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Jump Ship?

I love my current company, my coworkers,
the software products I work on, and living in Vancouver. But...

Michael David Crawford, Consulting Software Engineer
mdcrawford@gmail.com

March 8, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

I have been asked to do a phone interview for A Dream Job. The problem is, I already have A Dream Job.

I love my current company, my coworkers, the software products I work on, and living in Vancouver.

Over the last few years I've posted my resume to every job board known to Man, so I still get a steady stream of interview requests. For the most part I ignore them, or refer potential consulting clients to other consultants, but I couldn't ignore this particular inquiry.

The job is in The Valley. I miss California, I miss the San Francisco Bay Area, I miss Santa Cruz, I miss all my old friends. The job is with a great company. I can't say much about the job, but it would be audio engineering, and we all know how interested I've become in that.

But there are some complications:


Ask K5: Jump Ship?

I'm on a ship in the ocean. Should I jump out of the ship? I need to know whether I should launch myself overboard.

-- stuaart

If I move to Silicon Valley, Bonita won't be joining me there. It's not just that she's still in art school, but that Bonita, having lived for several years in the US, doesn't want to live there again. She's very firm in her decision to stay in Canada.

She's not sure where she will want to live after she graduates. It would have to be wherever would be best for her art career. I've been hoping she would move to Vancouver, but it would be very far from her friends and family in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. If she wants to move somewhere else, I would leave whatever job I had at the time and join her. I hope by then that Ogg Frog would be making enough money for us to get by.

The company I'm interviewing with probably wouldn't allow me to work on Ogg Frog. Even if they did, I would be learning some trade secrets under a non-disclosure agreement that would prevent me from implementing certain features that I had in mind to do late this year.

My current employer is actually OK with me working on Ogg Frog. When I objected to their employment contract because it would have prevented me from continuing to develop it, they agreed to negotiate the contract so that I could.

My long-term plan is for advertising on Ogg Frog's website to put me through music school once I can play piano well enough to pass the entrance audition. Given that, no job could be good enough to just abandon it. But I might be OK putting it on hold for a while. (I expect I could get my first release out before I started the job.)

Because the job would be in the US, if I kept it for the long term, I could lose my permanent residency in Canada, which I have been waiting three years to get - I am still on a temporary work permit, which was renewed for yet another year just a few days ago.

However, I can still keep my residency if I spend I think three out of every five years in Canada. I don't remember clearly, but will ask my immigration attorney to make sure.

I haven't asked yet, but there is a possibility of a huge advantage to this new job - I might actually be able to move back to Nova Scotia and work remotely. I know that this company does allow some of its employees to do so.

I could move back East to be with Bonita again!

I don't know though, and haven't asked yet, but will ask during my interview.

I'm sorry, but I can't tell you yet what the job is or who it's with. But I will when I'm done with the interview process, whether or not I'm actually offered it and whether or not I accept it.

One final fly in the ointment: until I have my permanent residency card (called a "landed immigrant" card here), I am not guaranteed readmission to Canada if I should leave to do an on-site interview. I have only left the country once since I applied to immigrate back in 2004, and that was because I was in desperate straits to find some new work.

While Americans can visit Canada freely as tourists, it's different for those who have applied to immigrate. The immigration officials at the border are instructed to assume our applications will be denied. I got lucky that one time I left, in that the immigration officer at the Halifax International Airport was pleased I was bringing business back into the country with me.

I already discussed this with Bonita, and she said she really couldn't give me any advice, that I must make my own decision. I am in a complete quandary. I've been so happy here that I've been planning to stay with my current job until I quit programming altogether to enroll in music school.

But this job is different - it may be too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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