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New Job, New City



I've been putting off shutting down tobert.org because I've been really busy with another project: finding a new job. I applied and interviewed at four well-known technical companies on the west coast and accepted an offer from Sony Online Entertainment on April 2, 2007.

It was a weird experience for me, having mostly applied for standard corporate jobs in West Michigan in the past. Actually, I've never had multiple offers before which made the decision process difficult. Any one of these companies would be awesome to work for. All of the people were extremely smart and passionate. I spent the entire weekend driving my wife, family, and my friends crazy talking incessantly about what to do.

What it came down to was my gut reaction towards the companies and the cities they were in. A lot of people might think I'm full of it when I say it, but money was not the object. I didn't take the highest paying job even after rolling in cost of living differences.

I ended up asking myself some "soft" questions:
- abstract the job from the company and its reputation; do I still like it?
- would I choose the city regardless of job and income? Would Krissy (my wife)?
- what does the professional and community theatre community look like for Krissy?
- do I like the physical environment (desk/workstation/lighting/dress code/etc.)?
- do I feel comfortable with the political environment?
- is there opportunity to make things better? Is it cleanup or creation?
- what career options are available in the next 5 years?

Anyways, I'm not going to mention the names of the other three companies. I don't want anybody to think they're not awesome companies to work for, because that would be untrue. I would work at any one of them and it has been both a burden and an honor to choose between them.

In case you're somebody looking for tips on interviewing, here's the most important and non-obvious-to-me lesson I learned. Think really hard about whether or not to reveal the names and offers from other companies to your recruiters. It may mean better offers, it might not. It can also cause some other side effects that I found less than pleasant, so in the future, I'm going to keep my big mouth shut. Somebody warned me and they were right, so if you ever read this, you're welcome to your "I told you so."

Lastly, I have to say goodbye to six years at Priority Health. They accepted my resignation with dignity and warm wishes, which I truly appreciate. I will miss my friends there and wish them all the best.
I know a new job AND a new city is a tremendous effort, risk, and time of uncertainty. You'll do great. Congratulations and best of luck!

Al, Good luck and God Speed.

I enjoyed working with you for the majority of those 6 years. You have a tremendous set of talents of a wide variety. I wish you all the best!

congrats!!! i'll miss you here. i look forward to seeing you new postings.

did rick not enjoy working with you for a minority time of the six years :-)?

god bless,
keith