Monday, August 10, 2009

Between a rock and a hard place?

After months of not posting despite several life changes, for the moment I'm going to gloss right over those changes and skip right to the potential new one. Several days ago I got a surprise job offer from an organization I really respect. I'm excited about the prospect and saddened at the same time. Several months ago Tim got a job in the beer capital of the US and I came with him. Unfortunately since then my confidence has slowly been seeping away, and I think this new offer in part seems more exciting because I've been so discouraged and unsure of where I belong. But my offer would necessitate a move to another city eight hours away, and although I wouldn't need to make the move for ~6 months, Tim and I would still be separated for some time. I like living in the same place as him, and remember struggling in the past when I did not.

I would really appreciate hearing from you how you go about making difficult decisions.


Irene said...

I know that feeling, and it's not easy. I have usually found that once I've thought about it a while, trying hard to line up all the reasons and weigh pros and cons logically, my subconscious comes to its own decision (which may or may not be the same one that logic lined up behind).

And then, even once I'm certain about my own preference, it can be hard to ignore the voices of "but what about X, Y, and X? What will they think? Will they disapprove?"

I think you'll be making the right choice if you focus on what will make you happiest over the long run.

Molly said...

Congratulations on the job offer! Sorry to hear that it is such a mixed blessing. I found that writing everything out in a journal helps--a safe place to verbalize things that are otherwise hard to admit or realize in the first place. Talking with a counselor has been really helpful too...
I don't suppose there's any way for either of you to negotiate positions for the other? Or any prospects for something fulfilling career-wise in the beer city? If you don't need the second income, could you possibly rebuild some confidence working on projects on someone's lab nearby without pay, at least to continue to build up pubs? Just a few thoughts :). Good luck Jenny!

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Jenny- I'm intrigued by your job offer (congratulations!) and would be happy to talk to you about it sometime (although I have no idea when is a good time for me to talk these days. I need sleep really really badly and am not getting it). I trust that you can come to a conclusion of what is best for you and your family. It is okay to choose to pursue your career and it is okay to choose to be with your spouse and, tough as it may be to remember, it is true while you may not be able to have it all at once, most of us will have it all over time (i.e. if you choose family now, that doesn't mean you are abandoning professional goals, and if you choose job now does not mean that you won't be with your family in the future).
Big hug and good luck.

Tucson Trekker said...

Hi Jenny,

Man that sounds tricky! I don't think I have any good advice that the others haven't given. I do know that getting a job I felt good about in Tucson did wonders for my mood and self esteem. I was lucky it was in the same town as Nate.

Even doing a job you like for a year could change your self image and future prospects. But you really haven't been in the beer capital that long... Maybe something good will turn up there. I'm sure that's all stuff you're thinking about.

I think I go about decisions like Irene. I think about all the pros and cons and then see what my gut tells me.

Even if you decide the best thing is not to take the job, getting an offer does mean you have a lot to offer and perspective employers can see this.


Irene said...

One more thing to contemplate: might your potential employer be willing to offer you some kind of flexibility - i.e. working 4 days a week instead of 5? Working from "home" some of the time?

Jennifer said...

These decisions can be tough. I like how Sp. Sq. put it - it is ok for you to choose to focus on your career and it is ok to choose to focus on family. Good luck with the decision. When I get back from PR, feel free to give me a call if you need.

Beth said...

Congrats on the offer - that's awesome! No matter what your decision, you should be proud of that! :-)

Good luck with the decision. I like the pro and con lists. I usually end up just going with my gut on these things though (post hours of agonizing mind you).

Personally I love being in the same city as my hubby and I don't think I would do very well in another city from him. But that's me. At the same time, I can understand that not having a fullfilling job is really hard.

((hugs)) and as others have said - please call if you want to talk about it.

Erin said...

Hi Jenny - Congrats on the job offer! I don't have anything to add to what's been said, but wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you. I hate difficult decisions, but they make us see who we really are and where our values are focused (even if it is hard to do). Hugs to you, and keep us posted on the outcome!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the job offer! I sympathize with the dilemma though. It's always hard to figure out what the right decision for you and your sig. other is over the long term. I don't have too much more to add to what others have already posted, but would emphasize that either decision is okay. Also, maybe see how flexible your potential employer would be to situations in which you aren't living there full time. I have to admit that I will probably be by-passing the whole post-doc thing because Stelios and I are sooo wanting the traveling back and forth to be done. So that starts limiting my possibilities too. Keep us posted on your decisions - will be thinking of you

Jenny said...

Much thanks for all of your support and your excellent insights. I'm lucky to know such a fabulous group of women.