Two job offers. Having a hard time choosing.

So I got two offers recently and I'm having a hard time deciding between the two.

First job is for a federal contractor:
  • Fortune 100 company
  • Would get me security clearance
  • Service provider work
  • Multi-vendor
  • Scope of job is narrowly defined, but I may be able to join other teams to work on different technologies
  • I'm concerned about stability of federal contracting

Second job is for a local county government:
  • Working directly for the government
  • Great benefits
  • Service provider work
  • Two vendors
  • Job is also narrowly defined, but I have no interest in what the other teams are doing
  • Flexible hours
  • Job security

Both jobs have a 100K+ base salary. The second job pays less but if I compare the benefits then it's about the same.

The first job looks really good on a resume and seems to have more room for growth. But I got burned by federal contractors twice before when they rescinded their offer after some funding issues. The second job wouldn't require a clearance so I'd be able to start right away, but I'm concerned about growth.

Should I take a risk with the first job or go with the sure thing with the second job?


  • Christian.Christian. Member Posts: 88 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wouldn't be concerned about growth because you can never really know how things work in a company unless you have someone on the inside telling how it really is. Maybe there is apparent growth and you end up hating the place. In my experience, I put more emphasis on what I will be getting from the beginning (salary, responsibility, benefits, company name, skills I will developed or maintain, etc) and I don't get too concerned about what I might get in a future from a job. After all, if you choose well, you can end up getting a better offer latter because you got the things you needed now and you didn't get disappointed because something else will not happen.

    In your case, I would first try to define what you are looking long-term. The first option seems to be good if you are trying to get a job someplace else and get other better jobs in the future with your new security clearance. You even mentioned the place looks good on your resume and it seems you are dealing with that idea. The second seems to be more stable, no issues with the offer disappearing at the last moment and you get job stability. I think it depends where you are now in your career (and your life) and what is more convenient for you. If you already have a lot of experience on you and need your job to be stable to deal with other aspects of your life, I would choose the second option. If you are starting in your career and you might benefit from a more risky job that gets you a better resume, I maybe would go for the first one.
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  • pevangelpevangel Member Posts: 342
    My concern about growth with the second job is because I am great technical fit for the job. The technology and vendors that they work on, I'm a SME for at my current job. I've done business with them before as well so I know a bit about their setup.

    I'm at a conflict because I would like stability and some more time with family. I feel like the second job would make it easier for me to turn my mind off work when I get home. But, I'm still pretty young and I've only been in IT for 5 years. I still have a long ways to go before retirement, and the first job would open a lot more doors for me in the future with the clearance, company name, and experience with popular vendors.
  • NVLadyNVLady Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    About 10 years ago, I worked at an Army base for a Department of Defense contractor. The one thing I was surprised at is how poorly we were treated by the federal staff. The theory the us contractors had was that the federal staff were concerned about their jobs and because of that, tried to make us look bad etc. I am not saying all contractors are treated like that, but it's something to be aware of....

    I have since left and now work for the state. While for me it was a pay cut, it was the best decision for me. The quality of life being a state worker is great! I get to spend more time with my family, good benefits etc.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Job 2 gets my vote. I still consider myself fairly young and with a family. I would take job 2 all day long. Benefits, flexible hours, and job security are towards the very top of my list of what I look for in a job and would trump the other job. I've only heard good things from people with local governments.

    Gratz on the offers too!!
  • kenrinkenrin Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Job 2 gets my vote as well. I've had a few government contract offers get taken away when they realized they had no funding. If you take a job like that be prepared to worry once a year whenever the contract gets renewed.
  • ImThe0neImThe0ne Member Posts: 143
    Offer 2 is what I would choose as well. Family is only around so long, I know we all love our careers around here, but if you can make decent money and be able to truly "go home". Thats worth loads more than the potential for growth or extra money, IMO.
  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    Job 2...federal contracting has already been waning and I expect that trend to continue. It's good to build local relationships because you can establish yourself and always come back later as a 'consultant'.
  • pevangelpevangel Member Posts: 342
    I didn't expect it to be unanimous. I've thought about it some more and the slower pace could also give me more time to go back to school and finish my bachelor's.

    Thanks for all the input! I'm going to go with the second job.
  • EnderWigginEnderWiggin Member Posts: 551 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Looks like I'm late to reply on this one, but I agree with everyone else and say job two. I'm a big advocate of enjoying work, and unless there's a HUGE difference in salary, it's better to take a little less, and be happier working.
  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    i'm not saying which to choose because there are too many variables for an unknown to decide for you but i currently am working as a contractor with the federal gov't and i have to say they treat us great. we are treated as one of them and no different. i have to say this is the first job i can truly say i really enjoy. the people i work with are great (both the FT federal employees and the other contractors), the benefits are pretty good, the pay is decent, and the job itself is enjoyable.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    Agree with everyone else. I'm of the opinion that anything $100k and up is fine, unless we're talking like a $50k/year difference. And with the flexibility and more family time, that would seal the deal for job #2.
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  • pevangelpevangel Member Posts: 342
    So the local government job informed me that they would still need approval from somewhere in order to pay me what they were offering (close to the top of the labor category they placed me in). So it may a be a couple of weeks before I hear back from them.

    The fed contractor had a deadline on their offer, so I went ahead and accepted it. I didn't want to lose that job if there's nothing definite with the county job.
  • techtiatechtia Member Posts: 144
    Not hijacking but wish I had one offer for 40K Haha
  • adrenaline19adrenaline19 Member Posts: 251
    You seem like you are leaning towards two. Money isn't everything, which will make you happier?
  • pevangelpevangel Member Posts: 342
    @techtia, you'll get there. It took me a while getting my first IT job and the first two jobs I had in IT paid less than 40K.

    @adrenaline, money isn't really an issue. The offers are about the same if you take benefits into account. I was leaning towards the second job, but when I talked to HR to accept their offer, they told me they still need to get approval for the salary they were offering me.

    I accepted the first offer because they had a deadline. I don't know what I'd do though if the second job comes back a couple of weeks from now saying they are approved to pay me what they were offering. I'd like to work for the second job but I feel like it would be wrong to turn down the first job after I've already accepted it. Specially if I've already done a drug test and background checks for the first job.
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