Monday, August 18, 2008

Job Dilemma

When you're looking for a job it always seems complicated and crazy. When you're not looking sometimes things just fall into you lap.

Last summer I worked on my thesis at local nonprofit. While I was there another contractor was doing a project that overlapped with mine occasionally. We worked together well, and I looked up to her, but over the last year we lost touch.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. I was going into the office to drop off some paperwork and she was headed into my building for a meeting. She said she knew of a great job for me and couldn't believe that we just ran into each other. I gave her a card, we did a bit of small talk, and went our separate ways.

I'll spare you the details here, but I after I got a little nervous looking at the job description she asked me to interview as a favor b/c another applicant backed out. I agreed because an interview practice never hurts. The interview was great, it was my first where I don't NEED the job and I relaxed and had fun with it.

The problem? I've only been with my current job since 1/2/08. In addition to the fact that a short stint doesn't look good on a resume I think about the resources my current employer has put into my training. I also think about the bridges I may be burning. The new job is in the same field of my industry, in fact approx 1/4 of my work involves working with individuals at my current company.

My current job is great in many ways. I have a lot of flexibility. I work largely on my own. Nice benefits for the field. I get to travel around the state (though not in a style I like). I also work with a great group of women.

The possible new job is more along the lines of a 9-5, 30 minutes (in good traffic) from the new house. It's in the same industry, but where I evaluate and tell folks how to improve at the current job, the new job is serving as a resource for those folks. The office is under a mayor's office committee, which makes the work political. I would have a wider range of responsibilities. I'd also be moving from a 30 person organization to a 3.5 person organization.

All of these things are appealing and worrying at the same time. A lot of the safety net that I feel I have at my current position would be gone. I also know I'm more likely to be working 40-50 hour weeks, instead of my usual 35-40 and current 15-20. The reward for these risks is a title bump (program specialist to manager) and a $9.5K salary bump. The new position is also more in line with the master's degree (and corresponding student loans on the side bar) that I got last year.

The new job would also likely mean delaying having kids by at least a year. Gameboy is ok with this, and I'm (we're) young enough that it shouldn't have negative effects on trying to get pregnant. Really, my current job is the perfect job for a mom with school age kids.

So I'm trying to find the balance between:
  • loyalty and career goals
  • job flexibility and compensation
  • title/responsibility and working hours
  • family plan and career goals
I got the official offer tonight and asked for 2 days to discuss with Gameboy and a synopsis of their benefits.

Thoughts o wise readers?


SpillingBuckets said...

I find job loyalty doesn't matter as much now, but I would turn down the new job anyways. I don't know if I could handle working 50+ hour weeks on a regular basis, and commuting isn't fun. A 9.5k bump in salary is nice, but if you don't need the money I'd stick with a job you like, people you know, and kid friendly place. Could you approach your boss and tell them you had this offer, and then ask for a review/raise?

Obviously I don't all the details, but based on what you posted that's what I'd do.

Anonymous said...

I'd compare the pay bump to the extra hours you'd be working; does it make it more than your current pay per hour? If my co-worker ever leaves, my bosses will offer me a 20% premium on top of my current pay (an extra $9200), but it would be for an extra two hours a day, meaning 25% more work. I'd still take it because it's where I am already, but I wouldn't leave here to take the same proposition somewhere else.