April 20, 2017 at 11:52 pm #146121
So I lost my job a few months back. No big deal. I was upset at the time, but I am really over it.
I started looking for a new one. Literally just started and already had 3 interviews (in person) and a number of phone interviews. So the work is there. I interviewed at this company a few days ago and it’s a great company, awesome boss, good benefits, good hours, but the position itself is lower than what I did before and the pay is a bit lower. I initially thought that this is what I want (something more relaxed), but now that they made me an offer, I am having a hard time and I am leaning toward a NO answer. I feel like it would stagnate my career, growth, etc. I’ve done what the position describes for a long, long time and I want to do more. That’s the only way I will be able to advance in my career and to make more money. Plus, this type of offer I could probably get from another company that’s probably much closer.
On the other hand, I am afraid to fail at something more complicated. I don’t love what I do, but I am Ok at it. Not super great, but Ok. Have a lot of experience and in my 15+ years of doing this stuff I’ve learned a trick or two. So while initially, after losing my previous job, I was hoping to find something where I can take at easy, work earlier hours, get home early enough, study for my certifications, spend time with the dog, etc. Now everything has changed. I am driven more to find something that’s going to allow me to grow and advance, and make better money, but I am terrified that I won’t be able to do it. I am just falling apart at the very thought of having to make this important decision. I have to tell them tomorrow yes or no, and I am leaning toward no (my wife agrees), but I am terrified that I am making a mistake, that I should settle for this because it works out and see what happens down the line. I am almost 40. If I was 20, I would probably take the “chill” job, but I am not 20 anymore and I don’t have too much time to mess around with my career. This is one of the last chances I have to move ahead, advance, make more money, etc…
What do you think? Am being rational about not wanting to accept this “chill” job because I want more out of my career or am I just making excuses and fooling myself into believing that I could do more?
FSApril 21, 2017 at 5:50 am #146145
Thank you for sharing. I replied to this post as I recently had to make a decision about work and hopefully might be able to help. My decision was whether to stay in a safe, comfortable job or to try something new and do a job that was more in line with my long term goals but had less stability. Deep down I knew the answer that was right for me (I chose the job doing something new with less stability)- you said you are leaning towards a ‘no’ and perhaps that, along with the phrase: ‘This is one of the last chances I have to move ahead, advance, make more money’ suggests that you should hold out for a better offer. You can probably find a job that can allow you to advance AND spend time with your dog and do training on the side. The reason I say this is that I am doing a job and also doing training on the side and that’s what showed me is that if we want to make time for something we will.
My other thoughts are that the right answer feels expansive in your chest and the wrong answer feels more constrictive, I know its difficult when you feel under pressure, but when I was making my decision I went for a walk and spent some time by myself and then when I was feeling more calm and rational, I was able to hear how I thought over all the noise.
I think its okay to be nervous and feel scared- the future is the unknown, but for me the fear I had of starting a new job and leaving the old, did not outweigh my decision and my feeling deep down that it was the right thing for me to do- so perhaps if the same is true for you, you know your decision.
My advice would be to take a deep breath and listen to yourself. Your wife and friends, family etc are useful to talk to about pros and cons and all the practical things but you are going to be the one accepting or declining the job offer, it is you that has to live with the decision so just spend time with yourself and just go with how you feel once you have thought about pros and cons (as pros and cons only take you so far). It is only natural to feel scared whatever decision and, to be honest there is not really a right or a wrong answer- only option A or B and you can always change down the line, even though I realise it feels really important now but no matter what you choose your wife and family will support you no matter what.
Also a long while ago I had the opportunity to go for a career that I wanted but I doubted myself and my fears held me back and I do regret this now. I have found an alternative career and I am happy in it but I do often think of where I could be and how different my life could of been if I had more faith and confidence in myself and that only comes by doing. There is nothing wrong with aiming high and wanting more.
I read this quote the other day and it makes me think of your situation:
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/44567.Theodore_Roosevelt- see here for more. These always inspire me when I am feeling down.
Best wishes and please try not to stress and worry and analyse, go for a walk, cook something nice or have a shower or go for a run… the answer will come to you when you stop trying.
April 21, 2017 at 8:08 am #146161
You wrote: “I am Ok at it. Not super great, but Ok. Have a lot of experience and in my 15+ years of doing this stuff”- I am wondering, if you are just “ok”, not “super great” at doing this job you have been doing for 15 years, maybe you should accept the present job offer and become better at the job, as close to “super great” as you can be, before advancing to a more complicated assignment. Doing a better job will increase your confidence in the future, won’t it?
Regarding: “I am almost 40. If I was 20, I would probably take the ‘chill’ job, but I am not 20 anymore and I don’t have too much time to mess around with my career. This is one of the last chances I have to move ahead, advance, make more money, etc…Am being rational?”- you are stressing yourself big time, and getting yourself this stressed means your thinking is not as clear as it would be if you were calm.
