The Job Roller Coaster (AKA I have no idea what I'm doing!)

Giulietta for your time

So today has been emotionally exhausting, so I figured I’d turn to my favorite (read: only) blog to tell the tale and see if I can untangle this mess.

TL;DR on my job situation is I got laid off at the end of August. It was unexpected and frankly, very jarring. Financially it was fine, mind you, I have a healthy savings, got a decent severance, and unemployment benefits are enough to pay the rent and COBRA. (An experience I would like to write about at when I’m not freaking out.)

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Also relevant to this story is in the last couple years my career ambition has, more or less, evaporated. As long as my salary is going up, I can do what I want outside of work, and I’m building my resume, I don’t give a fuck what I’m doing.

So.

Initially I interviewed with a company that’d been hounding me for a long time. Like... years. Let’s call them Company A. I did two rounds of interviews with them, at the end of which the VP (hiring manager) was referring to me like I worked there already. Furthermore I am/was extremely qualified for the position in many aspects and the money they were offering was very appealing.

Neat.

Three weeks later I got the call that they’d decided to go with another candidate.

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Bullshit.

But I’m used to it. I’ve held four jobs in my career and all but the last one were hard fought to get, so I’m used to getting my hopes up only to see everything fall apart at the last minute. It is sort of my thing.

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With that all falling apart, I accept to interview with Company B. I’d seen their job listings but didn’t really want to apply because I didn’t like their product very much, they’re foreign owned, and recently pulled out of and then re-inserted (giggity) the US market.

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While I was waiting on that interview, I do a shout out on Twitter that I need a damn job. I am semi-well known in a very specific tech community for the work that I do, so the signal boost on my tweet quickly exploded, which I’ve never had happen before.

Not “viral” by any means, but certainly more than my usual 50 views and 1 click. Similarly my website traffic exploded.

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Ok, I say all that to say from that tweet I got maybe 4-5 good job leads. One of them was a cryptic message from a guy who works for a very large company, lets call them Company C.

He wanted to hire me!

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I talk with Company C guy for a couple hours and he lays it all out very clearly and concisely, no BS. He basically says it’ll take about a week to get my a tentative offer and maybe another 4-6 months to bring me on. Also the pay and vacation are going to be less than I’d make at Company B. Also I need a security clearance, which I do not currently have and can be a looooooong process, if I get one at all.

Cool. Cool. Cool.

BUT the job is amazing. It represents a huge shift in my career from Oil and Gas to something that I’d probably actually be good at and am very interested in doing, but never though I’d have the opportunity. He also knows I have 0 experience performing the actual job functions required, but my knowledge of other stuff is what they’re hiring me for. Essentially it goes from work-a-day water treading to a doing something completely different and exciting in a completely different and exciting field.

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Meanwhile Company B makes a compelling offer and gives me a week to decide. That was this Monday. This is Thursday.

I spoke with Company C on Monday to try and get some concrete timelines on hiring and compensation, and he said he’d get back to me ASAP.

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Meanwhile the recruiter for Company B is calling me daily asking for updates. I’m concerned that Company B is going to pull the offer because... well that is what I’d do if a candidate was waffling this much.

Wednesday evening rolls around and I haven’t heard from Company C, so I make a decision.

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As much as I’d love to work for Company C, I realized it represents a huge risk and I’m not really one for taking risks. What if I get there and they realize I’m an idiot? What if find out I skipped school in 7th grade to go play video games and I can’t get a clearance? (Not a thing that actually happened) What if I can’t cut it? I can’t sit around and wait for months and months not getting paid! Also, what if something gets delayed and I’m unemployed for another four months?

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Ok, so I schedule an acceptance email for Company B to go out Thursday (today) morning at 8AM.

And it does.

The recruiter calls me and confirms, sends me over the pre-employment paperwork, and I return it, filled out, immediately. I lay down to go back to bed (hey I’m unemployed here!) and get an email.

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From Company C.

With an offer.

And a 3-5 week estimated start time.

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What? How? Why?

I’ve never had this happen before!

Ugh ok. Even though I’d mentally thrown this job into the icy waters, apparently it didn’t die after all and even though I’d agreed to marry someone else, I have decide if I... you know that metaphor is tiresome.

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Anyway, after internally screaming for several weeks minutes, I call the recruiter for Company B and let her know I need to rescind my acceptance. She is, somewhat understandably, pissed and says she’ll let Company B know.

Ok. Bed time again?

I get a call from the recruiter, who apparently is refusing to let me sleep in until 10AM like a normal person. What if they offer me more money? Like... another $5k?

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No. I’ve got to stick to me guns.

Ok... well apparently Company B really wants me (which is nice) so... how about I think on it.

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Fine.

So where I’m at

I generally don’t like to talk about money, but when it comes down to it the hard facts are Company B is offering $18,000 more per year, plus another week or so of vacation.

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That is a lot of car parts and time to install them...

Also I just found out one of my former employees worked there for a less than a year, but as it turns out he quit because it was boring. I literally don’t know what to make of that. Getting paid to sit at a computer and work on my own stuff? I can’t tell if that would be awesome, or horrible. Both, probably.

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Meanwhile Company C sounds like a chance of a lifetime to make a huge career switch into role that I’ve always been fascinated with but never thought I’d be qualified for (I’m not) and is willing to accept my technical deficiencies.

I have until the end of the day to decide.

Actually, that’s not true. I’ve decided to go with Company C but it huuuuuuurts to take that level of risk and throw away that much money.

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But I already make/made plenty and this only represents a minor pay cut (~$2k) from what I was making at the old job.

Thank you for listening to Ted Talk endless rambling. Sometimes typing it all out helps. Not this time, but sometimes.

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Here is Dog A being forced into pretending he is a lap dog. (Didn’t seem to mind.)

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