Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it
November 22, 2019 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Well, I was somehow able to get a job after a really rough job search. It's my first librarian job, so naturally... it requires a move to a new city and it's only for 1-year. This is good right? I'm feeling really mixed about it.

So, yay! I was able to get the job I interviewed for next week!!!! I have to admit I was 10000% surprised!!! It starts during the second week of December, so it's a pretty quick turn around with finding a place to live, finishing up at my current job, etc.

I also had a medical emergency with my mom to deal with (that I'm still dealing with), but it looks like it's going to take care of itself (it's not a life or death situation, thank god). So that has eaten up a lot of my mental space lately.

When I broke the news to the principal, he suggested that I might be able to go on a leave of absence with the school district I work for. I'm pretty sure I won't get it, as it has to be approved 4 weeks in advance, but him, the HR woman, and a few coworkers encouraged me to submit it anyway. So, I did and (unsurprisingly) I haven't heard back... Again, getting a leave of absence wasn't something I was actually considering in the FIRST place, and now I'm all worried about going to this new job without getting a leave of absence!! My job is for 1-year covering a maternity leave, so it does unsettle me that in a year from now I might be unemployed/uncertain of my future.

But... even if I don't get a leave of absence, this job is too good to turn down right?? It's full time, pays pretty decently, seems like a great workplace, I've had several people tell me that they're jealous that I get to work with the director of the library as she's a great woman, I've heard pretty good things about the town it's located in, and... most importantly... IT'S A LIBRARIAN JOB!!! WHEN THEY ARE SO HARD TO FIND!!! This is what I studied for and what I wanted!!!!

At my current job: 1) my hours have been cut in half (from full time @ 35 hrs/week to 17.5 hrs at part-time), 2) the pay wasn't great to begin with, the principal can be difficult to work with (see this post, 3) the custodian jokingly accused me of getting this job to SPITE the principal... and all I could do was shrug and laugh, but he's 500X right, I applied for this job the EVENING after he yelled at me), 4) the divide between support staff with admin/teachers has been really grating on me (it's become a bad FIT in a lot of ways).

Furthermore, I'm also just sad to be leaving the kids I work with. Despite everything, I have such a good time with the kids and they really like me and I like them. I haven't had time to tell them anything yet about this new job and I'll be leaving at the end of next week!!! I feel like I'm just kind of abandoning them. I'm not looking forward to the tears when it becomes real during my last day. I've been here since the current grade 6 class was in grade 1, and "leaving them" just makes me a little verklempt!

I just feel so mixed towards this job opportunity, which I already HAVE accepted, but how can I feel... better with this decision? Regardless of if I get the leave of absence of not, if I miss the kids I work with or not, etc. I just want to go forward with a positive attitude and I'm feeling so blah about it. It really doesn't feel real.
posted by VirginiaPlain to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: "I also had a medical emergency with my mom to deal with (that I'm still dealing with), but it looks like it's going to take care of itself (it's not a life or death situation, thank god). So that has eaten up a lot of my mental space lately."

Sorry, that doesn't really make sense upon re-reading it. Let me reword it: "My mom had a medical emergency and had to be hospitalized this week (and she's still hospitalized, but everything seems to be improving), so I've been dealing with that all week on top of my old job and new job."
posted by VirginiaPlain at 5:00 PM on November 22, 2019

Congrats! Don't hesitate (but I understand why you feel that way). The contract may be for one year but the parent may decide to take the whole 18 months off, or even not return until their baby is older. Or another position may open up in the library system. While you are in the position make sure to network as much as you can with neighbouring systems so that if it does end up that you need to look for a job thy will already know you, and take all professional development opportunities available.

Enjoy the new position!
posted by saucysault at 5:10 PM on November 22, 2019 [12 favorites]

Life is full of uncertainty, but you will have a valuable new item on your resume in the worst case, and in the best case you will be offered a permanent (possibly-different) position after they are exposed to your awesomeness. Seriously, there is a lot to be said for familiarity when hiring. Best of luck--the world needs more librarians.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 5:29 PM on November 22, 2019 [11 favorites]

This sounds like a 100% better job. I know it's hard to leave a certain thing for a super uncertain thing and I know it's tough to say bye to kids you've known but here are some things that might help...

