Two job offers in one week and strangely, I still feel like a failure.
I even negotiated the offers for the first time in my life, arguably successfully (as I then got two improved job offers in one week), and yet I still feel like a failure.
I can’t quite pinpoint exactly why. Because neither was quite what I was looking for re: salary? Because it feels like any other person would have been able to use two offers to get even more money and I feel like I’m compromising since I didn’t get quite what I was looking for? Rationally, I get this is a uniquely stupid reason to throw myself a pity party, and I am definitely happy to have these offers in hand so I know there is a way out of Current Job; I just can’t entirely shake the “feeling like a failure” feeling.
I suppose if I had been offered a lot more money, it would have been a sign that I am really underpaid, which also would have been disheartening. I suppose that means I am not underpaid (although other people make more), but it feels kind of like when you get a tax refund check for $2.83. Like thank you, this is better than not getting a check for $2.83, but what am I supposed to do with this? (True story: I received a state tax refund check for $2.83 once). Ok yes, both offers are a raise of more than $3, although the % change doesn’t feel as meaningful as I would have hoped. Cue tiny violin.
I have two other non-final job interviews for other jobs early next week – one I’m not going to get but it’s too late to cancel, and one that seemed promising, but it’s early in the process and I’m not sure I want to risk of waiting and losing the offers I already have. Husband and Therapist think I am being stupid about taking one of the non-perfect offers now, although Therapist was nicer about it.
That’s the thing about risk – everyone perceives the benefits and risks differently based on their own priorities and fears, none of which are fully rational. I’m self-aware enough to realize that some of my own priorities for a job are stupid and flawed, and yet, seemingly unable to stop thinking stupidly. For example, here is a list of what should be priorities in looking for a new job (not in order):
- Good move for career
- Growth opportunities
- Good management
- Work-Life Balance
- Compensation appropriate for role
- Commutable from a location you want to live in (or WFH)
- Work you enjoy & want to do (Update: I managed to leave this off of both Normal Person Priorities list and JYP’s Stupid Priorities list, although it is actually quite important!)
Here is a list of my priorities (not in order):
- Higher title so I look better on LinkedIn
- More money than I think my peers/colleagues are making (although I have no real way of knowing this)
- Not having a boss who is younger than me (because I am deeply ageist, insecure, self-judgmental)
- Allows for a move to a place with a vibrant egalitarian synagogue community where the people my age don’t have children, and also isn’t expensive and isn’t a ridiculous commute (this place doesn’t actually exist)
- Job that is not 100% WFH
- Quitting current job on Monday so I can finish my my two week notice period before Shavuot (upcoming Jewish holiday)
I know some of this is dumb. Having to take a couple vacation days for Shavuot if I don’t quit on Monday is not a big deal. I once managed someone older than me and it was fine for both of us, but I hate the idea of being on the other side. I know titles vary wildly at different places (for example – one job offer has a higher title than the other, and yet the base salary is identical) and yet title is extremely important to me.
I can’t get everything on my stupid priorities list anyway. In this case, the job offering the higher title is also the job where my boss would be younger than me. Both of the jobs I’m interviewing for next week have both Higher Title and Older Boss, but I’m not willing to risk losing these offers and having to work longer at Current Job to find out if I even get one of those, especially because I might not even get one.
It comes down to short-term vs. long-term. One job offers more money in the short-term but less in the long-term. One job offers the line-management responsibilities I want now; one job potentially offers them later, but there are no guarantees. One job offers the title I want now; one job potentially offers it later, actually a better, more impressive title, but there are no guarantees. One job has the potential for me to make a lot of money in a few years, but it’s a high-risk, high-reward situation – do I really believe it will pan out?
One job requires a relocation and one job doesn’t necessitate a relocation – it’s hard to tell if relocating is the right move short-term or long-term, but I also feel that way about current community. I can barely research better places to live in any community because I can barely tell which factors really matter anymore. I can’t tell if I should be looking for somewhere to live assuming children are still a possibility in my future, or just accept that they are never going to happen.
Ultimately, the question is, which community is more likely to come back to pre-pandemic normal? I don’t feel especially optimistic about post-pandemic life anywhere, to be honest.
I just don’t feel any optimism what so ever, really about anything. Even when I got my first vaccine shot. I didn’t really feel anything. No side effects, but also, no hope or possibility or optimism that things were going to open and go back to normal. Getting the vaccine just felt like an ordinary task. Maybe it’s the second shot that feels all hopeful and transformative, but I kind of doubt it.
Side note: I realized that second vaccine appointment is during the work day during my would be two-week notice period. I tried to change the time to be considerate, an attempt to not screw over Current Job as much (because they will be extremely screwed once I leave), but the appointment scheduling system won’t let me. I wonder if the second shot side effects really are as bad as they say. I would feel a bit guilty needing to take sick days when I’ll be at that job for such a limited time. Maybe it will be fine and manageable. I am working from home, and I’ve gone to work completely hungover after 3 hours of sleep before – are the second shot side effects really that much worse?
I’ve mentioned before that I hate rich people even though by most definitions, I am one. Hence why this post reads like a tone-deaf rich person’s post (feel free to hate me for this post – honestly, if I wasn’t the one writing it, I’d hate the author too). Really successful rich people found ways to take advantage of the pandemic, like by moving to low tax states with great weather or getting even richer off of the pandemic. Less successful rich people just worked from home as their only hardship. We were in the latter category. Husband was disappointed we weren’t in the first category of people who could invest. I didn’t really care. Not because I don’t care about money; I am materialistic, shallow, and I absolutely do care about money. I didn’t care because a) I found the idea of profiting off the pandemic distasteful and b) more importantly, investment requires optimism, which I truly did not have in any measure about anything. It’s really difficult to make investment decisions when you don’t think anything is going to go up.
At the end of the day, it’s a job. It isn’t going to be a ticket out of my shitty living situation (I mean it could, but it isn’t necessarily going to and could just as easily involve living somewhere less desirable if I am not careful). It isn’t going to change anything about myself as a person.
Update #1: Interview that I thought would go nowhere was actually super interested and willing to move pretty quickly. This job offered Higher Title, More Money, Job That Looks Good On Resume, and Boss Who Is Older Than Me. However, I had other reservations about whether I would enjoy working in this organization, a criterion that multiple people reminded me was important. And I was afraid the process would take longer than they claimed and I still didn’t know if I would get the job. So I graciously declined to continue. Interviewer/Would-be Boss was not pleased and tried to make me feel like an idiot. He was successful, as I do feel like an idiot.
Update #2: Interview that I thought could have gone somewhere probably would not hire me. I am a good candidate for that job, but not an amazing candidate for that job.
Update #3: I made a decision on which offer to take and I feel happy about my decision! I am looking forward to quitting my job tomorrow! YAY!!!!
Also, I no longer feel like a failure.