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Rather than paying $99/year, I'd like to consider paying once to remain subscribed to the site forever. The site's stated purpose is to link active job seekers with great employers, and thus the 'nominal' fee for the job seekers. Having a lifetime subscription seems counter to that motive, however I've found that if you aren't always looking for a job, then when (not if) the current one ends you will find yourself in a longer period of unemployment than if you had kept your hook in the water, even while happily employed.

Given that the average person (US citizen, from dept of labor) changes careers about 3-5 times in their life, and they work for about 45 years, then the average career length is 9-15 years. I propose somewhere around $261 - $435 (promotional $29 * [9, 15]) for the promotional period, and $891 - $1,485 after that for a lifetime subscription. It would therefore only be a discount if entered into right now, or if one plans on staying in this career for longer than 9-15 years.

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With suitable roundoffs, of course. $256 promotional and $1,024 dollars post-promotional sounds very nice. –  Adam Davis Dec 3 '09 at 18:47
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I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea, for both CSO and us. Win-win. (Have you been socializing with the marketing team lately?) –  Stu Thompson Dec 3 '09 at 20:28

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A lifetime subscription is now 99

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/01/new-lower-careers-pricing/

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I think you're missing the point of the careers site. You can already have a publicly visible CV on the site for free.

The fee is just to be "listed" in the search database, and the whole point here is that this listing fee attracts employers by drastically cutting down on the noise that normally plagues these databases. Additionally, when you list in the service you're only competing for searches with other active job seekers, making it easier for you stand out from the crowd (because the crowd is smaller).

Therefore allowing permanent or extended listings undermines the system at both ends. The "noise" level in the database goes up, and so employers have less interest. And the number of listed users goes up, and so you have more competition for your listing. This ultimately makes the careers site less useful to you.

They do need something, though, for the people like contractors who are always looking for that next gig.

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I see careers w/ SO an even bigger advantage to contractors as the site grows. –  Troggy Dec 3 '09 at 19:23
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The only difference, for a person who wants to be listed permanently, is that on one hand they pay once and never worry about it again, vs the current situation where every year they are forced to re-evaluate whether they want to continue their subscription. In both cases the person will continue, so the impact on the system is the same. –  Adam Davis Dec 3 '09 at 19:57
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@Adam: well... that's a significant difference. If nothing else, dropping dead while holding an active account at least means that your virtual body will only be clogging the system for the rest of the year vs. FOR EVER AND EVER UNTIL THE SUN BURNS OUT AND THE SERVERS CRASH –  Shogging through the snow Dec 3 '09 at 20:27
    
If they want to pay and never touch their cv again, then yes, I agree - it'll clutter up the system. A simple method is to allow employers sort results by last date the CV was updated, or even restrict results to CVs that have been updated in the last x months. I don't see this as being a problem even if thousands of people sign up for lifetime subscriptions (unlikely, but who knows?). Mark CVs as stale if they aren't updated yearly, if you like. To be pedantic, though, I'm pretty sure the servers will crash long before the sun burns out. –  Adam Davis Dec 3 '09 at 20:51
    
I guess I just don't see the appeal: if you're actually using the service, then it should be fairly easy to keep it from lapsing; you're not gonna forget that you need it. And if you're not using it, then you didn't waste money or the time of potential employers. (and I'm pretty sure the servers will crash long before I burn out. But for the sake of argument...) –  Shogging through the snow Dec 3 '09 at 20:55
    
@Shog9 "I'm pretty sure the servers will crash long before I burn out." given your new insider knowledge, would you still agree with your statement? If so, how long until you expect to burn out? –  Adam Davis Jan 26 '12 at 14:54

As successful as SO has been I'd be hesitant to fork over a grand or more for a lifetime subscription to a site that whose longest lived sibling has only been around for a little over a year. Let's see how things shake out and, if it's still around in a decade, a lifetime subscription might make sense. I thought $29 for 3 was a reasonable risk, but I'm not sure if I'd go any higher unless I was serious about finding another job right now.

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I would counter that a) the half-siblings (JoSW/CH/FB) of Jeff-n-Joel's love-children (SO/CSO/ et al) have been around for years and are successful. b) The risk could be mitigated by a pro-rated refund policy for the first x years. (Potentially a risk with total SE-family failure, yeah.) This is a viable idea. –  Stu Thompson Dec 3 '09 at 20:40

I like this idea, although I think the suggested price is way too high.

The reasoning here is:

  1. Some people, such as contractors, are nearly always looking for work
  2. Others may have a job, but are always open to changing if the right opportunity were to come up
  3. If the resume pile gets too thin, it won't attract as many employers

If you think about it, it's really not much of a stretch beyond a 1 yr subscription. Most people won't spend anywhere near an entire year looking for a new job, so for most of the usual subscription period they will be employed.

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