Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back to the drawing board

Today the HR officer made the job offer I had been waiting for. It was substantially lower than I had hoped. In fact, it was less than I made at my previous job with is several thousand less than I currently earn. So I would have to take a pay cut right out of the starting gate and then add on the cost of commute.
It just doesn't add up.

I want the job. I believe I am a very good fit. I believe I could bring a lot to the position. But I don't feel I can take what they offered, and they appeared totally unwilling to negociate. They will re-open the position and start all over in the search and I will start all over in looking for my right job.

Big sigh. You know what they say, life is what happens while you are making other plans.

I guess I'm glad they picked me. The team I would be working with all seemed so eager to have me join them. I'm disappointed. But I remain convinced that things will work out and that I'll land on my feet.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

On the Cusp of Change

I have job interview tomorrow.

I am 90% sure they will offer it to me.
I am 80% sure I will take it.
I am 70% sure it is the right thing to do.

I'm excited about the job, but worried about the salary. At what point do I walk away from it if they won't give me what I expect to be paid? If it were only about the money we'd all be drug dealers. I recognize that there are many aspects to a job that are important quality of life & personal integrity issues besides the pay. I do think this job would be a good fit. Still... there is a certain point where what I earn DOES matter. Whether or not my prospective employer and I will be able to agree on that point remains to be seen.

Beyond that, if I do get this job we will put our house up for sale and pray that someone buys it before winter. The job is about 90 minutes away - not a reasonable commute in the land of $3.50+ per gallon gas. On top of which I have horrible night vision. In the winter it is dark when I go in the morning, and dark when I come home at night. I can do that for short distances, but NOT for this lengthy drive. So if our house doesn't sell I'd probably have to rent a small apartment there and only come home on the weekends. Not an ideal situation. Also, even if it all goes smooth as melting butter, moving is just an overwhelming thing to face. So I'm somewhat nervous about that.

So IF they do indeed offer me this job I will have a big decision to make. I'm trying really hard to base that decision on faith rather than fear. I keep finding myself worrying: what if no one buys my house and I get stuck with the abominable commute for many more months than I had planned? what if we do sell our house only to find out too late the job is the wrong fit? what if we get over there and I like the job but hate the area? What if after I take this job one of the others I had applied for HERE comes through but I'm already moved out of the area? How can I tell what is the right thing to do?

STOP! I tell my brain. I've really thought this through. The job feels right.
I have a certain line in the sand dollar wise that I will ask for. They either meet me there or do not. If not, I'll find something else. It will work out however it is meant to be, either way.

(the skeptic in my brain sort of sneers at that whole idea of "meant to be", but I'm hanging on to the notion all the same.)

Either way, whether I take THIS job or move on and do something else, I have come to the conclusion that I absolutely and for sure do not want my existing position. I've learned that I CAN do it and do it very well, but I do not want it. It's just not the right fit for me. I'm glad I can recognize that. I plan to make a change about that no matter what.

So, hopefully tomorrow I will be guided to say the right things and to listen well as I interview. Hopefully we can come to an agreement about money that will work for both sides. I'm trying to be positive and optimistic without getting my hopes all set unrealistically. I'm trying to believe that things are unfolding just the way they should.

Look out change - Ready or not, here I come!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Full Plate - And THEN some!

In a comment to my last posting Trisi asked why I have not been posting over on the LDS blog Waters of Mormon lately.

I haven't been posting much to ANY of the blogs I used to write for. I've had too much going on in my life to manage anything more than hang on by the skin of my teeth.

Here's why.

In February I changed jobs. My former position was a grant-funded research position that involved helping design pilot programs for a small rural community college and then doing the data analysis to see if they were effective or not. I was part of a 3 person team, had no supervisory or budget responsibilities, and for the most part had complete autonomy to come and go as I wanted so long as I got the job done.

However, that was with a 5 yr grant that will end in September. So for the last several months I've been checking out options for what I might do next. Then a lady at the college who I really liked and respected left to go work somewhere else. She suggested that I take over her job. At first I said I wasn't interested. But there were a few things about that position that piqued my interest. So I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I was appointed on an Interim basis while the college has continued to keep the position open to see if they got any other applicants. Because the job has A LOT of responsibility without significant pay there has been little interest generated. So I'm still slogging away as Interim. One foot in, one foot out.

The challenge has been that the deal they gave me was that I would do the new job 60% of my time and my old job 40% of my my time (since it was anticipated I might be going back to my old job if they did find someone else to hire). So right from the start I was scrambling to keep up with that balance when BOTH jobs really do need a full time person. Add to that the fact that the new job involves leadership over a team of 65 people scattered across six counties and managing a budget in excess of three million dollars. Uh, yeah. Then, just to keep it interesting, there are two vacant positions that I now supervise, one of them a mid-level manager who supervises a team of their own. We've had those positions posted and are scrambling to find the right candidates, but in the mean time while there is no one to cover those responsibilities I'm doing major parts of THEIR jobs as well. Add all that up and it means I am doing, essentially, four jobs. Then when I get home I teach two online classes for a different college.

