Friday, January 18, 2013

Time for a Major Life Choice

It's time to make the final decision about my job situation.

I've been with my current company for 4.5 years. After a stressful four years as Executive Assistant to the CEO, I transferred into a new position.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be a very poor fit for me, and I gave my notice back in November.

In the weeks since, the Chief of HR has suggested a few other positions that might be options for me. After much discussion, I have concluded that one of the positions might be a good fit.

Now I have to make the big choice.  Do I...
  • pursue the new position in the company,
  • get a full-time job elsewhere, or
  • get a part-time job elsewhere and pursue my own business (organizing) on the side?

As with most big decisions, there are many pros and cons. With 4.5 years invested, it's hard to think about leaving the company. I believe in the company's project and want to see it succeed. Plus the pay is good and the benefits are outstanding. On the flip side, the environment is intense and chaotic, with enormous workloads. The company culture leaves much to be desired; sometimes it feels like high school, with cliques and silly competitiveness.

Of course, leaving to find a new job would carry financial risk. Pursuing my own business would be an even greater financial risk. I am pretty confident I could do the work of a professional organizer, but obtaining clients is another story. I am TERRIBLE at selling myself and even worse at networking.

The good news is that my finances are in pretty good shape. I live well within my means, so I've got savings to fall back on. And I'm frugal, so I don't need a huge income.

I am grateful to be in the position of having so many options.  Nonetheless, my head swims a bit at all of the variables.

I will be doing a lot of thinking as I'm working on my kitchen this weekend!


  1. Good luck with whatever you decide! I hope you pursue professional organising as it really suits your personality! Whatever you decide will be the right decision! :)

    1. Thank you! I'd planned to save up money a little longer before venturing out on my own, but maybe the time has already come. The profession would definitely suit me. :)

  2. I quit my job of 4.5 years in April. I didn't want to, because I liked what I was doing, but it became apparent that a guy on the floor felt like it was his mission in life to belittle and objectify me (with HR telling me I was lying and management willing to admit there was a problem, but unwilling to do anything about it), I had to leave. The culture there was like a frat house (no joke, the staff was 95% male and management would openly talk about porn and sneaking around on their wives/GFs like it was an accomplishment).

    Once I had made the decision, the dominoes rapidly fell and I was in my new job soon after. The first two weeks were rough. I wept pretty much every night. And after that... it all just kind of clicked into place. No one was harassing me. No one cared that I was pierced, inked, and purple-haired. I did my job, and did it well, and was not an unpleasant person to work with, so no one gave me problems.

    There are things I miss about the old job, but I don't regret leaving. Actually, my regret is that I waited so long to leave. So only knowing limited circumstances of your situation, my advice would be to leave your current job. You've given the new position a fair chance, and it didn't work. You don't need the stress and chaos of that job.

    1. Yikes! What a dreadful situation you were in! It angers me that sexist crap like that is allowed to continue. I hope things will continue to improve for you.

      My situation is basically this: I joined the company in its infancy; there were about 22 people in the office. Over 4.5 years, the company has grown rapidly - we're approaching 250 employees - but has never really grown out of being a start-up. I stayed, thinking things will get better soon... things will get better soon... but they haven't improved much. The chaos still reigns.

      I tend to stay with things too long, determined to solve the problem - like, "Damn it, I WILL make this work!" But I think I've run out of optimism in this case. The worst part is that I feel I accomplished almost nothing. I spent most of my time babysitting the former CEO and the Board of Directors. :(

  3. My five cents:
    Follow your dreams, even if you aren't quite sure how to begin (selling yourself). The worst that can happen is that it doesn't take off and you will go back to what you obviously already know how to do well. Good luck!

    1. Yes, that's true. I'm lucky that the type of work I do is always in demand, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a new job. Thank you!

  4. Maybe you can get a part-time job at some sort of store where you could also promote yourself and pick up some clients? Is there such a thing as an organizational store where you buys things to organize your life? I really don't know!!

    Too bad you don't live here because I could surely use your help with a bit of organizing/downsizing at the moment!! :D

    1. There is such a thing. The major player around here is The Container Store. They carry an astounding array of hyper-specialized storage solutions (such as a plastic container shaped like a loaf of bread).

      Indeed! I would love to help if I were there!

  5. I hope, whatever you do, it all works out for you - obviously I would say make sure you're secure financially before starting your own business, but you've done that already! You said it's chaotic and stressful with a bad environment, but will the new position be any improvement on that?

    I'm tempted to say chuck it and go pursue your own dream job, but you'll know what's best! You'd need to have a serious look at how you're going to promote your business, and some market research is always a good thing - who would be interested, what do they want, what would they be willing to pay, etc.

    (P.s. I'm just starting up my own blog and was going to include my own to do list, inspired in part by yours - I was just going to link to it, if that's okay. :) )

    1. I think the new position would be an improvement, but whether it would be *enough* of an improvement... I don't know.

      I've done extensive research in the years since I discovered the existence of the organizing profession. Funny enough, I have a degree in Marketing, which taught me sales techniques but did not make me more comfortable using them.

      Yes, you can link to my list. Thanks for asking. And good luck on your new blog! :)

    2. Hmm. I suppose you could always try the new job and see how you feel about it, but you'll know better. I have no idea what it's like in the US, but I'm pretty sure you can get advice and support for starting up a business in the UK - is there anything like that you could perhaps look into?

      Thanks a bunch! :D

    3. Yes, there are lots of resources. There are Small Business Development Centers at the city, state and federal levels, and universities offer adult education courses.

      I've actually run small businesses before (for myself and others). The mechanics of running the business should be no problem, it's the selling/getting enough clients that I'm concerned about.