||[Oct. 19th, 2007|04:14 pm]
At the end of September, I decided that I couldn't really wait much longer. As of the fifteenth of October, I had to start looking for work back in Washington. See, in December, my unemployment benefits run out, and currently, I'm 2000 dollars in debt. I have to start bringing in a paycheck soon or I won't be able to afford to move back without going really deep in debt. Plus, I want to go back to school, and there are things I need to get (if I can) to do that... I need to make sure whatever car I own is reliable, I need some money in the bank, and I potentially need to be able to travel to whereever I get into a program. |
Well, Oregon State decided to withdraw the one position I'd applied for (damn shame, too, because I bet I was the only poor schmoe still hoping to be called for an interview...), but put up another one, paying less. The closing date on the posting is today. That changed my plans slightly; I figure I'll search for Washington jobs at the end of the month.
The job that I applied for has a lower limit on salary that's a bit over $30k a year, which brings up a problem I'm having.
On the one hand, I can get $60k in Washington easily. On the other hand, I've lived my life in Washington. It consists of going to work, coming home, writing blog posts that few people read, and playing computer games. Sure, I could "get out more", I could "try to socialize". Those are phrases that have dictionary definitions to me, but no real *meaning*. They involve going to see people I don't know, and not really knowing what to do, and coming home tired and a bit frustrated, more often than not.
Which is a longwinded way of saying that I don't want to live alone, most especially not when the only reason is because it's the only efficient way of earning money.
Plus, to be honest, I don't think I'm all that likely to end up in graduate school unless I start from a college campus. But I'm also not sure I'm emotionally prepared to take that huge a pay cut. And I'm also not sure if that would be enough money to keep paying the bills and building up some reserve.
But I also realized something else. For better or worse, this is done. Either I will get this job, or, almost certainly, I'll move back to Washington. And there's not really a whole lot more to do about this.
This weekend, I'll do whatever interview prep I can for the job, but other than that, I'll try to put it aside. There's nothing much I can do to change what is, now, so it's time to just live with what is, and play the cards I'm dealt as best as I can.
The pay cut thing--when I moved from being a professor of Japanese to being a technical writer in Silicon Valley, I pretty much doubled my salary. When I moved to Austin, I cut my salary by 1/3--but I could afford to buy a house here, and it was much easier to meet people I like. And now I'm making what I made in Silly Valley 8 years ago.
Pay cuts are harder than huge raises, but the REAL question is what do you get out of the situation. There are tremendous advantages to being part of a university--you can take classes and they have a good library, among other things. Universities usually have pretty good benefits and are fairly flexible places to work. Those don't have dollar signs attached to them, but they should.
I think you're smart to put it aside and just go into the interview and Be There. That's always worked well for me.
Oh, and the other thing I used to do was listen to Fred Small's "I Will Stand Fast" in the car on the way to the interview. It spoke to my PTSD. http://www.lyricsfreak.com/f/fred+small/i+will+stand+fast_20344075.html
Living with what is, is an important thing but you have to take into account your own happiness and well being.
I wish you the best of luck for this job, plus a extra dash of hope that it will work out better than you expect.