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Career Advice - Which Job?

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I have been out of work, so I have been looking for a new job for a few months. It suddenly seems that I have two good possibilities, but I'm not sure which I should go for.

First option:

The first job is 1.5 hours from my current home, in a large city. My fiance would be totally willing to move there with me, because the lease on our rental house is over, and we have been looking into moving. The only reason that we haven't moved yet is because we thought that I might secure a job in a different area, and we wanted to be located as close as possible. Also, he telecommutes to his main job, so he is free to move to another area.

The only downside for him in terms of work is that he does some contract/hourly work for a company in our current area, and he has a great relationship with the owner of the company. When he was laid off from his last full-time job, this guy immediately took him in to work full-time, until he found another job. The only reason that he does not work there full-time permanently is because they do not pay nearly the salary that he normally gets, and it's a different kind of work - but like I said, he is good friends with the owner, and it's a great backup position. As it stands now though, he does not do work for them every day, but probably a couple of times a week. He does not have any problem driving though, and he actually travels a lot now, because we often visit my family, and he does the driving. My family is almost 1.5 hours from our current house too (in a different direction), and he has no problem driving that, even if we are just going for dinner or something.

This job is for a company that is growing a lot, and it's a setting that I really want to work in. I actually originally applied for a higher position at our local branch, but they found someone with experience in this setting, and chose to hire them for that position. They were still impressed with me though, and recommended me for this job, which sounds pretty great in terms of job responsibilities and such. It sounds a lot like my last job, but with less stress and in a more ideal setting - and I really miss some of the work that I did there. The branch is smaller, and it seems less intimidating and more like I could gain more experience in this setting, and also in my field in general, and be able to grow from there. They are hoping to actually expand over the next year or two, and if they do, then I would probably be first choice for a higher position (which is moderately likely to become available), like the one that I originally applied for in my current city.

Also, the company has great benefits. I would get a lot of paid holidays (I think a few more than at my previous jobs), and the PTO and allotted sick days are pretty generous, and would probably add up to a bit more than my previous jobs as well. I don't recall the exact insurance rates, but I seem to think that they were very reasonable.

The person that I talked to will work from that office, but would not be my direct boss. Still, he seemed very nice and understanding, and easy to work with. Also, like I said, the facility is new, so everything would be fresh, with no past mistakes to worry about. They are also offering an extensive training program before the branch opens, which would definitely help me get into the groove of things.

However, I would be taking a pretty substantial pay cut from what I was making at each of my last jobs. Granted, it seems like my responsibilities would be less than at my last position, it's a setting that I think I would like to get into, and it doesn't sound nearly as stressful. Also, if the higher position were to open in the next year or two, I would probably be making a bit more than I ever have before. They also offered me extra work in the meantime, if that's something that I would be interested in - so that way I could increase my pay. Honestly, I don't think I could quite afford living in the area on that salary by myself, but with my fiance there at his current salary, we could definitely live comfortably. Since we don't actually need all of the current space that we have and are looking to downsize and simplify a bit, our housing costs would probably be about the same as they are now.

Also, this is pretty far from home, and I'm not really sure that the area is the greatest - crime rates seem pretty high, but I don't know which specific areas are 'good', and which are 'bad'. It is also very busy, but there are houses and apartment complexes nearby, so we could possibly live very close. I should add that I hate driving in busy areas, and it is very stressful for me because I am not very experienced at all, but my fiance would be able to drive me if we lived close enough. Also, maybe I would learn to drive better there, and then it wouldn't stress me out as much.

Option 2:

This company is located about halfway between our current city and my family. This is where I was really wanting to live, because I ideally did want to be closer to my hometown. Also, I know the area well, and it's not nearly as stressful to drive in. On the other hand, since it's so much smaller, there are almost no jobs available in my field. There is literally only one employer in the area that really hires for my degree type, and even they only need two people in my field. By luck, one of those positions is open right now, and I am scheduled for a second interview next week. People really seem to stay for a long time at this company, so if they fill this position with someone else, then it could very well be several years before another opportunity came up. I'm sure that other employers might hire someone with my degree in this area, or maybe I could get a different type of job that just requires a general four-year degree, but it would probably be difficult, and I certainly wouldn't expect a wonderful salary. My fiance has also always given me the option to stay home, and we were considering just moving to this area even if I didn't find a job. I do enjoy my free time, but I get restless and feel like I should do something to establish myself in my field, especially after I worked so hard in school.

This setting is also pretty interesting, but this company is much larger, and this title is actually much more advanced than any job that I have had yet. I would be the director of an entire department, which definitely holds more prestige than any job that I have yet had, but it sounds like this department really has a lot of issues. The person who would be my boss just recently started there, and I get the impression that she fired the last director. She was nice on the surface, but I think that she can be very difficult to work for, and she seems extremely career-oriented. She told me that she works on most holidays, and that when she injured herself, she just went to the doctor for shots of painkillers, so that she could continue working. She told me that the position will require more than 40-hour weeks, and that I would probably also have to do some work that I'm not really interested in doing, because the employees aren't getting enough done. At this point, I don't know enough about their particular type of job to do the work, and it would take a lot of time and effort to learn it. I have done it before, but not nearly on the same type of scale, so I have not gotten into it nearly as much as I would have to.

During the first interview, I acted very confident and like I could handle anything, but I was honestly petrified. It seems like a very challenging work environment, and like the employees aren't the easiest to deal with - and like I would also have to fake knowing a lot of things and really struggle to learn it all. I can see myself having to work very long hours, and having to learn a lot very quickly. I didn't know a lot about some of the things that she was talking about, and I would definitely give the job my all, but I'm concerned about failure, and also about just being a totally anxious wreck. She also basically told me that a lot of people would have to be terminated in both the near and distant future, so that would be my responsibility.

Like I said though, this position is right where I was hoping to live. I'm sure that the salary is much higher than the other position's, and the cost-of-living is actually significantly lower here. The nicest, much larger apartments are the same price as the nice (but not nicest) smaller apartments in the other city. I would really enjoy being closer to my family, and my fiance would not be far from his part-time/contracting job. I have not been given benefits information yet, but it sounds like I would be working on most holidays, and through most illnesses as well.

