Last week my boss came to me with a revised offer to go to Chicago. While it still isn't what I think it should be it was significantly better than it started out. Originally the offer was a 7% cost of living increase + relocation + a one time 40% bonus. The latest (and I've been told it's the final offer, but I still believe there's a little more wiggle room :)) offer is the same except for the cost of living increase is 25% (the one time 40% bonus is based on the base salary so it went up 18% too). He asked me to have my response by Friday (I've been dragging this whole negotiation thing out since early November :) and everyone else has either said yes, no, or already taken new jobs).
I went to talk with him and told him that I had some serious concerns about moving to Chicago. I talked to him about going to work at our plant in Granite City (East St. Louis), Bob Huffman (a project manager for plant capital projects) asked me to come work for him as an assistant construction manager. If I did that the cost of living in St. Louis is ~5-6% cheaper than Knoxville, plus I'd be on per diem which is ~$35K per year so even if I didn't get a raise (which I should if they made me an ACM), I'd be getting a $40-45K per year raise. I figure that would be a pretty dang good raise :). Also, I've been wanting to get into management and also get some more field experience (this would take care of both).
He told me that he'd prefer that I went to Chicago but he was glad that I had come up with another option to stay with the company and told me that he'd support me in whatever decision that I made.
Since I still didn't know the details of moving to St. Louis (salary, duration, job description, etc.) I sent an e-mail asking him if I could have the weekend to think about it. He responded that that would be fine and also told me that Jacobs Engineering was coming in to interview people. They have worked out an arrangement to hire some people that won't relocate to Chicago and make them available to work on SunCoke work for a period of time and then they would transition to Jacobs project work. He told me that he knew I had concerns with moving to Chicago and if I wanted to pursue this option I had his permission. He said he'd prefer to keep me with the company but that if we want to stay in Knoxville this may be a good option for me.
On Tuesday some Jacobs people came by and gave us the recruiting speech followed by a tour of their offices in Oak Ridge. A few of us have interviews set up in Greenville SC on Tuesday and then the expectation is that offers will be made by the end of the week. They want our responses by 3/18 and then we would start with Jacobs the beginning of April.
In the middle of all this I'm going to China and India from 3/13 until 4/1, so basically if I take the job with Jacobs this next week will be my last week working with SunCoke, or at least in the SunCoke office.
It's nice to have a few options. Each of the options has its pros & cons but some options are better than no options.
One thing about working for Jacobs that might be good is that they told me that they have a huge project coming up in Idaho in the next year or two. If I was working with them I could probably just transfer out there and then we'd be moving closer to family with a job waiting. I'm not exactly sure about the timing of that whole thing but it could end up being great for us.