Should I go back?

Hey guys- long time since I have been here!

I was content in my old job as a Senior Virtualization Engineer. I was responsible for our North America VMWare infrastructure- from design, deployment, etc.

I wasn't looking for a new job but a recruiter contacted me, and well, that was that. I received an offer that was an 18.50% increase in pay, putting me in the realm of 6-figures. Not too shabby for my rural part of the world. I received a counteroffer from my company 15% over that. I declined- I felt this would be a better opportunity. This new company claimed they had a great automated cloud environment, flexible hours, etc.

Except, I've been here for a week and everything I was told doesn't quite match up.

They do not have the automation infrastructure in place they said they did. Their hours are not flexible- I have to literally log my time when I get up to take a piss. They are a MSP and everything is about the almighty billable hour.

I was told I would be in more of an architecture/engineering role like my previous job- but I feel like I am actually more of a support role. And I hate it. I am slave to the ticketing system and just feel this is a downward slide from my previous position, and much more restricting.

My last job was come and go as I please, work the hours I wanted to, etc which were big deals since I have a 3 year old at home now.

My old boss emailed me and asked if I was ready to come back and accept the counter-offer. I am tempted to open that dialogue to negotiate my return.

Any thoughts? I don't want to burn this bridge at this new place but I feel like I was mislead a bit and the restrictive environment just blows.
"Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel


  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,309 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Normally I wouldn't suggest taking a counteroffer, but this situation is different. If it was really totally wrongly advertised I'd likely go back to the company you liked with a nice raise. Worst case you can look elsewhere in a little while anyway. Typically everyone is against it because an employer will make you a sweet deal to keep you around long enough to replace you at a lower rate. In your case it seems like they just want you back, the cynical side says they might do that until they replace you. But, you could always gamble and see if you can use that until you find a new job.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Returning sounds like the best option in your position to me.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    I am usually all on the "do not accept a counter" train as well.

    My boss and I had a great relationship and he asked me to stay multiple times. It was hard for me to go- I had a lot of great relationships there, but I left under the pretense I would be getting more responsibility here and working on a deeper VMWare portfolio that my previous company didn't offer. That doesn't turn out to be the case. The "Yes, we have vRealize Automation" is actually, "Well, we want to use it one day maybe". Two very different answers from the interview to actually getting here.

    My family is very important to me. Being able to pick her up when she was sick, take her to appointments, leave for school plays, whatever was huge for me. Here- I am chained to the clock. I was told "oh we aren't time cops. We want work-life balance for everyone." Except their idea of "balance" is to track every minute of every day. Don't think about leaving early or coming in late. I don't understand how they said one thing in the interview and it turned out to be completely backwards.

    I had a 1 on 1 with my manager since he was in town yesterday (he works in our office 4 hours away) and voiced some of my concerns. And his response was "oh it will get better, lots of changes coming, oh I'm not strict on your time- that's just the company". Sorry but, in my mind, he is my manager. He is the company. Sounds like a trap to me...

    Had a gut feeling all week this wasn't my cup of tea. The more I try to ignore it and tell myself "stick it out and give it a chance", the more I get a sick feeling like I am making a mistake not trying to accept the counter.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    What is best for you as a whole? Not just career wise but family wise. Family is a HUGE part of my life right now and I am in the same boat as you.
    The job I took isn't anything like they advertised but my home life has drastically improved.

    Your's seems the other way around.

    If your gut tells you to go back then go back.
    If you think this place could work out then stay but don't regret not going back if you do.
  • TeKniquesTeKniques OSCE, OSCP, CISSP, CISA, SSCP, MCSE (03), Security+, Network+, A+, Project+ Member Posts: 1,262 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Do what makes you happy; flexible hours are important to a healthy work/life balance. Time to call your old boss and set up lunch to take the next step. After a month back at the old job, the thoughts of the new job will be in the rear view mirror.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Banned Posts: 181
    Honestly it sounds like you got caught in the "bait and switch" job. They baited you in with good stuff, but when you actually got in the job it was switched up on you. I would look at the pros and cons of going back vs staying where you are at. If the pros outweigh the cons then go back.

