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In this economy, when would you start work?

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When would you start?

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In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 14:58
All, I have three options to pick as my start date:

JULY: Gives me about 5 weeks off between graduation and work (1 mo)
AUGUST: Gives me 8 weeks off (2 mo)
SEPT: Gives me about 12 weeks off (3 mo)

Which would you pick?

Some important considerations:
* Financial: Sign on bonus is paid when you start. Also obviously there's the lost income the later you start. You can guess what that is yourself. Due to maternity leave, my wife's income will be reduced from June to August as well.
* Personal: My baby will be born in late April
* Social: Summers in Chicago are tons of fun - lots of sun, good weather, and lots of great outdoor festivals.
* Professional: There may be (its not clear, but I'm postulating that there is) some benefit to starting earlier rather than later from a promotion/project choice and opportunity standpoint. At a very theoretical level, if offers are rescinded, generally speaking its easier to rescind offers of people who haven't started work than to fire those that have already started.

The fundamental dilemma:
Spend time with my new baby girl in the beautiful Chicago summer which is something rather uniquely available to this situation (when else do you get a chance to spend 3 months with your newborn daughter?). Balance that benefit against the added risk of offer being rescinded, reduced income for 3 months and the other concerns. (Note this is 3 months in addition to the 2 I'll get before I graduate, total of 5)

So vote.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 16:03
Well rhyme.. First of all, congratulations on the baby girl. That's great news.

Regarding your question, if the economy wasn't (and pardon my language) in the shitter right now, I would say you jump at the 3 months. However, considering the state of the economy right now and the possibility of things getting worse and further offers being rescinded, I personally would have to stay on the cautious side and start in August.

Obviously I dont know enough about where you starting to make a guess about whether September would be fine, but maybe it would be worth it trying to talk to people at the firm and figure out if there is any project choice/promotion advantage. From a personal standpoint, I dont think anything would beat spending 3 months with your daughter. Depending on how much outstanding loan and financial obligations you have you could decide to take the longer break if your financial needs aren't urgent.

Good luck with the decision. I'm sure you'll make the right one.

And, Congratulations to you and your wife again!
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 17:14
When do you have to give a decision by? If you can wait a little longer to get a sense of how the economy and the company is doing that would be a huge help. I would be afraid not to start early if there is a good chance of having it taken away if you dont start but other people do and they decide to reduce numbers. If its going well then time with a newborn would be nice but judging by my friends who have had kids they are pretty "boring" at that point...sleep, eat, poop, sleep...repeat. Also how badly you need the money is another huge factor.

Sorry not much of a vote huh.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 17:27
Honestly, and this may sound bad, but it is true. You may be ready to start work in July. It's really tough with a newborn, especially the first 3 months. They don't really do much, except eat, sleep, cry, pee, and poop. What stinks is at about 8 months they become a real blast! To bad by then you'll be 5 months into work.

I would say go ahead and start in July so your wife can take off some more time if she wants. She gets 12 weeks, but she might want to take a few more.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 17:30
Rhyme....I want to say CONGRATS on your baby!

If I were in your shoes, I would start in July. You would still have time off, and I find the middle option to be negligible. The last option seems a little late.

So really, if I were to decide, I would be looking at either July or September. However, a counter argument can be made that starting in July compared to September career progression wise would be negligible as well, but that time off could potentially be priceless as you would be spending time with your newborn and wife.

Hard decisions.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 17:53
Rhyme, congrats on your baby :)

Honestly if you have an MBA from a good school, you shouldn't be too worried about start date and such.. you won't be able to savor all the little things your baby girl does as much when you start your work.. if you look back at your life 20 years from now, the difference these 2/3 months does to your career is insignificant compared to your memories with your baby daughter..

As long as you have the offer and you feel confident your firm will not rescind the offer, I say September all the way..
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 18:50
Hm.. I would gauge what the climate is like when you have to give them your decision. I would aim for August, but be prepared to shoot for July in case you feel that competition will risk your offer. Can you talk to the person who gave your offer, or HR, to get their opinion about the situation? I'm sure they would be sympathetic to a new Dad.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 19:37
Congrats Rhyme!

