Changing jobs is a lot like breaking up with a boyfriend.
One minute, you are content with Joe. Then Bob comes along. He shows a little interest in you. You feel guilty looking because you are taken. But Bob flexes a bicep and suddenly you are drawn to him, like the eyes of middle aged women to a 3-D production of the film Magic Mike. Before you know it, you're marching up to trusty, old, familiar Joe and giving him the infamous "it's not you" speech. You are initially pained at the look of betrayal in Joe's eyes. But that feeling is replaced with excitement as Bob throws you over his brauny shoulders and whisks you away to a romantic cottage on the beach.
Ok, so maybe getting a new job isn't like that at all.
For those of you catching up, last year I left my job in insurance defense in search of a position closer to home. Except there was not a single lawyer opening in my entire county. So I took a job as a paralegal. My new boss hinted that he would like to eventually train me to take over his practice. That seemed like a great idea to me! At first, it wasn't hard giving up a 4 hour daily commute and billable hour requirement for the slower pace of a paralegal position. The 15 minute commute helped.
Well, the other day, I saw a missed call from a partner at my former law firm. It wasn't unusual for him to call me. Like me, he had recently left the firm, and he liked planning happy hours with other ex-pats of the office. Afraid I'd have to turn down another happy hour invite, I checked the voicemail message he had left. When I heard his message, my jaw hit the floor.
"Hi, it's me. As you know, I started a law firm with my buddy....I'd like to hire you. Call me so we can talk"
What?! I was shocked. I was being solicited for a job! This seemed way too good to be true. I called him back and discussed how I was flattered but that I wasn't interested in the commute.
"What would it take to get you over here?" He asked.
No way. I decided to shoot for the moon, fully expecting to be shut down. "Well, I'd probably have to be able to work from home one day a week. No, make that two days a week. And, because of the commute, I would need shorter work days."
"Ok. Let me talk to my partner."
When I hung up, I was shocked, skeptical, and flattered. I had enjoyed working with this partner at my former firm. I had considered him my mentor there. But I didn't think I really stood out from the other associates. Why would he call ME?
I returned to work the next day. But I have to admit, my mind was was far from my quiet office. A million possibilities were swirling around in my head. Could this really happen? No, too good to be true! What if it did? I started to get the weird feeling that I was cheating on my boss just for entertaining this ridiculous idea. My stomach was in knots.
Fastforward a couple phone discussions later and I got it. I got a real offer. And it involved 2 days per week at home, reduced hours, and more pay (compared to what I am currently making). I gave it a lot of thought. The nearly 4 hour commute is nothing to take lightly. But working from home and part time? That's practically unheard of unless you're a solo practicioner! I already knew I would take the job, I just had to talk myself into it.
But, that didn't make it any easier to break the news at my current office. I work with great people. They've taught me a lot about working on the plaintiff side. I even co-chaired a trial here. After 5 minutes of heart-pounding, room pacing, and violent hand shaking (I was trying to shake-out the nervousness), I marched bravely into my boss' office and gave him the "it's not you, it's me" speech.
It was a hard thing to do. I'm a loyal person. I want everyone to like me, especially people that I like. But as I broke the news, my boss was calm and collected and very civil, almost as if he saw it coming. I think he was disappointed. That's the worst part for me. I am a people pleaser. I hate disappointing anyone.
But now it's done. It's official. My two weeks begin tomorrow. I'm incredibly excited and anxious to begin my new journey. I know it will be a great opportunity. I'm already swamped and I haven't even started. There's already over a hundred cases waiting for me to assist with! This will be my third job in three years, but I'm hopeful that this one will be for the longhaul. 2 weeks couldn't be further away!