Of course, I may not even get the second job, but I already have the first offer, and I would like to make my decision quickly. My second interview with the second company isn't even until next week, and it's with the big bosses of the company, so I doubt that they could move it forward.

Do you guys have any insight or advice to offer me?
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
12,504
With any job there is a learning curve, some longer some shorter, the first job sounds like you need to have confidence in a directive leadership role and be able to make very hard employee life changing decisions. In management, you need to be able to work with all sorts of personalities, all types of employees and be able to communicate effectively with each and everyone even though different approaches may have to be sought out to do so. Honestly there are very few jobs that you can jump from and know how to do everything seamlessly from the get go; understand task, research objective, ask question, and build your skills.

Sometimes you have to choose something and go with it; if it’s in the right path to the career you want then by all means acquire the additional skill sets.

As for the distance, is “home” because of your parents? Siblings? Do you see them everyday? Sometimes you have to fly the nest and live away for a bit, it helps build character and forces you to explore and do things that you might have otherwise missed out on and besides isn’t your “home with your new FI/DH?”

I like new opportunities and employment certainty therefore, my choice would be the one that was just offered especially if it isn't a huge impact on your significant other
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 10, 2010
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2,569
I would go with the first job if your research shows there are safe, affordable places to live in that area. It is new (so you're not walking into a political disaster), training is provided (so you won't feel lost or lack confidence), there's an option for additional income and there is room for advancement. You will be confident in your ability to do the job, therefore it won't be stressful. You can learn to drive in the new area or find out if public transportation is an option. After having lived in NYC for several years and only taken public transportation, I had to get used to driving again when I recently moved to the suburbs of a different metropolitan area. I also drive in the nearest city now, too. It was uncomfortable at first, but I adjusted. My cousin, who is in her late 30s, lived in NYC here entire life and never had a driver's license, recently moved to Connecticut for her DH's job. She learned how to drive and got a driver's license. Don't pass up a good job offer because of fear of driving. Just drive and get used to your new surroundings. Can you find a place in the suburbs (usually less expensive) of the city and commute by public transportation? It sounds like this location will work out well for your fiance, also. Can he work remotely for the part time job to cut down on gas commuting costs?

There are several reasons I am not so much in favor of the second job. First, it sounds like you will be walking into a toxic environment that is about to experience an upheaval. That alone is stressful. Second, it sounds like you either don't know how to do the job well or are so concerned about it that it will appear that way. It is stressful to feel like you are bumbling around and not living up to expectations. You area already stressed about the prospect of having to fire someone. Third, based on what you described of the new boss, she will not be pleasant to work for and will probably create a very oppressive environment. As you said, you will likely be working a lot of hours, even when you are sick. The boss does that and will expect it of her employees. She sounds like one of my former bosses. He always proudly told the story about how when he had mono, he would go to work every day and worked the same long hours he usually did. Knowing he was contagious, he would work with his door closed. He and his secretary would just slide documents under the door. While I was at this company, a co-worker was told to come to work even though he had pink eye (a lot of people share the same printer - gross). Another time, when a hurricane was coming (talking about the same boss, but in Florida now), the boss didn't want to let employees leave early to prepare, and then had the audacity to tell us to bring work home and use a flashlight to do it if the power went out! The point is, even though it sounds like you would prefer to live in the second area, you likely won't be happy there if you are miserable with your work situation. Plus, if that job doesn't work out, it sounds like you won't have other options in your field.

Good luck and let us know how the second interview goes. When does the first job want a response to the offer?
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
The second job sounds just as bad as the job you just left. Plus if you've never been in a director role before it's likely that you won't do a great job, and clearly the current boss has no problem firing people. I never think it's a good idea to pretend you can do something in an interview that you've never done before. A friend of mine exaggerated/lied about her experience in order to get a job (and her boss at the job she was leaving backed her up and lied too!), and she ended up getting fired very quickly once the boss realized she lied. I'm not saying that's what you did, but it sounds like you stretched the truth a bit in your interview.

I would either go with the first job or keep looking. Have you considered not working or working part-time and going back to school? I know you've posted before that you don't like the field you ended up going into.
 

shihtzulover

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Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
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By job title and description alone, option #1 sounds like a dream to me. It seems a lot like my last position, but on an even smaller scale, in a setting that I find more interesting, and with a completely fresh start - no past messes to walk into. Realistically though, a degree is not even really required for this position, although it would be required for the higher position, if it were to open up as they hope will happen. Their plan is to take over branches of other companies in the area (as they did with this one - they are operating in the same building and as the same type of company, but they hire their own staff), and they are already trying to make the first moves toward that, assuming that they get the proper grants and such. Basically, nothing is guaranteed, but they will hopefully be able to continue growing.

The only thing that makes the second job even possibly doable is one person there, who used to be a director of this type of department. She is older now, and pretty close to retirement, so she recently started at this company at a slower-paced job, and she is not interested in moving up to the director position. I did interview with her, and she does seem to know everything about how to run the department, and she has some great ideas. She knows how to do all of the jobs well, and she said that she would be happy to mentor me and help me along the way. She really seemed to like me, and I know that she was especially enthusiastic about me because I am originally from the area, and I'm sure that it's very difficult to find someone who already lives in this area. It seems like they think it will be a good investment because since this is my hometown, I am not likely to leave for a long, long time, assuming that they are okay with training me.

I feel like I might be taking a huge risk if I took the second job. If it doesn't work out, I'm not sure that I will ever find another job in my field, considering that I left my last job after less than six months. I know that you can never be sure (I never would have guessed that my last job would turn out the way that it did), but option #1 seems safer.

I don't even know if I should call my would-be boss at option #2, just to let her know that I have another offer, so that they might be able to move my second interview up - then maybe I could get a better feel for the position, and really be able to make the best decision. I doubt that they could change the interview date though, because like I said, I am scheduled to interview with several of the big bosses, and I doubt that they have a lot of free time in their schedules.

Also, this might be a silly question, but if I decide to go with option #1, will the second company be upset with me for wasting their time, and then not consider me for a future position? I do think that I would still like to possibly work for them one day, and if I choose to not go with them (assuming that they offer the job to me), would that hurt my future chances?

On the other hand, if I took #2, I guess I would have to worry about the same thing with #1.


