Friday, December 5, 2008

Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes......Which Way to Go?


Yesterday I received a call from a colleague about a job opening in my county. It is for a staff attorney position with the county. It would mean a pay increase, set hours, no billable hours, better insurance and great benefits.
Yet, I like my job. I like my office. I like the work I do. I'm not sure I'd like the new type of work.
Yet, I'm caught between staying in a job where I might enjoy the work more versus taking a job that would really benefit my family more.
This is really raising the panic levels in me. I feel obligated to stay in my current position. They took a chance on me. They have invested time in me. They allowed me to delay partnership. Yet, I'm not sure how much longer they will keep me at my current associate position. I'm not sure that I'll ever see a raise, and I've only ever made my bonus once in eight years.
My mother put her job above her family. She put money above the welfare of my sister and I. So I don't want to let the pay increase sway me. Yet, I also don't want to reject a job where the hours would be so much better, even if I might not really like the job. I want to be different than my mother, but I can't make a decision opposite of what she might make, just to make a point. It might not be the right decision. My head is spinning and the +/- charts aren't helping.
There is the fact that I love the people I work with. It really is a family. I'd miss them.
But the lack of pressure. No billables. I would have to probably punch in and out and keep more routine hours. But 8-5 with lunch, instead of 7 - 5 with no lunch. Monday through Friday, instead of weekends and evenings too. And I would get 2 weeks vacation and 12 sick days a year.
The commute would be longer. We moved here, in part, to avoid the 20 minute commute. I'd be back to that commute. We moved here in part so that we'd be close in proximity to our children's school, making lunch visits and volunteering easy. A job change would not make that feasible.
The job wouldn't be as intellectually stimulating as I'd like. However, I would have time to pursue other interests, like writing. The job does entail some teaching which is attractive.
I'm working on my resume. I think I'll apply and see what happens and pray I don't burn bridges as I explore options.

7 comments:

austin said...

Wow, yeah, that's hard, really hard.
(me, w/ plenty of opinions) has to agree that you should make this decision based on your family's needs and not based on "what would my mother do and why?"

Austin

lawyerchik said...

That does sound like a good opportunity on paper, Enola. Can you talk to anyone who has that job and find out what the work is really like?

Cuz I worked as house counsel for an insurance company once - right out of law school. It was kind of great - no billables, regular hours, etc. - but at the same time, we did the same basic 3-5 cases over and over and over again.

That said, there would seem to be nothing wrong with exploring the opportunity - apply and see what happens. You could do that without burning the bridges.

I would think that as long as you are upfront with the county about what you want and you get enough time to make sure that you don't leave your current people in the lurch, that might work out for you.

And who knows? You may find out that it's a sucky job and that you really would be happier where you are - then you would have some peace of mind about staying. :) Good luck - keep us posted!!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Making job decisions can be difficult. Blessings on whatever you decide.

dm said...

you're doing what I do when these opportunities come into my life. We really don't see the big picture, even when things look good on paper...who knows, next year, the company you are with may downsize, or be willing to increase your pay.. we really never know. I bid on a project recently that had both pro's and con's w/ it...for me..big pro's and also some big risks...honestly I was torn both ways..so the verse from proverbs takes on even more meaning for me @ those points..."trust the Lord with all your heart and DO NOT lean on your own understanding...in all your ways acknowldge him and he will direct your path....I also ask other people (like you're doing) for their input...because often times someone will raise a question or have a perspective on something I hadn't thought about..in the end, it has to be my decision. I like lawyerchik's suggestion and seeing if you could find someone who actually works there what it's like...

Kahless said...

What I am learning, I think, is ultimately an employer will do what is right for them. No sentimentality. You must do what is right for you and your familt, no sentimentality.

Ethereal Highway said...

I think it would be best to gather as much information as you can so you can further your understanding of what the county job might really be like. I think you can rely safely on your own understanding.

Plus, I agree with what Kahless said. Totally.

Ethereal Highway said...

If you decide the county position sounds like the right choice, you may want to check out the county's budget, just in case they are playing the edge. You wouldn't want to lose this job later if things get worse.