Luxury Problem: Philips or I.D. job

Hi guys,

At the moment I’m working as an industrial designer at an I.D. company, mainly specialised in nursery/baby products. I’m new at the job, only been working there for one week now. Prior to this, I worked at a small I.D. company for half a year, and half a year as a researcher at my former uni, after graduating. In my current job, I will do typical stuff you would expect such as CAD, sketching (not too much though…), work with our styling department, and I will also be able to visit our China factory (in due time) to monitor and follow up with production.

However, I also got an offer from Philips, as a user interaction specialist. This will involve working with ease of use controls for several lighting products. Also, prototyping, testing/evaluating with people, and working with Philips Design, marketing, sourcing, etc. will be part of the job. All things I love to do.

This presents me with a luxury problem, I’m aware of that. I can learn a lot from both, especially since I graduated about 1,5 year ago. I guess what I’m worrying about most is if I will make the “right” choice in respect to my future career options. You can’t really compare the two jobs, but somehow I have to make a decision. As I see it, the job at Philips is pretty specialised compared to the I.D. job. My worries is that if I would go for Philips that, for whatever reason I would decide to leave them after some years (I might move abroad with my girlfriend), it will be hard for me to find a similar job, or maybe even to get back to the typical I.D. work. Staying in my current I.D. job and moving on from there to other disciplines (like UI) seems more feasible to me for some reason. At least I would have better chances of finding similar work. Still have some days to think it all over…

Basically, I’m still very much in doubt what to do. Not so much over the jobs itself, but more in terms of career development, like mentioned above. I’m basically looking for some advise from you guys. You probably have some arguments that I haven’t thought of yet. I would very much appreciate all your comments or thoughts you might have. Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
T

both good options, but not a real question for consideration, IMHO.

If you’ve just started and only been on the job 1 week, you really should not go to another job. looks bad on the resume, bad word of mouth, and generally not a good thing to do.

everything is really moot.

R

Thanks Richard.

Yap, I’ve been thinking about the resume thing as well. In this case it could be worth considering not mentioning my current job on my resume at all? Normally I wouldn’t think of doing this of course, but since it would be only 1 week of “experience” I think it would raise more suspicion than it would do good, just like you say.

The thing is that I got the Philips offer about 1 hour after I signed my current contract and agreed that I would start the next Monday. Bad timing. The I.D. job was a now or never thing, while at the time there was nothing sure from Philips.

Cheers,
T

timing is everything. i would just write off the philips gig as lost to bad timing, and chalk it up to experience.

did you apply for the philips job while you were looking for the ID job? if so, i would recommend in the future, to ensure that all your leads are followed up before signing for a position!

not to mention that even an “offer” is normally not 100% until all the papers are signed, and you wouldnt want to quit then lose the philips job. and double dealing is a little sneaky and bad idea if you’ve only been in place 1 week.

its not so much the resume issue as one of good faith, in a small industry, you dont want to be known as the guy who screws an employer and hops around from offer to offer.

R

I don’t know, I would go where your heart tells you to go.

If you leave, be prepared to do some humble talking, be prepared to write off ever working there, and be ready to give back any sign on bonus, move package fees.

If you stay, be prepared for Phillips to remember you turned them down. Not sure how organized their design recruitment is, but big companies can have long memories.

In the end, the important thing is to go where you want to be and what puts you on the path to being the type of designer you wish to become. 2 very different career options.

Best of luck with the decision.

Thank you guys for your input, I really appreciate it!

did you apply for the philips job while you were looking for the ID job? if so, i would recommend in the future, to ensure that all your leads are followed up before signing for a position!

Well, I first applied for the Philips job, and about a week or so after I applied for the I.D. job. This was end November last year. Early December I heard that my current employer wanted to hire me, but they didn’t show up with a contract until 3 days before I started here (which eventually took them almost 2 months!). They kept on postponing and postponing while coming up with vague excuses, so I didn’t really trust it all. Philips first contacted me about 2/3 weeks ago (I honestly didn’t expect to hear from them anymore). So the situation was that I was really having uncertainty about actually getting a contract at the I.D. company, I went to the Philips interview to keep my options open basically. From there on things went fast. I eventually got my contract at the I.D. company and was asked to start the next Monday, and about 1 hour after Philips sent me an a offer/contract by email. Indeed, timing is everything. Richard, you’re right. I should have waited for Philips to come with an answer, look at both options, and go from there before signing anything. I definately learned my lesson.

In the end, the important thing is to go where you want to be and what puts you on the path to being the type of designer you wish to become. 2 very different career options.

Absolutely, spot on. I think it all comes down to this. Either way I will decide to go, the opportunity I will not choose won’t be an option for me in the future anymore. So have to think it all through and decide which job would suite me best. I was even thinking about refunding my entire salary, bonus, etc. in case I will choose Philips. Maybe a bit too good of heart perhaps.

Thanks again.

