So it’s official: the end of unemployment is just around the next bend in the road. I can almost see it if I squint really hard. I received a written offer last Thursday and my provisional start date, all being well, is 27th August. Receiving the offer has evoked an odd combination of emotions in me. I felt really positive as soon as I left the interview – it all felt ‘right’ somehow but I was so determined not to get my hopes up that when the offer came through I simultaneously wanted to shout it from the rooftops and keep it quiet until I actually signed a contract; for some reason talking about it too much feels a little like tempting fate. Unless I can be arrested for blogging however, I figure sharing my good news with you all can’t hurt.
I think part of the problem is that I can’t actually believe my luck. Firstly in general terms – being offered a job after my third interview and only four weeks of unemployment was not something I was expecting at all. We had planned for the long haul. But I also feel extremely lucky in a far more specific way.
As most of you know I had decided that ideally, I wanted to take a change of direction and was looking for something that would give me a better work/life balance and more time with my family. But without any tangible experience in any other field I thought I would have to take a considerable pay drop in order to make a change. Weighing up the desire to do something new against the desire to spend some money again was really tough. I continued to apply for all the jobs that came up in my field – I felt obliged to really, but my heart really wasn’t in it. To be really good at what I have always done, I really do believe you have to have an interest in the product your company is selling and there was only one job that came up in my field that fit that bill.
Having said which, there were only a handful of jobs that came up in ‘new’ areas that I thought I’d stand a chance of being interviewed for. I’d worked out by this stage that I’d be lucky to even get to interview stage for jobs that paid significantly less than I was used to; generally, prospective employers don’t understand the desire to take a change of direction and are suspicious of the concept. It’s a shame really. They’d probably take on far more enthusiastic and dedicated individuals if they were more open-minded. Anyway, I was over the moon when I got an interview for this job but was very careful not to get my hopes up as no salary was specified. When I first applied for it, I sent the job description to hubby at work who replied and said ‘sounds so ideal, did you write it yourself?’
And that was before I found out the name of my employer-to-be and what they do (and it’s something I find interesting); before I met my boss-to-be and clicked with her immediately; before I found out that the company is super-flexible and I need not have set hours – no more wondering how on earth I can make the nativity play, the sports day, the stay-and-play sessions and the special assemblies at the school; before I found out I can work from home part of the time, which works really well for me and means extra time with the girls that would ordinarily be taken up with travel to and from an office and before I found out that they would be prepared to match my last salary in order to recruit me.
In other words, I feel that I have entirely landed on my feet and if I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve such good luck. When all I could see were endings, so many people told me that this experience would herald a new beginning; they were absolutely right and all I can say is I will do my new employer proud.
We are celebrating my return to the workforce by taking the girls away for a few days next week to the beach – it will be our first family holiday in three years since daughter number two was four months old. I am really excited about it and can’t wait for some stress-free, quality family time. I’m also hoping that we will now still be able to afford to take them abroad for the first time in October half term – something we’ve been planning for the last year but which was looking like an impossibility until last week.
Although short, my brush with unemployment has opened my eyes in many ways. I have certainly learned how to be more frugal and see no reason to forget that lesson now. Having said which, I have a new appreciation for being ‘comfortable’ and will try my best never to take that for granted again. Nothing lasts forever; puff and it’s gone.