ETA: I have thought about going back to school for something else, but I'm just not totally sure. Now that I have been away from my last job for awhile, I have found that I miss that job itself, but not the other issues. I even started to think that maybe I should have stayed, but I just got a call from the human resources manager there, and she just left. She was planning to stay there until retirement, but she evidently couldn't take it. There is now only one other manager left that was there when I started, and she is still looking for another position. It makes me feel better about my decision, knowing that things did not improve at all, and that they continued to get much worse.

Anyway, I've found that while some of the jobs in this field are not particularly interesting to me, I think that my last job could have been perfect for me if the situation were different, and I would still like a similar role somewhere else.
 

wannaBMrsH

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
1,049
Shitzulover, I can't tell you what to do, but I will tell you something I learned the very hard way and that I have truly never recovered from.

I work in HR and have for the last 4-5 years. My dream job would be to work in HR for one of the top 5 luxury retail stores (NM, Barney's, Bergdorf's -which is owned by NM, Saks, or Nordstrom).

Two years ago, I had a good job with a good title and FABULOUS pay/RIDICULOUS benefits. I got a call from a top 5 luxury retail company asking if I would consider coming to work for them. He explained that the company has a VERY STRONG promote from within culture and if I started fairly low and got my foot in the door, the opportunities for advancement were phenomenal. The job was pretty entry-level and I would have to take a pay cut. I didn't really consider what he said, I declined the job, and actually recommended a friend that was trying to get into HR for the position. She was hired (as a Benefits Administrator, making $20/hour) two years ago.

Last year, I quit my job because I honestly couldn't take the situation I was in anymore. I was out of work for 4 months and found another position comparable to the one I was in, making a little bit more money (8k more). I was laid off in April.

My friend? She is the Director of Benefits and Compensation for the SAME top 5 luxury retailer! In the last two years, she has had THREE promotions and FIVE wage increases! She makes more than $20k more than I did at my last job and SHE LOVES the work, loves the people, and she LOVES, LOVES, the perks! She sends me great presents every time she is promoted for helping her find her dream job! THAT WAS MY DREAM JOB! And I was too silly to see it.

Now, whenever, I hear someone tell me that their dream job would involve a pay cut, I quickly tell them my tale of woe so they can learn from my mistake. GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS! At least, even if you fail, you will never regret it.

Good luck in your choice and I hope you come back and tell us what you choose.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Judging from your first post, I'd say that the first option sounds like the more appealing one (to me anyway). Mary Poppins gave the reasons, and those would probably be enough to make me accept it if I was in your situation. Plus, it's less stress than the second option, and that would mean the world to me. It's great to challenge yourself, but it sounds like the second job's going to be a super stressful position. If your initial thoughts about your boss and coworkers prove true, it could be a miserable experience. Maybe I'm reading too much into what you wrote, but those are my thoughts so far.

ETA: I wouldn't let the pay cut with the first position make or break your decision. There are so many factors to being happy in your position, and salary is just one of them. I'd rather make less money and be perfectly happy (and less stressed) than make more money but be miserable.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Sounds like safe bet versus high-risk high-reward.

I would take option 2 but not move and uproot my life to minimize the risks. If it pans out and you do well, then you have high reward --better pay, live near family, more important job it sounds like. If you hate it, look for different work, either staying in the job or leaving it.

You are young and don't have kids and can afford to take a chance. Now is the time to try it.

***

ETA: Just read the job 1 is your dream job. That was not apparent to me. OK, no brainer then, take job number 1.

Am I correct the only draw to job 2 is living near family? That is not a good reason to take a job.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I sincerely appreciate all of your replies. I really want to make the right decision, so your advice is very valuable to me.

By all means, option #2 probably should be my dream job. It is definitely one of the positions that many people in my field would hope to eventually land someday. You can take my degree in several different paths, but this is the most classic route to take. It's what I always thought that I wanted, at the company that I thought I would always want to work for (near my family). Of all of the different types of company settings that I could work in with my degree, this is my second favorite, but it is also the most common and the largest.

Of course, when I was in college, I didn't really understand how the working world works. I envisioned myself obtaining a graduate degree, and possibly working as a CEO one day, or something similar. Since I had never completed an internship or anything like that, I honestly had no idea what to expect. When I started working, I quickly realized how high the stress really is for these types of positions, and that people in upper-level management work pretty much constantly.

I do want to be successful in my career, but as I found in my last job, sometimes the extreme stress just isn't worth it. I know that it's a bit different, because the new upper-level managers there were almost abusive in some ways, but it caused me to reevaluate my priorities in life a bit. I feel like what I'm evaluating is comfort and happiness with my job (option #1) versus possible early career success and feeling like I 'made it' (option #2).

Option #1 is a lower position than my last one, and maybe somewhat comparable to the level of my first job ever, but definitely lower pay than both. It's not prestigious or really high up in the chain by any means, but it sounds so much less stressful, and I would even say more interesting to me. Also, it is in my absolute favorite type of setting that exists in my field, and there is possible room for advancement with this company, because they seem to really be growing. Even if I were to advance, the higher position is still not as high-paying or prestigious as option #2, but I don't believe that it carries the same stress or extremely long hours, either - and the pay would still be good, and the work would probably be more fulfilling.

Also, even if that higher position did not open up with option #1, the company does sometimes have that position available in a couple of other cities. Once I got the necessary experience in the setting, I could apply for those jobs, too. Also, there are a couple of other companies around within the same setting, and they also sometimes have director positions open. This type of setting tends to stay smaller, so even if I were to obtain the director position, it might be for a smaller, more comfortable branch. I can't easily get into the director position without experience in this setting, though. There actually is one open for another company in another city, but I did not apply, because they would like someone with a few years of experience in this setting, and I'm not really sure how well the company is doing. It might be possible to get the job, but rather than try to tackle huge projects and becoming extremely stressed about it, I now am beginning to think that taking the slower road might be just fine - especially since the company that offered me the job seems to be more secure and like a good company to work for.

I am still in my mid 20s, so I am still establishing myself in my career. I honestly feel like I've barely even started. I know that I have plenty of time to advance up to the director positions. I'm not even sure what I want yet - when I have children, I may wish to stay home with them. I guess I just want a job to feel successful on my own, outside of my fiance. I would also like to gain as much experience as possible now, just in case I choose to leave when I start my family, but then want to go back to work several years down the road. I'm not even sure that I will ever have interest in being a SAHM, but you never know.

