Finally Got A Job Offer And I’m Taking It

After 3 months, 56 applications, 21 recruiter screeners, 16 first-round calls, 6 on-site interviews, and one reneged verbal offer, I finally got a written job offer and I’m going to take it.

Here are the highlights:

  • Well-known tech company that will be helpful on my resume if I have to go through this whole job-searching thing again
  • Same role as I had previously in a high-demand domain that I am actually interested in
  • 35% increase in total compensation compared to former employer (ignoring the value of private stock options at former shop)
  • Excellent benefits: full health insurance, maternity leave, lunch daily, phone reimbursement, etc.
  • Lots of growth opportunities within this group if I manage to do my job well
  • Company known for good work-life balance, especially compared to the other behemoth going through a hiring boom in the area

Yellow flags:

  • Geographically distributed stakeholders across multiple continents, which means the occasional early morning or late night call (this is pretty typical for my role so I’m okay with this)
  • Boss is remote — good for my sense of autonomy, not great for training
  • Team’s been shuffled around a bit and isn’t fully staffed for their new goals, which will probably cause some pain as priorities shift and new people come onboard
  • No women on my team as far as I can tell, but everyone I met was very nice and it didn’t feel “bro-y” which is a good sign

It’s going to take a few weeks to get my background check processed and get me on the calendar to start training. But I’m ready to start working again. Thank goodness this job search is finally over.

So What’s Next?

I’ve given my notice. About a year after I started down this career switch journey, I’ll be leaving my job. Again. Well, at least I lasted a yearSmall victories.

The past few weeks, I have been applying to different places and the outcomes have been spotty at best. Quite a few interviews but– and I didn’t realize this last time, mostly because I kind of jumped on the first (well, second) place that gave me an offer– but so many companies have cultures are downright toxic. Like, do not pass go, do not collect $200, actually maybe just drop your purse and run for your life-level of toxicity. How does anyone stay sane working? And then for the few interviews that I thought went well, I’ve ultimately either been rejected or ghosted. It has been super funnn.

Why, you may ask, am I leaving my job before having another one secured? For one, I am burnt out as fuck and I have started having anxiety that feels like a heart attack and this job isn’t worth the level of strain it’s put on my emotions, my body, and my relationships. For two, there are particular goings on that are probably going to open up the chasm of hellish nightmare bad things in like two months– based on poor decisions made like half a year ago– and I really really really don’t want to be around for that.

So where does that leave me?

I need another job. We have enough savings for me to take my time but still I’d ideally want to find something soon since I’ll be unemployed in the meantime and we’re not FI yet. Also, I’m kind of preventing us from starting a family until I have something stable (i.e. something I can stick with for a few years without being eaten alive by anxiety) and this delay is putting a strain on my marriage. Oh, and this new job has to cover all of our joint expenses since my husband’s salary barely covers childcare expenses and he wants to do the stay at home dad thing.

I AM NOT STRESSED YOU’RE STRESSED

Anyway, it’s fine. I’m fine. We’ll be fine. I have options right? Worst case scenario, I could go back to my former employer. I have a lot of friends still there and they tell me all the time they’d take me back. Or I could start consulting. Though I’m a year out until my non-solicitation expires and I can take my old clients back, my non-compete has just elapsed. I could probably scrounge one or two contracts together if I really needed to. Plus my best friend’s company is hiring. I mean, I wouldn’t love working there (they suffer from some of the same startup scaling woes as my current place), but it is a job and the novelty may stave away the sheer sense of panic for a bit. Or I could become a developer. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Stares blankly at a wall. I can’t feel my toes anymore. Or my soul.

What’s next for your career?

 

Everywhere You Go, There You Are

Warning: much navel-gazing too follow.

I am at a party with friends, many of whom I worked with at my old job. The usual greetings: “How are you?” they ask. I reply, “Alive.” I tell them I am decompressing from a rough week / month / year / decade of work. They nod, “Yup, sounds like you’re doing the same, then.”

Whether it’s the current high-stress job, the previous high-stress job, or perhaps any job at all, I feel I won’t be happy. While there are real problems both at old company and at new, the truth is I may not be suited to work. The concept of employment. Taking on the role which is imparted by a career, seeping into every fiber of my day and being. I don’t work as a ___, I am a ____.

I think: is it employment or me? Am I just depressed? But my mood improves during the weekend. And I remember, in the lazy summers of youth, having nothing I had to do, I was often my best, most productive self.

I worry, everywhere you go, there you are. But then is the right thing for me to turn off these feelings, or is there virtue in preserving that part of my identity which cares about aligning my labor and my ethics, being skeptical and challenging of authority, all those bits of me that are making it very, very hard to be happy with work? Is there virtue in the struggle? (No.)

What if I went self-employed? But then I start from zero. And the times you have the least leverage to choose what you want is when starting from zero. Also the grind, I do not romanticize it. Starting a business is damn hard work.

So where does that leave me? Here, in my friend’s living room, with people that I enjoy, that make me laugh, that I make laugh too. The communal pizza is droopy and stale, the way good party pizza should be. The lights are dim and furniture mismatched and we’re all figuring out what it means to be ourselves as we emerge from that time of our lives where “finding oneself” is still an acceptable vocation. There’s tumult and stress and the cloud of responsibility just on the horizon, but I can’t see them beyond the popcorn textured ceiling. I am distracted– by friendship, by a moment of simple joy. I am okay. Anywhere I go from here, I will continue to be: okay.