Indecisiveness and a new job
June 14, 2018 7:34 PM   Subscribe

I accepted a job offer today, and am now wondering if I made the wrong decision.

I recently (in the last 2 years) completed a Masters degree and am working in a relatively specialized field. It's been hard to find a job in my specialization, but I've managed to cobble together contracts that are related but not quite in my field to get me through the last couple years, including several months of unemployment last year. (which took me to a pretty bad place/was terrible for my depression)

My latest contract is coming to a close and I managed to (finally) get a job in my field. It's exciting and an opportunity I feel like I should take. Only problem, I have to move (to a town I've lived in before/am familiar with/several hour plane journey away). At the time I applied, it felt like the right choice, and I was excited about the possibility. Since applying, my life circumstances have changed (I've recently managed to get a way nicer apartment than the one I was living in, and in the last two weeks I've started dating someone I actually like)

I accepted the job offer today and have been crying since. How can I know if I made the right decision?
posted by twill to Work & Money (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yikes. That's a tough one. Nobody but you can really know if you've made the right decision about something, and certainly not before you've made it. It's good that you've got a nice new apartment but, given your most recent contract is finishing, how are you going to pay for it?

And as for your new dating friend, perhaps it would be worth sitting down and having a discussion with them? What are their own thoughts and feelings about the potential direction of the relationship? Be up front and tell them you like them a lot and would like to keep seeing them, and find out if they feel the same way.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've just about never felt 100% sure about anything in my life, especially big things like job, education, and location/housing decisions. I do know almost every time I've finally committed to one thing, I very easily start finding reasons that a different decision should have been made -especially in terms of feeling like things are suddenly better in the situation I've decided to change, and suddenly wishing I hadn't changed it. But I usually go through with it anyway and in the long term, can't imagine having done anything differently. I also deal with depression and anxiety. But I am not a "gut" person. If you follow your gut and maybe in a week or so as sill feel this way, maybe listen to the gut feeling? What would your life look like if you changed your mind on the job now? What if you said, I'm going to give this job a whirl for a year and then reassess? This is rambly, I'm sorry, but basically I think this is a normal reaction for a certain personality type. Final thought -I think two weeks is a super short time to make a strong judgement about any relationship.
posted by wannabecounselor at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2018 [10 favorites]

I'd take the job hands down. You can suggest a long distance relationship or just staying in touch and seeing if that leads to being good friends or the other person moving to be with you. You've been trying to get a job in your field for a few years. You didn't say how long you've been single or actively dating but the career seems to be what you've spent more time and energy towards.
posted by toomanycurls at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2018 [17 favorites]

Best answer: In the past couple of years, which have been difficult ones for me, I've come to a bit of an epiphany and maybe it might help you a bit?

Once you have weighed all your options and made a decision, you have done the best you could by that decision. Not only is it not possible to know if you made the "right" one now, even given some time for hindsight, you can't really know. That decision does not stand in a vacuum; it is impacted by so many things and in turn impacts so many others. Even in retrospect, you aren't given the luxury of seeing how the other choice may have played out.

This choice has a lot going for it and a few (though significant) downsides. Most people have doubts even when it is perfectly clear they made the "right" choice. Trepidation at this point is to be expected.

Finally, very few choices are irredeemable. If it turns out that this move and this job aren't a great fit, there is a whole new world of choices to be made.

Good luck and peace to you.
posted by thebrokedown at 8:15 PM on June 14, 2018 [17 favorites]

Take the job! If the relationship is meant to be, you two will work it out, and quite frankly, nice apartments are everywhere and now you have the ability to pay for one. But good jobs in specialised fields are much harder to get, so grab onto it with both hands and make the most of it.

(And if you’re thinking you’ll never be able to continue dating someone long distance that you’ve been seeing for two weeks, I went out on three or so dates with a guy over less than a month and then had to move across the country for work. I thought it was all over but he kept flying over to see me and long story short, we’re coming up to our tenth wedding anniversary, so stranger things have happened!) Go for the career.
posted by Jubey at 11:09 PM on June 14, 2018 [9 favorites]

OMG OMG take the job. This is the opportunity your life needs right now. This is the start of something bigger.

Even if it turns out to be crappy, it‘s a stepping stone in your career.

A nice date won‘t pay your bills (hopefully).

You made the right decision. Comgratulations.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:17 PM on June 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

I was given some advice recently re: making big choices: make the choice according to the actual concrete pluses of both sides, not the questionable-pluses or what-ifs.

So, if we apply that to your case: your current city has a nice apartment and the new city has a job you're excited about in a field where work is tough to find. (Your dating situation falls into the "questionable/uncertain/what-if" category.) So, which weighs more heavily, nice apartment or new job?

