeks of vacation that would be paid out), and whether I should even if I could since that money could go towards some home remodeling that is desperately needed.

I guess I am just having one of those weeks where everything hinges on one decision and I am still staring at the fork in the road, hoping that I won’t regret whatever decision I make. Whenever I was down about my current employment I was seriously down about the fact that I had ended the interview process early at a company and I don’t want to feel that way at the new opportunity.

How does this impact personal finance? It actually matters on multiple levels. One is a much higher paying job (difference between the two offers are 5 figures) with much better health and retirement benefits. Having been at a company for a year that offers only HSA and no vision or dental and being blind as a bat and needing wisdom teeth removed, that will be big cost savings. The other is more of a fun environment with a much shorter commute and more responsibilities. But the benefits suck (HSA only, no vision or dental) and the lack of a commute will most likely translate to increased work hours anyway. Unfortunately, unlike most of my classmates from business school, I have never been one of those people who thought money and big name is everything, which is why I am stuck.

Hopefully very very soon I will be able to give you guys a good news that I have made up my mind and can move forward. A new job also means a new budget, which is always exciting (at least, when the salary is moving in the right direction). Thanks for sticking around, even during my boring updates!

Where I’ve Been, Part Deux

The reason for my hiatus again has involved the job search. Originally it started with juggling the high number of recruiters. I received contact information of over 70 recruiters from a friend and sent a mass email, which then meant that I was constantly meeting with them in person (so they can make sure I am not a scary weirdo) or fielding their calls. It got to a point that I started a log to keep their names, companies, and opportunities we discussed straight. I learned that working with recruiters really could be a hit or a miss. Some are really excellent at matching you up with positions right away, while some are flaky and will contact you about a position one day and never follow up with you again.

I was getting really stressed out since I wasn’t able to really complete my day to day tasks at my current work while juggling the recruiters. It was to a point that I was wondering if I will be able to keep my current position while job searching.

Finally last week, I started to receive some good news. I had a first round interview at a company where they gave me a verbal offer 24 hrs later. I really liked the energy of the employees and it offers an exciting opportunity to grow my career, although it also will require ridiculous number of hours and benefits leave little to be desired. I have asked for more time to decide because I had a final round interview at a large, Fortune 500 company on Friday. Today, I received the call from that company with an offer. The work is somewhat predictable, great benefits, and I loved the approach that my potential future boss has in developing talent.

So now, I am pulling out my hair trying to decide which would be better. The Fortune 500 will give my resume a name recognition that it lacks (I have worked for smaller companies so far), much more structure (means I know that I can get a promotion every year), higher salary, and excellent benefits. The smaller company will give me that start-up type experience, much more responsibilities, and a shorter commute (10 min walking distance). I find it extremely challenging to decide because I feel that I am at that point in my life where this position I take needs to be baby-friendly since if I have kids I anticipate that we will start in 3-4 years. This puts more pressure to make sure this job is a right fit for a longer haul since I don’t want to be in a position where I start a new job and then go on a maternity leave shortly after.

I will be making my decision by tomorrow. Although it is stressful to make the decision, I am extremely thankful that I have a good problem to have in choosing a company. I always based my emergency fund on having at least 6 months expenses because I assumed that a job search would take about that long. I have only been actively looking for a month and a half. I am thankful that I took the very first position out of business school that I did and received the certifications that is now a high demand.

I will be back in a few days with my decision. Thanks everyone for following my blog, despite it being extremely boring at times!

Love,

C

Educating myself

As much as I like to think that I am fairly money and business savvy after two grueling years of business school, I am constantly reminded of all things that I do not know. I feel like proportion of what I do not know versus what I do know is staggering. 

One of the areas is investing. Sure, I have learned how to read SEC reports and I know how to calculate my CAPM, etc. but I actually do not know much about options. In order to change this, I have been spending some time reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad series. I know that Robert Kiyosaki and some of his teachings are controversial (like borrowing money to make money) but I do agree with him that knowledge is power. I am hoping that in about ten years time I will be able to retire and I know that stocks and mutual funds (whether I do options or not) will be a big part of getting me to that early retirement. 

So I am trying to spend a few hours each day educating myself on this topic. I feel silly that even with me being in business, this is still an uncharted territory. Wish me luck. 

Where I’ve been…

Gosh, I keep on neglecting this blog! Part of it is that work has been crazy and the other part of it is just that I am still trying to get unpacked and settled in at my new condo, almost a month after moving! 

On the job front, I just had my semi-annual review and received my bonus. During the review I realized that there is miscommunication on both of our ends (like him having certain expectations on how things will look or how much time will be put in but do not communicate with me; me assuming that he remembers our previous conversations therefore I do not tell him why I am networking with someone, etc). But there is still the big frustration that my life is unpredictable not because of the work itself but because of his disorganization, and I do not foresee that improving in the near future. 

I have started to reach out to recruiters and apply for jobs whenever I see anything that I find to be a good fit. The good thing is, having full employment now means I can be more picky and apply to ones that I only want, rather than anything for which I may qualify. It is a bit hectic to juggle the recruiters as I need to be proactive and follow up with them constantly, or I risk just being another resume they have in their database.

On the home front, things are falling into place, albeit slowly. I have spent a lot of time getting my office put together, which is especially important as I juggle job search and my full time employment. The bedroom and the living room will not be completed for a long time as the bedroom needs some demo work and until then the furniture that do not fit stays in the living room. We have random clutter (I am staring at two light bulbs on the windowsill as we speak) to put away but it is almost guest ready. 

Financially, thanks to not needing to pay my first mortgage until October and the bonus check, I have finally hit my minimum emergency fund which will last me 6 months on bare-bone budget. I will write more about why I would rather beef up my EF rather than pay down my student loans quicker on a later post.

I am sorry for the absence (again) and I will try to be better about it. It’s just been tough juggling all things. How have you been doing?