The panic button has been pressed. The waves of anxiety are washing over me. It started with not sleeping yesterday. Wait, let me back up.
My interview was yesterday at 1. I interviewed with 6 people. I sat at the end of a conference table and they took turns asking me questions. Some were general interview questions - identify your strengths; where do you see yourself in 5 years; what is your computer strengths. Some were "test type" questions - tell us what you know about establishing paternity; how do you understand the child support guidelines; can you manage a docket of 280 cases in a day. I was not nervous and I thought I did well on all the questions except the goal question. They asked what salary I would require and I told them. Set it fairly high.
I drove back to my building and walked up to my office. I walked in and my cell phone rang. It was the gentleman I had interviewed with. He offered me the job at the salary I requested. Plus full benefits - they pay my insurance. It means a $10k raise and then another $5,000 when you consider they cover my insurance. And the savings in the lower copays will be extensive too. Plus I'd have dental and vision. Throw in government retirement, 2 weeks paid vacation, 11 paid holidays and 12 sick days a year. Plus disability and life insurance. Well, it is a quite impressive package. The offer is contingent on my references checking out. I have no doubts there. They will insist on calling my current employer but agreed to wait until I can meet with the partners.
I talked to trusted friends and some internet buddies. Everyone, absolutely everyone, says this is a great opportunity. It means a better pay package. It means an 8 - 5, Monday to Friday schedule. It means no billable hours or quotas. It means leaving work at work and not taking it home. It means no after hours or weekend phone calls. It means concentrating on practicing law and not running a business. I called the associate who is under me in seniority. We had a candid conversation about salaries and billing rates and goals. He was offered another job last year and turned it down to stay. But he is meeting his goal - I am not. He does an area of law that is growing in this economy. I am not. My passion is working with children and the unfortunate. That doesn't pay all that well. Plus, you help a client and they are gone - you don't get repeat business. If I am to meet my goal and grow my practice, I'd have to do other types of law and I have no desire to do that.
It's a no-brainer. I have been praying about it. I'm a bit dense so I prayed for a sign - in writing would be nice. A billboard or sky-writing. The gentleman that called me said, "I'm sure you want to discuss things with your husband and pray about it." Pray? Was that my sign? Then I emailed him my references, as requested. He emailed me back. It was a long email. Not generic, but personal. Saying that he enjoyed meeting me and that my experience and character was exactly what they sought. He asked me to think carefully about my decision and pray. Pray - there it was in writing. I think this might be my sign.
And here I go again - being practical. Turning this post into an objective listing of qualifications and reasons why I should take this job. Instead of writing about how I FEEL and what I'm EXPERIENCING.
My heart is racing and my hands are sweaty. I alternate between chills and hot flashes. My chest is tight and I feel like my heart will beat out of my chest. But, no - I check and my heartrate is quite normal. I'm breathing quickly and feel out of breath and my vision narrows. It's a panic attack. The nausea finally clues me in. I've not had one this bad since before I was pregnant - back when I could take xanax to ward it off. With nursing that is not an option now. It's gone on quite long - a few hours now. Tylenol helped with the head pounding. But I know I can not sleep like this. Lying in the dark will make things worse. So I think I'll take an ambien and ask my husband to oversea my nursing tonight - make sure I don't fall asleep and roll over on Baby.
I wonder how long this will go on? Until I finalize a decision in my heart that I've already made in my head? Until I tell the partners? Until I start the new job?
So that is the WHAT - the WHY is for later.