I would only stay for the possibility of this new dating situation working out if it's really rare that you meet someone you like and you really have a good feeling about this person. And even if that's true, if you two feel strongly enough about each other, you could date long distance.
posted by sunflower16 at 12:02 AM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Please don't give up a hard-fought job in your field for someone you've been seeing for a few weeks. In fact, if this person is worth anything at all as a partner, they'll completely support your move and encourage you to do it. Period. Take the job. It's absolutely the very best choice. Congratulations!
posted by quince at 1:14 AM on June 15, 2018 [6 favorites]

Every time I didn’t move for a job I’ve regretted the hell out of it years later.
posted by nikaspark at 3:59 AM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: So, I guess what feels like is making this all the more painful is that apart from a couple of very short term things, I've been single for the last 4 years. I *have* invested a lot of time and energy into dating and have wanted to be in a steady/stable relationship for a long time. But I guess, what makes this hard, is that after 2 weeks, there's no guarantee of how things will go with this new person.
posted by twill at 7:19 AM on June 15, 2018

But I guess, what makes this hard, is that after 2 weeks, there's no guarantee of how things will go with this new person.

But this is true whether you move away or not. What if you ditch the job and the relationship fails, how annoyed will you be then? The job at this point seems way more secure than a fledgling relationship (you may have spent a lot of time dating, but you've not spent a lot dating this particular person, so there is no huge investment there).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 7:30 AM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You've been seeing this person for two weeks. I'm sure they're great, but they could literally decide to ghost you tomorrow and they'd be within their rights. I know that huge rush you get when you're first connecting with someone, but it's a bit of a brain-fib. You can't make life decisions based on it.

Nice apartments are everywhere; good jobs to pay for them are not.

Take the job.
posted by praemunire at 7:45 AM on June 15, 2018 [12 favorites]

Yeah just go. I made the mistake of taking a dream job in a city I wanted to move to for years and then leaving it for the reasons you mention and I regret it daily. I have no idea when my next chance will be.
posted by Young Kullervo at 8:28 AM on June 15, 2018

I accepted the job offer today and have been crying since.

Not like this is a guarantee or anything, but all of the best major life changes that I've done in my life, the moment they became Real and involved actual obligations and having to actually, you know, pack, and leave behind--well, forget people I'm dating, leave behind literally anything at all? I've had that same sort of reaction. It's overwhelming. I don't love Omaha but I'm still incredibly glad I did the career change that involved my moving here, and yet the move itself, man, it was so upsetting. Some of us have a harder time with change than others. That's not to say you shouldn't cry, just don't base decisions on whether or not you're upset in this moment. It can be upsetting and still be fine!
posted by Sequence at 12:28 PM on June 15, 2018

Not only that but if you did give up your dream job for this person, it puts an awful lot of pressure on your new guy to make the relationship work.

FWIW, before I met my husband that I mentioned further upthread, I was single for three years. When I finally met a decent guy, my sister couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to stay to see if it was going to go anywhere. I told her I needed a job and I couldn’t afford to!

Years later, I asked my husband what he would have thought if I remained in our city for him. He told me he would have seriously doubted my mental stability, to put myself in a financially precarious situation for someone I barely knew and admitted it would have really changed the nature of our budding relationship to put so much significance on it, so early. So there’s one data point.
posted by Jubey at 7:10 PM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I once took a job that was a great career move, but where I got home and sobbed after my leaving do from the old job, convinced I'd made a terrible mistake. Looking back, I can see that, at that moment, it felt bad because it was an uneven comparison. I was comparing the old job, which was full of interesting people and experiences, with a new job which was a big, fat, blank, because I hadn't lived it yet. So of course the old job seemed better.

Now, having lived through that second job as well, I'm glad I did both. The second job was tough to start with, but I had a lot of great experiences there in addition to the ones I'd already had in the old job, and my life is richer for having done it. Give yourself the chance to live this great new opportunity and find out what all the great things are that it has yet to give you.
posted by penguin pie at 6:30 AM on June 16, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone, for talking some sense into me! Mefites are always so great as giving me much-need reality checks. (And yeah, as for housing, I'd be leaving the very affordable city I live in to somewhere ridiculously expensive. So despite a bit of a pay rise with the job move, I'd most likely be sharing an apartment.)
posted by twill at 9:10 AM on June 16, 2018

I'm enough of a romantic to think that for the right person, we'd make it work regardless of distance and star crosses. And enough of a pragmatist to think that you must look at yourself, your ambition, and your independence. And enough of a romantic to think that for the right person this would make the two stronger than either one alone, in the long run.

This hasn't worked out all the way for me yet (still single). But I have my self esteem, my self respect, my self-reliance, lots of love in my life, and I know I've done it my way. Which doesn't mean no tears. Sadness doesn't mean a decision was wrong, it just means that you're lucky enough that you have something you're leaving behind/giving up, when going towards something new - and you're wise enough to realize and appreciate it.

I don't know what your way is but I guess deep down you do, and that's probably partly why you're crying. Because you know that your way involves risks and costs but you know you've got to do it anyway.

Good luck!!
posted by Salamandrous at 5:37 PM on June 29, 2018

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