24 October 2007

Seeking Advice

The yarn-related content of this blog has severely deteriorated in the last few months, and for that I apologize. I've been trying to at least alternate my whining and knitting posts...

But at the moment I am in need of some guidance, from anyone willing to throw in their two cents!

Here's my situation in a nutshell: For the past 6 months, I've been working full time as a receptionist/office assistant in the corporate headquarters of a health care company. I've also been applying, and was accepted to, an online masters degree program in library studies. Additionally, since August I've been volunteering a few hours a week at the local public library.

One of the clerks at the library is leaving for another position at a different branch, and they have asked me whether I'd be interested in the position. For those curious, this was the potential good news I had hinted at in my previous post - I have been unhappy in my current job for a while now, and would love to have the experience working in the library setting to add depth to my education when I start classes in January.

But after speaking yesterday with the branch manager, it's not as simple a decision as it might appear.

The schedule for the library position is awful. The girl who had been in the job was working Monday - Thursday nights from 5-9, plus Friday afternoons one week, and then Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, plus Friday and Saturday afternoons the second week. When I sat down for my informal interview last week, the branch manager indicated that she might be able to rearrange the hours somewhat, but according to our conversation last night, she had not been able to do so. I fully expected to work some evenings and weekends were I to be employed at the library; however 4 nights in a row just makes my head spin. I have a husband who works fairly normal hours, who I much like to see on occasion. And what's more, in a couple of months I will have online class sessions a night or two a week, and I certainly can't miss those. There is an alternate position available, only 15 hours a week, that only closes two nights but works EVERY Saturday. Ugh...

The branch manager is now on vacation, through the end of next week. Our conversation yesterday concluded with a frustrating - and perhaps frustrated - "Let's leave it until I get back." Meanwhile I need to make up my mind what I want to do assuming nothing changes with the situation between now and then.

Therefore, my options:

Option 1) Optimism. Accept the 20 hours/week at the library with the schedule as offered. Cope with the 4 nights a week for a while, hoping that either: A - by the time January rolls around, they will be willing to work around my class schedule once it's been established; or (even better) B - that I can quickly get promoted to the full-time, more respectable, better paid position that is only available to current employees.
Pros: I have been trying to work in the library since before we even moved to Florida, and now I'd be able to do so. I get basic experience in the field in which I intend to make my career. I have already been volunteering there for a couple of months, and have gotten to know and adore a lot of the staff members. It could potentially work out that I would end up in the aforementioned better full time position (it's been hinted at that this is the position they really want me in, only they have thus far been hiring exclusively internally for it).
Cons: The schedule will short-term be bad for my marriage, and long-term be impossible for my education. They may not be able to offer any flexibility in January, and since I absolutely can't give up school, I may have to give up the job. The pay is far less than what I am currently making. The job is not especially challenging and I am pretty overqualified for it.

Option 2) Pragmatism. Stay in my current job. Turn the library's offer down. Keep volunteering in order to gain the library experience. See if anything opens up with a better schedule, and keep watching for openings at the local university libraries as well.
Pros: Job security. Much more money - longer hours at a higher pay rate. A schedule that better coincides with my home/social/school life. I don't have to face the terror of bringing my boss my resignation letter.
Cons: I have been fairly miserable in this job for quite some time. I am either crapped upon or ignored every single day. I don't believe in the company or in large part the industry. I am not suited for the corporate world. (My list of grievances could certainly be a post of their own.) Also, I miss out on the opportunity to further my career, and the opportunity may not present itself again. And for what - to keep working without purpose, other than a mere paycheck?

Option 3) Capitulation. Take the 15 hour/week library job. Look at it as a compromise.
Pros: I still get the library experience. There is still the potential to move up to that better position. Really, all the same things as Option # 1.
Cons: Even less money. Working every single Saturday; no weekends, ever. It doesn't make the same impression on the library senior staff, taking the "lesser" of the positions offered, and therefore perhaps decreases my chances of that promotion.

There are other options I guess... Try and do BOTH jobs somehow (though that would still require some schedule adjusting); go ahead and quit my present job before the branch manager gets back from vacation and hope something can be worked out later; wait and see if the branch manager has come up with a solution, with no plan for the likelihood that she hasn't... and so forth. Nothing so viable, at least that I've come up with, as those first 3.

What's a girl to do??? I need help...


Bethany said...

I would definitely not do option #3. What you are essentially choosing between is crappy hours or a crappy job. I think.. if it were me... I'd do option #1 and just pray for things to improve. At least this way you and Brendon will still have weekends together. (He and Lynn showed up in a dream of mine recently, did I tell you about that?)

jgtck said...

I would wait and see what the branch manager comes back with. You do not want to be working that many nights away from your husband. Marriage is hard enough. By the way, check out ALA.org. They offer many scholarships for people working on their masters.

still@solantic said...

i think you made the right choice, fully and completely. forget all the pros and cons, you did what was needed and you did it with style! kudos!