Should I take my old job back?
September 21, 2012 6:54 AM Subscribe
I left a good job at a bigger corporation early this year to join a startup. Nine months later, I'm not sure it was a good decision. Is it a bad idea to go back to my previous job?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am a software developer. I worked at a bigger corporate company for almost five years, and left at the beginning of this year to join a smaller, flashier, up-and-coming startup. Now that I've been here for a few months, I feel like I might have made a bad decision. The main problem I had at the old company was that I was bored of working on the same thing for so long. The new company doesn't have that problem. The product is more exciting, both to talk about and to work on. It's everything else about the job that I don't like as much.
I took probably a 20-30% pay cut (hard to say exactly considering part of compensation is stocks and bonuses) to join the new company, with the possibility (a pretty strong possibility, I think) of making a lot on stock if we go public. I'm not sure how I feel about this now, it's not really clear one way or another which will be better in the long term. Pay isn't the biggest concern though, sure I'd rather make more than less, but I can support myself comfortably on either salary.
Mainly, I spend less time with my family, more time commuting, am under more stress, and generally I feel uncomfortable. People talk about working at Apple under Steve Jobs, and how that made everyone nervous, because if Jobs decided he didn't like your project, he might just cancel the whole thing. I feel sort of like that (even though I might not be able to justify it). I think I'm less happy than I was at the old job.
This morning, I talked to a former co-worker who's still at my old company about getting my old job back. I expect the old company to give me a job offer, probably even with a small raise from my old salary, in the next few days. If they do, I'm not sure if I should take it. Will I immediately go back to being bored working on the old project I left? Will this look bad on my resume if I want to leave the company again in a few years?
I could also throw out a bunch of resumes to other companies where I know people, and I could probably get interviews and job offers, but I'm not sure I'd find anything better than what I've already got as possibilities. I'm at the "hot startup" now, and have the comfortable corporate job as an option, what else would I be looking for?
Part of me wants to give up software altogether and start with something completely different, but I have a family to support and a $3,600/mo mortgage to pay, so I feel like that's off the table until I could pay off the house.
What would you do? Stay at the startup until your stock vests? Go back to the old comfortable job? Try for something completely new one more time?