on the prowl (for a job)

Last fall I got a part-time job doing some freelance technical writing for a small software company that’s based here in Raleigh. I enjoyed the work that I did for them, and I was excited for some of the projects that they had coming up. However, they’ve had some major employee turnover in the last month or so, and now it seems that things like “have our freelance writer produce more documentation about our awesome software” and “pay our freelance writer’s invoices” have gotten pushed to the back burner. It sucks, but what can you do?

So, new year, new opportunities. I decided to start looking for another job. Obviously I’d prefer to work from home, but I’m not opposed to an office job either. I started sending out resumes, but I figured that it would take a long time to find something that would be a good match for me. And suddenly this week, I’ve come across two different jobs that both sound really good, both companies seem very interested in me, and I’m not sure which one sounds better.

Job A: Entirely work from home, and while it’s in the IT industry, it’s a side that I have absolutely no experience with, but it sounds like it would be a LOT of fun to me. And even though it’s work-from-home, it would involve a lot of talking on the phone, so I’d still get that need for adult interaction fulfilled, and not feel all isolated and hermit-like (which I know is a downfall of a lot of work-from-home jobs). However, the pay is just so-so – it would be more than enough to cover daycare expenses and still have some money left over, which I guess is the main goal.

Job B: It’s an office job, but it’s straight up technical writing, which is what I’m used to. (And I really enjoy technical writing, so that’s not a bad thing.) It would challenge me, which I love. And the salary would be… well, a lot more than the Job A, that’s for sure. It’d probably be enough to bump us into another tax bracket.

Now keep in mind, I don’t have hard offers for either of these jobs, I’m just in the early stages of interviewing with them. But, how do I choose between two seemingly great opportunities? Do I go for the work-from-home job, and take a chance on my gut instinct that’s telling me this would be a good fit for me? Or do I stick with the side of the industry that I know, and accept that security (and ok, the money) in exchange for having to commute to an office every day? Is it all about the dollah-dollah bills? Or is job flexibility the key to happiness?

How would you choose?

5 thoughts on “on the prowl (for a job)

  1. I would love to work from home, because really, who doesn’t want to stay in their pajamas all day if they can!! 🙂

    You’ve got to go with what fits better for you. I’m not sure about your gut, but I know that my gut is usually right 99.5% of the time. Look at both opportunities with an open mind, yes money’s great, but will you be happy in the long run? Ask questions and get lots of information about both jobs. You’ll know which one to take (if they are offered).

    Good luck, friend. I know you’ll be great at whatever you do. Can’t wait to hear all about it. And I better get to see you sometime in this new year! Just sayin’…

  2. That is a tough one. Assuming you get both offers, this is what I’m hearing…

    Job A: sounds like it would be fun, and learning lots of new things. From home, but lots of contact with people on the phone. Still have to put Catie in daycare, so no difference to her. Enough money to cover daycare and a little extra, but basically your financial situation isn’t going to change much, even though you will be fully employed.

    Job B: also sounds like it would be fun, but familiar. In an office, interacting with people IRL. Still have to put Catie in daycare, no difference to her. Enough money to take heaping chunks out of any debt you might have, such as equity in the new house. After a couple of years, you might have a nice retirement investment portfolio going. And a college fund. That’s be sweet.

    I dunno, I don’t want to sound like a dollar-worshipper, because you know I’m not, but there is a lot to be said for a healthy nest egg. You get job satisfaction either way. Of course the most satisfying jobs are volunteer work, but they don’t help you put the kids through college.

    You can’t really lose either way. For me, job satisfaction is as much about how well I enjoy the people I work with as anything else. How do you feel about the people you interviewed with? Did either strike you as particularly difficult or particularly convivial?

  3. Tough decision, especially since it sounds like you are going to get solid offers on both jobs. If I got the choice, i would work from home but that’s only because I have been working out of the house for so many years. That said, that’s me and not you. As Cat pointed out, Catie will have to be in day care either way so you might consider the job that you know you will truly enjoy. Tough decision but one of the better ones to have, right? Congrats in advance!

  4. Well the job market seems kinda skinny right now but there are jobs out there for folks that willing to look for them.

    Good luck!

  5. Go with your gut. And don’t let other people’s influences take charge of your choice. I was in the same position 5 years ago. I took the job not because it was in a field I liked, not because it was something I’d be interested in doing, but because I was told to do. Fast forward and I wasted 3 years of my life and now am bouncing from part time job to part time job trying to find something I like.

    If your gut is telling you to stay at home do it. If your gut tells you to do a 9-5 office job, do it. Discuss it with your honey and see what works for all of you. Stick with the gut. It usually isn’t wrong.

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