For nearly two decades, “gut chew stew” is how I have described the nauseating mix of excitement and dread that comes with a major career decision or transition. In 1995, I was offered a job at a major financial services company: big increase in pay, fast-track yuppie career path and lifestyle, etc. I fretted about it for several days, but resolved my first case of gut chew stew by deciding to stay in higher education. While I often wondered how my life would have changed had I decided otherwise, I have never regretted my decision.
Not surprisingly, I’m in the throes of a major case of gut chew stew now. In about an hour, I will deliver my official notice of resignation to my boss’s office, which I expect she will read when she gets back to the office this evening or early tomorrow morning, just before I am scheduled to meet with her. Meanwhile, I need to get a hi-res headshot to the college in Q’ville so that they can send out a press release tomorrow or Friday, and I am getting all kinds of congratulatory emails from people from the college. I’ve started the process of telling friends about my decision and its consequences, and am bracing myself for some of the more difficult conversations I need to have. Meanwhile, work goes on at its usual breakneck pace at my current job, my staff unaware (or so I think) that I plan to leave.
When I run marathons, and the inevitable low point comes, I always imagine the post-marathon dinner: the cocktail, the steak frites, the convivial conversation, and the satisfaction of toughing it out. I’m trying to imagine a moment about 6 months from now, when the dust is settled, and when this low point is a distant memory, when it is perfectly clear that I made the right choice and that it was all worth the effort.
I write this, sitting in my room at a B&B in Q’ville. It’s my second time here in Q’ville in a week, this time with Jay and a friend who happened to be visiting from Utah. We’re scoping the town out, because Friday, I got a call from the president of the small college where I interviewed earlier in the week, making me an offer I don’t think I can refuse, assuming Jay and I can see ourselves moving from a modest-sized city to a very small town.
We’re about to go out for a run/walk to continue exploring that very question.
Based on the most likely potential of my changing jobs, I should probably rename this blog to something along the lines of “Q’burg to Q’ville,” because the town where I am now, interviewing for one of the two jobs I mentioned in my last post, has a nominal connection to the town where I currently live and work. Q’ville is a lot smaller than Q’burg, as is the college I would be working for, but, reserving judgement on the job itself, which I learn more about tomorrow, I’m good with both of those things.
Alas, the other job I was being considered for was not willing to accommodate my impossible schedule, that is, the unacceptably crazy life that I have that would not allow me to drop everything personal and professional and be on the other side of the continent with only 80 hours’ notice for 8 hours of interviews. Truth is, I tried, but the idea of traveling nearly 5,000 miles in just over 24 hours with potentially no sleep on either side of those 8 hours of interviews and a full day of work awaiting when I got back was just too much. Plus, I can’t stand the idea of working for someone who would insist on such a thing.
So, I am in Q’ville for two night and a full day and two halves. So far, it is going well, and I think that Jay and I could really like it here. Tomorrow, though, the full day of interviews beginning with the HR department, and ending with the president, will be the real test.
I am in a position that I have never been in before: being asked to interview visit to different institutions to interview for two different positions, neither of which are my current institution/position.
Anyone care to wager whether the two institutions will try to get me there on the same day?
Wow. Time flies. It’s now April, and Jay and I are facing some big changes. Our son graduates from high school in just over two months, and we will be pulling up our remaining stakes in the town where he goes to school and making the city where L38 U is our full-time home. Jay hopes to find a job there, and, if he doesn’t, he will find a way that he can telework more and commute to his current job only one or two times per week.
Me, I’m continuing my job search. After things feel through with U48P, I dug in as hard as I could at my current job, but was quickly faced with the reality that it is just not a good fit for my career aspirations, and that I am a terrible fit for what L38 U needs (rather what they say they need, which is quite different).
So, I am on the shortlist for two jobs, both very similar to the position at U48P that I turned down. I have a Skype interview tomorrow for one, and was supposed to fly out for an in-person interview for the second on Tuesday. That won’t be possible, given that they invited me on Friday afternoon, and my schedule for this coming week is already quite full, but I am optimistic that they can find a time when I can visit.
Oh, and U48P did eventually fill their position. I am happy for them, and I really hope the president there learned something from my turning down his unimaginative and uninspired offer to come work with them.