OK, so I was fired back at the end of May and found a new position in mid-June. I previously posted my story here:

My new position is going great.

However, last week I received a call from a recruiter that has really piqued my interest. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but essentially I am an IT consultant and I've focused on Microsoft technologies since 1994. The recruiter that called me was from a startup company that Microsoft has invested in. In fact, the company itself is the brainchild of Steve Ballmer. Microsoft saw a gap in their partner community, there was one specific competency that literally none of their partners are focusing on. Yes, some of their partners may have this offering within their portfolio of competencies, but it's very difficult to find these partners because they aren't leading with this or broadly marketing this specific competency.

Microsoft relies on its partner community to drive and implement their technologies, and Steve Ballmer suspected that the lack of depth in the partner community on this particular technology was ultimately hurting the adoption of this technology in the enterprise space. This is an area where Microosft's competition has market share in the enterprise, and we all know how Microsoft feels about not having Market share. :)

(Here's a litte hint, OK an BIG hint, as to what I'm talking about. Microsoft's biggest competitor in this space is RIM. Microsoft is doing fine in the small to medium business space, but RIM has market share here in the global enterprise space. And with companies such as Apple and Google trying to penetrate this space with their own technologies, this is something that's very high on Microsoft's radar)

So Steve called up a good entrepreneur buddy of his and suggested that he consider starting a company that would address this gap, and also offered considerable investment funding from Microsoft. So the company was formed and was officially announced by Steve at a conference back in October. This is the first and only startup that Microsoft has invested in at the seed stage. They've certainly invested in companies, but until this company they've never invested in the *creation* of a company.

The entrepreneur that Steve called is also rather well known in the IT industry. He isn't a household name but there's probably folks on this board that know of him, or at the very least know of one of his company's (he started a company in 1982 that came to be a $2 billion company).

So anyway, a recruiter from this company called me last week. Sorry for being so longwinded but I think the details above are necessary to fully understand the decision that I'm faced with. I have no complaints over the position that I accepted last month - I like the company, the people, and the culture. BUT...there's just so much about this other company that is very intriguing and exciting. It's an opportunity to get into a market space that is at its infancy right now. There are very few consultants that are specifically trained in this particular field, and if this company is even mildly successfully than there will certainly be copycat companies (actually this is what Microsoft is hoping) and my personal stock could skyrocket. With this company I'll have more of an opportunity to make a name for myself in the IT community, and by that I mean opportunities to be recognized for doing something that is innovative and bleeding edge, whereas the work I'm doing now is more commodity oriented. Also, the type of projects that I would be doing would give me greater access senior management / executives at Fortune 500 companies, whereas in my current role I'm primarily working with directors and below.

Yes, there are risks because this is a new market space. But the company has considerable funding from Microsoft, and the CEO himself is worth hundreds of millions, if not billions and is a proven successful entrepreneur. And the company already has some high profile, Fortune 100 clients that Microsoft is walking them into. And besides that, I personally believe in it. It seems like a great idea to me.

If I was still at the company that fired me in May, I would not be conflicted at all, I would pursue this opportunity without hesitation. But because I just joined another firm, I'm a bit concerned about making a move so quick. I'd have to explain an employer that would only be on my resume for a couple months, and obviously the cost of onboarding someone isn't cheap and quite frankly I'd feel bad for leaving them so soon. But if the market grabs hold of the concept of the company that's pursuing me, this is the kind of thing that I would kick myself a few years from now for not joining.

Oh, so the hiring manager at the pursuing company is on vacation this week. I've had a preliminary interview with his peer from another region, and the recruiter called me back after that interview and said that the gentlemen I interviewed with had great feedback about the interview. The next step is for me to interview with the hiring manager when he returns from vacation next week. The recruiter also told me that the hiring manager selected my resume and asked the recruiter to follow up with me, so this isn't a situation of the recruiter calling me cold and then presenting me to the hiring manager; The hiring manager specifically selected my resume.

Yikes, I know this has been long, but what do you think? Stay put or pursue the other opp?

jhack's picture

If the two opps are comparable, you should stay.

If the new one is a "once in a lifetime" type opportunity, then you should pursue it.

Remember: until you actually have an offer, you don't really have a dilemma. If you get an offer, then you can honestly say to your current manager, "This came to me out of the blue, and it is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity...Ballmer...Seed money..." That's much more reasonable than saying "similar company offered me 5K more" which is pretty unprofessional.

Talk to the startup company, and good luck.


And hey, maybe your current manager would decide to move, too...

HMac's picture

Congratulations on attracting the attention of a company that inerests you, and on doing so well in your first interview.

If you'll allow me to suggest reframing your current "dilemma": [i]it's whether or not to continue the discussion[/i].

And [u]of course [/u]you should continue the discussion.

That's really the only decision you have at the moment - not whether you'll move. Because so far, they haven't offered you anything except a second interview!

I argue that it's prudent, wise and logical to stay in discussions with the new company until you either get an offer, or you don't.

[list]You may not get an offer

You may not get an acceptable offer[/list:u]

..but you don't want to carry the "what if?" with you for the rest of your life, right?

Eventually you may be faced with the decision of staying or going. And a big part of your decision would probably be based on weighing the risks that come with the opportunity. But until then, work it a step at a time.

If it REALLY turns out to be an opportunity like you're suggesting is possible, NOBODY is going to fault you for going after something that wasn't even on your radar when you accepted your new job in mid-June.

Good luck.

Keep us posted, will ya?


Nik's picture

"Until you've got something, you've got nothing."

Do your best to get an offer, and then weigh the actual offer against the position you're in and opportunities with your present employer. If the offer's good enough that you'd be willing to embed a short job stint in your resume, then take it. But don't worry now. Pursuing an offer is not the same as accepting it.

asteriskrntt1's picture

If this opportunity works out, no one will care about this short stint, as you likely won't be looking for a long time. In fact, the company recruiting you right now doesn't seem to care about this short stint.

And if it really really bothers you five years from now about having an 8 week job on your resume, you can leave it out, just like you leave dozens of other accomplishments etc out.


jclishe's picture

Thanks for all the replies, guys. You're right, I'm getting too anxious about things that I don't need to be worrying about right now. I'm just going to continue through the interviewing process to the best of my abilities and worry about what to do once I actually have a decision to be made. Right now I have no decisions to be made so no sense agonizing over it.

AManagerTool's picture

Agonize about getting to the point where you have to make a decision. Agonize about your preparation for that interview.

Nice catch! Good Luck!