Monday, July 30, 2012

Congratulations Are In Order. Kinda.

While I was in GA visiting Mom, I saw on my iPhone that I had a message from a recruiter who'd seen my profile on a social networking job site.  At my last job, I used two main programs for the majority of the decade I spent in the Call Center Operations department, and apparently they were looking for someone with experience in both.

I emailed back, they didn't answer.  A couple of days after I returned to Orlando I figured why not search for the job and apply?  I was clearly qualified.  Even though it was not at all the kind of job I was hoping to find.  I applied online and sent my resume early afternoon on Wednesday, and they called me and did a phone interview about an hour later.

Good grief, someone really does look at those applications/resumes, apparently.

They asked me to come in for an interview the next day.  Well, okay, I said, thinking it would be good practice.  I'd been applying for writing/editing jobs, but hadn't had any interviews.

It was a nice building, and I know it's a good, profitable company.  But it took me around 40 minutes to get there, and that was with paying $6 in tolls.  No thanks.  At that point I was positive that I really, really didn't want the job.

The recruiter called me 10 minutes after I left the interview to ask me to come in on Friday for a second interview.  Well, okay, I said again.  Who knows what'll happen, might as well go ahead.

Friday I interviewed separately with five different people, I was there for more than two and a half hours.  At one point, I started to feel guilty for wasting their time.  I really, really didn't want this job.  When I left my old job, everyone kept telling me that this was my big chance to change directions, to stop putting numbers in spreadsheets and be creative, to find my joy, etc.  I want to be creative!

They didn't ask me typical interview questions, they all focused entirely on what I knew and what I could do.  Asking me about two programs I had literally used daily for nearly a decade was no biggie.  I wasn't remotely nervous, since I really, really didn't want the job.  I demonstrated my knowledge of the scheduling program easily, at one point leaning over the interviewer's desk and pulling up a screen on her computer to illustrate exactly what I (and the program they don't know how to use) could do.  I think they were impressed.

A couple of hours later they called and offered me the job, at a more than 30% salary increase over what I had been making.  My first thought was: Oh crap, now I have to take it.

I spent the weekend agonizing.  Greg kept telling me that it was completely my decision, we'd be fine either way, and he'd happily support whatever I decided.  It's a lot of money and we need money, I said.  We just paid off both our cars and all our credit card debt, he said.  Who knows when I'll get another job offer, I said.  You are an intelligent and talented person and you'll find another job, he said.

I consulted with friends, and finally decided that it would be better to take it.  I can keep looking for a more creative job, and a job closer to home, and I'll be looking from the position of an employed person who makes more money.

Here's the thing.  Back in 2008 Greg had a job he really liked, where he serviced medical hoods and clean rooms.  That sounds kind of boring, but it wasn't; he got to work at places like NASA, and he really enjoyed the analytical side of it, figuring out what was going wrong and fixing it.  He took a lot of classes and had expert, technical knowledge about the field, he was good at it.  But then he lost his job right at the point where the economy was taking its downturn, and he couldn't find anything else.  After looking for several months our savings had run out, so he took the only job he could find, and since then he's been driving a local delivery truck, delivering sign-making equipment.

He doesn't hate it, but it's boring.  He doesn't get to use his brain anymore.  It's not the kind of job where he really feels like he made a difference when he comes home at night.  But I love him so much for it.  I know people who made the decision to stay unemployed when they couldn't find anything good, but Greg knew we couldn't live on my paycheck alone, so he did what he had to do to take care of us.

Now it's my turn.  I'm taking this job, and it's Greg's turn to start hunting for something better.