Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blasts from the Future

This week I've been in touch with two former employers. One is contracting me to write pieces just like the ones I used to write when I worked there a decade ago. There's no job offer coming with this, but it's a solid credit for my portfolio and a bit of cash to pad the bank account, and oh my gosh it's fun to be doing it again.

Never, ever burn bridges.
Unless they have trolls under them.

The other former employer reportedly would hire me tomorrow, but to do a job completely different from what I used to do for her. And that is scary scary scary. Because I'm intimately familiar with the position being offered. I worked closely with that position for years as a support person. And all the while I supported the folks doing that work, I thanked Jeebus that I wasn't them.

And lo, Jeebus did have my back.
Without going into a lot of details, it's a stressful job. Great opportunities for growth, very interesting work. And Piranhaconda-like in its ability to devour people and leave bits of them bleeding and twitching on the ground.

It's mutant-reptile-fish-eat-scantily-clad-woman out there.
Also, it would involve travel. Now, I've done my share of traveling for business. But it's pretty much been corporate-style travel. You know, fly in the night before, check into a nice hotel, spend the next day or two doing what you came to do, which mostly involves schmoozing with people dressed in business-casual clothes, have a couple of really great meals at the company's expense, and then fly home and share pictures of all the cool local stuff you saw and did on your off time.

This job isn't like that.

Boy, did he have it easy.
For the purposes of this job, travel means getting on a plane at 6:00 a.m., driving straight to your job site, interacting with a combination of laborers and government workers (equally indifferent to your needs), making sure everything you need to do gets done because a return visit is NOT in the budget, rushing back to the airport to catch the 6:00 p.m. flight, then getting to the office first thing the next morning to explain why your project is a disaster but it's not your fault.

Former colleagues who read this blog: Am I leaving anything out? Seriously?

I am beyond flattered that I've impressed my former boss as someone who can do this job, especially since I have zero experience beyond the years I spent being the professional who supported the professionals who did it. I know the industry, I know several of the people I'd be working with (it's a very incestuous industry that way), and I know that I'd be introduced gradually into the parts of the job I haven't actually experienced firsthand.

But I've been on the verge of a low-grade panic attack ever since I got the phone call.

Just for reference, my idea of
a low-grade panic attack.
Now, because this job is a) outside my field of expertise and b) initially likely to pay less than 90% of my most recent salary, the State of Texas says I can decline it without jeopardizing my unemployment benefits. I would love to take the easy route and hold out for a job that exactly matches my qualifications, pays great, and doesn't make me break out in a cold sweat at the thought of it. I just don't know if I'm cutting off my nose to spite my unemployed-ass face.

I do have the benefit of a bit of time. Former Employer #1 has given me some writing assignments that will take several days to complete. Prior commitments for the win, right? And I don't think the offer from Former Employer #2 will dry up if I don't accept it immediately. I have the incredible luxury of choice at this moment. Note to the Presidential candidates: If there's anything that defines a thriving nation, it's choice.

And not just of the "which dividend check will I cash today?" variety.
So I have a lot to think about. Once again: I am totally grateful to the wonderful people who have offered these opportunities. I'm luckier than so many Americans who lack not only jobs but options. You know who you are, and thank you. You've made my future seem brighter than it would seem otherwise, regardless of where I end up.

On the other hand, I could take my next unemployment check and invest it in lottery tickets. Because if I won, I'd be freaking set.

I'm not taking a single option off the table.

1 comment:

  1. Have you considered becoming a pimp? I'm sure that you couldn't stoop to being "an escort", but running the show could be a lucrative new career. Plus you get to smack people around. No? Just a thought.


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