On decisions, trade offs and taking the leap (or not)

I was offered a job today.  Doesn’t that just turn your head?  Today I had an interview. I walked in to an office and talked about myself.  In my memory of it I wasn’t even very coherent but it must have worked out because about 5 minutes after I walked out of the office I was called with a job offer.

It feels good to be wanted.  It felt good to sit in that room and talk about things and have a couple of people listen to me like I knew what I was talking about and might have something interesting to contribute to their workplace.  So when I was called with the job offer, I was tempted to accept right then and there, without even ever talking to my family about it.   But I didn’t accept.

So I’ve had some time to think about it.  And the truth is, there are some trade offs.  There are trade offs with any job.  No matter what, I would give something up in order to gain something.  So you have to look at what you are giving up and what you would be gaining and see if the trade offs make sense.  And I’m not the only one giving things up.  What would my kids be giving up?  What would they be gaining?  Giving things up isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just something to consider.

So if I took the job my children would have to get to school earlier and they would have to go to some kind of childcare situation for a bit after school. They would lose the comfort of knowing that I am minutes away from them at all times (this makes a big difference to my daughter).  They would lose out on having a mom who comes to school events and parties and other activities.  They would lose out on walking to and from school with me.  Their more leisurely morning routine would become much more regulated.

Would my children gain anything?  It’s hard to see anything tangible that they would gain, at least from their point of view.  I like to think that they might gain a different view of their mother, but what kid really thinks about that?  They may gain some independence but, really, they will gain that independence soon enough anyway.  So for them it’s hard to measure gains.

I would lose some things too.  I would lose my freedom to grocery shop during the day, to run without really impacting the rest of the family, to organize my life the way I want it.  I would lose the opportunity to join my husband at middle of the week conferences or whisk the kids out of school for an extra long weekend.  I’m sure there are other things too.

And what would I gain?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I hope a sense of purpose, of accomplishing something worthwhile.  A little extra money but, honestly, it is a very little.  I guess in thinking about some of these things I have to conclude that I might be selling myself short.  I was offered a job today but, honestly, why wouldn’t they offer me that job?  I am way over-qualified for it.  I don’t care about job titles or even money, really.  But I worry that the job isn’t enough.  I worry that I will be bored, that it will be too much policing of computer usage or checking out of AV equipment and not enough actual information skill building.

I guess the only way to know if it’s the right job is to take the leap.  But I’m not sure I’m going to.  I was pretty excited right after I was offered the job. But I don’t feel so excited now.  I feel unsure about how to make it work in our lives and how to keep things going in a way that feels right for all of us.  I’m not sure that job fits with life right now.

So I will probably call and reject the job offer in the morning.  And maybe I won’t go to work for a long time.  I’m guessing I’ll keep looking, because who knows what is around the corner.  Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll wake up in 12 years with a 20 year old graduate degree that’s never really been used.  But I guess that’s life.  And who knows what tomorrow brings.

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