Cold Feet

Sooo yah. About that job thing…

I rescinded my acceptance of their offer after the first day.

It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in the not-so-distant past, but it was ultimately the right thing to do. I’ve often heard that the right thing and the easy thing are very rarely the same – boy howdy is that ever true.

When I first started off on this job-search thing, I had a clear set of goals for the kind of work I wanted to do, the type of place I wanted to do it, and the sort of people I wanted to work with. This job only fit one of the criteria. And one outta three ain’t good people.

While I loved the work that I’d have been doing, and was darned impressive at it (pumping out some documents in a few hours that would’ve taken the existing staff days to produce) – the cultural fit was way, way off. I wanted to work for young, dynamic, energetic company. I wanted collaboration and teamwork to factor strongly. I wanted to feel joy about my workplace – I think everyone should strive for that.

I didn’t feel any of those things. In fact, I felt the opposite. Everything felt a little bit wrong. I have nothing in common with my former co-workers, I was everyone’s junior by about 15 years (which sometimes doesn’t matter – in this case it did). I’d be working primarily alone. The duties doled out kept changing in ways that had very little to do with my title or the original job description. The commute was hell. I was planning my exit strategy by the time I got home.

Breaking the news to my boss was tough. He didn’t take it very well – who would, really, it’s a big hassle. But while he offered to change my office, hours and duties, he didn’t offer any of the things I’d tried to negotiate earlier (more vacation, more money, telecommuting/flex-time) so I think he did realize it wasn’t going to work out anyway.

The hardest thing for me was giving up something I’d worked so hard to get. A job! Of my very own! Complete with paycheque and the feeling that someone wants me!

While I’m pretty comfortable as a risk-taker, I’d not taken a personal one quite that big in a while. Would the grass be greener? Would I rather let go of the bird in the hand? I was absolutely terrified at first.

But after speaking to a number of friends and associates (it amazes me the amount of people who’ve been on both sides of this issue before) I started feeling more at peace with the whole thing. And now that I’ve interviewed at a couple other places, it’s become absolutely, perfectly clear. There are just far, far better fits out there for me, where I’m pretty sure I’ll find the trifecta of awesome.

In the meantime I’ve got some promising leads lined up and am grateful for the opportunity to spend at least a few more days soaking up the sun and feeding ice-cream to the dog.

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5 thoughts on “Cold Feet

  1. Darren

    Good for you. That sounds scary, but it also sounds like you definitely made the right decision. So many people would have just grinned and beared (bore?) it.

    In any case, I’m sure the awesomeness troika is just around the corner.

  2. Sue

    There is nothing more horrendous than working in a place where you feel like you don’t fit in at all. Even if you enjoy the work, every day is unpleasant because there’s nobody to share your successes or worries with.

    Next step… try to figure out how to find out about cultural fit in a job interview!

  3. Karen

    Yowzers. Good on you for going after what you want. Here’s hoping that this recent bit makes it that much easier to sniff out the goods from the bads.

    And I hear you on the commute.

  4. Kyndra

    I for one and very proud of you (can you feel the Mom coming out in me already!?) for doing something so difficult.

    I know you’ll find something that fits much better!

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