I was really focusing on the next 18 months to three years and I finally thought what about five or ten or twenty years? When I project several possible alternatives for my career into the future, Deere became the better option of the two. There is simply a greater diversity and volume of opportunity in the long term.
This decision was not easy. I will be sitting in the same seat, working on the same projects, and [bonus dependent] making the same money. I will have the perceived quality of being a direct employee. In other words, perhaps this move will allow my voice to be heard more.
One of the things that Deere does to encourage productivity is try to create Shareholder Value Added (SVA) which is operating profit minus cost of capital. Greatly simplified that means that they are taking more money in than spending. There are typically three ways to increase value: quality, service, and price. Deere financial and the salesmen work on the price aspect, and we have a service department that work on service. Engineers on the other hand work on quality. I feel I have some unique capabilities that can improve both the quality and communicated quality of equipment. Being a direct employee allows me to profit from those skills on a performance basis. Even though my percentage of the bottom line is honestly insignificant, I still bring some skills to the table that no one else in my division has as far as I know. At least if they do have my skills they do not have the same combination.
I was entirely comfortable where I was but to progress I must make changes. Thank you for reading and thank you all who gave me suggestions the last few days regarding this choice.