Like I said, I might almost be tempted to take Option #2, and really go for it, but I know that my resume already looks fishy with two jobs that I didn't stay at for very long. I really want/need for my next job to be one that I really enjoy and that I can establish myself in.

I'm not even sure that Option #2 will offer me the job. They seemed impressed with me when I went to the first interview, and they said that it would be two weeks before the scheduled the second rounds, but they called me the very next day. One of the interviewers told me that they had two other interviewers during the first round, so if they only interviewed three people, I'm not sure how many would make it to round 2. Also, since I am meeting with the very upper-level management, it seems like they might be pretty serious. That makes it more stressful for me though, because if they are putting all of this time into interviewing me, I don't want to upset them if I choose the other position, since I really don't want to burn my bridges with this company.


So, Option #1: My favorite setting type, more comfortable with the work, and probably also more interesting. Much less stress and likely chance for advancement. Although it still wouldn't be as 'high up' as option #2, the work would probably continue to be more interesting with much less stress and less long hours - but the pay would be much lower, and we would have to move to a new, intimidating city in an area with possibly high crime rates.

Option #2: Closer to family, probably much higher pay in an area with a significantly lower cost of living, and a job that I could really be proud of. I would probably really struggle a lot though, with tons of long hours and an unreal amount of stress - and I would have to really break out of my comfort zone a lot. The probability that my boss would be difficult to work for, with a high chance of failure - which could really affect my future in this field.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Based on this,

"I feel like what I'm evaluating is comfort and happiness with my job (option #1) versus possible early career success and feeling like I 'made it' (option #2)."

I'd definitely go with option 1. I can't remember what field you're in, but I imagine that you can achieve the "I made it" feeling with the first position, too. Maybe it will come out in a different way than the second position would, but I bet you'll be happier. Plus, you may be burned out too much to really enjoy your successes if you work in the second position.
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,569
Do you feel comfortable disclosing what city option #1 is in? If PSers are familiar with it, they can provide information regarding possible areas to look for housing, cost of living, lifestyles/things to do, and public transportation. Or, you may want to start a separate thread about that to so it gets more exposure.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thank you again, everyone. If anyone has any other thoughts and advice to offer, they are very much appreciated. Here is the update:

Yesterday, my fiance and I visited the city where option #1 is located, and we found a few really nice apartment complexes close to where I would work. We scoped out the general area, and it definitely looks like it could have promise. We have gone to look at it before, but that's before I had an actual offer. This time, we looked around in much more detail, and we found that while the city does have a lot of major highways and that I would inevitably be required to travel on them sometimes, there are actually plenty of places to go that do not require any major highway driving.

The building where I would work looks nice, and like it was built fairly recently. The area there isn't the absolute greatest, but it's not terrible. I probably wouldn't linger around alone after dark, but I think it would be fine to go to and from my car (on the days that I would drive myself), since the building is small and the parking lot is right there.

We both agree that there is one particular apartment complex that we like the best. I wouldn't have to get on a major highway to go to work, although most of my drive would involve a busy road (not quite as scary as a major highway to me though). My fiance would be able to drive me on most days, unless he was really sick, or during a very occasional business trip (usually once or twice a year). I did notice some taxis, so I could probably even take one if I was absolutely terrified to drive. On the other hand, I know that I have to get over my fears eventually. I am mostly afraid of heavy traffic and merging between lanes, especially at high speeds -all obviously parts of living in most cities.

Anyway, the complex is very nice, and it felt like home. We are not yet sure whether we would rather have a two or three-bedroom apartment. I know that it sounds like a lot for two people, but he does snore pretty loudly, so we would need separate bedrooms. Also, he works from home, so he would need to set up some sort of office space, and we have some of our own exercise equipment that would be nice to keep. They did have both models available. We are kind of leaning toward the three bedroom, just because we probably would be better off with the space, and also because it will be available exactly when we would want to move. My only reservation is that it is on the ground floor, and I am worried about crime - although we would have the option to install our own security alarm. Honestly, my only real concern is my dog. While I would be very sad if something happened to my possessions, they are all replaceable - only my dog is not. On the other hand though, my fiance does work from home, so someone would be there most of the time.

My fiance will be able to do some of his hourly/contract work for his side job from home, but a lot of it does have to be done on-site. He says that he is fine traveling there as needed, which I'm hoping will be about 1 or 2x per week. I am not sure how well it will work, and they may want someone closer, so I feel bad about that. It's wonderful that he has them as a temporary backup full-time option at any point, and I hope that he can continue to work with them. On the other hand, he thinks that he can secure a part-time/backup telecommuting position (in addition to his full-time one). Another positive for this city is that it is actually very good for his field, so if for some reason he left his current job and could not find another telecommuting position, this city probably has the best local opportunities for him - probably better than any other city in our state, or even the surrounding ones.

I am really leaning toward taking this position, even though it is much lower-paying than the option #2 would be (I'm guessing that option #2 would pay at least 1.5x the salary, and in an area where the cost of living is significantly less), and even though it doesn't even really require my degree. I feel like this would really get my foot into the door, both with this company and also in this type of setting in general, and that I could learn a lot in a lower stress situation, before hopefully eventually securing a higher position.

I honestly really was not expecting this job offer. I interviewed for the higher position at another branch of this company back in February or March, and they told me a month later that they had filled it with someone with experience in this setting, but that they had recommended me for other jobs. I was told that this particular branch was possibly going to open in June or so, but that it was not a done deal. I was first contacted by the hiring manager for this branch around that time, asking if I would be interested. He contacted me again later, telling me that he would make his final hiring decisions at the beginning of May, since it was set to open for training in July. I had not heard anything until this past Friday, so I thought that he had chosen someone else. What happened was that the opening date had been pushed back again, so training will now start in August.

I'm not sure how common it is for dates to be pushed back like this, and I know that they had to submit a proposal and secure grants in order to open this branch. I am not really sure about how these things work, so I would like to be absolutely certain that this branch is definitely going to open. I am planning to email him in the morning to make sure that it's definite, and also to ask for a copy of the job description, so that I'm not at all surprised. Also, I would like to ask for information regarding benefits, since I can't remember it clearly.