  • KrekenKreken Member Posts: 284
    Usually I am against accepting counter offers but here I think you should go back. I made a similar choice 1.5 years back. At the interview, the company, also MSP, was presented well - new technologies, unlimited training and etc. After I started, the honeymoon ended within two hours. I lasted around four months before I moved on to another job. It was literally the worst job I ever had in my life and I hated every moment of it. My lesson learned: never work for MSP and for small companies every again.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Usually I am against the counter offer as well. BUT, this is different. I hate it when you interview, ask the right questions and it is then totally different when you are hired. Go back. I love when a job is flexible, hate it when it is restrictive.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    I think I'm one of the most anti-counteroffer guys here, but in this case it makes perfect sense to go back. You didn't leave because of any major issue with the employer, just trying to expand your professional horizons. As stated above you got the "bait-n-switch" special and the situation needs to be rectified. Since most things at your previous gig were to your satisfaction, I don't any negatives in going back. I'm also a family comes first guy so I completely understand the value of flexibility. I also need time to do my research and play with new things. This is how I bring value to my employer. As a result, I can't do the whole time accounting to the minute thing. Not saying that it's bad, just not for me.

    Unless some sort of binding plan gets put on paper that turns things around 180 degrees, I would implement the exit strategy.
  • D1renegadeD1renegade Member Posts: 8 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Go back. I can't wait to be free of the ticketing system
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,831 Mod
    Agree with Danielm7. I'm of the "no counteroffer acceptance" crowd but this is different. Seems like they genuinely want you back. And in this case, with the situation at the new job you have a legitimate reason for going back to the old job.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
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  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    if they will pay you more then why not? I did it. I get paid way more.
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    I'd say take your old job back. We all make mistakes, It happens. Be grateful they are willing to take you back and at the counter price. Run don't walk!
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I agree, I think you should go back to your old job.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 998 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'd take the old job back. I worked with a guy who was in the same situation, that went back to his old job. I ended up leaving shortly after. He was a lot happier back at his old job and from what I hear his old boss was glad to have him back. I was happier when I finally left for a new job.
  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    The sentiment on this thread is bang on the mark - but I would suggest a cheeky twist.

    1 - If you go back, make sure your contract reflects the flexibility you agreed so if your boss ever leaves, a new boss can't take it away.

    2 - Learn from the company you are in and realise that while the ticketing system is a drag, it is very important to keep track of jobs, capture knowledge and give a place to look for trends of problems. You don't need to set up SLAs etc, just track your work so you can prove what you do and how long tasks take should you ever need to justify your existence (job security).

    3 - Make sure your old boss knows how much it means to you and thank him well, then be loyal and use some of what you have learned in the new job to up your game in the old one (ie demonstrate you are now worth more rather than just crawling back with your tail between your legs).

    4 - Get more proactive in learning new skills that will make you and your boss look good - work out a way to demonstrate value to the business that is tangible to them so your boss looks good for going out on a limb to get you back.

    Just a few thoughts.

    I hope it all works out and you get back to where you want to be.

  • clouderclouder Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    In your situation, I would definitely go back, especially while you have a guaranteed window of opportunity.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    So you got our input, weekend is over, and you had a chance to sleep on it. What's the final decision?
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    So you got our input, weekend is over, and you had a chance to sleep on it. What's the final decision?

    I've decided to go back. I gave it another week and it just wasn't working.

    It even started to get weird. The company was recently acquired and people in this office had a "Regional" meeting and a couple folks actually broke down into tears. Awkward.

    My previously manager and his boss got a good offer together, sent it over, everything looked good. Got a good pay bump, expressed gratitude etc.

    It actually became REALLY weird. I resigned from the new job yesterday. I was honest and said I didn't feel it was a good fit. Mentioned that I didn't want to waste any further time if I wasn't 100% invested, the culture wasn't a great fit, etc. I apologized and wished them well.