Cheers,
T

I agree with Yo. If you decide to go after the Philips job, make sure it’s definitely the job you want. If I had a new employee whose heart wasn’t in the job because he had regrets, I’d want him out. If you leave, be honest with them, give back the signing bonus and relocation expenses. Make your decision today. It’s just business. Leave the one week job off the resume.

Is Phillips really the best job for you?

Or are you stuck on the big name… tricking yourself?

I recently just went through this exact same situation. The exact same thing, believe it or not.

Got a job offer/contract from my current employer, and then an interview offer from a very large company in my specific design focus the same day.

Problem is, to even accept the interview at the big company, I had to turn down the other job (my current job). I called my current employer (the smaller company) and told them I wanted to keep my options open, and interview at the large company, and then get back to them with an answer. The key is to be 100% transparent and humble. They accepted my request to extend the contractual offer response date, and set up a date for me to get back to them by. I’m extremely happy I made this decision, and that they kindly accepted-- that showed me a lot about the company’s character before even working for them.

I had it in my mind that this bigger company would be better for me in all aspects. I went into the interview with them ‘knowing’ this was the right job, absolutely. The interview went great. But once the interview was over, and I had time to reflect on the position, salary, average work day, responsibilities, starting title, growth potential, etc - I chose the ‘small guy’ immediately. I would have had a minor impact at the big guy, filling a necessary but small gap, where at my company now I’m making huge forward progress daily.

You can trick your mind into thinking anything you want. Is it the big name syndrome? If this is not the case, which job is actually better for you? Where will you make the biggest impact and have real design responsibilities?

The key is, whatever you choose, even if you choose the smaller company, you can never have a fraction of a percent of a regret.

Bon chance.

another thing to consider is where you eventually want to be, 5, 10 years down the road. which job will get you there?

is it better to start your career being a big fish in a small pond (smaller ID firm), or small fish in a big pond (Philips). In which position will you be able to learn more, do more, and make more of an impact…?

the choice is of course yours, and I 100% agree that whatever you do you should be honest, transparent and forthright.

R

I recently just went through this exact same situation. The exact same thing, believe it or not.

What are the odds! That’s also why I posted it on this thread. Was hoping for someone who had a similar situation. Thanks for sharing!

Is it the big name syndrome?

Nah, I don’t care about flashy big names really. I’m looking at the job content itself and where it could lead me in the future. But what I do consider is for example possible future career opportunities within Philips, and in that case it helps that they’re big of course.

is it better to start your career being a big fish in a small pond (smaller ID firm), or small fish in a big pond (Philips). In which position will you be able to learn more, do more, and make more of an impact…?

At the I.D. job I will have more control and direct influence on the outcome, yes, without a doubt. In all honesty I have to say that during the short time I’m now at my current I.D. job, I notice I’m learning heaps… a lot of things you wouldn’t get out of a book. You know, tooling tricks & insights, hearing stories about dealing with clients… that sort of stuff. And I must confess I’m now at the point where I feel I’m contributing a bit here and there, even if it’s a small portion. Basically feeling more and more useful and enjoying it more and more. And besides that, my colleagues are really relaxed and easy going, and I have their support. Also a VERY big plus.

Philips is a great opportunity too, for sure. But I’m starting to think it is not 100% my cup of tea. Even though working with user interaction related topics is something I love to do, I would rather get a solid basis in the hardcore I.D. stuff before considering moving to this field. I’m not 100% sure of where I want to go with my career yet, but I feel I can reach my goal better by staying at my current job. Think I just had an epiphany or something…! Anyway, whatever I will decide, I will play it completely honest and open, not just for myself but just because it’s the right thing to do. I’m glad I explained my situation in this forum, and got some really good thoughts and input from you guys. Thanks a million, really. Will let you know what I decided, ok?

cheers,
T

p.s. Richard, I checked your website: great sketches man, love your style! [end off-topic mode]

Ok guys, I made up my mind some days ago.

Last Monday I visited Philips (I asked for a meeting) because I still didn’t have everything perfectly clear. I had 5 meetings in total, and got informed about the projects I would get involved in. This turned out to take all my doubts away immediately. This is what I loved to do, and here I got the opportunity to do it. Also career possibilities are great , both withing Lighting/UI, but also within Philips Design. Somehow I instantly new this is the thing I had to choose, which I did.

I told the people from my ID job the day after. I told them the truth and said this is the thing I was going to do. Luckily they were extremely professional and relaxed about it. They told me it sucked, but they could understand my choice of following my heart. I told them it’s comparing apples and peares, so it’s not like the one is better than the other one. It’s just a matter of choosing the thing that suits me better, also in terms of future career. I thanked them for their kindness, and even got an email from the director saying they didn’t have any “hard feelings” whatsoever. So, I have to say I feel relieved and can now concentrate on my new adventure.

Thank you guys for your input, definately helped me get to my decision.

Cheers,

T.

great place to be in nice thread…I like apples rather than pears

Congrats on coming to a decision. Sounds like you are going to have some fun.

thanks yo,

yap can’t wait to get started!