- I don't know about you,but with me sometimes nerves about one thing (in this case, maybe your mom) can ATTACH to other things and make me feel weirdly bad about a thing that was okay until the stressor showed up. Somaybe give yourself some time on that one, be good to yourself all the advice and see if your mom's situation sorting out doesn't make the other stuff seem more manageable
- You can always stay in touch with the kids, this is an okay thing to do. So leaving, yes, it's hard and etc, but it's not final like you're going to Mars. Also you don't know your new patrons yet, I bet a lot of them are great too!
- Of course the school wants to keep you, you are in a job that is tough, the people are difficult and you're willing to stay there. I think it will be easy to get perspective on this from a new place.

You are making a good decision. These kinds of things are hard, esp around the holidays and with your family situation, much more so. Congrats on getting that job. Having that under your belt, even if it really does turn out to be temporary, will be a good thing for future you.
posted by jessamyn at 5:34 PM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

In my experience, even leaving the worst place I didn't feel as happy, enthusiastic, or optimistic as I wanted to. As you said, it doesn't feel "real" yet, and you have a really tight turnaround too! Also, every time I switch jobs I start seeing the old job in a better light, because I know that place, the work, the people, etc. Familiarity, you know? And fear of ending up somehow worse off.

Anyway, I'd just focus on trying to put one foot in front of the other at this point, and not get into too much mental gymnastics. Your current situation became untenable rather quickly (at least from what I recall) but now you will have an entire year to be preparing for the next step.

Change is hard, but you are resilient (and so are those kids)!

Congrats on your new position and best of luck!
posted by sm1tten at 5:36 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

OMG you should totally take this job! Just rent an apartment for a year. Take it if only to spite your crappy boss!
posted by oceanjesse at 5:57 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

You've worked hard to get this job and you deserve it. You will learn so much and get to know so many people; you will be a much stronger candidate for a permanent job in a year. And you'll have a new city to explore. Keep in touch with the people you like at the school. Send postcards. Having to change your whole life so abruptly is hard but you'll get through it. Don't worry about the leave of absence business. If they really like you they'll find a way to re-hire you if you decide to return.
posted by mareli at 6:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Change is hard, but this is a great opportunity. The leave of absence would be nice, I guess, but with the new connections and the new resume item, you will have a much better chance of getting another job after this. I know working with kids it can be hard to leave them, but they *will* get over it very quickly.

If I remember correctly, you were not thrilled about your current job, and they were cutting your hours. Don't make any promises to the school district. Go to the new job determined to do your best and have the best time you can. It's scary to jump into something new, but this is such a great opportunity that even if it turns out less than perfect, trying it was absolutely the best choice.

And I bet it turns out great.
posted by gideonfrog at 6:31 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Job transitions are always hard, for the reasons you list and more. Personally, I've learned that I just freak out during job changes. Not saying that your reasons aren't valid -- change is just tough. You've adjusted to the risks and to the pros and cons of your current situation, and now you're trading in those cards for another hand. Also, during the first couple of weeks, you may have moments of excitement mixed with moments when you think you made a big mistake.

I'd trust your original reasoning and keep a steady hand on the wheel. Every experience broadens your experience and moves your life forward.
posted by salvia at 8:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

It’s normal to have cold feet like this. Taking the job is totally the right call. Congratulations and good luck!
posted by eirias at 8:25 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Awful -- middling recommendation from a crappy job which has consumed several valuable entry level years. At part-time. With an unsupportive boss. And therefore, fewer opportunities to grow and gain new skills. Absorbing less than ideal job habits, and being tainted by association. Career burnout.

Better -- great recommendations at several jobs over the next few years, with opportunities for growth, skill building, networking, observing different corporate climates, etc. Opportunities to separate career "must haves" from "willing to do until something better comes along" and "hard stop, no interest whatsoever."

Best -- moving immediately into a dream job track with an almost-guaranteed career trajectory. Not likely, but it happens.

Sounds like you are on the middle track. Don't give up your dreams. Write down those short-term and long-term goals. Positioning is everything.
Good luck.
posted by TrishaU at 10:13 PM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I remember your previous posts - I'm so pleased to hear you got this job! It sounds like an awesome opportunity and a good launching pad for your career.

As someone who gets super stressed during life transitions, I can commiserate. I recently started a new job and am still having brainweasels about it three months in, despite it being infinitely better than my last job.

Consider approaching your negative emotions as if they were a cranky, sticky-handed toddler you have to tote around everywhere. Acknowledge them, attend to them lovingly, and know that sometimes you will have to wait patiently in the middle of the supermarket while they have a meltdown. Nevertheless, they don't get to drive the car. Be kind to yourself and know that it might take a while to get properly excited about this new gig.

Again, congrats and best of luck!
posted by toastedcheese at 5:46 AM on November 23, 2019 [5 favorites]

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