A few weeks ago, I wrote about being contacted by a recruiter in reference to a new career opportunity.
Shameless plug of a prior post: Should I Stay or Should I Go….
It ended up that I wasn’t at all interested in the job, but the interview went very well and afterward, the hiring manager gave me two additional opportunities to consider.
Ever since, they’ve been courting me and it’s nice to feel wanted by someone new. It reminds me a little of what it’s like in the early stages of dating where both parties put their shiniest, best self forward in a mutual attempt to woo the other….all skeleton’s locked firmly away in the closet.
Of course, I didn’t share that I have a bad habit of leaving dirty coffee cups sitting in my office until they start to grow hair….or that my idea of ironed work clothes is whatever the high heat setting on the dryer can produce in the 15 minutes before I walk out the door….or that I write this blog….when I’m at work….not all the time, but sometimes….eh, I’m sure they have their dirty little secrets too.
Instead, I sold my organizational skills, my attention to detail and my ability to multi-task competing demands and constantly shifting priorities in a fast paced environment. They told me all about their benefits package that includes a far better than industry standard match on my 401k, a pension plan, free commuter services and free dental and vision coverage.
They showed me around their really cool loft-like office space….fully furnished by Ikea….but still, the views are impressive….while explaining that the role would occasionally require travel to places like France, Switzerland and Germany.
Then came time to negotiate. I asked for things I didn’t think they would consider offering….and then they did….and we were suddenly at the point where we were no longer newly dating, but considering a long-term relationship. It was time for me to shit or get off the pot and so I asked for the weekend to mull things over.
On the one-hand, I reasoned, I know my current role and all the players. I’ve created a niche for myself that allows me the flexibility to do whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want….so long as the work is getting done. It’s an arrangement I’ve earned over the years and this gift of freedom and time has made up for the fact that my salary, while reasonable, is slightly below my market value.
This new opportunity is in an entirely different industry. The work and the people would be challenging, which might be a nice change of pace and the salary is considerably more than I’m currently earning with some additional retirement benefits I don’t currently have.
On the other hand, it’s not likely….at least not in the beginning….that the same degree of work/life balance I presently enjoy would be available to me should I jump ship.
What it really came down to though, is not the change of pace….or the opportunity to do something new….or the potential for a greater degree of career growth….it was all about the Benjamin’s.
In increase in salary would mean an increased contribution toward our retirement funds and college funds for our kids. We could tuck away more into our savings, pay off mortgages quicker, maybe plan a few more vacations….or address a whole host of other first world priviledged problems.
I weighed the pro’s and con’s, all weekend and into today. I work from home most Monday’s….I get up extra early to fit in a few hours of work before my son wakes up, then we spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon together….and I return my focus to work during his afternoon nap.
He’s at an age now where naps don’t always happen every day though, making my performance a bit of a different juggling act these days. Today was one of those days.
As I tried to balance my very active, persistent three-year-old, my laptop and my buzzing cell phone, my son, clearly determined to win out over any other activity suddenly said:
“Hey Mommy! Knock Knock!
Me: Who’s there?
My Son: I eat mop
Me: I eat mop who?
My Son, giggling hysterically: “Ewww, don’t eat your poo!”
And in that moment, I had my answer….my final answer and there would be no more mulling it over….it was time to end the romance.
I considered quoting the wise words of TLC in my letter declining their offer: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.”
Instead, I said the same thing, just in a more business minded way….because no amount of money could ever be worth these funny, unexpected moments I get to have with my son….when he stops me in my tracks, slow’s me down and reminds me what’s most important.