Monday, October 26, 2009

I have confidence in confidence alone...

You probably don't know this about me, but I have been offered every job I've ever interviewed for. Getting the interview is the hard part. I'm not sure I can sell myself on paper. But once I accept that first handshake, I know I have it in the bag.

Maybe it stems from my (over)confidence. From the time I step foot in that office (or even get the call to set up the interview) I honestly believe that I'll get the job. I think I'm good at reading people and knowing what they want to hear. I actually like interviews. I'm kind of self centered that way. I get undivided attention while talking about favorite topic of conversation.

I had a job interview a couple weeks ago. Parker's school was looking for a Parent Consultant. Each school in our district hires two of them. It's quite similar to PTN (PTA/PTO). The main focus is to get parents involved and informed. Only it's a paid job. (SCORE!) The job description said ten hours a week. (SCORE AGAIN!)

I've been looking for a job like this since I made the big leap into the stay at home mom world. Plus, as an added bonus, I'd be in Parker's school...getting to know all the staff and parents of his friends. It was a win-win situation.

This job only opens up ever five years or so. I very honestly felt like it was fate that this job opened up the same time I had a kid start school here. I felt very, very inspired to apply and truthfully, very inspired that it would be mine. It was perfect on every level.

I applied, interviewed, and naturally, was offered the job.

Only, in the interview, I learned some things about the job that just didn't rest well with me. The other Parent Consultant has no kids at home and devotes her life to this job. She is at the school ALL THE TIME. She has her hands in everything. She puts in significantly more than the allotted ten hours. She sat on the interview committee and told me she didn't expect everyone to commit as many hours as she did. But she did expect (as did the rest of the committee) who ever they hire to put in a full work week when they do fund raisers, or book fairs, or have holiday plans, or special events. And it turned into full work weeks (or two or three) every five weeks. This other consultant sort of set a precedent for committing to extra work.

While I can see how that benefits the school and really, I'm willing to volunteer time at my kids school, I'm not really ready to commit to working so many hours with two kids at home. I thought and thought and thought about this the next day and a half.

Can I really be the kind of mom I want to when I'm gone so many hours? I was ready to leave my kids ten hours...what's a full week every now and then? But it's not just me it's affecting. Would so many hours away start to take a toll on my younger two kids? If I could leave them with Spencer it wouldn't even be a question. I'd work full time if Spencer was home. And frankly, they're not paying nearly enough for me to afford a babysitter more than ten hours a week (though a very generous friend offered to accommodate me on that one). But do I want to drop my kids off with a friend all the time? Is this what I want them to remember of their preschool years? Lots of good parents work and it works for them. Could it work for me?

When I got called (as I knew I would) with a job offer, I told them I would take the job if they were willing to accept me at the ten hours a week they were paying me for (only I said it much nicer in a well thought out speech including an explanation). They kindly told me they understood and thanks but no thanks.

I was hoping to be indispensable to the school. That they'd want me so bad they would accept my terms. No luck. And I'm irritated. I'm irritated that it's a ten hour a week job and they wouldn't hire me because I didn't want to commit to more than ten hours a week.

And I'm sad. I got off the phone with the principal and cried for two days. I'm in a slump. Though nervous, I was really looking forward to being a working girl again. And I was excited to be needed outside the home. I could use a dose of that these days. I'm kinda tired of everything in my life revolving around kids...even my church calling. I've been second guessing myself left and right. Am I crazy for turning it down? If it was as inspired as I thought it was, why am I sitting home feeling sad rather than starting a new job?

It's probably my bad attitude about cookie dough sales.


Curtis Whipple said...

You never know what's around the corner in life. Just because you can't seem to detect what the plan is- you felt so inspired- doesn't mean that there isn't a plan.

I have a bad attitude about cookie dough sales too. I finally convinced the PTO here to just send out a letter and ask everybody to donate $50 and be done with the hounding of local merchants to make donations, sending our kids out to the fronts of grocery stores to sell stuff, while we supervise etc. They made everything they needed for the year in 10 days!

Curtis Whipple said...

One other thing.. I am 44 yrs old and have had a job pretty much since I was 9 yrs old. I have never used a resume.

Danielle said...

Katie, my theory is things are going to work out the way you need them to. I know how much time is put on on those PTA things and you probably don't want to be a part of it. I do tons of volunteer work but nothing compared to some of these die hards at the school. Plus, you also get involved with all the school politics..blah, blah, blah.
I was feeling the same way you were about being a working girl. The planets aligned and I got a job at the boys school as lunchroom monitor (although Blake calls me the manager). I love it. I get to be with my boys every day and see who they hang out with. The best part? They let me bring Kali with me on the 2 days she doesn't have preschool and she just follows me around or colors.
Something will pop up when you least expect it like it did for me. I think you did the right thing in turning it down. Sorry for my lengthy response...but way to go!

Genn said...

Oh Katie,
I'm sorry that it didn't work out the way you had hoped. It really does sound a bit crazy that they wouldn't hire you after you said you can only commit to the 10 hrs a week for the 10 hr a week job.

You are right to ask yourself all the q's that you did. Everything happens for a reason, we just don't always know the reason right away.

(oh and ps- I have gotten the job on every interview I've ever been to also. I too think I can read people pretty well, and interviews are usually in the bag. I wish we still lived cose by!)

Traci Elizabeth said...

Cameron always boasts that he gets every job, too. I think it all stems down to confidence.

There is no way in hell I would take a job where they paid me for less hours than I worked. Their loss.

Jen said...

Wow that job sounded wonderful, I can't believe they didn't want you if you couldn't put in more than what they were paying you for.

On the up side, maybe there is something around the corner and since you are confident and do well in interviews you'll probably get it.

