an offer

J has a job offer on the table.

And we are stumped.

But you people who read and write nice things to us know us in real and intimate ways, so I am laying it out here for you. Because you are wise and insightful, and because neither of us feels like either of those things right now.

So here goes.

If we made a “pros list,” this is what would go on it:

  • It’s an offer. On the table. Right now. Who knows when another one will come along.
  • They really want her. She would be a rock star. She even has experience in the field.
  • It would be exciting because it’s a new venture here in our little town, and J would be a part of getting it off the ground.
  • It has upward-mobility potential.
  • The pay is what we need it to be.
  • The company shares many of our values (or at least seems to share them based on what they do).
  • The benefits are great.

If we made a “cons list” here’s what would go on it:

  • It would require a couple of months of on-the-road training, which would be exactly as insane as you would imagine that to be with a nursing infant and a toddler. This would mean months spent in a hotel, in strange cities where we know no one, with me commuting back for the first few weeks to teach my once-a-week class (which itself would require finding childcare in at least two different towns which are each at least five hours from here). I would be alone with the kids full-time while J trained, and we would live in a hotel.
  • The upward mobility would require a willingness to leave the town we worked so hard to decide to stay in. It would likely require at least two moves with very little say over where we would have to go. And depending on the cost of living wherever they sent us, the raises may not even be that significant (because where we live has the lowest cost of living possible for anywhere we would actually be willing to live).
  • We would have to delay B’s start of preschool, which I would actually be happy to do, but we’ve really been preparing him, and we’re already contracted so they may still require us to pay for those months.
  • J’s instinct is that it won’t build her up. That though she would be amazing at it, it would make her feel not so great about herself.
  • If she did work up in the company, she would likely have to travel a lot, which she doesn’t want.

But it’s on the table. And if she turns it down, there’s nothing on the table. And we’re really treading water, so that feels scary and irresponsible. J keeps getting this old saying stuck in her head: don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens. But maybe there’s no miracle. Maybe that’s what we’re supposed to know by now in our lives. Maybe we are terrible decision makers.

Wisdom to offer? I’ll pay for it with cute-kid photos.

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8 thoughts on “an offer

  1. WOW. Ok. That’s a lot to process. But I just want to say congrats to J, first, on the offer. That’s huge and affirming and well deserved, whatever you decide.

    I’m going to think on the complexities of it and try to write something more articulate soon. (Bottom line, though, it *is* complex. You aren’t “bad decision makers” to be feeling that big complexity.)

  2. Oh my. Tough, tough decision. I think the short-term challenges would be manageable (hotel living, etc.) if the long term benefits made them worthwhile. That said, my impression from your con list is that the long term benefits may not be worthwhile.

    I understand how hard it is to pass up an offer that is on the table.

    I hope you guys are able to come to a decision quickly and feel confident once you make it. I have faith that you will make the right decision.

    • I had the same feeling. It’s amazing that they recognize J’s skills and want to pay appropriately for them, but it doesn’t sound like what your family wants long term. That being said, I’m sure that your awesome family can find creative solutions to the obstacles if the two of you decide to take this on.

  3. That’s hard. And I think it sounds like the answer is no. At least partly because of the college tuition stuff–figure in the costs of college for your two boys, and any potential future kids, and see if the pay you’d be able to put away enough money from this job to cover those costs. If it’s not, add to the stresses of all that travel and hotel living (and the extra hidden costs of every meal at restaurants, not to mention the stress) and I think I would say no. You would be so miserable not having your own space, and the ability to get be in community for that time, with such small children. Something else will present itself that will be better for you.

  4. Obviously this is your decision to make, so don’t be swayed by advice. Trust your gut and your overall impressions when you try to step back and consider the options. Only you two know what is right in your hearts. I would just caution you both from making a decision based on what you think would be best for the other. You need to make sure that you both feel safe to share how you really feel. Personally, I lean toward going with what is on the table because you are not committing forever. Typically people with a current job and current references are more marketable. Who knows what doors this may open. Good luck!

  5. The one piece of advice that helped me during my most recent move/don’t move?/new job? leap – thinking of life as a three legged stool. Family and Job and Location are the three things I had to consider – and the truth was that I could only have 2 of the 3 line up. I thought through all of the options, both short term and long term, but it kept coming back to those three things. I wish we could all have all three be the most perfect things, but prioritizing them and having that lead my decision made it a bit easier. I wish you the best for whatever decision you make!

  6. I wish I had better advice! We have faced similar decisions and they’re never easy. I tend to want to jump in and figure it out along the way. There is something to be said for that, for saying “yes, what the hell?, but yes.” Then again, it doesn’t always jive with family life. I’ve stepped back lately and though we’re super low on $ it’s been necessary and good – as well you know! But it can’t be forever. I wish this job had just a bit more to make it family friendly. If anyone can make it work, you guys will. Either way, you’re not bad decision makers, clearly. You prioritize your kids so beautifully. I have a friend who often reminds me to trust my future self. Has been helpful to me.

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