As far as option #2 goes, I don't know what to do. I am still worried about letting such a (possibly) great opportunity in my hometown go, but it just seems too risky to take right now. I do not need another short-term job on my resume at this point, and I think it would be just too likely to end in disaster. Even if I could manage to make it work, I don't think that I would be happy with a ton of stress. Also, I am a family-oriented person, and while I do want to be successful in my career, it would be difficult to work long hours and on holidays.

I'm just not sure how to handle this. I would like to go to the second interview just to be absolutely certain that I don't want the position, but I'm not sure that I really have time. The first company would really prefer to have my decision during the beginning of this week, and they said that I can take the rest of the week if I absolutely need to - but that they will contact other people to see if they're still interested, just so that they can be ready to offer the job to someone else in case I decline. Still, they were hesitant in saying that, and since my second interview with option #2 isn't until Wednesday afternoon, I feel that it might be too late. Also, I am afraid that option #2 will be upset that they wasted so much time on me, if they do offer the position to me and I decline.

My fiance really thinks that I should contact them and let them know that I have another offer, but that I'm still interested in working for them, in case they suggest moving the second interview up - just so that I could be absolutely certain that I don't want to accept the position (if offered). I just don't think that it's possible, because I don't think that these people have open schedules at all. Also, as ridiculous as it sounds, I am afraid to call my would-be boss, because she just seems so intimidating. I'm not sure if emailing is an acceptable form of communication for this or not.

I just really want to make the right decision, and I also don't want to seem unprofessional or upset anyone. Although I doubt that option #2 is a good fit right now, I think that it's very possible that I may want to work for them sometime in the future - so I certainly don't want to burn any bridges.
 

zoebartlett

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Messages
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You're not wasting anyone's time at the second company, Shihtzulover, so don't worry about that. These things happen all the time. If you thought there was a chance you'd actually accept a job if one was offered, then it might be worth talking to the boss and telling her that you have another offer and you need to let them know by X. See if she offers to move your second interview up. The only thing though is that to me, it doesn't really sound like there's a chance you'd accept an offer from her. Have you written a pros and cons list? My guess is that there'd be way more pros for the first company based on what you've written here. It might be worth doing though, so you actually see it on paper.

If I was in your place, I'd accept the offer with the first company. I'd let them know how excited I am to work with them and once you're there, I'd take any opportunity to learn as many new things as possible. Be enthusiastic, be proactive, learn a lot, and take in as much as you can. This is something you'd be expected to do in any job, and having it be in a low-stress environment sounds really great.

I'm glad that you and your FI have found some promising things about the area where the first company is located. That's great!
 

shihtzulover

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I just feel bad about letting option # 2 go, although I do doubt that the position is a good fit for me at this time. I was hoping to go to the final interview, just to get an even better feel for the job. It would most likely be confirmation that it's still not a good choice and that I should accept option #1 , but I would feel better with a bit more information.

Either way, I think that I will email my would-be boss at option #2, just to let her know that I unexpectedly received another offer. When I was there, I was very enthusiastic about working with them, and I really did think that it was a great possibility. The job ad wasn't very detailed at all, but I had all of the qualifications. When I got there though, they kind of assumed that I am more experienced than I am and I acted like I was comfortable with everything, but it really seemed like way too much to take on at this point. I did talk about having always pictured myself working there, and always wanting to live in the area (both true, but not reason enough to choose a less-than-ideal job). I acted totally confident and ready to take on any challenge, but the more I think about it, the more I see a big possibility of disaster.

Regardless of my decision, I will email her to let her know the situation (that I'm still interested in them, but that I received another offer that I'm not sure I can hold off on for long), just so that she's not surprised later. I feel more responsible and like it makes better sense to keep her in the loop about the other offer that came up unexpectedly, because I think that I might (but maybe not) be their only 2nd interview.

I feel pretty confident that I will accept option # 1, but we are applying for the apartment today, just to be sure. I don't think that we will likely be rejected, but we do not have a ton of credit. Even if we don't have enough, we would probably just have to pay an extra month of rent up-front or something like that, but i want to be sure about it before I accept the job. Also, I would still like to ask and make sure that nothing could fall through with the branch opening, and that there is definitely going to be a job for me.

This is all so exciting, but also scary. The idea of moving to this area is quite intimidating to me, but like my fiance said, it will be like an adventure for us, and we can get to know a new city together. :)
 

D&T

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so are you saying that option #1 doesn't start until August? if so, I'd take the job and then still interview with the second position (no one has to know that you have accepted another position or are still interviewing especially if a job doesn't start for months). As an employer I would not want to extend my deadline for acceptance of a position, you either take it or leave it, and hey if it doesn't work out, I always have a backup candidate and the job doesn't start for another six-eight weeks, things could happen during that time could be out of your controls. Taking a job doesn't mean you are locked in, if another opportunity arises. I've accepted jobs in the past and have been offered a "better position" later and I took it because it was a better fit for me.
 

shihtzulover

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That's very true, since yes, I would have until August until option #1 would begin. I am most concerned because I don't want to burn my bridges with either company. No matter which opportunity I take, I would still likely want to work for the other company sometime in the future. I am afraid that if I accept option # 1and then back out because I decide to take something else, they will not take me seriously, and they won't consider me again if I apply for another position with them in a few years or so.

I did email my would-be boss at option # 2, and she just replied, explaining that I am scheduled to meet with upper management, so just to please let her know if I choose to accept the other position, so that she can cancel the meetings. Otherwise, she thinks that I should go to the second interview before making my final decision, and then she will try to have an answer for me as quickly as possible.

I would absolutely love it if I could accept option #1 and then possibly (but not likely) later change my mind with no repercussions, but I am really not sure how happy they would be about it, and I think that they might view it as unprofessional - and that I would therefore become 'blacklisted'. It's true that a lot can happen over the course of two months, but I have always heard that it's unprofessional to accept a position and then later back out.

My fiance just submitted the apartment application, but I'm not sure how long it will take to return. I really do feel that I should accept option # 1 soon, and I really wanted to make sure that everything is set with the apartment, but I might not have a choice.
 

