Career Conundrums


I’ve been trying to begin this blog entry for about 15 minutes now, typing a bit, then erasing and starting over, only to do it again. So much is going on in my pea brain that it’s hard for me to pull all the pieces apart and start to figure them out. It’s seemingly impossible to get them lined up in any kind of order that would work for describing the situation to you, loyal reader(s). I’m going to try, though, if only that I might be able to read back over this mess and see some kind of truth that I can grasp ahold of.

The lead up: I went on vacation for two weeks, and before leaving, I quit my job of four years. The boss asked that I stay on as a temporary employee just long enough for her to find someone else, and I figured the money would be helpful while I was looking for a new job that wouldn’t drive me fucking nuts every single day. Before quitting, I hadn’t applied to any new jobs in months, and had basically made up my mind to be semi-unemployed all summer, and just do yoga and hang out.

Note: no, I’m not rich – just tired of hating waking up every day, and willing to scrape by for a couple of months if it means improving my overall mental state and life perspective.

While I was away on vacation, I got an email response to a resume I sent out back in February, asking me to come in to a job interview. Intrigued, I said yes. Fast forward almost three weeks, and there I was on Tuesday afternoon of this week, having tea with a handsome and charming creative-type in a local cafe, hanging on every word that crossed his lips. Everything he said was golden, from inviting questions and criticism, to being willing to drop a difficult client if it was affecting project quality, to his assertion that the office was looking for the perfect personality to fit the group (and get along with the three office dogs). Since the company is a creative agency, he noted that my lack of agency experience might be a problem. We concluded the talk, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have a shot. Then thirty minutes later he emailed me with my first assignment, and here I am on Friday, having just worked a three-day week at what I can’t help but feel is the coolest marketing agency in New Orleans.

All great, right? Yes, totally. Except.

The company’s a startup, so my paycheck will be very small – about half of what I was making at my old job (where you might recall I was already making less than I could afford). This might only be a problem for the short term, since business is picking up and the clients are pretty big players; however, I have considerable student loan debt, enough CC debt to make me nervous, and though I’m happy culling my monthly food budget, I was really hoping to build a nice fashion wardrobe for Fall, since I’m pretty much only ever wearing jeans and t-shirts or yoga gear.

However, there are definite perks involved in the office. There’s the obvious perk of getting to work for an agency, something that I had virtually no chance of doing prior to getting hired on here. Also, I’m getting to work on some really big picture, crazily creative stuff that I would never have expected to be invited to participate in before now. Plus, I won’t go hungry – on my first day the boss ordered lunch in for everyone from a great Vietnamese place, then yesterday the office went out for lunch (except me, since I was full from breakfast) then got taken out for sweets at a nearby cafe (dark chocolate ginger truffle for me – ohmygodyes), and lunch was on the table again today, but then the boss was called away to a client meeting. Best of all, I’ve also been assured that once I get up to speed, and as long as I get my work done, I can leave for yoga when I want to – and my studio is exactly one block down the street.

The other side of the coin – the stuff that’s really making my head spin?

This morning, my old employer asked me for a proposal to work part-time for her, taking care of all of the technical & analytical sides of the company’s marketing endeavors. No more copy creation, no more acting as an executive assistant, no more keeping up with the goings-on back at the office. She ensured me I wouldn’t be working for 8 hours a day, and could pick my own schedule. She didn’t have an amount in mind, but I’m pretty sure I would still be making at least twice, maybe three times the amount per hour that I’ll be making at the creative firm.

Bottom line is that if I can figure out how to work about three hours a day at my old job, plus work as much as I’ll need to (I think about 8 hours a day) at my new job, plus make it to yoga AND finish out my last month of school, I will be in a great financial spot. But I’ll be in a horrible personal spot. If I don’t work at the old job, though, my finances will seriously suffer. I’m just not sure. Plus, I’m exhausted right now. I just need to take a break and go get dinner with The Man, think about this whole weird issue later, once I’ve got some pizza and wine in my belly.

Any thoughts? I’d appreciate insights if you’ve got any to spare.




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