When You Wish Upon A Star
by Jane Moneypenny
Be careful what you wish for, huh?
As I’ve hinted before, I have some crucial decisions coming my way. And now they’re here and I think I’ve never been more lost. Here’s the skinny:
I have two jobs on the table; I was all set for Job A in Austin until Job B in New Orleans suddenly called out of the blue. I hadn’t been looking in New Orleans or even considering it since there isn’t many opportunities here, and voila, it fell in my lap! The breakdown:
location: Austin, TX (with worldwide offices)
salary: great; would live comfortably
relocation $: no, but upped my salary because of it
creative work: not great, but definite potential in the future
environment: a little corporate
situation: a little volatile
benefits: not bad
So the thing with Job A is that it’s connected with another company that we’ll call DE that is being slammed everywhere for its lack of work and problems with Giant Corporate Client. As in, everyone knows and it would be jumping on a sinking ship (I did my research, thank goodness). Job A does work for DE because the latter is still trying to get its act together with people and they’re under the same umbrella organization. When I walked into the interview this morning (they were taking forever flying me out and I needed to make a choice ASAP due to dwindling bank funds, so I told them I was driving there), I walked into a sign that was for DE. Bad.
Already feeling annoyed, I sat down and met a few people and the usual talks commenced. I walked in, knowing that I pretty much had the job already, and they made an offer soon after. But of course, you can’t ignore the GIANT elephant in the room that is Job A’s connection with DE. I brought it up; they brought it up. I expressed my concern for working with only one client that is notoriously a headache and huge problem and was very honest about not wanting to work for DE. They were understanding and knew it was coming and assured me I was getting the offer from Job A, not DE, but for the first few months, it would be a transition while they got their footing with new clients and divorced themselves from DE. If DE and Giant Corporate Client fall apart, I would still have a job. It’s a risk, but if it panned out, would be great for my career and a chance to start in a new city.
Lots of nodding, handshaking and a promise of thinking.
location: New Orleans (biggest ad agency in Louisiana)
salary: still waiting, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a LOT less than A
relocation $: none needed, but would definitely be moving out of home
creative work: my dream come true; clients I’ve always wanted to work with
environment: family-oriented, much like my last beloved job in STL
situation: good, not going anywhere
benefits: not bad (wouldn’t need those vacation days to come home for holidays)
Now, who wouldn’t want Job B? The issue is, of course, the city. Not that I don’t love New Orleans, but a part of that is the relaxation I get when coming home for vacation. I’m not sure I’m ready to live here yet and settle down. Cost of living isn’t what it used to be either. The job and its great clients dropped in my lap years early (this was my plan for the future when/if I moved back to NOLA). I know I’m meet new people, but it’s not the same kind of people and situation that would be in Austin. The whole reason I left STL was to start a new thing in a new place. As much as I love my friends at home, it’s not the same kind of life I envisioned for myself. And yeah, dating isn’t a priority for me right now, but I have to think about it eventually and I already know the kind of guy I’ll marry if I stay here. Which may not be a good thing.
But it’s hard to turn down an incredible opportunity creatively and do what I’ve always wanted to do in helping the city catch up with everyone interactively. I would be in charge of a lot of projects, interact directly with clients and have a real hands-on experience. The other job, not so much. It’s technically a lower position, but there’s good potential to move up quickly.
So now what? I tried the “heart vs brain” thing and that got me nowhere. There’s no easy answer and truth be told, there’s no wrong answer either. I’ll be fine either way and obviously, I’m lucky to be even given a choice.