On top of that there's the usual domestic stuff of managing a household and hoping to keep up with laundry, plant a garden, visit teach 10 sisters, serve in Nursery and am the Homemaking leader for my ward.

Let's just say I'm dancing as fast as I can and trying not to have a total melt down.

Recently told I the HR department and the boss of my current Interim position I had ENOUGH. I want out. I can certainly do the job, actually have done a very competent job of it, but the personal cost is just too darn high. I have been stressed beyond words. I kept thinking if I could just hang in there long enough to wait out the interim position I'd get the job for real and then my responsibility for the 40% of my old job would go away. Also if I could get good people in the two vacancies that would give me some support, lighten the load.

But the fact remains, it's simply not the right match. I don't like the scattered sense I get of having to be responsible for so many different programs across all six counties. It feels too much like when I was a little kid and my dad took my siblings and I to Barnum & Baily Three Ring Circus. If I watched the dancing horses I missed the clowns. If I watched the clowns I missed the elephant parade. If I watched the elephant parade I missed the trapeze lady. If I watched the trapeze lady I missed....oh you get the idea. No matter what I would focus on there was always so much I would miss. I got so frustrated by that at the circus at age six that instead of watching any of it I cried and went to sleep.

Now I don't do that. But I've fallen back into old work-a-holic habit of pushing too hard, too long. I find myself working through lunch, staying too late, and sometimes being so focused on the multiple tasks needing done I don't even stop to pee. I'm not bailing out because I can't do the job. I CAN, I just don't want it.

So now I am looking at what I will do next.

Option #1 is I fall back to my old job and work out the end of the grant - which is fine for now, but really is not a long term solution.

Option #2 is I take one of the two vacancies that I currently supervise. I'm actually seriously considering that. I applied for one of them and have an interview scheduled for a week from tomorrow. I think it might be a good job for me, but if I take it would require a substantial commute. So my beloved and I are weighing the pros and cons of selling our house and moving to put us closer.

Last time I wanted to move (to Michigan) my husband vetoed the idea, and it nearly broke my heart. But as it turns out it's not leaving our HOME that bothered him...he was simply opposed to giving up his job, which from a fiscal point of view makes perfect sense. If we moved for this job we'd get me closer and him a bit further away - but he'd still be close enough that he could continue his current position. He says he is willing to do that, particularly since he only has three more years to go before he will retire.

So I am looking at the very real possibility that if I get this other job we may be selling our house, packing all we own and relocating.

Option #3 is I get a totally different job away from this college. That would make it possible for us to stay in our current home. I've put out some feelers. Not sure how those will play out. I've laid awake trying to figure out which would be better. I honestly don't know.

Option #4 is I run away with the circus. Right now, that one is looking mighty good.

I'm torn with angst and ambivalence over what the right choice is.

Do I take this other job if it is offered? Would moving be the right thing? What if I get in there and I don't like it? Do I just suck it up and do the job no matter what?

What do I expect from my work? How much sacrifice am I willing to make for a job?

Right now those issues are taking up ALL of my energy. I just don't have anything left for blogging.

I still pop in and read a few from time to time. But my own perspective is in such turmoil that I don't have anything coherent to say.

I find myself feeling frightened about making the wrong choice. I am second guessing myself at every turn. I'm not sleeping well at all. On the OUTSIDE I'm holding things together pretty well. Internally I've been a bit of a mess.

Hopefully I'll make peace with it all someday soon. But for right now, most of my writing is private ponderings in the wee hours of the night that has no business on a public forum. It feels far too raw, too vulnerable, too conflicted for the blogosphere.

There are a few different things I've considered writing about for here or there or another blog...perhaps I will around the bend. For now, I just want to breathe deep and focus on being human.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Slash & Burn

I've been in purge mode lately. I've been deleting files like crazy. Old letters. A few of my Journals. Some sloppy attempts at fiction. Even worse poetry. I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff that I have written over the years.

I've been burning the hard copies, zapping the hard drive. Killing the words. Some of it I remember EXACTLY what I was doing when I wrote it. Some of it I find in folders and drawers and wonder when the heck I ever came up with that. All but a few favorites are going down the drain. I've got a pile of Zip disks I have yet to go through...haven't decided yet what among that stack I'll keep and what I'll add to the junk pile. During certain periods I've been crazy prolific with writing so there is a lot. I'm ready to wipe the slate clean.

I find the PROCESS of my writing is more valuable to me than the product. I write. I read it. I think about it and ponder. Putting thoughts and feelings into words helps me to sort out the uncertainty and ambivalence that storms in my brain over so many things. But I would be mortified if I were to get hit by a bus and these pages were left for others to find. So out it all goes. Goodbye words.

Enrich Your Word Power!

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