If I were you, I would start ASAP - i.e in 5 weeks. Nail that job offer and that signing bonus. May be when things improve, in an year or so you can take a big break and spend time with your daughter. At that point, she be one year old and wouldn't that be more fun?
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 19:40
1st..congrats on your baby! that's good news.

NOw..the tough part..
I don't know what kind of firm are you getting yourself into, but if it's something that requires you to compete hard (especially going against other new hires)..go with July.
But if it's a nature where you will automatically considered for promotion after 2-3 years, just chill out first.
You will work for the rest for your life, so if you can get this break, definitely take it. It's an opportunity.
you never know how hard will it be to get vacation once you are rolling.
So if i were you..try to go with September.
But again only you can judge your own financial and professional situation.. and I know you'll make the right decision.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 20:03
September, rhyme. It's all too easy to lose sight of the really important things in life.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2009, 20:55
I said September also. Family time is highly underrated.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 02:44
August seems a good compromise to me. Plus, starting in August is going to be easier.

Babies don't do much 3 months into life, but family time (and ability to help out the wifey) is good nonetheless.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 06:33
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September.

Congrats!
This is a unique opportunity, once in a lifetime, to spend 3 months bonding with your new born baby. As a father of 2, It's the most rewarding thing in the world. non-parental observers of other peoples families and kids just can't relate to the love and closeness that is generated.
From a practical parenting point of view, your partner will need your support because new-born babies do not sleep for more than 3-4 hours in one go, and she will be post-partum and which will play around alot with her emotions. Just being there will be great for her. Also, due to this sleep habit, you won't be able to perform optimally during work anyhow! My work suffered with each of my 2 kids because I wanted to be involved in the upbringing of my children, rather than just be the person who finances it!

The most important thing, is, at the new-born stage they so easy to bond with. If you start getting overloaded with work too soon, it is throw yourself into the world of career and forget about the family because you can easily end up prioritising career over family.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 10:44
August seems like a good compromise, imo. You'd get some time at home w/ the family.

But more importantly, I think by starting earlier, it would be easier to take more time off around the holidays. Then you'd get to spend time with your daughter when she's a bit older and from what my friends with babies tell me, "at the fun age."
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 14:46
Rhyme, I voted for July. If having your offer rescinded is a real concern, then you should start asap. Just tell yourself that you will spend your first month's pay (the extra pay that you get from starting in July vs. August) on something nice/fun for your family (maybe a vacation in December to somewhere tropical?).
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2009, 21:02
rhyme, another big congrats on the baby!

I voted for August, because how many times will you get a chance to take more than a couple weeks off to spend with a new baby in your career? You're going to be working for the rest of your life (unless you strike it rich and retire early), you may never get a chance to take this much time off again and spend it with those you love dearly. You may lose the job, yes. You may need the income, yes. But with a Booth degree, I'm sure any unemployment would not last very long, especially for an accomplished guy such as you.

Take some time off. Spend it with the Mrs. and Jr. Enjoy some of the best times of your life before you go back to the corporate machinery again. :)
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 05:26
If they want to rescind your offer it doesn't matter whether you have started or not - they will just as easy lay you off.

I am sure they will be highly understanding of your reasoning should you go later (plus many say that employers like the stability and financial hell-hole of a family man) so go with what you feel is best for you.

Me - I would probably go August. September is a lot of time off work.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 05:38
Thanks for the well wishes :)

I find it interesting that the distribution of votes is so broad - it just goes to show you that its not a simple decision. I'm currently leaning towards July, but may consider August.
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 06:04
Rhyme - many many many congratulations on the little one. In the end this is your decision to make. You and only you definitely know best for your situation.

I'd personally spend 3 months with my daughter, it'd be an incredible experience. They say kids absorb a lot when they are very young and they grow up so fast in their first year - every day you will see a new and exciting development.

But then again you need to weigh it up - you are the provider after all :)
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Re: In this economy, when would you start work? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 18:31
The first year maynot be the 'fun' year, but its certainly the year with the most 'firsts'. First tooth, first solids, first crawl, first standing, first walking, first babble, first roll over, first recognition of faces, first of everything, and it's great!!!
Re: In this economy, when would you start work?   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2009, 18:31
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