Thursday, January 3, 2008

Do I or don't I?

We've established already that I am not the most laid back person on the planet. I have a Type A personality, with all the gifts it brings: anxiousness, worry, planning, scheduling everything to death.

My latest endeavor is no different. It hasn't even happened yet, but I am consuming my mind with thoughts about it.

"IT" being a new job.

I have worked at my current company for just over a year. And while my boss can be the most distant, un-feeling jerk in the world, I have come to love what I do. I am good at it, and lately my work has been rewarded with a new office and a new title. (Not to mention extra perks like trips on company's dime and season hockey tickets that Ican use.)

BUT - there had to be a but... I work 1 and 1/2 hours away from home and it is a very long commute every day. And of course, working with an ass of a boss has it's downside. If you let it get to you , as I did in the beginning, it can really bring you down.

And, because it is a privately owned business, so other than the great pay, there are no medical benefits and no pension.

Today I received a call from an HR lady from a government agency that I had applied to. I have an interview scheduled for next thursday. I am very exited, I have been trying to get into a government job for as long as I can remember. How can I not want that for myself?

Union wages, scheduled breaks and paid overtime-something unheard of at our company-

lots of benefits and a great name it. Oh, did I tell you it is 4 minutes from my front door? Yeah, that sweetens the deal doesn't it?

Here is my dilemma: I have come to like what I do and am afraid of leaving it for a job that would be less challanging (i am in a leadership role now, and the new job is entry level). Also, I'd be taking at least a $10,000 paycut per year. Minimum.

Basically I have to choose between two careers: One, that I am in now, with a great salary and challanges, but no benefits and no pension and far from home and one that is an entry level position, that I am over qualified for, but it is right outside my door, job security, pension, super annuation and guaranteed raises every year. (the pay is not bad either, just less than my current position)

I am jumping the gun here, I know.... I haven't even had an interview yet.

(panel interview, no less - any tips?)

Flipping a coin may just be the way to decide on this one.


Eileen said...

I was going to say 'flip a coin', but you beat me to it.
I have had that decision to make as well, while living there. High paying sales, company car, benefits, travel, etc. I was good at it and people liked me. Then I had Heather. I traded that for a retail sales job at a local toy store. Me, university educated, making money in a line of work that I grew up in, for low pay, no benefits. Was I happy? YES! It is not my life-long dream to work, therefore it is important to enjoy what I do. I did the same thing here. I could have begged for my old job back once I got sober. I worked for my uncle at the family health care business. It was stressful, my uncle is a crappy boss, I didn't like some of the people I worked with, and oh yes, it was stressful. Now I work at a law office. Minimum stress, hours I can deal with. When a child is sick, I stay home.
I think the bottom line is the fact that when you get older (?!)you can see your priorities shift. You are a mother and a wife. Your paid job is just that, a job that you get paid to do. Is spending more time with your family worth $10,000 (that's the figure you gave)? Does JP have benefits? Can you (and this is a big one) let other people make work decisions for you, leaving you to just do your job? Is it worth driving all that way now to and from work, with the added stress of traffic, what to make for dinner, and what if there's an accident on the way?
Maybe it's just me, but I realized that unless I have my own business I need to work for other people. There are enough stressors in life, just life itself sometimes. I like my work life being non-stressful. I can leave it at the end of the day and be with my family and not think about work until the next work day.
Oh, and another thing....
wait until you have had the interview AND have been offered a job before you start to stress so much about the decision.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I've had a couple of panel interviews before, don't worry, they likely won't pepper you non-stop with questions. First be sure to make eye contact and "smile with your eyes" not just with your teeth, make sure your facial expressions are warm and relaxed, think happy thoughts, don't be stressed. Make sure you know the job description and what they're looking for. You're over-qualified, they might worry you'll leave. Emphasize quality of life, the job is so close to home and the benefits are great and the job truly interests you. Mention the opportunity for advancement and the importance of starting at the bottom and working your way up. This gives you a better understanding of how the office/department works so as you move up toward a management position, you will better understand daily operations, job responsibilities for the various positions, and be more of an asset to your employer. Let them know you have long-term goals and that you intend to stay. If they ask about leaving your old job, DO NOT mention your current boss is a dick. Mention the long commute and wasted time behind the wheel and in traffic. Say that you're highly organized and very busy person by nature and that wasting so much time behind the wheel frustrates your desire to be accomplishing more in life. Killer line I've used before when comparing the old job to the new job and why I want to change jobs: "it's the difference between liking what I do and loving what I do." This way you have a positive spin on both jobs but clearly show your preference for the new job. I would say to take the government job, the time and money saved in the commute, plus the benefits, job security and ability to move up to a better position will more than make up for the pay cut. Also, you don't have insurance benefits? I thought Canada had a national healthcare system. How does that work?

That girl said...

Eileen - you are absolutley right about me flipping out waaaay to early, I know.

Vancouver - It's probably the best comment I've had on a post in a while. Thank you for the tips, I plan to definitly play up the long commute, and wouldn't dream of talking about my current boss. But, panel interviews do worry me. Especially this one. I want the job, I am afraid they wont think I'll stay as well, as I have a post secondary degree, and this job calls for a 'highschool diploma' only.
Oh, and to the insurance thing - Canada does have universal health care. (most employers pay for it on your behalf, currently I dont have that benefit, I pay for it myself....and most companies offer extended health, like massage, physio, my sons' autism therapy sessions would be partly covered, and so on...but my current company offers none of those extras, which the gov't probably would) That is what I meant, sorry for not being clear. Yes, I have health insurance. Just not extended health insurance, and I have to pay for it myself. I should have been more clear.

tweetey30 said...

