Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Job available-- but am I?

A job I may be quite qualified came open this week.  It pays substantially more and would involve more projects and public relations, and is at my current institution.  Should I apply knowing there's a chance that J might get a job soon?

But haven't I been asking myself that for the past three years?  I have held myself back in my current job by riding my hopes on another person.  And now that it (J's job) may actually happen soon, there's this job. That I would be silly not to go for.

But once again, I will have to bite my tongue and let another opportunity  pass away.  Who knows when J will get a job?   He will be graduating mid-May, but so far we have no bites.  I say "we", but it's starting to grate on me*.  I don't have anything to do with this.  I am completely at the whim of someone else's career.

It's not a good time to be angry, but I am.  I am my own person and I am good at my job, but I am losing myself in his job search.  Even at work, now that my boss knows he's graduating, it is assumed that we're leaving and I'm being treated differently.  I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS. This would have been easier if he wasn't a student, and I wouldn't have had to tell anyone what was happening.  But with working with faculty... they were going to find out.  Now I'm awash in uncertainty not only in my own mind, but coming from those around me.

So, how can I apply for this job and still feel honest?  I don't want to not try, and then six months down the road J still doesn't have a job.  A month ago that thought wouldn't' have even crossed my mind, but who are we kidding?  The economy sucks and no one has contacted him about any of his applications.  It doesn't matter how talented/skilled/educated you are right now.  We could be looking at a long, dark haul.

Can anyone understand why trying to get a new job, especially in the same institution, would be a bad idea right now?  Even if I got it, if we had to move less than a year later, I would be leaving a bad reputation at a place I would have been remembered fondly, if only I hadn't wasted their time.  Plus, it's probably gotten around that J is graduating, so they won't even consider me.  Who would?  I wouldn't.

It's an endless fucking cycle of self-effacement, obnoxious martyrdom and failure.  Failure before I can even try.  I am just so tired of waiting.

*J isn't grating on me. He is wonderful and supportive and working really hard.


  1. I say apply. If you leave within a year, so what? It's not like it will haunt you the rest of your days.

  2. But what if I leave within 2 months? That would be super shitty.

  3. That's a bad situation, and I wish I had something more helpful to say than to sympathize. Is the search for the position you're interested open for a while? If so, there's the possibility of waiting on J's search for a while longer and applying later.

  4. You know, that's not a bad idea. The person currently in the position isn't leaving until July, so maybe I can wait a little bit. That is the best advice I've gotten all day.

    I'm really traditional in my loyalty to a job. Ed's right, it's not going to haunt me, but something in my gut says not to jerk anyone around, and I couldn't honestly go into it knowing I may very likely be wasting their time.

  5. Yes, you are available. There are three sides involved, you, your husband, and the prospective employer.

    - You want to apply. It's also be good for you, because you cannot put your own life on hold forever. Even if "forever" is made out of many small slices of time.

    - For your husband, it may be a bit mixed, but on the whole a good thing: The downside for him may be that he may feel that he needs to find a fabulous job to make up for you losing yours. (Assuming you get it. ) But on the other hand: If you give up yet another opportunity, because you are supposed to be moving "soon", this *also* puts pressure on him, in that case to find a job - any job - really fast. So, if you apply, get the job and take it, you actually give him the chance to not take any job, but possibly wait a bit longer for a better job.

    - Your prospective employer: Yes, they may not consider you, because they "know" that you'll leave "soon". In this case, you'd be a bit miffed by an unsuccessful application, but given that you can guess the reason, this is not a big price to pay for trying. If they give you the job and you leave before starting, they'd be a bit miffed, but would only have lost part of the time spent searching. If you stay for, say, a year and leave then, they will probably be devastated at losing you, but should still be glad about having had you. If you leave after 6 months, that is probably the worst, but things like that happen. All the time.

    I see the appeal of waiting, it's probably what I would do. But I am not sure it is the best course: If you start your job sooner, you can also leave it sooner without feeling too bad.

  6. For what it's worth, I'm still waiting. In my case, it's because I'd rather wait than get attached to yet another job/home/city/set of people I know I have to leave in a few months anyway.

    Waiting drives me nuts. Especially when it's waiting for something I personally have such little control over. But at some point, I figure that:

    a) It might earn me some good karma points (is that a huge incentive if you don't believe in reincarnation?!)
    b) It's a great opportunity to pick up new skills, do other things I won't have the time to once I do get that job I'm looking for
    c) It's not a gap on the resume that I can't explain, anyway.

    But ultimately, if there's one thing I've learned over the last year, the best support you can offer as a traveling/trailing spouse is to be happy. Nothing sucks more for the guys (in our case) than knowing that they're the cause for our unhappiness. I've tried the sacrifice thing. And it sucks. For both.

    Apologize for the long comment but I find your posts very reassuring. At least I know I'm not alone in where I am and how I feel...

  7. I am going to go for it. It pays 50% more than I'm making now and the person in the position doesn't leave until mid-summer. I'm working on my cover letter now!

  8. I can relate, somewhat. My (recently) former employer had a salaried job opening that they wanted me to apply for, but I avoided it because I couldn't see myself being there more than a year in the future (or in Nola, for that matter). On the other hand, I very much need money and health care, and I was fairly assured the job would be mine if I lied about my intentions to stay for the long term. There's a tension between loyalty/decency and cold self-interest when dealing with any employer...but of course, the employer has the same balance to consider in dealing with you, and chances are they'll choose self-interest over loyalty if it comes down to it.

    I ended up not taking the job, but I was never sure if not doing so made me a chump.

    So my question is -- since you're wanting to maintain a good relationship and do the right thing, have you considered putting all this on the table with your employer? You could commit to staying a minimum amount of time and to providing ample notice, but be clear that you might have to move after a certain amount of time has passed. Since they know you (and possibly, depending on the nature of the new position relative to your current one, they wouldn't have to put as much time and money into training you), they might be willing to take you on for an indefinite medium-term period. Maybe?

  9. Clarification -- I'm not sure if I'll be in New Orleans for more than a year in the future. No plans to move, but no hard plans to stay, either. Speaking of which -- are you still coming down her sometime this spring? Or has that already happened?

  10. Re: Nawlins trip-- not happening. A ball got dropped, somewhere. And now I'm about to start living on one income.

    I really hate the idea of not being honest about my time-frame. I feel like the job I currently have has had those traces of dishonesty, which may have contributed to my boss hating me. If I were them, I would not hire me knowing I could likely fly the coop. Luckily, there may be another job opening that would make more sense with my current geographical status. I wish I didn't feel like telling everyone to eat it and just quit, but it is the worst time for that with J about to not have his teaching job anymore. Curses!


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