Being a stay at home mom is hard. I sometimes feel like I am loosing myself and need something in my life to revolve around something other than kids. I'm in primary too so I understand the church calling thing. If it wasn't for my new friends in the neighborhood we just moved into and all that we do together I'd be lost.

Hope everything turns out for you. You're amazing and you deserve everything in life!

Kris said...

Your post today, and explanation of why you chose not to take that job, is precisely why I think so highly of you.
You are spot on right, and you should follow your heart. The "right" job will come along, when the time is right, and all fits into place.

Lauri said...

I think you were inspired to apply for the job so you would have the opportunity to see how important being a stay at home mom really is to you. You did the right thing (as I already told you.)

Kelly said...

Wow, I'm very surprised that they told you that. i mean, its a 10 hour a week job, if they need you to put in more hours, they need to accomidate you for that! i'm sorry that's how it turned out. that's a big bummer. but at least your record of getting offered every job you interviewed for still stands.

im also in that boat with you and genny. i have been offered every job i've interviewed for as well. although a few i did not take.

jeanine said...

That totally stinks! I think your mom is right though... this gave you the chance to evaluate how important being a stay at home mom is to you. Things will all work out as they should :) Oh... and I know you're not much of a reader... but Dr. Laura's "In Praise of Stay at Home Moms" makes you feel REALLY good about staying home.

Amanda B. said...

Your mom is one smart lady.... :) I like her thoughts. Sometimes we are inspired to do things- just not for the reasons we think. Congratulations on the job offer! It does sound like a cool job (already taken at our school- and, I suspect they also put in more than 10 hrs week.) and it is stupid that they would require you to work more than they promised you'd be required....doesn't make much sense. Just think of it as proof that you've still got it! :) And, you never know what may come out of it. Maybe they will decide they made a mistake by not agreeing to your terms or something of the sort. I know what you mean about feeling like life revolves around kids, but that is only for 20-25 years out of a life that is likely 80 years long. :) You still have time. :) Hang in there- you are incredible!!!!

Amber Nish said...

You are so great..just in case you dont hear that enough already:) I love how you thought about it, looked at every side, considered every angle, and as tough as it was..made your decision. I totally get needing something outside of the house. I actually just started as a consultant for Heritage Makers (digital scrapbooking) and it has given me that working girl feeling. It is great for me and fits into my schedule, so I jumped on it. I think if you hang in there, and keep up the great attitude, something will come along that fills your needs. What about going back to school some? You have always wanted that..maybe if you were just getting a class a semester in, it would fill that part of you up! I hope you find exactly what you need, and continue in your resolve to do what is best for you and your crazies!

Cynthia said...

I could understand if they said they had one or two big events during the year that they'd hope for extra hours, but regularly? NO WAY! That is almost dishonest of them to describe it as a 10 hour job, and dishonest to actually pay you only as a 10 hour job.
I wish you could bottle up and sell some of that self confidence of yours. I'd buy some!

Kelly said...

Bummer! That sounded like a cool job, IF it only meant 10 hours!! Our PTO president spends countless hours (unpaid) at the school, and I think she is crazy! Too much work is one thing, but not at this stage of the game. Time isn't on your side to devote to what they are asking of you right now- you need to be with your boys at this crucial stage- 10 hours away- no big deal, but more than that just because the other lady gives and gives- well, it's their are worth way more than that- and honestly, from my perspective where I am now, working 3 days a week, I wish I didn't have to- it isn't horrible, I love it, actually, but I totally miss one on one time that will soon be gone- these years are so short- savor them, and I promise the time will come when you can give and give, and then wish you didn't have to!!
Love that you are so awesome that everyone wants you! I have to admit, now that I think about it, that I have gotten every job too- but not every promotion! that stinks- thanks for reminding me of that! ha ha
You rock!!

Heidi said...

My goodnes... that is just crazy talk... full work week. The job desciption did say 10 hours. Thats what they should hire for. and if they need someone for more hours, that is what volunteering is for.

Sam and Becky said...

Everything happens for a reason right? You turned down that job, because you knew you couldn't give all those extra hours... You went with your gut, and that Katie, is something many of us do not do. Something will turn up, it always does with you. You just grew stronger as a person Katie, and have had a small gut check. You will find something else. :D I believe in you, and so do all of your friends and family.

you. are. awesome.

Natalie said...

totally their loss Katie! You can volunteer as much as you want without the stress of the commitment. I think you are doing the best for your younger two kids by not spending so much time away from them. I think having that extra obligation creates for burn-out very fast. Soon the younger two will be starting school and you can apply to be the lunch lady or something ;) They get into school so fast and then are gone all day... enjoy this time even when the days seem predictable and dull.

Autumn said...

I wouldn't second guess turning it down but I can't blame you for being irritated and being in a slump. 10 hours=10 hours. That is irritating. However, it is better they turned you down than accepted you, then turned on the heat as time went on-to work more. I think that sounds like SUCH a neat job and I'm sure you'd excel at it. Maybe they'll hire someone who won't work out or won't be as great as they thought they'd hoped for, and they'll call you back be it this year or next? You probably felt inspired so they can get you when they're ready, @ 10 hours.

amelia said...

I had a job with those stipulations in college - work 20 hours a week, but we expect way more out of you. It is REALLY REALLY draining after a while, especially when you're doing it without pay.

The fundraiser part would KILL me. I remember being so frustrated when I was little that my parents would get all annoyed about the fundraisers ("But you don't understand...I get a BIKE if I just sell 500 magazine subscriptions!") and WOW it really is unethical the sales pitches these COMPANIES give to kids. I don't even have a school-age child - but I wish they had an opt-out option on those days because I totally would take my kid out of school for those.

(Off soapbox)