Sunday, April 28, 2013

Decisions, decisions

This is it. I finally have to make some kind of decision. About work. And this means that my life is dominated by thinking about work. I hate that. And I got a jury summons the other day. Not any old summons--one for grand jury. Is there a screening process or are you just on? It's really all I need. But my stupid problems...I know I need to take them seriously. But they just signal my privilege. And I read about these people who retire early by simply not spending their money. That could be me...yet I've recently been on a spending tear like nobody's business--some bike stuff, clothing, shoes--and why?  I have the urge to purge some of my old things but the idea is exhausting. Doing anything other than knitting and watching movies is exhausting. Well, that's not quite true. I have been going on long bike rides, reading, working.  It's interacting with new people that seems exhausting. Not to mention the brand new car I bought a year ago and haven't even driven 4,000 miles yet. Wow. I wanted it. I bought it. I'm the only one who seems to think it was a mistake.

I have a job offer but I haven't accepted it yet. They want me to start in June. I took this to my old friend, TR, who is currently in a leadership position in our organization and has more power than usual due to people above him leaving.  I tried to leverage the offer into a solution to my problem because, fundamentally, I want to stay.  After a few weeks, I went back to him to find out what they could do for me. What he offered was a 6-month detail as his direct report (lord I hate that term). That's a short term solution--he called it a "cooling off" period (that's how he would sell it)--to a permanent problem. However, while on the detail, he would continue to work on a longer term solution.  The question is, should I take it or should I go? Going has a lot in its favor--I could greatly benefit from working somewhere else. But, staying does too--no one leaves this job when they have a portofolio of projects like mine. It's the best this job can ever be and it seems CRAZY to leave it. Except that it's killing me.  I have made the chart and this is what it looks like:

Pros Cons
New Job
  • 9% raise
  • Learning opportunity
  • Chance at supervisory experience (probably)
  • Long commute could be used for biking or reading
  • Decent benefits
  • Flexible tour
  • Relatively little supervision
  • Direct supervisor is odd
  • Not sure I'll like the substance or what it will be
  • Long commute
  • Fewer sick days
  • Less generous benefits
Current Job
  • Interesting, important work
  • Good (even outstanding!) at the job
  • Some challenges
  • Care about the work
  • Good benefits
  • Relatively low stress
  • Friends
  • Temporary supervisor fix
  • Uncertain long term fix for supervisor problem
  • Lots of boring tasks
  • Horrible institutional processes
  • No room for promotion
  • Rut
I still have no idea what to do. ARGH!
Grateful for: a good problem (I guess).

PS Making tables for the blog is still a pain--but I found a site that automatically generates the code:   Thank you anonymous code generators!


  1. I tend to stick way too long with the devil I know--maybe you do too? But I hear you, it's hard.

    There is a new book out on decision-making drawing on the latest psychological/behavioral economics thinking: I haven't read it but I liked another book of theirs, and I heard the authors talking to Dan Pink on this show: (you can download and listen to the episode). It summarized some of their key advice. One thing I remember they said is that you should imagine what you would tell a friend to do, which tends to be more focused on the long-term bottom line than what you tell yourself.

    1. Well, I certainly don't stick long with romantic-type relationships. I'm quite loyal in friendships, though. As to work--hard to say. My current job is basically the only professional position I've ever had (though I've had many jobs).

      I looked at the free chapter of the book and I'm listening to the podcast! I may be in too deep for much to help, but I really appreciate the references!


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