17 August 2015

Big Deal News


As you can tell, I'm pretty excited. We don't have to move. Or switch schools. We could buy a house and be living in it before this baby is born. Or we could build our dream house.

I, personally, am ecstatic. This is everything I ever wanted outside of Chicago: a permanent job, nearby, a raise, decent benefits, a great culture. When Matt got home from work and told me, I gasped with delight, I cheered, I chastised Matt for waiting until he got home instead of calling me immediately. I danced around the bedroom and asked about start dates and paternity leaves. I was ready to make announcement phone calls and find a realtor. I told Matt we needed milk, ran to the store, bought a cake, had the bakery write: "Good Job, Babe" (get it? "Good job") on it, and came home singing: "Congratulations to you!" so enthusiastically that Abigail sang it over and over again the rest of the night.

But while I was dancing around the room with joy, Matt was standing in the middle giving the cake a dirty look.

He has a different opinion. The job is at a firm, one that requires a certain number of billable hours. The benefits are not as good as the ones we currently have, so he is planning for the raise disappearing into the higher deductibles and coinsurance. The firm expects him to be available to take calls in the evenings, which would cut into family time. And he applied for something closely resembling his dream job in June and he just called them again last week to discover that they still haven't had interviews yet.

So as we stood in the room, literally and figuratively on opposite sides, I had to look really deep inside. I had to ask myself if I was prepared to make The Job Sacrifice. Could I? Yes, I could.

If you really don't want this job, if you think it's a bad call, I'm with you. You can turn it down and we'll stay where we are. Even if we have three kids in this two bedroom apartment, I don't want to you go to work hating your life. You still have another year at the court, there is time. I will support you if you turn down this job.

And then Matt had to look really deep inside himself. Which risk was the best one for us? The risk of staying at a job with an end date? Or the risk of taking a very, very different job?

Where Matt works, everyone's positions are temporary; they are all looking for new jobs at the end of three years. And there are two other people who are considering jobs with pay cuts. Without benefits. The legal job market is tough, and while it's healing just like the economy is healing, things are still tough. Our offer comes with a raise and benefits.

As I gave away in my opening sentence, Matt decided to take the new job.

He's taking this new job with the knowledge that if it's a really bad fit, he can always look for something else, but without the soul-eating pressure of his current deadline: This Job Will End and You Will Have No Way To Provide for Your Family. He's taking this new job with the knowledge that it doesn't close the door to his June dream job.

Matt authorized a blog post, but asked me to wait for a Facebook announcement until all the paperwork is signed and in order. And so here we are, each one of us running through a gamut of emotions, but sensitive to how different each other's experience of this Big Deal News is going.


Liz E. said...

Congrats! Getting a job offer is something to be proud of. Time to up the alcohol budget...cuz it is very helpful in dealing with the not-dream-job ;).

Amelia Bentrup said...

Congrats on the job!!!