Monday, April 14, 2008

Decision Time

I've officially got an offer. The money is essentially a wash: the initial offer was $35,000; the director of development is going back to HR to get them to approve $36,000--there's a bonus, but the 401(k) match is probably worse, and...eh. Whatever. So the question is not money, because I'm not basing a job change on $4,000, because that would be dumb. The question is where do I want to work?

I do not know the answer.

I know that at some point, also, it might be worth doing to talk to my boss about this dilemma, and that scares me, and the thought of giving two weeks' notice scares me, and the whole thing of being a grownup, ack. I could give my current boss a chance to match the offer, I guess, but then there's still the where-do-I-want-to-work question, ultimately.

What value do I add to this organization? I am replaceable as an editorial assistant. Not by, like, the first college graduate in the door, but I am replaceable in that capacity. I am pretty confident, however, that I'm not nearly so easily replaceable in my editorial capacity. In my dream arrangement, I get to walk out of here with no hard feelings and an agreement that I can work on the upcoming exciting book project as a freelance editor. How likely is that? I do not know. I suppose I won't know until I ask.

Holy shit, do I find this situation overwhelming. "Platinum problems," as my mom says, but still.

16 comments:

eking out said...

I know what you mean. Giving notice is basically my worst nightmare.

I hope you do speak with your current employer about it. Like you said, you won't know until you ask, and even if you don't get what you want, the experience alone is worth it.

pennypincher said...

I am going through a current situation and I definitely know the feeling. The one thing that I have learned is that prayer works miracles! Keep thinking and praying about it and I promise you will come up with the best possible outcome. I am still waiting on my official offers to make a decision. But, I REALLY have my heart set on one job in particular.

Mrs. Micah said...

Good luck. Not knowing the jobs I can't really recommend one. But at least either one is good. :)

Anonymous said...

A couple of things. If this new opportunity was a good one, you'd know. You'd be excited and scared to take it. If this new position doesn't offer more money and better experience, why take it? If it offers one or both, it's a no brainer.

Also, it's never a good idea to allow your current employers the opportunity to counter. They know you want to leave and will be looking for your replacement if you stay.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Sounds to me like you are in a win win situation-both of the jobs are good, and both offer some opportunities. My advice would be to go with your gut and realize that there isn't necessarily a BAD decision here, just two that are equally good-and that with either choice you can do well.

I point that out because I know personally the feeling that I could be making a bad choice can immobilize me.

btw-I do have you on my feed reader and read regularly, I just don't comment much :)

Little Miss Moneybags said...

I know exactly what you mean.

Leaving my first job was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt guilty, scared, disloyal, and unsure of everything that had originally seemed like such a good idea. I was not leaving for more money--I was able to get an exact match at my current salary, and my old job countered with a VERY nice package (which should have tipped me off that that's what they SHOULD have been paying me all along). I didn't take it and moved to the new job, which was the best decision I've ever made. The three weeks (a week to decide and my two weeks' notice) were some of the most stressful in my life, but I haven't regretted it for a moment.

Recently I was considering an interdepartmental move in my current company. I couldn't really come up with a good reason to move, and my dad finally pointed out that with my first job and with my current job, there was a sense of being very, very sure...and I didn't have that this time. I'm going to try to hold out for my next move until I feel that again.

Trent Hamm said...

Take the job that gives you the most freedom to grow. If everything else is roughly equal, look for the ones with flexible time, growth opportunities, etc. That can make a world's worth of difference if you take advantage of them.

S/100/30 said...

f this new opportunity was a good one, you'd know. You'd be excited and scared to take it.

I completely agree.

Anonymous said...

Write down the pro's and con's of each position and make your decision from there. And ask to do the freelance editing on the book you want to work on from your current employer. Did you notify the new company that you will be attending grad school in future? When is that and will you do it part-time or full-time?

Anonymous said...

I'm the first anonymous, and I think there's another point you should consider. Your choice isn't between A and B job. It's between A, B, and all the other opportunities out there. So if B isn't the perfect fit, keep looking until you find it. If you take B, you're stuck there for a while, so it better be the right move for your long term goals.

I made a quick career decision to take an offer with a new company a year ago and it was a huge mistake. It's not my dream job. It's better than my old one, but now I'm back in the position of looking for that amazing opportunity. It's out there.

HC said...

In the first place, I would trust your intuition regarding the work environment and your chance to grow in either place. If you feel better about your current job in this regard, great. If you feel better about the other job, go with grace.

But if those are somewhat of a wash, I'd generally argue that different work experiences will make you more prepared for the future, be that grad school, another job entirely, or even haring off to join the circus.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I am sure you will do swimmingly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with pennypincher--prayer DOES work! I have my heart set on one particular job as well, and so far, my prayers have been answered. Anyway--you are REALLY young, and chances are, your dream job may be 10 years away. I'm 32 and I am just now getting a crack at something close to dream job. So don't sweat this one too much.

Escape Brooklyn said...

I agree with anonymous 3:51. I'd just add that you should consider your long-term career plans. Would the new job better prepare you for the *next* job? Or is your current job giving you more valuable experience?

Also, how will they both factor in to your grad school applications? This may be worth considering too.

PiggyBankBlues said...

i've got nothing to add to the already excellent advice you received- i just wanted to say congrats on the offer!

Lorna Tedder said...

Your post reminds me of when I graduated with an English degree and couldn't find a job above minimum wage. Funny thing is, I ended up taking a job with the Dept of Defense as a contract negotiator (3 yrs of interning with 25% raises per year). Most in my field were engineers and business majors but I found that my English degree gave me unique advantages (I could communicate!) in a non-English-major-type career field. Plus, I continued to freelance when I wasn't on the job.

What you do between 20 and 40 gives you the skills to launch into what you're going to thrive at doing in the second half of your life because what really excel at will come forth during that time--and it'll be stuff you never expected but had passion for.

I don't regret any of the job decisions I made in my mid-20's, but looking back, I would have put more emphasis on jobs that I felt that kick inside with instead of ones that felt safe or secure. There's no such thing as job security (even with a Gov't job) and the days can become drudgery. If you go for the job that you feel passionate about or wait/seek out one you feel passionate about, that love of the work will shine through, both in your product and in your attitude--and likely in the raises/bonuses you receive. Having a job you're passionate about, well, it just makes life FUN. Don't settle for less than loving what you're doing. Money is just money but how you spend your time is the truly valuable resource.

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