Rocks and hard places
April 25, 2008 10:27 AM Subscribe
Passed on a challenging job offer for the sake of an easy life, how do I stop kicking myself? Lengthy explanation follows...
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've recently been involved in a mad couple of months trying to line up a new job for when my current contract ends in June and was finally faced with a choice between Job A and Job B, both working on digital/web projects:
Job A is permanent and well within my skill-set, on an interesting project at a venerable but progressive organisation with lovely, knowledgeable people who work well as a team, great location within a 20 minute commute and fantastic pay/benefits. Within the remit of the post I'll have a lot of freedom and be able to contribute straight away. The downside is the context - policy and law based stuff, largely text, which makes my heart sink a little. But it will give me more time and headspace for outside interests (including resuming a non-related study course) along with the opportunity to build up a big chunk of savings very quickly.
Job B is a 12 month contract (taking over from someone else's maternity leave), very big responsibility, above my level of experience and slightly outside my skillset, managing people and workflows rather than my own work, and with an hour's commute. BUT! The content is amazing, lots of mixed media, on a big public project for a respected national institute. Basically, lots of 'Wow' and 'doing good in the world' factor. But it will take-up a lot of energy and personal resource and is offering £11k less than Job A with fewer benefits (no pension etc).
So! Had this been a year ago I would have jumped at job B. In fact that's exactly what I did a year ago, moving from the country to the city for a similar gig at a similar organisation. And I've spent the last year struggling to get my head round the job/organisation, hating the commute and worrying about finances. Also, despite the amazing content, the job itself turned out to be a bit of a nightmare due to a deeply political, non-progressive culture within the organisation and it's been a constant struggle to get much of anything done. I have had almost NO life outside work during this time, but I have gained a lot of experience very quickly and it looks great on my CV.
So, getting both new offers on the same day, I accepted Job A on the basis that I don't want to be in the position I'm in now in 12 months time - little savings, and the added pressure of needing to find another job just as the one I'm in hits the period of greatest intensity. I also think oversold myself in the interview for job B - I'm not actually sure that i am the person they need and I'd have to spend a lot of time getting up to speed. This last point has been the same for almost every job I've had so far and although I've done good work, learnt and grown loads as a result, I know I'm a bit burnt out (I'm 32, single, no dependents, with about 8 jobs in 10 years behind me).
But now I feel terrible for passing up on job B, like I sold out totally for an easy life, that I missed the chance of another potentially amazing gig just because of a bad experience in my current job, and that I've chickened out of being stretched and challenged and am now a boring person with a dull job and no integrity. I'm also slightly spooked by the 'permanence' of job A, after being used to contracts.
How do i get past this feeling? Can anyone lend any perspective? Tell me what made you get off the job-hopping wheel? What made it worth the compromise?