Although I want to do a specific thing next, I've applied for some jobs that would give me only tangential experience doing that. That's because a) there aren't that many jobs out there that do EXACTLY what I want to do next, and b) I'm also trying to meet other objectives, like live in a place that my husband would be excited about. I've applied for about a dozen jobs overall. Some looked promising at first, but now don't seem like they are going to pan out. Others looked like I was a long shot initially, but I'm still in the running. And then, at about 4am this morning, my oldest woke up for some reason or another, and I rolled over to check my email. There, in my inbox, was an email saying that I hadn't made the short list for a job in a very nice place, a place that would have been lovely to live in.
And you know what? I wasn't disappointed.
I mean, of course, there was the initial sting of rejection. Who wants to hear that they aren't the chosen one? But after that first momentary disappointment, I realized that what I really felt was relief. Because now the decision has been made for me, and I don't have to struggle any more over whether to accept a job that isn't exactly what I want because it would be an easy(ish) place for my family to live. It was a job that would have possibly kind of sucked, actually (they were very upfront about having some substantial long-standing internal personnel issues, and that's not my favorite stuff in the world to deal with). And, even when not dealing with office politics, the job itself was largely one I have already done. I wouldn't have been professionally challenged in the way that I know is healthy for me. I wouldn't necessarily have been excited to get out of bed in the morning. And I need to be excited to get out of bed in the morning.
I realize now that I pursued the job because it would have been an easy place for my family to live. But I also have a clarity now that there are other jobs out there that will challenge me AND present a good quality of life for my family, and I really need to focus on those. Because past experience has taught me that although it can be nice to live in a vibrant city, it can also be really hard. The best outcomes arrive when a job ticks all of the boxes, both professionally and personally. And this job, the one that I was rejected for? It really only ticked half the boxes. Onward!