You feel like you are in a race and this is your “last chance”, that you are running out of time- this is you being irrational, I believe. Rationally, you need to chill. Calm is a good, good thing. The “move ahead, advance, make more money..” is the social convention of success, the marketed convention. The (U.S) economy is based on: make MORE money, BUY more. This convention leads to a lot of misery and evidence abounds to the mental/physical cost of this convention (anxiety, depression, dysfunctional behavior).
And so, I vote for you accepting the offer tomorrow.
By the way, what is your wife thinking on the matter?
anitaApril 24, 2017 at 10:00 am #146451
I chose not to accept the job. It’s just going to hold me back for another year or two and I don’t have that kind of time. There are amazing things about this job, like the hours and having a great boss, but this is the stuff I’ve been doing for a very long time and I am in fact good at it, but I can’t stay in this comfort zone any longer. I can probably find another job like the one I declined, but closer to where I live. So if I can’t find a job that I want in the next month, I’ll find something like the one I declined. Even thought it’s a bit scary and I might not find exactly what I wish I could find, I think it’s important for me to keep searching for a better fit in terms of my growth and future. I simply cannot do what I did in the past. It’s time to do something more, even if it’s scares me. There will never be a perfect job, but there are things that matter more than others. While spending more time with my dog is a top priority, I can’t make it the number one priority. Number one priority now is to grow, to challenge my self and to move ahead. I have no other choice really. It’s time to do something before it’s too late. We never know what to expect, but I can’t be OK with just settling for what’s easy. Easy will not get me anywhere. I am not thinking about today, I am thinking about tomorrow. I appreciate the advice, but I think it’s time to grow the f up….April 24, 2017 at 10:03 am #146453
PS. My wife agreed with my decision to decline. She thinks I can do more and that I should keep looking.
My only real world concern is that saved up money and unemployment benefits are not endless. And we can’t survive on her income alone. We have no one to help us in the case that money runs out. We have savings for a few more months and then we are in trouble. I wish I had a simpler relationship with life and reality. I love the phrase, “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive”. It’s absolutely true 99% of the time, but when it comes to money, survival, bills, debt, I can’t take things not seriously. These are life and death choices and I have to support my family.April 24, 2017 at 10:11 am #146463
Congratulations for making your choice. Your post above reads reasonable to me, making sense. Except for the last comment: “I think it’s time to grow the f up”- a bit harsh on yourself. It will serve you well to be gentle with yourself as you take the more difficult route. There will be challenges, as you already know. For the very purpose of succeeding in challenging yourself, in rejecting the easy, gentleness with yourself will serve you well; harshness will harm you.
anitaApril 24, 2017 at 10:19 am #146467
I wrote the above post after your first recent post and before reading the second. Indeed you put a lot of pressure on yourself.
You wrote: ““Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive”. It’s absolutely true 99% of the time”- it is true 100% of the time: we will all die.
And you wrote: “but when it comes to money, survival, bills, debt, I can’t take things not seriously. These are life and death choices and I have to support my family.”- you are not in a life or death situation right now, neither will you be in such if you don’t have a job in a few months… or a year. You will be very uncomfortable, maybe … living in a tent, but you are already uncomfortable worrying.
Thing is, anxiety, this ongoing fear, this distress, is lowering your effective functioning- this distress harms your chances of getting a better job, of advancing and all that. It is very important to manage and lower this anxiety. Aerobic exercise, a routine of it, perhaps, a long walk per day, a good, comforting relationship with your wife, these things will help.
anitaApril 27, 2017 at 11:40 am #147011
Thanks Anita. It’s hard to put it into word, but money and financial stability have always dragged me down. I don’t let anything else get me down, but we live in a society (vs the one where I grew up, in USSR) where if you don’t pay rent, bills, loans, mortgages, etc, you lose the right to be a human being. It’s sad, but very true. I don’t get involved in petty BS and I don’t fight with people, I don’t cause or participate in drama, I don’t need all that in my life, but money makes me want to cry. I do what do because I don’t know how to do anything else and it brings decent income. I want to do more with my life, but it’s very hard when you’re approaching 40 (although I feel muuuuuch younger) and don’t have a stable flow of income and absolutely no emotional support from family. If not for my pooch, I don’t know how I would have survived the last couple of years. I am not depressed, may be a little anxious during the job search. I just envisioned life as more than this rat race. Life should be about art and science and sex and love and family and travel, nor accumulation of debt and things. I am not a hippy or anything, but I don’t belong in this superficial and materialistic culture that’s completely void of a soul.
Just had a few interviews (on the phone) and I am completely drained. It’s such a demeaning experience. Sucks my soul right out of me and leaves me empty and drained.April 27, 2017 at 12:15 pm #147019
I just looked at history, and yes, we’ve been communicating for a while. Is there an improvement in the relationship with your wife? If not, isn’t this relationship still sucking the soul right out of you as well?
In a materialistic society (all societies I personally experienced are highly materialistic), “you lose the right to be a human being” if you don’t make MORE money only in the minds of other people in the rat race and hardly anyone in that race is experiencing well-being (other than in vacations, perhaps… or during breaks from the race)-
Only in the minds of others, and in your own. Much of what other people think- and what you think- what marketing tells you- is not true. If it was true, no human being with lots of money (and with physical health) would be depressed.