The following is a chronological detail of how I landed 3 job offers in the span of 2 days and how I decided which job to take. The string of events actually starts several month before when I initially applied for the jobs with Aetna and ScheduAll. The Aetna job, I was alerted to indirectly by my dad, who works for the company that used to own the division of Aetna I applied for (Aetna bought it earlier this year). The ScheduAll job I applied for through a Monster posting in April and I had been calling them weekly ever since. The Ocwen position, I had applied for through Monster the previous week.
Thursday, July 6: First thing in the morning, I start making my phone calls to the various employers with whom I had submitted a resume. I would make about 5 to 10 calls a day. Today, 2 of the companies were Ocwen and ScheduAll. I hadn’t gotten a call back from ScheduAll since May, but continued none-the-less. This time was different because the nice receptionist told me that the person I had been asking for was not in (found out later she’d left the company), but that I should speak with a Greg Dolan. I left him a message. ScheduAll is a niche software company that supplies scheduling software to the entertainment industry. The job was an Implementation Manager: doing start to finish implementations of the software for customers.
Then I left a message for the HR Manager at Ocwen, a sub-prime mortgage servicing company. She quickly called me back. She asked if I would be OK working in West Palm Beach, about 40 minutes north of where Jennifer and I are now. I told her that I’m keeping my options open. In reality, I applied for that job by mistake. I wasn’t going to apply for anything north of Boca Raton. She said that the hiring manager would like to speak to me on a conference call the next day, which I agreed to. I really was going to keep my options open, but made a mental note to pay more attention to the cities where these companies are.
Later that morning, I get a call from the manager at Aetna. I had had a phone interview with her in June when I was still in Fresno. She asked if I could come in that day for a face-to-face, which I was more than happy to do.
Shortly there after, Greg from ScheduAll calls me back and asks me to forward a new copy of my resume. A few minutes later he calls me and asks if I could do a phone interview on Friday. 2 phone interviews is a really busy Friday.
The Aetna interview goes very well, but they say they’re going to be conducting several more interviews the following week and that if I don’t hear from them by Friday, I should follow-up with HR henceforth. The job is basic Business Analyst stuff: problem solving systems issues, speaking with end-users to figure out what they want their systems to do, nothing thrilling. The atmosphere seems pretty corporate, but friendly (for corporate).
Friday, July 7: The ScheduAll phone interview is first. Greg and Stefan Neid are on the line. Greg is extremely personable and makes a joke along the lines of, “there are 2 8-foot tall, handsome men ready to conduct your interview.” I joke back something to the effect of, “Well, as long as I know none of us are going to be telling the truth today, I’ll be far more relaxed.” The phone interview goes well (basically, these things are just to hear you talk about your experiences first hand, because it’s a lot harder to fake it when talking that when writing a resume) and they invite me in for a face-to-face on Monday.
The Ocwen phone interview also goes well and they schedule an interview for Wednesday.
Monday, July 10: At the ScheduAll interview, I meet with 9 people in the span of 2 hours. They basically funnel people in and out of the room I’m sitting in. After the first 5 minutes, when it’s just one-on-one, a second person joins us. A little later, the original person leaves and is replaced by a new person. This sort of chair swapping continues for well over an hour. My head is spinning and I can’t remember who’s heard what stories. Most of the questions are similar, so the answers are as well. I eventually sit down with one of the big-wigs. At the end of it, Greg tells me he’ll call me the next day at 3. The atmosphere there is very casual – half the people I spoke with were wearing jeans. But you could tell from listening to them that they all work very hard and when it’s time for business, they get to it.
Tuesday, July 11: Around noon, an HR guy from Aetna calls to give me an offer. I tell him I have 2 other interviews but that I will get back to him later in the week.
3PM comes and no word from Greg. Jenn and I go out to make some more copies of my resume for my interviews the next day, and while in my e-mail account pulling up the resume, I see I have an e-mail from Stefan at ScheduAll. They would like to make me an offer and ask if I could stop by the next day early in the afternoon. I reply that my schedule is packed but that I could be there around noon through 1 or after 4:30. I ask him to call me with his preference.
