Time for a major life decision


Today I got the phone call. It was precisely the call I’ve been hoping to get for the past couple of weeks. A job offer. My spirits sank a little when we started talking money, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but generally what I expected. Before the end of the day, we got to a place that I consider fair and reasonable. To be clear, in terms of overall compensation, it’s a pay-cut, no doubt about it, but the size and nature of that cut has been agonized for some weeks now and I’ve concluded that other aspects of the job and other long-term strategies make up for it – I’m not going to go into details. Realistically, it’s the sort of thing we can cope with. Not only that, after having met the individuals I’d be working with and hearing more about the project, I got pretty excited about the job. Not only does it sound like a tremendous opportunity, but it’s going to be a new and interesting challenge that I want to do. It’s the sort of thing I want to get neck deep into and try to do something brilliant. Right now, as I write this blog, the offer is sitting in my e-mail inbox awaiting a signature. All I need to do is print, sign, send it back, and make arrangements with my current employer.

The problem?

Possibly the best way to describe the problem is the question: Am I being selfish? The truth is that I want to do this job, I want a change, for so many reasons, and I look forward to not having to worry about the future of my job on an annual basis, and even the tiny ill-lit cubicle that I will undoubtedly be locked into for 8 hours a day, but is it fair to my family?

At the moment, I work 3 days/week at home, which means I’m there for the kids when they get out of school and they can be at home most of the summer. I worry about making it back to town before the after-school care closes down, and about homework. What will dinner look like if I’m not home at 4:30 to cook it up? There will be much less leave time available, so I won’t be able to take two weeks in the winter and two weeks in the summer and still have time to take off a day here and there to take care of home stuff.

Everyone I’ve spoken to so far has advocated for me to follow-through and take the job -Even my wife. This is advice I’d like to just take without the heartburn. I want desperately to be excited about this change, yet here I am stressing out about it. My current situation is so incredibly comfortable as far as home-life is concerned that I worry I’m making the right decision, even with the risk of layoffs or massive pay-cuts, loss of pension, and so-on in the next year or two. My current job is NOT a bad one, I’m treated extremely fairly and compensated well. The long-term prospects have little to do with those I work with now, and more to do with the decline of oil prices.

To bring this around to writing, as this is the point of the blog anyhow, will this effect my writing? Yes, a bit. I like to have off a few days here and there to write without harassment, and that will happen a lot less, but the more I focus on getting to the publishing of my first novel, the more I realize this is a hobby and always will be. It’s something I should enjoy, and if I do, I’ll work it in.

Anyhow. I don’t know if I’ve got much more to say about this just now. I have until about lunchtime tomorrow to make a final decision, perhaps someone will talk me out of it, or I’ll be convinced I’m making the right decision for myself and my family. I dunno. Either way, the next blog post will be an impassioned rant on word processors (or to be more precise – a pointless rant about how little it seems to matter what you choose.) I will also probably blog my decision at some point – this is a big deal for me.