“You’re crazy. I like it.“
That was a text I got from a buddy of mine yesterday when I told him what I’d just done.
If you remember about a month ago I tendered my resignation, effective at the end of the year. I didn’t have anything lined up – no job in the wings, no safety net, not even a good lead on an opportunity. I have no idea how I’m going to put food on the table, keep the lights on or field my volleyball teams.
Kind of scary. And by “kind of” I mean “really”. Realizing that your savings will only go so far is a very disconcerting realization, and frankly work is such a big part of my life I’m not sure what I’d do without it.
So I cleaned up my resume and have been applying all over the place. More rejections than anything, but that’s pretty much par for the course when you’re looking for work in an economy that’s not exactly “robust”. And it’s exactly what I expected so there wasn’t any surprise there.
Then about two weeks ago I got a call from the Director of HR at a company in the KC metro area that wanted to talk to me about a job as the Director of Business Analysis at a competitor to CenturyLink. I was intrigued – I recalled applying for it and thinking it was a good fit for my skills and experience. I accepted the interview date and last Monday had what was probably the single best interview of my life. I was interviewing with the CEO, COO, VP-Sales, VP-Customer Care and (at the end) the CFO and General Counsel. We hit it right off and it was more like I was talking to buddies at a restaurant over a beer than an interview. Very relaxed, very informal (no “if you were a passenger on a train that crashed how would you react if a rabid dog got loose?” kind of questions) and incredibly conversational. When I walked out I resolved that if they extended an offer that was close to what I made today I was going to jump on it.
On Wednesday I got a call from the Director of HR wanting to discuss the interview; we set up a time for Thursday. Thursday afternoon the offer came in. I wasn’t sure what to expect – the company is considerably smaller – but I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. It would keep me (close to) whole on salary, bonus and stock and I had no doubt I could have scored 3 weeks of vacation to start with. Health insurance was actually a little cheaper. I had one week to decide if I was going to take it. I was ready to hit “reply” and say “give me 3 weeks of vacation and I’ll see you on December 31” but I withheld – I have a “mastermind” group I bounce things off of and I certainly needed to get my family’s thoughts on it before I jumped.
That deadline was Thursday.
And I turned down the offer.
It was a great job. I could have stepped in, taken a week to get a feel for “the company” (it reported to the CFO and my primary clients were the Sales team and the people I interviewed with) and absolutely rocked. I have absolutely no doubt I could have not just made the position but grew it into something more than what it originally was set as. I’m pretty damn good at what I do (not perfect, but good) and with the quicker decision making, the higher degree of flexibility and the more focused scope of responsibility I could have taken that job to new heights.
But after consulting with my “other brains” and getting input from friends of mine that bring a different perspective to the picture I decided to decline the offer and put all my eggs in the last remaining basket I have at the moment. Unfortunately that particular basket is far from a given and there’s some obstacles that have to be overcome so I’m walking a very thin line by saying “no thanks” to the offer I had in hand.
Perhaps it’s the line between “genius” and “insanity”; maybe it’s the line between “stubbornness” and “dogged determination”; or it could just be the line between “tan” and “looking like you rolled around in Doritos”. OK, it’s not that last one but the other two are still in the running.
I still don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made to date. I’m a little skittish with my focus on a single role as my new backup plan, but I’m wagering that my track record and all the recommendations from the people I’ve worked with for years who know what I can – and do – do will win the day. And if they don’t…then I’ll have to figure out another plan.
Did I walk on the genius side of the line until Thursday when I said “no thanks” and now I’m into insanity? Did I let my dogged determination to do something different turn into stubbornness? Or is holding to what I want (vs. “get a job”) the right answer?
I’m wagering on the latter. I’ve compromised enough in my life, and if I’m going to make a change I’m going to make that change with a focus on finding something I want, not just finding “a job”. The job I’m after fits the “what I want” category so I’m determined to knock over whatever roadblocks exist.
So as I toasted to my friends at Thursday night trivia: “here’s to taking a chance“. Or being crazy.
See you on the other side, one way or another.
(post image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)by