Opportunities and Tough Decisions

I made a tough decision today, Internet. Out of the blue, about a month ago I received an email through LinkedIn from a local bank about a position they are looking to fill. I occasionally receive an inquiry through LinkedIn and I always pursue them. While I am really happy in my current position, with today’s economy (or any economy, really) it’s smart to see what else is out there. If nothing else, it gets my name out there in front of new people.

After a few emails I talked to the banks’ recruiter by phone. The position seemed interesting and I felt like I was qualified based on his explanation. He wanted to share my resume with the hiring manager and the next day set up a phone interview with her. I really liked her. She seemed down-to-earth and professional. I liked her approach to management and it was apparent to both of us that I had the skill set to do the job. She told me they would be in touch in a few weeks after she held phone interviews with some more candidates.

I spent this time seriously considering my options. On one hand it was more money and a position that I was not only qualified for, but interested in. On the other hand, it meant working downtown for longer hours. As I weighed my options my mind kept coming back to the same two people: my kids. My job affords me things that I know I am lucky to have. I take Buddy to the bus stop in the morning and get him off the bus in the afternoon. I go to all of his school functions (and when Sassafras starts school I’ll get to do the same for her). I know, and have a good relationship with, all of the teachers and administrators. And if I left this job, I would have to pull him out of the school because the pay increase doesn’t match the tuition (well, in all honesty, I would probably be able to afford to send one of them, but not both).

While I weighed these, I had a feeling that I’m not all that comfortable with. I have always worked, and I’ve never made an employment decision based on being a mother. It was weird. I felt a little like I was putting my career on the back burner and that is new to me. I’ve always forged ahead with my career, and to say no to an opportunity based on my kids is new to me. It took me a while to get used to the feeling. I realize I am not in any way sacrificing my career, and in fact, before this opportunity came up I didn’t feel that way at all in my current job.

I’ve made my decision: I’m not going to pursue the position any longer. I am happy with the decision. It gave me a good opportunity to really evaluate what I love about my job. I am so, so, so lucky, and I know it. I have the best of both worlds: a job I love and am good at, and the ability to be there for my kids.

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