Decisions, Decisions..

So a lot of things have been going on here lately.  About three weeks ago I quit my job at Synthes with a new job at a company called Thermo Fisher Scientific waiting for me after about a week of vacation.  This job was a mechanical engineering position with their x-ray and neutron generators.  It was a very challenging and rewarding job, with some serious engineering involved.  This was the type of job you get a masters degree for.  Good money, good people, and interesting work, sounds like a good choice to me. 

Then SRAM (a bike company) came out of nowhere on my last day at Synthes, and asked me "if I was still looking for a job with them".  SRAM is a very large bicycle component company, which happens to have a development center 5 miles from my house.  I've been in there interviewing for a number of different jobs, and each time I didn't get hired.  For an engineer that loves mountain biking, working for them would be a dream job.  Surrounded by like minded people, riding bikes as part of the job, great company culture, and close enough to ride to.  Sounds great, right?

I told SRAM about Thermo Fisher and that I was going to start a new job there in a little over a week.  I told them that I wouldn't be interested after I started at Thermo, but until then I was very interested.  So the next day (a Friday) I came in for another interview at SRAM for an Existing Product Design Engineer.  It went well, and Lianna and I packed up our things for a vacation to Michigan for the week between jobs. 

We were barely out of Colorado when I got a call from the engineering manager at SRAM.  He said the interview went well, but there is still one more person they really want me to meet.  Unfortunately, he was traveling when I was there earlier and was going to be gone when I got back.  Not to mention I wasn't going to be back until the Thermo job was about to start, outside of the window I gave SRAM to make a decision.  So the engineering manager made a proposal, that I could meet this guy in the Chicago airport during his layover home from vacation.  We worked out the details, and I was giving a plane ticket and a hotel reservation in Chicago for the following Monday.  Follow so far?

I'll write about the vacation itself in a separate chapter, so we'll skip right to the flight out of the tiny airport in Pellston MI, and down to Chicago through Detroit.  Everything went ok, and I talked with the guy for about an hour before he went off to his second flight.  I went into Chicago that night, had a deep dish from the originial Pizzaria Uno, and flew back into Pellston the next day (Tuesday).  Then I get a call from the engineering manager at SRAM the next day saying they want to offer me the job.  I'm in! 

So now I'm in a position where I can go one of two ways.  The first is a lucrative career with Thermo Fisher doing some high end, difficult engineering and making a fitting salary for such a job.  The second is a job in the bike industry making significantly less (still pretty good, it is engineering and all), but enjoying the job and the atmosphere.  I think I would of enjoyed the challenges at Thermo, but In the end I chose SRAM.  That meant I had to make a difficult call to Thermo Fisher to tell them I wasn't coming in for work the next week, that I wasn't coming in ever.  It wasn't great to be in that position, but it was better than it would of been after I've been working for a few months and they had invested more time and money into me.  So I accepted the offer from SRAM, made the call to Thermo, and got everything squared away.  I think I'm going to always feel bad about what I did to Thermo, but it's ultimately my decision and my life that was top priority. So now I'm hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend in Bozeman on the tail end of an almost month long vacation, and pretty excited to start next week with my new job!


Jay Dub said…
I have interaction with Thermo Fisher on a weekly if not daily basis. I like them... I would like working for them (though I can't do what you do).

I also love my SRAM parts. :)

I wouldn't be sweating "what you did" to Thermo... they hire someone else, easy. Taking a job as SRAM is awesome though.
Mike said…
JP1, it sounds like a tough choice, but I certainly agree that you made the right one. Thermo will get over it, and you get to design and work on bike parts for a living; Nice!

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