D&T

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honestly, the only thing I find unprofessional is if you decline the first option to interview for the second job not getting the second job as well, then turn around to the first employer and said "oops, never mind I'll take that job now after you decline." its just like a candidate I had that wanted too much money, and we said, sorry we're not going to pay that much, offered it another guy, then he came back and said would you reconsidered hiring me for the agreed salary? :rolleyes: ummm, nope we just hired someone else.

Well good luck whatever you decide.
 

weddedbliss

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My "lesson learned" is don't EVER walk into a toxic environment because it pays well and is prestigious. That is exactly what I did, except they did a little better job of hiding the toxicity. I've learned it's about 5x worse than they portray because they put their best face forward for interviewees (since they want the cream of the crop). You'll probably end up feeling like no one could even pay you enough to be in such a negative environment and constantly dream of ways out, like I do right now.
 

katamari

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Messages
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shihtzulover, it is a bit concerning to me that you are referring to these as Option #1 and Option #2. I wish you all the luck in the world materializing Option #2 as an actual option, but right now, you have Option #1 or to keep looking as you options.

I also want to encourage you to negotiate with Option #1. Ask for more pay. You haven't accepted yet, and if you think you are worth 1.5xs the pay--ask for it (or at least ask for 1.25xs). The worst they can do is give you the offer they already made.
 

kama_s

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I honestly don't think you're old enough to be petrified of a challenging job. This is when you put your blood, sweat and tears - you're young! I always want a job where I am not comfortable, I want a challenging job that pushes my limits, where I can have a steep learning curve.

That said, if you feel like you misrepresented yourself during the interview for job#2 and you don't have the right experience/credentials for the job, then I would strongly suggest not accepting it. If it is indeed beyond your scope, you're going to leave with a black mark and you can't ever use them as future references.
 

shihtzulover

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Messages
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The person who offered me the job at option #1 wanted to go ahead and make this the higher position so that he could hire me with the salary range that I wanted, but human resources said that this is the absolute best that they can do for now, and that they can't justify hiring someone in the higher position. More pay would be nice, but it's not my biggest concern right now. My biggest concerns are moving to a new city, the very difficult driving (which has always really scared me), and the safety of the area (it seems nice and safe, but I'm really not sure, based upon my Internet findings).

I really do feel that given my lack of experience, I am not yet ready for a job like #2. My fiance and my family think that I should go to the second interview just because it's already scheduled, and because they think that I may get a totally different impression this time. I honestly really doubt it, and I don't want to put off accepting the other offer.

If option #1 were in the same area as option #2 (where I was really hoping to live), I would have accepted it, regardless of pay. Of course, that's not a possibility, but it definitely would have made things a lot easier. :)

I learned from my last job that no amount of money and prestige is enough to be worth it if your job makes you totally miserable. I definitely would never want to get into another situation like that. I also really can't afford to get into another bad place (if I can help it), because I have been having enough trouble trying to find another job after leaving my last job after less than six months.

As far as waiting applying for new possibilities - it probably doesn't make any sense. I would likely still be required to move to another city, and there's a good chance that it wouldn't be as interesting as option #1. Even if option #1 never turns into a higher position, I think that it would open more doors for me if I get experience in the setting - even if I don't need my degree for this job, since it could be like a stepping stone up into the higher job.

My only worry career-wise is whether or not it would look bad that I took a job with lower difficulty and lower pay, after having a more difficult and higher-paying job. I could probably attribute that to the economy though, or just explain that I wanted more experience in this type of setting.

So right now, my biggest concern is really safety. I am planning to make another thread about crime rates and what's normal, etc, but right now, I'm planning to accept option #1 this afternoon!
 

shihtzulover

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I'm still really not sure what to do. Given the facts that I had at the time, and also thinking about how bad the economy is, I went ahead and accepted Option #1. He originally said that he might be able to give me until the end of the week to think about it, but that he would probably have to start contacting other people to see if they'd be interested. It seems like such a good opportunity for me, and I would hate to see it taken out from under me, and I was also pretty sure that Option #2 probably wouldn't even really be an option, so I felt that it was best to accept it, given the facts that I had at the time.

I still went to the second interview with Option #2, because it was coming up so quickly, and also because I just wanted reassurance that it wasn't the right job for me. Instead, it seemed better. Sure, it still seemed stressful and difficult, but some of the people were really nice, and I was more honest with them about my skill set, so I think that they're a little bit better aware. Most of the people there have actually been with the company for a long time (many for as long as 10-20 years), and a few different people mentioned that my would-be boss is great to work for. They all said that it is often challenging and difficult, but that they still really like her. Someone else mentioned that the only time that she doesn't want to work with you is if you're not trying at all, or not communicating with her.

She knows that I have a standing offer, but not that I already accepted it, so she told me that the decision would be made as quickly as possible. Then, I got a call from her assistant today, and they would like me to come in for a third interview with different people in the morning. I am so confused, because there wasn't supposed to be another interview. On the other hand, I appreciate that she made it for tomorrow morning, knowing that I have another offer and that I needed to know by the end of the week.

I feel like they understand my skill set and experience a lot better now, but I'm not sure if they totally understand it. For whatever reason, I still might be their top candidate, and I think a lot of it might have to do with the fact that I'm from this area, and that I would therefore likely stick around for awhile. Maybe they see it as a good investment, even if they do have to train me. I'm thinking that I should go to the third interview, to get an even better feel for the position.

Meanwhile, I actually still haven't received the offer letter for Option #1. I understand that they are busy with this new branch and that they are hiring so many new people, but I don't quite understand why I had to make a decision so quickly if they aren't even in a rush to send the letters out. I am concerned because the start date had been pushed back so many times before, and he assured me that it's a done deal now, but I would like to see it in writing - I'm not totally convinced that it's not possible for the opening to completely fall through. He did say that he would contact human resources and then the letter would come in my email and that he didn't know when, but I assumed that he meant in a day or so. So far though, there's nothing.

At this point, if I'm going to move to this new city, I have to prepare to sign a lease, hire movers, and make deposits for the move. Luckily, w didn't need to put my income on the apartment complex application since my fiance makes enough to get us approved, but the company doesn't know that. Normally, I wouldn't even be able to apply anywhere without the letter.

