I'm considering leaving the public sector for private. Please help me learn the smart way to negotiate employment offers and understand the real value of my current package.
July 10, 2012 2:28 PM Subscribe
I've been working in local government in a mid-level administrative job for six years. My satisfaction level is low, but the benefit package is generous (we're a small local entity contracting benefits through CalPERS), and the job is as secure as anything for the foreseeable future. Would I be crazy to leave it?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A previous employer of nearly ten years has been making overtures (again). At this stage of the discussion she's offering to beat my current salary but as a small business I know she won't be able to match my retirement benefits when I counter with a fuller explanation of the value of my current package. She really, really wants me back though, so I feel like I have some room here in terms of getting her to move on salary.
If this was just a gut call, I'd jump ship. Public sector is living up to what I hoped it would be--I'm a hard worker and very results oriented, and miss being able to own and complete projects rather than riding the glacial, tortured pace of bureaucracy. But I'm trying to be smart, and I have a few weeks left to decide.
1) For those who are familiar with CalPERS specifically, how do I accurately put a value on it? And what could I ask for that would be smart mitigation for losing it? I have six years of accrued service into CalPERS and am 2.5% at 55. FWIW, our small entity has (unlike many other agencies) fully funded its plan.
2) (Optional as I'm reading similar AskMes on this, so this is only if you have something extra to add, thanks.) When/if I decide to leave the current position, I suspect there will be a counter-offer (a promotion has been dangled in front of me for almost year and I've been asked repeatedly to be patient--I have cause to believe this would suddenly manifest if I decided to leave). How does this process work? I do not understand that negotiation process at all. Do I get an offer letter in hand before giving notice? Not give notice but lay out my outside offer? Personal anecdotes and web resources very much appreciated.
Skip-able, personal background for context if it helps: I'm 48. I'm a high school graduate living in an expensive, highly educated US city. Married, no kids, no debt, no house, but under 20,000 in retirement savings and a buffer of a few months in the bank. Both current and former positions would be in the $55-60k range. My resume can only be described as "colorful"--it's interesting and good for cocktail party conversation but not so good for job hunting as there's no specific career trajectory or education component.
I have my own misgivings about public employee pensions, no need to turn this into a forum on that issue, thanks. But this is probably the one and only time in my life I'll have two employers wanting me at the same time, and I'd like to make the most of it and not bungle it. It's also worth mentioning that my day job is my day job - my true passion is painting, which historically has paid for itself but not much else. So my real objective here is to do the smart thing financially.