A Bird in the Hand

Yesterday morning I interviewed for a job. This is one of the first times I have even gotten an interview for anything I've applied for (in fact, the last time was the job I now have at the library). It looks like a good job, and I have a feeling that they will be calling me back some time next week. Now I just have to make a decision and I'm trying to decide what to do among my many options:

1. Stay with the jobs I have now. I work part-time at the library and I teach college part-time. The advantages to this are that I only go to work about 30 hours a week, they pay is good, and my hours are somewhat flexible. I also love working at the library and thinking of leaving there makes me sad. The disadvantages to this situation are my lack of health insurance, my unpredictable schedule, the fact that I have to work evenings and Saturdays, and the fact that I don't really like teaching. Not only that, but any free time I do have tends to get sucked up by lesson plans and grading papers.

2. Take the job I interviewed for yesterday. It looks like a fun place to work, the dress code is fairly casual, and the hours are flexible. I won't have to work Saturdays or evenings unless I want to. After the first 3 months I am eligible for insurance, but I think I would have to pay for it from my paycheck. They also offer tuition reimbursement after a year of employment as well as sick leave and paid time off. This job is working with a library software company, and I would get valuable training that I could use to move on to a better job some day. The first problem with this scenario is that the office is somewhat far away--I'd be looking at a 30-40 minute round-trip total of commuting time everyday. Do I want to waste that much time and gas? The main problem with this job is that the pay is really low. Like, I'm not sure if I can physically handle that low of pay. My housing costs are pretty fixed and I can't sell the house, plus I don't want to. I feel like the kids' stability is important and I love our neighborhood.

3. Keep looking for and applying for other jobs. There are two universities and several other major companies in the area that offer good pay and benefits. I might be able to get something with better pay and benefits, and longer-term stability. However, I might not. My work experience for the last 10 years is pretty spotty and I know that competition is fierce for jobs at the moment. I really don't have as much to offer as many candidates, and I have so far not even gotten so much as an interview for the jobs that I thought I was reasonably qualified for.

Right now I'm doing fine with the two part-time jobs that I have, but I do feel a bit exhausted by the schedule. That will change at both jobs in January and perhaps it will be more reasonable, but the extra work of teaching will never go away. I also feel nervous about being in a 'temporary' part-time situation with no benefits; there's a part of me that just wants to be on a settled career track. The thought of working full-time and having to figure out child care during the day (and what do I do in the summer?!) freaks me out, but I know that I need to do something different. It's just so hard to figure out which choice is the best one.


Julie said…
My opinion, which is really worth nothing to you but I'm the type to offer it anyway, ;) do 1 and 3. I think the cons of the 2nd (long commute and really low pay) outweigh the pros, especially since there are a lot of pros to what you are currently doing and you have the luxury of taking more time to look for something better. Good luck in your decision!!
Yodame said…
Just say no to commuting, it will ruin your life a little bit :(
Earth Sign Mama said…
I agree--just say no to commuting. Don't be in a rush to settle into something full-time/permanent. Just deal with what you know till summer and see what develops. Really--just live this life for a bit and something else could come along that will be more suitable for your worklife.
Kristi said…
My husband's been commuting for the last 5 months. It's a 35 minute drive one way when all is well, but more often than not, it's a 50-60 and sometimes even 80 minute drive. He's been feeling like he's wasting his time that he could be spending with us.

I'd rely on your two jobs until you find something you actually really want.

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