As it is, the apartment complexes in the new city for Option #1 are filling up quickly. My fiance and I decided that we don't want to be on the ground floor there, and there were no other larger units available, so we tried to reserve the smaller pool-view unit. Unfortunately, it's already been taken, so the only one left is a unit that's still smaller than what we wanted, and that we would have to sign the lease and begin paying rent on next weekend, since it's already vacant. We didn't even want to move for over a month, and I don't feel comfortable signing a lease without the offer letter. Also, since we have to give 30-days notice at our current place, and also because we have to hire movers, etc, we are looking at paying rent at two places for a month. It's doable, but not ideal. It's not even like we could consider another complex in the area, because the only other two that we liked didn't have any good openings coming up, and they are actually more expensive per month, even though we actually didn't like them quite as much.

We are definitely willing to work around the apartment issues, and like I said, we definitely can pay that extra month of rent before we're really ready to move in. I guess I'm really just mostly stressed because I'm not sure what to do without the offer letter, and now option #2 seems like a bigger possibility than it did at first.

I just wish that this could be a smoother process, and that one of these would seem like the absolute right path to take. I am worried that Option #2 may offer me the job tomorrow, and then I will have to make a decision. At this point, I'm not sure about which I would choose, but I don't even have an offer letter from Option #1, to make it official. Also, I don't want to anger anyone and ruin any future chances with either company. I'm afraid that #1 will be mad if I un-accept the offer (even though the branch won't open for another 1.5 months and even though I haven't received the offer letter yet), but I don't want to make #2 mad by declining after they took
all of this time to interview me. It's so odd to me, because I have had so many interviews already in the past few months, and none of them really panned out, and now I may have two offers to choose from all of the sudden.

Regardless of which job works out, I know that I really like both companies, and I just want to be successful in whichever position that I choose. Option #1 is my favorite setting, and I also think that it would be very interesting and hopefully provide opportunities for advancement (either in the company or in this setting). Option #2 is already a higher position that I actually need my degree for, and it is my second favorite setting, and a place where I always imagined working one day, just because it is so close to my home area. It's just really important to me that I pick correctly, because I really want to find a place and stay for a long time.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
Interesting developments! Well if you made the people at Option #2 more aware of your skill set and you're still interested after tomorrow's interview, I might be tempted to accept Option #2 if they make you an offer. A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush and all. I also wouldn't want to turn down a more concrete position for one that seems to be up in the air like Option #1.

As for anyone being mad at you, it's just business. I've turned down a job offer before (after negotiating with them for more money) because I received a promotion at my current position after I interviewed with them and it just didn't make sense to leave it. I'm sure they weren't happy since they took the time to interview me and go through the HR process to make me an offer, but I doubt they were mad at me personally. And if they were, oh well! There's a saying "You can be loyal to the company, but the company will never be loyal to you." It's the truth-you need to look out for your own best interests.

I doubt the apartments are really filling up that fast. And if they are, so what? There are more fish in the sea and you didn't seem too happy about that place anyway. Plus you can't sign a lease until you have a solid offer letter from Option #1 anyway.

Just go to your third interview and keep being honest with them about your skill set. If they offer you the job, you'll have a few days to think about it and weigh all the pros and cons. And sometimes all you can do is take the leap and see how it goes. Good luck tomorrow!
 

zoebartlett

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Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
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As Thing2 said, I wouldn't worry about either of the companies being mad at you. I can understand your feelings though, but it is just business. If #2 offers you a job today or soon, maybe you could contact #1 and tell them that you have received another offer, and you're waiting on their (#1's) official letter from HR. When it comes right down to it, verbal offers don't hold as much weight, typically. Someone told me once (not related to jobs, but it still applies here) that until you get in in writing, nothing's ever official.

I'm glad you got a better feeling from everyone during your second interview with #2. I still worry that it might be too much stress, so I wouldn't rule out #1 yet. You KNOW what too much stress can do and how it can make you feel. I'd hate for you to end up accepting #2, start work, and then realize that it's not the right fit. Will you learn and grow in #1? Will it make you feel successful and satisfied? Will it challenge you? Will you enjoy the people you're working with and for? Just some things to think about.
 

shihtzulover

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Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thanks for all of the advice!

Hmmm...if I do get an offer from Option #2 today, would it really be acceptable to call and ask for my offer letter from Option #1? Even if I don't get a second offer, I would like to have the offer letter in hand so that I can start making plans to move. Also, can I just call human resources of the company instead of the person who hired me? He seems a bit inexperienced in hiring people, and also very busy. He was nice and tried to answer all of my questions, but I could hear a lot going on in the background, and people were constantly calling him. Also, I'm pretty sure that he was directing many of my questions to human resources anyway, and then giving me their answers.

As for the apartments - there is really only one complex in the area that we can really consider. The other two nice complexes had nothing available in the size that we're looking for, and all of the others weren't as nice or in good parts of town. The closest nice apartments after that seem to be a considerably longer drive, and I would have to get on a major highway to get to work. I know that I need to learn to drive better in busy situations, but I'd rather ease into it if possible.

Well, I'm off to my third interview with Option #2! :)
 

shihtzulover

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Messages
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It's so hard to say how it really went! Now that I'm thinking that I might truly want this job, I'm over-analyzing everything that I said! I was pretty nervous, so I know that I could have said some things better, but I unfortunately can't go back and do it over.

I'm still not really sure what I even want to do at this point. Most of the people that I interviewed with at Option #2 yesterday seemed really nice and helpful, although a couple of them made me nervous, and again made me question whether or not I could handle the position. I really do think that it would be a nice job to have, but I wish that I had a few more years of experience before this came up.

I was also able to meet with most of the members of the department this time, and they were all very nice. Most of the employees (both in the department and in the entire company) have been there for a really long time. Several said that they have been there for 10-20 years, and some for over 30 years. It's good because the company must be nice to work for, but it concerns me because everyone that I would manage is older than me. Of course, younger people can definitely be good managers, but I think that the employees might really try to test me. On top of that, I look younger than my age - I'm in my mid 20s, but many people guess that I'm in my later teens.