    My manager sends an email to my personal email basically asking everything I answered in my resignation letter. I replied back with the same answers I gave in my resignation letter.

    The VP sends an email. Same questions. I respond with the same answers. Wished them well.

    They both start sending more emails- separately from each other. At this point, I have nothing left to say and I just ignore them last night.

    My wife calls me today. The VP pulled her information from the "Emergency Contact" form I filled out that listed my wife as an emergency contact. He tells her that he wishes to have a word with me and leaves his number. He has never met or talked to my wife before this.

    My initial reaction is that I am absolutely pissed that this guy goes and pulls my wife's information- then has the balls the call her to talk to her about my employment. I want to call and absolutely go off on him.

    Now that I am calmed down, I'm tempted to let it go. Tell me wife to ask him not to call her anymore if he does, or just ignore his number.

    Anyways, start my old job back on Monday. Got a pay raise out of it. And they are going to keep the guy that was my temp replacement full time on that team to help me out, which is going to be a huge help.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • mjnk77mjnk77 Member Posts: 164 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sounds like you made a smart choice going to back. Other company seems a little stalker-ish.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If I was in your shoes I would have went back...
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • si20si20 Member Posts: 540 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Glad you went back - sounds like a smart move. I only got into working as a security analyst because a recruiter lied through their teeth to get me there. I was told it was a 9-5 - turns out it was continental shift work! I was so glad to leave the place. Best of luck in your new (old) place with the pay rise icon_lol.gif
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    Can you say PSYCHO! Call your wife? Hell Nooo! You are a better person than I am for not going off on him. Everything that had to be said was said, period. You obviously dodged a bullet big time.
  • ThePawofRizzoThePawofRizzo SSCP, A+, N+, Sec+, CySA+, Cloud+, CWTS Member Posts: 389 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Since you've already done so, my point is moot, but clearly you made a good choice for your needs.

    I was only at my previous job for four months, after an 8 years stint at another company. I left the 8 year stint for more money, and found myself in a scenario where my skills were definitely needed and used, but it lacked a team environment, my manager was nice but horrid at organization and communication, etc. After four months I found an even better gig, but in the process of resigning got multiple emails and calls from my manager and even the VP of IT to counteroffer. They were kind, and likeable, but it simply was a poor fit for me. It was kinda interesting to get hounded with counteroffers. :)

    My decision to move on worked out well. Your decision to return sounds like it should as well.
  • Christian.Christian. Member Posts: 88 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think the only logical step now is that you start calling his wife too icon_cheers.gif
    CISSP | CCSM | CCSE | CCSA | CCNA Sec | CCNA | CCENT | Security+ | Linux+ | Project+ | A+ | LPIC1
  • LeBrokeLeBroke Member Posts: 490 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats, good to hear! Kind of interested to hear what the VP and the manager at new (now old) company wanted to tell you over the phone.
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    Can you say PSYCHO! Call your wife? Hell Nooo! You are a better person than I am for not going off on him. Everything that had to be said was said, period. You obviously dodged a bullet big time.

    I think it is incredibly unprofessional. I am typically not an emotional person, but this one has my blood boiling. Trying to figure out how to handle it.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    Can you say PSYCHO! Call your wife? Hell Nooo! You are a better person than I am for not going off on him. Everything that had to be said was said, period. You obviously dodged a bullet big time.

    Yeah, I'm pretty easy going but if they started doing that I'd have a few words to say.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    If he calls her again, I would say something to him. Glad you went back.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,330 Mod
    You did the right thing.

    What's the companies lying in interviews to get jobs that turn out to be different from what's promised?

    The OP was lucky that his old job would take him back but this is EXTREMELY rare! Most jobs would be wary of taking you back once you resign.

    I've had this happen before, get in a job and then it turn out different from what's promised, and we have to stick around from some time because it looks bad on CV if you change jobs often.
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