BG: I used to work for Big Company (BC) where I was promised the world and promotions that never came through with the pay raise despite having the responsibilities of someone who made 2.5x what I did. Through networking I found a job at Tiny Company (TC) that paid OK wages (2x what BC paid), but still not quite enough to make the drama worth it.
I have been seriously considering returning to BC if they could make me an offer that would be worth it (at least 2.5x previous salary there). However, BC is fraught with some very serious problems with supplies, poor quality staff and safety of the area. I would have to commute 25+ minutes each way to work 5-7 days per week while I now commute 1 mile and live in a much more fun area. I got in touch with BC on the urging of my previous manager and got the ball rolling on a new contract. Things move at a snail's pace there and I honestly don't expect anything for months as there is some upheaval there in administration. I also do not know the salary I would be offered.
To complicate my life TC offered me a huge raise today, and I do mean huge. This would get me at least to the 2.5x figure if not more as I work on commission. They basically begged me to stay since I bring in 1/3 of their gross income and there is no one else to take over my duties. The problem with TC is I have serious issues with the way many things are done and a severe lack of communication. Today was the first time in a year my boss actually praised me to me face and in front of the other staff. This gives me more reason to stay, but I'm terribly conflicted.
Old manager is getting very upset as he thinks TC can just buy me off and desperately wants me back. However, his pissy attitude is reminding me of what a moody jerk he can be. We are good friends outside of work, he is extremely experienced in our area and I can and have learned a ton from him, but he can be a real piece of work as well. He claims BC is trying really hard to get my application processed and make an offer that will not be made again if I decline.
I wonder if I'm considering jumping from the frying pan into the fire. There are a stack of things I hate about each place and a stack of benefits.
BC offers affordable health and dental insurance, lots of time off, reasonable hours, salary not commission, working my favorite area every day exclusively, no micro-management, learning a lot more and time to study for my certification exam. Cons include awful staff who can be lazy, petulant or just not show up without consequences, staff on power trips who control my necessary supplies and question my requests (a big no-no in this area), lack of basic supplies due to random reductions in funding, a dangerous environment (the city has a very high violent and non-violent crime rate and at least a couple people have been killed on site where there is minimal security), clients who are depressingly unable to pay for the basics, and the possibility of working ridiculous hours to take care of things my staff can't be trusted to deal with properly.
TC offers great salary + commission, a decent amount of scheduling freedom, pretty good clients who generally can afford quality product, a staff I love, nice area, and no problems with getting supplies I need in a timely manner. Cons include some questionable practices, a boss who doesn't always back me up, being on-call 50% of the time, limited time off and having to work 30% in an area I hate. In addition my favorite staff member is leaving in two months and we have no replacement. To be clear, these issues have been pretty serious and upsetting to me.
For those of you in a similar position, how much has money made a difference for you? It can't buy happiness, but it sure does help when you're up to six digits in student loans. I know it's a business decision, but I feel like I'm screwing over the company I don't pick and it's an awful feeling.