Of course, there's a very good chance that they won't even offer me the job. I was guessing that they would let me know by yesterday afternoon if I had gotten it, but they never gave me a definite time line. If they do offer it to me though, then it will be a very tough decision - especially because it is unlikely to open up again for a long time. Their last director was there for over 10 years, and most of the management team has also been there for 10+ years, or even much more. I'm not sure when I would get another opportunity.

I still haven't received Option #1's offer letter yet. I'm not sure whether or not I should be concerned, or if i should contact human resources on Monday to ask about it. I don't want to be a bother, but I will probably have to sign an apartment lease next weekend if I move forward with this option. I'm sure that I will have my answer from the other company by then, and since they know that I'm under a time crunch, if I don't hear from them by Friday, I will be confident that I didn't get that job.

So, for this weekend, I guess I just really need to decide which job I would take if I received both the offer letter from #1 and an offer from #2. Assuming that I get the offer letter, Option #1 also still seems like a wonderful opportunity. Sure, I would start significantly lower and make less money, but the setting is a little bit more interesting, and I would be getting more experience in it, so that I could move up later. The company really seems to be growing, but even if the higher position never became available, it would likely still open doors up for me with other similar companies.
 

zoebartlett

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Messages
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shihtzulover|1309014005|2954778 said:
I'm still not really sure what I even want to do at this point. Most of the people that I interviewed with at Option #2 yesterday seemed really nice and helpful, although a couple of them made me nervous, and again made me question whether or not I could handle the position. I really do think that it would be a nice job to have, but I wish that I had a few more years of experience before this came up.
It's your last sentence that stands out for me. If you work at option #1 for a few years, you'd gain more experience, right? I know it's a bit below what you're expecting, but it seems that option #2 is something to work towards after having a few years under your belt.

I can't remember when option #1 gave you their verbal offer. I do know that sometimes it can take a few days for a written offer to come in, for whatever reason. My husband went through something similar once. Since you'd need to plan a move and get an apt. as soon as possible, I guess I'd call HR on Monday morning and explain the urgency of needing their offer in writing.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
The offer letter from Option #1 arrived today, so I didn't even have to call and pester anyone. :)

It looks good - the pay is what they said it would be (still a little bit difficult to swallow, since it's lower than what I have made in the past), the benefits look great, and it will be full-time, etc. I guess what I'm a bit concerned about is the fact that it's an hourly position. Many of the positions in my field (especially the starter positions, and including my first job) are hourly, so it's not bad in itself. My only concern is that I'm afraid that there might be a possibility of hours being cut if the branch doesn't do well at first, or if it hits a low point. I have no idea whether that will happen or not, but I did see it happen to the hourly employees (with different types of positions) at my last job. Luckily, my position was a bit higher there, and I was salaried, so it didn't affect me. Also, since this new company is so small, I would be the only person doing my job there, so that might make cut hours affect me a bit less - and like I said, I have no real reason to suspect that it will happen, other than just what I have seen happen sometimes at other places in the past.

It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if it did happen, and as long as my fiance still has his job, we would still be financially secure. Then again, we wouldn't be financially secure at all if he lost his job, even if I was working full-time at my job with Option #1 - so I guess my side really wouldn't matter much. Regardless, we hopefully won't have to worry about any of this, but it's just a concern because in this economy, you never know.

The fact that it's an hourly position is great in some ways, too. They told me that they may find opportunities for me to have extra hours if I want, by doing some other types of work. If I were to do that, then I would be paid 1.5x my normal pay per extra hour, which is always nice. :) Also, another upside is that since it is hourly, I'm less likely to have long weeks, so I can spend more time with my fiance and dog. Of course, I would definitely be willing to put extra time in whenever needed, but having more free time can definitely still be a nice plus.

I didn't hear from Option #2 today, so I'm kind of assuming that I didn't get the job. Like I said, they never really told me when they were planning to make a final decision, but they know that I have another offer, and that I can't hold off for a long time. I know that it's still possible that they'll offer me the position, and to be honest, I still don't know if I want them to offer it or not - but if they don't, it will make my 'decision' a lot easier. :) If they decided not to hire me, I just hope that I still made a good impression on everyone, so that I can possibly work for them in the future.

I also actually got a call from another company today, but I haven't called them back yet. I was out for awhile and I just came home to the message, but since it's almost 5 pm here, I decided to go ahead and just return their call tomorrow. This is for a position that I had actually forgotten that I had applied for, but it in an even further city. I applied there because the job sounds right, and also because I have visited the area before, and it's absolutely beautiful. The position is actually right at the perfect experience/knowledge level for me, since it's a larger company, and they have a few degree-holding employees under the director. It's not really an option right now though, since I have to fully commit to Option #1 and the apartment lease by the end of the week.

I'm just really excited to be moving forward toward a new position. When I first left my last job, I was completely burned out and ready for a big break, but now I'm getting stir-crazy, and I'm really ready to get out and start working again. :)
 

shihtzulover

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I just want to give a quick update. I am still moving forward with Option #1, and my fiance and I are moving to the new city next month. We have spent a few days there exploring, so we're already getting to know the area a bit.

Option #2 did come through with an offer for me, but it's not what I was expecting. Some of their upper management team members are a bit concerned with my lack of experience, so they just weren't sure about bringing me on board permanently. Instead, they offered me an interim director position, with the possible opportunity for it to become permanent, if I could prove myself.

Of course, I really wasn't expecting to go with that position anyway, even if they did make it permanent. I appreciate that they were trying to make it work out with me, since they know that it's my home city and that I would probably stay there for a very long time, but I certainly would not want to turn down a permanent position for a (probably) temporary one.

Also,the terms that they proposed weren't even good. There was no minimum amount of time that I would be serving as interim director (but human resources did put a maximum time period in), so they could continue to try to recruit someone else right from the beginning. Also, while the pay was much higher than what I will be making with Option #1 (more than 1.5x the amount of money), it wasn't even the minimum that they pay a permanent, newly-hired director - so it seems like I would be doing all of the work with less pay. The pay probably would have been fine if that's what they normally give directors, but just knowing that regular directors are paid more makes it seem unfair. Also, they said that I would be eligible for benefits and such, but if I were only to stay for three months, I doubt I would ever even have a chance to get on the health insurance.
 
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