Wednesday, July 12: The Ocwen interview goes well but runs WAY longer than the HR Manager had said it would. First, they had me take the Wunderlik test – the same test college prospects are given at the NFL combine. HR lady tells me I got a really high score but can’t say exactly what it was. The interview part runs to 11, which was the latest I was told I’d be done, but after that they ask me to take a couple tests on my Excel, Access and SQL knowledge. I told them I had to rearrange my afternoon schedule first but that it would be OK. No message from ScheduAll about coming in for the offer. Oh, and also, the Ocwen amanger mentions that the hours would be from 8:30 to 6:30
Later in the afternoon, the Ocwen HR person schedules a phone conversation with one of the VPs I’d be supporting. The role I interviewed for was with their analytics team creating reports and doing analysis for one of their groups. The phone interview will be Thursday afternoon.
Thursday, July 13: I call ScheduAll first thing and Stefan apologizes for not being available yesterday and for not contacting me. He asks that I come in that morning. Their offer is a tad smaller than the Aetna offer, but they promise to give me a review and readjust my salary in 6 months. I wasn’t’ entirely surprised by offer, mainly because they say that the system is really complex and not everyone they hire picks it up. I tell him that I’ll let him know tomorrow. I had told Ocwen that I had 2 offers and that I’d be making a decision on Friday, so they knew my situation.
The Ocwen phone conversation goes well and shortly after getting off the phone, the HR Manager calls and says they want to make an offer but they won’t know the actual value until the Friday. I ask her to please try and have that figured out by lunch.
Thursday night is very stressful and sleepless. I’m having a very difficult time weeding out either Aetna or ScheduAll so that I can do a 1-to-1 comparison with the Ocwen offer when I get it the next day. I am completely on the fence.
Friday, July 14: I call a ton of people and write several e-mails looking for thoughts on my dilemma. Most people are in favor of Aetna because it’s stable and offers up-ward mobility but there are enough that are in favor of ScheduAll – for it’s atmosphere and unique challenges – that I don’t know what to do. As the responses are still coming in, and as I was slowly leaning toward Aetna myself, Ocwen calls and asks if I could postpone my decision until Monday. She says they want to consider me for a managerial position, but I’d have to interview with the Director over that position. She says the interview would be Monday. I tell her I can’t delay my decision, and so she manages to set up the interview for 3:30 that day. With this twist, I decide that the playing field is definitely not level enough o do a fair comparison of 3 jobs, so one should be eliminated. I call ScheduAll to appraise them of the situation and to see if there’s anything they could do to up their offer at all. They step up big time and agree to wait until Monday for a decision.
Aetna is pretty much out.
The Ocwen interview goes very well. The managerial position is essentially the same role I had previously interviewed for but with a different division and with 2 reports in the US and 3 to 5 in India. They call shortly there after with the offer. The base salary is slightly more than ScheduAll but they mention there will be a very significant bonus on top of that, paid annually in February or March and based on my performance. As long as I do a good job, I get the bonus. If I do an exceptional job, my manager can increase my bonus at his discretion.
The Weekend, July 15-16: I flip flop all weekend between the 2 positions. The managerial position is almost too much to turn down, both experience and 4 wise. But the atmosphere and actual work at ScheduAll could actually turn out to be fun and exciting – a rare combo with an IT job. I know that both are going to require long hours, but a friend familiar with Ocwen informs me that they are infamous for their go-go-go attitude. Jenn and I take a look at homes in the neighborhoods that list for about our price range. Hollywood, where ScheduAll is, is nice and old-school South Florida. Boynton Beach, 15 minutes south of Ocwen, has more to pick from and is growing. The decision comes down to affordability and experience vs atmosphere and potentially fun work. The stress of not knowing is driving Jenn crazy. It actually ends up being something she says late on Sunday that turns the tide for good for me: she says she can understand wanting to be in a fun atmosphere, but there’s also something to be said for making a grown up decision. I’m going to want to have a family. I’m considering being a manager. Those are grown-up things to do, and there’s nothing wrong with being a grown-up from time to time.
Monday, July 17, 2006: First thing in the morning, the HR guy at Aetna calls. I tell him I had gotten 2 other offers and I decid3ed to take the one giving me managerial experience. I also e-mail the hiring manager to thank her for the opportunity.
I call Ocwen to find out how much of the bonus is based on my performance and how much is based on the company’s. My friend in the mortgage industry says that the target bonuses always have 2 component. I decide that, before I give my official answer, I should check into that. They say it’s 90% me. That’s all I had to hear.
I next call Greg at ScheduAll. It is one of if not the hardest calls I’ve ever had to make. Not fun at all. But he understands. He says it’s a small world and our paths may cross again. True enough. I wish them the best and I really do mean it. I miss them already, but within a few minutes I realize that I made the right decision. I made the tough decision. I then started looking only onward and getting excited about my new opportunity.