A Tale of Two Jobs

Last week I had a second interview for an HR Specialist position. That same day, I had a first interview for an HR Generalist position. Both hiring managers have called me in for a follow up interview. I thought that I really wanted the Specialist position, but now I’m torn.

Here are the specs: the Specialist position is with a start up type of company. They’ve worked with some pretty cool brands, including Oprah. They got to MEET OPRAH. The job seems fast paced, is with a young crowd, and is similar to the company where I last worked (company happy hours, company wide meetings). They use a payroll system I know like the back of my hand. The office is about an hour from my house, and the pay is in a range I’m comfortable with. The next steps are meeting with the Hr Director, CFO, and CEO. I think it’s between me and 2 other candidates.

The Generalist position is a more established company. They recently acquired another firm and have a ton of employees, the most I’ve ever worked with. They use a rather dated payroll system, but I’d only be double checking payroll. The hours are from 8:30-5:30, but I can walk to work. The company has room for growth–within a year or two, I could move into the HR Manager/Director role. They’d also be willing to pay for me to become certified, which is huge in this industry. While I’m one of 5 candidates in the running, I’m told I’m in the top. 

So here’s my problem. While neither company has made me an offer yet, I can’t decide which would be a better place for me. I’m looking to take my career to the next level, and the Generalist position seems like it would be better for that. However, I feel like I might become bored in the job. The Specialist position is a young, fun place to be, and the pay’s about 10k higher. I don’t know if I’d have room to negotiate a higher salary with the Generalist position, because the manager told me what his budget is. If they start me at the top of his budget, it’s still about 5k more than I made in my last position. So help me out, guys. Which seems like the better option?


5 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Jobs

  1. Congrats on the interviews, first of all!

    Of the two, at this stage in my life, I would take the second role. It allows for a shorter commute even the though the pay would be a little less (which means better worklife balance since you have a young child), larger company means room to move around, and the fact that they would pay for your HR certification and you have a opportunity to move into a supervisory position would be the deciding factors for me.

    Young start up is cute and sexy for now, but long commute would not work for me. Young start up probably means longer hours too, they just don’t advertise that part.

    Hope that helps!

    • Thanks! That actually helps a ton. I’m trying to do what’s best for my family…I just need to realize that money isn’t the only way to do my best.

  2. Speaking as someone with a daily commute of about 2 hrs each way, I definitely vote for #2. And since they will help you get your certification, it seems like the right place for you at this point. I get the appeal of company #1, but I would appreciate the stability of the established company and now take a chance on the startup. I agree with TIH in that the startup probably has tons of “other duties as assigned”.

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