Monday, January 5, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I've been spending every spare minute trying to a) obtain the international position that I would LOOOVE to have, and b) looking for a new job, in the meantime. The hiring timeline on the int'l job is at least a year, and I need something to do in between. I suppose I could stay at my current job, but I'm ready to move on. If I can find a position that a) allows me to do something I love, which also b) pays at least what I'm making now, and c) also has great health insurance, then I think it makes sense for me to move on. I don't know that I'll even get the international job, and if I do, it won't be for another year, at least. So basically, I need to live my life on parallel tracks right now, preparing for both alternatives.

I've been in my current job for a number of years, so it's both scary and exciting to look for a new one. There are so many things to deal with. . .recommendations, for example. That's a tricky issue, when most employers seem to want three of them. On the one hand, I want to use people who are familiar with my most recent work. On the other hand, tipping my hand to my present employer may result in unpleasant consequences. For example, if there were layoffs, I would presumably be one of the first to go.

Then, there is the dilemma of just what it is I want to do next. I found one job that I'm really excited about, which I will likely apply for tomorrow. I need to come up with a writing sample, and get my references in line. I have a million things I could use as a writing sample; it's just a matter of picking one. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to use. I think I've decided on references, as well, although I need to sleep on it.

Generally speaking, I think I want a job that uses the skills I have now, but not in the same way that I currently use them. I want to do something that benefits the public good. I want to make a decent salary doing it. I want to work reasonable hours. I want to have lots of autonomy. I want to feel good about the work that I do, the people that I work with, and the people that I work for. I want to be appreciated. I thought I would have a difficult time finding the right job, until this position popped up that I'm so excited about. It's not exactly in my field, but I think I'm qualified. Well, there's only one way to find out!

With regard to the international job, I really need to finish my application tonight. I'm feeling a little stuck, because I need to apply to a particular department of the organization (you are only permitted to apply to one at a time), and I'm really torn between two departments. I've researched the company a ton, and I've emailed some people who work there, to get more information. But at the end of the day, choosing between the departments is really something of a leap of faith. The tough part is that I have something of a preference for one department (as much as you can have a preference for a job that you've never done in an organization for which you've never worked), but I've heard it may be easier to get hired by the other department. I'm not sure how to work this one out for myself. I might be perfectly happy in both positions. Do I go for the easier one, to put myself in the best position of getting hired? I'm worried that I won't like the actual work as much. (This particular organization doesn't generally move people between departments, so it's not a matter of getting your foot in the door and then changing departments). On the other hand, if I go for the position that is more difficult to obtain and don't get it, I will kick myself for not going for the one that has a better potential for getting hired.

This is actually really fun. The glass is definitely half full today. The world is full of possibilities.

1 comment:

JamieD said...

I am glad you are having fun! I think I would be a nervous wreck.

As far as choosing departments - go for the one you want. I mean, you've gone this far - there's no reason to pull up now.

BTW - I love the new 'do!