I would wait till you have the interview and see where that takes you really. Just one step at a time.. But I hope you can come up with something.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

The government job might be the way to go. There are more "Pros' then "cons" here. You work close to home thus saving on gas, have med benfits plus a pension. Possibly getting a bertter boss. Not to mentiion that once you are in the government job, you have plenty of opportunity to move around and advance.

That girl said...

Tweets - I know I know (bows head down) I will work on taking it one step at a time, but my mind just gets ahead of itself.

Diva - You're absolutely right. That is how I feel too. I just hope I haven't jinxed anything *crosses fingers*

Ryan said...

I've been in your situation before. I decided that instead of making an impossible choice, I would instead stay at home and drink beer.

This worked extremely well for awhile, and then I became hungry.

By this time, both positions had been filled. I reluctantly had to return to drinking beer at home.

My only advice is: Make sure you have some food on hand to compliment the beer should you decide to stay home.

You can't just live on beer.

Anonymous said...

I am all for fliping coins! I personally goverment jobs are the way to go! That is what I am praying I can get in! Even though it is an entry job how long do you have to wait until you are making what you are making now? Plus a 4 minute drive..that is wonderful! I hate travelling!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

If JP makes enough money to make up the difference....then you may want to consider the closer job. That is less gas you have to pay and more time you can spend with your children!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

There would be no question if it were me. I'd grab the "new job"'d probably save the $10,000 just in gas and car repairs in a the benefits with insurance, paid days off and pension would make up the economical difference. The 3 extra (commute)hours each day gives you 60 extra hours per month for yourself where you wouldn't be sitting in about less anxiety. Think of it as a week and a half of extra vacation time each month. That's 18 weeks each year. How could you pass that up? Time is the best thing we are given. That and family.

As far as the job not being challenging enough you will be able to work toward a better position and better pay and make new friends.

The piece of mind in knowing you will have the much needed benefits and something tucked away for your future will be worth making the change.

Plus it will be great to get rid of the ass of a boss.

Good luck Michelle on what ever you decide to do. Go luck in the interview.


That girl said...

Ryan - You and JP are of one mind. You'd get along well I bet.

TD - this position wouldn't ever reach the income I make now (because it caps out at a certain number, and I am already higher than this number currently) BUT if I ever get into the government, I may be able to switch internally between different positions later. Like you, I've been dying to get in.

That girl said...

Queen - "Enough" money is such an oxymoron. The more one makes, the more they spend, it's all relative. But yes, we'd be okay with the paycut. I'm was more concerned about it being an entry level -Eileen is right when she asked if I could handle that, she's known me in the real world for many years, and knows I like to be in charge, lol.-

Jolie - that little breakdown of the commute that you just did, is extremely depressing. It highlights exactly how much time I am wasting. You betcha it's too much. *Cross your fingers for me, the interview is on thursday*

tweetey30 said...

Hey I have a new family. LOL.. No I did not divorce Jeff. We are still very happy. I have a new big brother and Big sister. Check them out when you get a minute.

Jazz said...

I'd say, wait until you have it to decide...

How bored will you be if you're overqualified?

How are you at dealing with boredom?

That girl said...

Tweets - i will, thanks for the heads up.

Jazz - Yeah, you've got a point. But then, there's always blogging. I could do that when I'm bored. (just kidding, I hear what you're saying) I will go and do the interview, and may the chips fall where they want to.

HamiHarri said...

Hmm... I was in a seemingly similar position a little while ago (although it turned out to be quite different in the end) and one thing that is UBER important to consider is future opportunity. At your current place of employment is there oppourtunity for advancement?

With the gov't there is tons of room for growth and oppourtunity (thus $$$) - but you do have to take that leap of faith.

Also, consider what your time is worth...1.5 each way? That is no small amount of time.

In terms of interview tips, is it a PROV gov't job? If so, it will be a purely behavioural compentancy based interview. Look at the competancies on the job discription and think of one "situational" example of each using the STAR technique:


BE transparent in your answers. For example say the words "In the situtaion that I was in..." "The task that I had" etc. And always use I and not we.

Good luck!

Evel said...

It probably evens out with the benefit package, and you can always move up. I say go for it.

Heather in Beautiful BC said...

Wow - that's a difficult decision, but it sounds to me as though you are leaning toward the gov't job for all it's benefits. And you have to think of those - they really do matter. Once you're in a union job you'll have it for life if you want it! Sounds good to me though, if you're planning to work for a fair number of years (as long as you can put up with the other employees bitching about the gov't, the union, their fellow workers, their husbands, life, blah, blah, blah - or they'll be counting the days until retirement). I'm generalizing here aren't I - of course not ALL government employees are lazy and annoying!

You'll save approximately $14,000.00/year in gas if you're driving 4 minutes instead of 3 hours - so that more than makes up for the pay cut :) and you'll have so much more time at home.

Besides, who needs a miserable boss in their lives - life is too short.

I say go for it! Good luck with the interview :)