Sitting tight and getting my priorities straight

So, I got the job offer last week. Friday, while I was running errands, the recruiter called me and let me know that the company wanted to bring me on as a contractor first, then potentially hire me permanently.

And it gave me pause. It was actually happening. I was actually being presented with a job opportunity that I’d pursued, that had actually gone well, interviewing-wise, and was about to deliver exactly what I was looking for, career-wise.

Except…

The commute would have been about an hour each way. That is a huge discourager, because I already have fatigue issues, without risking my neck on a commute into some of the worst traffic in the area. No thank you.

I wouldn’t be able to work remotely whenever I want. That’s another huge problem, because sometimes I can’t make it through the day without a 20-minute nap. And the idea of having to drive in, every single day (except on those occasions when I have an appointment), drag my a** through the entire week, and then deal with evening traffic in terrible rush hour conditions… Yah. No.

I have no guarantee of what the ultimate terms of employment would be. I don’t know what salary they’d offer me, exactly, and I don’t know what benefits they’d have, what the vacation policy would be, what kind of accommodations I could get to keep functional… As much as they made it sound like I was practically guaranteed a permanent spot, there’s no guarantee of that, and I’m just not prepared to take that chance.

They’re not paying me what I’m worth. The recruiter was very cavalier about telling me the parent company typically doesn’t pay the full market rate, and I’m sick and tired of being told that. The thing is, over the years, one position after another like that has set me back. Because everytime you start to negotiate salary, they start from where you are currently. And that puts me at an immediate disadvantage. I’m sick of playing that game and losing, over and over.

When I did the math, the whole deal just looked worse and worse. I’d need to cover my own insurance for 6 months, my commuting costs would go up, and lifestyle issues just canceled out any benefit I’d get from the technical boost. It just didn’t pan out. If anything, it would have been a step back, which is something I’ve done far too often in my career.

For the past 10 years, I’ve had to make accommodations for my employers and grant them concessions because of my TBI issues. I’ve had to pass on really great jobs, because they demanded too much. Or I had to leave okay jobs because my health was suffering and I was shorting out. But at last, I’m working at a place where I can build my own accommodations into my job, and I’m a “known quantity” in the ecosystem.

So, it’s really not so bad, after all.

And I’m staying put. I’m better off at this company and exploring job options within its vast corporate complex, than venturing out in to the rest of the world, where everything is a big question mark.

That’s one thing I’ve figured out in the past few days.

The other thing I’ve figured out, is that I need to quit worrying about developing commercially viable products on the side. I’ve tried to “monetize” my blog, I’ve started websites, I’ve launched initiatives, I’ve written eBooks, I’ve dug into all sorts of entrepreneurial modes of working and thinking. I’ve been pretty focused on doing that for over 10 years, because I didn’t feel like I could really function in the 9-5 business environment as it existed. The long commute. The long hours. The rigid rules and office politics. It just sucks the life out of me.

I was right. I can’t function in those conditions. But the solution is not to strike out on my own to make my own way in the world, launch startups, forge a new path through the jungle, etc. Rather, it’s to find a decent steady job situation that gives me the stability, insurance, paid time off, and flexibility in hours that allow me to function at my best.  To have the best of all worlds. And quit worrying about all that work-for-myself intensity that I’ve been wrapped up in since 2006.

I’ve found a situation that works for me now. Who knows how long it will last, because supposedly they’re laying off a lot of people. But the part of the company I’m in, isn’t one of the ones where there’s a huge amount of redundancy. And anyway, getting laid off would involve a package of some kind, so that will be helpful.

But whatever. Bottom line is, I’m taking the pressure off myself and ditching the whole go-it-alone mindset. I realize it’s taken a lot out of me, to constantly be pushing myself on my side projects, and it’s consumed a lot of my time that I could be spending on things like blogging here and just enjoying my life. Catching up on my reading. Actually thinking about stuff at my leisure. I used to do that, before I got caught up in the whole entrepreneurial craze, and I miss it. I want to just relax, for once. More than anything, I need to wean myself from the whole stress thing, give myself time to breathe, and develop the habit of just living well.

Writing what I can here. Minding my own business. Taking care of my home and my health. Getting strong and healthy for the long haul. ‘Cause in the end, nobody’s really going to take care of me like I can. Nobody else knows what I need, like I do. And I’m done with chasing castles in the sky.

I’ve got my own realm here on the good earth.

And there’s plenty to occupy me here.

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Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

8 thoughts on “Sitting tight and getting my priorities straight”

  1. i can relate. You’re lucky you have a job you can stay in. I no longer even have that. Sucks. At least I have (for now, anyway), my paltry Social Security (I started it at 62, our of necessity).

    I have had those experiences with “recruiters” and even worse ones. Disrespect is rampant, unreasonable expectations and requirements are typical. Plus, none of the jobs I’ve been offered would have been utilizing my skills, experience and expertise well or at all. I put on my C.V., right at the top, “NO SALES,” but I repeatedly get contacted to do sales jobs.

    I have over 40 years’ work experience and a doctorate, but some recruiters and employers think it’s just fine to offer me $12 – $15/hour.

    I am so desperate for money and to be doing something useful that I actually agreed to work for $16/hour last year for about 6 months doing something very low level (for me): BIG MISTAKE. Almost no one there really wanted someone as skilled or experienced as I was (most were increasingly intimidated by, undermining of, disrespectful and mean to me) and they spent almost the entire time being petty, dishonest, insincere and obnoxious; finally, they reduced attendance of participants to the point that they had to lay me off.

    Lousy commute, inflexible schedule, insulting pay and terrible (or no) benefits are all great reasons to say “no” to a job, especially when you already have one. I also still need naps, almost 4 years post-TBI.

    I wish you well.

    Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! I know that this job isn’t ideal for you by any means, but it’s a starting point from which you can seek better opportunities, right? I am very very happy for you!
    Cheers,
    Vickie
    comrieconsulting.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I get that all the time — I explicitly say “no ___________”, and what do they contact me about? ___________. Hrm.

    It’s just bizarre, what people think we should be earning. It looks more rigged, every day.

    Good luck with your work situation. I’ve been looking around online, here and there, for opportunities, but it is a relief to just have a set situation to go to, even if it is exhausting and irritating and not nearly as glorious as the rest of the world seems to think it is.

    Well, onward and upward.

    Best to you, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks – yes, it is a good starting point, and I’m fine with it. I also have time to figure out where to go next… on down the line. For now, I’m happy to just enjoy my holidays.

    Like

  5. I enjoyed this writing. It is so difficult to make these hard decisions between what we might have wanted or been able to do pre-tbi compared to how carefully we have to choose for ourselves after. I am still in that process of understanding myself at this point and what I can do while keeping myself balanced but I’m finally in an acceptance phase of who I am now so I can choose more wisely. That is why this writing is inspiring to me as you are aware of what you truly need to take care of you and are not making a choice that would push you too far if it doesn’t meet what you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for writing. It *is* hard to make those choices, especially when we want something different so badly. But I find that other “somethings” turn up, that can be just as good for me — sometimes better — as the old choices I’m used to making.

    It’s all about balance. Learning. More balance.

    Thank you again.

    Like

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