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Regretting the HARD sell

I just called the hiring manager at feds to take back my acceptance and got the hard sell for the position, the agency, and the federal government itself as an employer. I also heard a mild smack down on the city as an employer. Damn it. Why am I finding this so hard? I made my choice, but I just need to exorcise my regret demons. I realize that the minute I said 'yes' to them the feds started spending money on me in all sorts of retarded ways--scheduling training sessions, crazy back ground check stuff, and IT set up. I KNOW this woman really likes me and sees me as her replacement in 7-10 years. It's in her best interest to get me in the door, even with my regrets for other opportunities missed and salary lost.

I heard the whole spiel of how the feds will be a stable employer even as local government tanks. She explained how this is a wonderful and rare opportunity with the feds fast-tracking me to a very senior level position in no time at all. And, she went on, the work I do has broad influence across many agencies while encompassing a variety of topics. And then there is the travel. And, not to worry she assured me, GS-14 positions will open up (she didn't say that a travel eastward wouldn't help). On one side of her mouth she said San Francisco is a desireable place to work and everyone wants to be here and on the other when I asked about competition for senior positions she said no one would move here cause of the locality pay.

Then the smack down on the city. She pointed out how they are in serious financial crisis and when they think lay offs, they usually toss the most recent hires. The work itself, she explained, won't really have broad reach--it's just San Francisco concerns. The city itself, she intoned, is a much smaller employer than the feds and there won't be much of a chance to move up. And the competition after you hit step 5 she implied, good luck finding that next promotion.

Then she played on how there is movement between levels and hinted that it would be easy for me to go from fed to city if I wanted later in the future.

She really laid it on me and it was TOUGH resisting (so I stopped trying and told her I would email her with my final decision). All these points she made are ones I debated myself--she is totally right. The bottom line is, both opportunities are freaking awesome for the different paths they offer my career. There is no way for me to really KNOW which is better. So, I'm going for the obvious variety of experience, the riskier work setting, and the big bucks. No more regrets. Well, some when I whine tonight to Jeff about the phone call, before I send the 'no thanks' email.