Saturday, August 05, 2006

Careful What You Wish For

For weeks I've been begging the Universe to send me a job. Then what happens? The Universe sends me two in one day. What a sense of humor. Very funny Universe.

Both the foster care place and the at risk youth place want me. I agonized all day Friday trying to figure out how to maneuver the two offers without losing either of them. The foster care place was direct with their offer whereas the job at risk youth place, the one I have met with 3 times already, is contingent on me wowing their #1 board member on Tuesday at noon.

When the foster care place called first thing Friday morning, I delayed in returning the call thinking I could push them off with a clever game of phone tag so that they would be forced to make the formal offer on Monday thus allowing me to ask for a day to consider it. But the clever woman left her cell phone number and a job offer on her second message so there was no avoiding it. All afternoon I fretted. Especially after the Executive Director from the at risk place called me on her day off to spell out that I was their number one choice and basically hand-fed me helpful information for the meeting with their very rich, very connected Board member. If I don't wow her, I am not in. Plus, she wants me to be prepared with a "major gift ask" which, truth be told, I loathe doing. It would be half of my job and well, that's on my mind for sure. Oh yeah, and I have to wear some sort of power suit. Me? Power suit? They've made this Board member out to be such trouble, I wonder if, after I meet her, I won't want the job? I've had my share of Board drama. I am not looking for a repeat performance with new scenery.

Of course I have made a list. The pros and cons of each job along with a list of all the benefits included. They are pretty comparable in the bennies department and in their organizational missions but they differ greatly on office atmosphere, type of work and pay scale.

I spent 20 minutes talking to my potentially new boss at the foster care place and was almost ready to just say, "I'll take it!" She is so easy to talk to. Very cool. About my age. Has worked in HIV/AIDS doing volunteer coordination for years before moving over to work there. She's a straight forward, honest person and we get along great. I felt that way about the other two key department members there as well. It would be an easy commute, livable wage, and meaningful work. But, I'd just be doing volunteer stuff with the occasional events-related duties instead of the other way around. I thought I wanted to stay in development so I can make my way to being an Executive Director someday. The bad part about wanting that is you have to do all the financial/donor stuff. And that stuff just does not excite me.

The other job with the at risk youth would be a challenge as well as a move up for me. I'd be in charge of all the events as well as individual donors. It's a very small office with only 8 staff and fairly new- only 3 years old. The boss is new too since arriving from NY in January. She's very straightforward and direct and I like that about her. And the Deputy Director is sweet and we get along great (we should after 3 very long interviews) but she is a few months pregnant and will be on leave for some time right about the time I'd be getting into the thick of it. Plus, their office is very messy. Chaotic. Piles of boxes and papers and stuff everywhere. I have trouble concentrating when I am in there. But the pay could be significantly higher than the other job (and my previous job in California) and it would look good on my resume for my supposed "career path."

There are worse situations than this, for sure. But I am agonizing nonetheless.


Lushy said...

Imagine that you are three months into each job. Is there anything that would make you think that you wish you had taken the other job?

If that was statement was inartfully worded, it's the Nyquil talking. It totally makes sense in my head.

Congratulations on your job(s)! :)

Danielle said...

congrats! i'm sure you'll do a great job wherever you are. i had a similar situation present itself in december and took the job with slightly less pay but an atmosphere that seemed to be a better match, and i definitely don't regret it. best of luck and go with your gut!

Lisa said...

I'm a former foster child and current child advocate.

I'm also a chapter designee of FCAA (Foster Care Alumni of America).

Sometimes foster alumni can have an edge when it comes to building trust with foster youth.

In whatever job you choose, please know that you can contact me anytime --- especially if you know of youth who have aged out of foster care and need emotional and / or financial assistance.


Claire said...

Careful of wishes, indeed. :]

You seem to have an idea of what you want for that 'in 5 years...' question, so maybe it's a matter of what room for professional growth each gig has.

The chaotic place is fairly new, right?...well, the boss is pretty new. Would you be able to transform your corner of that space into a more organized environment that could be maintained? Sometimes that's a matter of where you are in the hierarchy and the type of folks you work with...

Good luck deciding/power interviewing and such...

Nihilistic said...

I knew it! Not one, but TWO!!! Everything is working out! I'm so happy for you!!

Melissa said...

After you are offered the gig on Tuesday ask for a meeting with the Deputy Director and see if she can address the issues that concern you. If she can't, then you've got the other gig to fall back on.

And tell them Monday that you have a final interview with someone else and would like to let them know Wednesday if you will accept or decline their offer. And be truthful with them if they ask about the other gig, that the size of the pay check is significantly more. They might bump their offer up a little bit to try and sway you.

Work it, girl.

Bre said...

I know it's clearly awful, but in theory you could accept the first job and then if you get the second call and back out.

Not that I doubt that you can wow the Head Honcho! If they aren't wowed by you, they're un-wowable!

snackiepoo said...

First of all, congrats on having offers and choices....even though I agree that it is really hard to choose sometimes.

I always go with my gut and my gut is usually led around by the personalities that I will be working with because any place can change on a dime as far as the workload or expectations go...roles can grow and change but people generally don't that much in a work setting.

Good luck!

Alison said...

Oh, I like what Melissa said.

Good luck with your decision!

Karl said...

I agree with a number of folks here, Melissa and Snackie, in particular. Any company worth working for will understand if you take a few days to make up your mind about offers. And I believe in being as up front as possible. You're very qualified; they've got to know that more than one company wants you on their team. After all, if THEY are offering you a job, doesn't it make sense that other companies are doing the same?

Anthony S. said...

Snackie makes the most sense; go with your gut.

I would try for the more exciting bump-up job from the straightforward director. Take a chance.

Whatever your choice is, you are TNT in a power suit.

alissa said...

That is so exciting! Two offers! Congratulations Sizz! I can't wait to hear what you decide. I told you I had a good feeling!

kapgar said...

I told you it would happen. Go ahead, say it, "you were right, Kevin."

Now which way are you leaning?