Monday, April 26, 2010

The job.

So, I post about how randomly I've posted, then make an effort to post three times in one week, and now its been, um, how long has it been since I posted here last?!?

My life has absolutely been topsy-turvy lately, and every time I talk to a friend I get the "Wait, you're doing..." or "But I thought you were..." comments. These won't be the most thought-provoking posts, but rather a way for me to just catch-up. Today, about my job. I don't feel completely comfortable sharing all of the details, but here are the cliff's notes.

Roughly a year ago, I was approached by a recruiter and offered a job at a time when others at the company I worked for were getting laid off. Hell, everyone was laying off, and here was this job offer - on a silver platter - with a red bow and a side of a raise. The description of the job was exactly what I thought I needed - the same things I'd been doing at the old job, but with a bit of a challenge.

Only I quickly realized that "environmentally" it wasn't a good fit. My office was a cramped closet with a printer and a copy machine that ran (and squeaked) all day long just outside the door. I had a loooong laundry list of tasks to accomplish, and very few resources at my disposal. And some of the people I worked with were, um, challenging. I ended up going home in tears more than a few times. I'm NOT a crier.

I was miserable.

I knew I had made a mistake, leaving a job where I fit so well. I had been working for a great company, with great benefits, and a boss that was nothing but easy to work with. But it had been my choice to leave. I had no regrets about the decision - I knew, going into it, that it might not work out, but felt that I needed to take a chance.

So in November, after only six months with this company, the Hubster and I decided that we were in a position where I could quit my hellish job and stay home with our boys while they were still little. We were probably going to end up poor, but so be it. 'Tis better to be poor and happy, right?

I put in my notice and they begged me to stay. I turned down two counter-offers before they I accepted their third. I was to work 20-25 hours per week from my home office, and make a trip downtown when needed. It was great to wake up without an alarm in the morning, and to have breakfast with my kids before padding downstairs in my slippers and sweats to do a few hours of work.

Given my previous experience with this company, I had no misconceptions about how well the arrangement would work out. I made the most of my time off. I caught up on more than a few TV shows and movies, and did something fun with the kids on the days when Hubster worked his double shifts.

As perfect as this arrangement might seem, it was a really tough juggling act. I spent the darkest days of winter alone, with no one but my children to keep my company. Hubster was working long shifts as usual, and I no longer had friends and co-workers with whom to chat or share a lunch. There was no one to share job-related victories with, and our arrangement as far as balancing work and child-care didn't work the way I'd wanted it to. I spent many days trying to keep my kids entertained and quiet while I was on a conference call.

I knew, that as much as I'd always wanted my chance to be at home with my kids, that personally it just didn't work for me. I needed a much clearer separation of work and home. I needed to dress like an adult again, do a job I was good at doing, and get back into a healthy environment where I knew I was appreciated. I made a mental decision that I would start looking for out-of-the-house work again at the end of the summer.

In March, an opportunity presented itself (again) and was worth jumping into sooner.

A job back at the company I left (the really good one, remember?) working for the same boss (who's still great) doing something slightly different in that it presents a learning curve for me that isn't unachievable.

Oh, and I get my seven years of seniority back.


For the past two weeks, I've put on heels and earrings and driven the long 45-minute drive every day, except the two days I had to go to Chicago.

And I couldn't be happier.


BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Working from home is not as easy or cushy as it sounds at all. I did it for nearly a year when my second daughter was born so we could start her in daycare later and it was really tough and isolating.

Now I work 30 hours a week but 8 of those are from home on Fridays. That seems to be the perfect mix for me. It gets me out just enough so I don't go crazy trying to do it all at home.

Kudos to you to finding your work groove and going back to your old job! Sounds like they really welcomed you back!

Sugar said...

Oh great happy ending!

I used to be a recruiter. I always had to weigh whether the person that could do the job should do the job. So many times, I was torn between getting a job filled (which made my boss happy) and letting the candidate know that this probably wasn't the right place for him/her. So many times, they took the jobs anyway.

And within six months, giving their notice.

Environment is EVERYTHING!

Burgh Baby said...

I love that you soldiered through and managed to get everything to work out in the end. Congratulations!

LceeL said...

Great!! Great that you've gone back to where you know you 'belong'. And you got your seniority back. And, best of all, you're happy. That, most of all.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Glad you got a job you are happy with. Working at home with kids is tough. I tried doing it with real estate. I pretty much had to do everything when they were napping or sleeping at night.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Colleen, I am so happy for you! This working mom - heck, this working, period - thing is so stinking hard to figure out! I love that you get to go back to the place where you fit (and get to wear grown-up clothes and do grown-up things). :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

YAY for second chances and finding what you want!

Tara R. said...

Congrats on the new job!! Yay for seniority returning.

Karen MEG said...

Colleen, great news on the job!!!!
I get this, I totally get this. Working from home has its perks for sure, like the flexibility to get the kids, a bit more free time ... but it is isolating. And it's not for everyone.

Which is why I took the plunge back in September.

And I'm so happy that you were able to step right back into the RIGHT position for you.

Yay you!!!! And yay that you keep those years of service, what a bonus (and a great, mature boss who knows a good thing, is a huge deal)