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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And the answer is .....

As I wrote last, my guy has two opportunities on the table. Two opportunities that really couldn't be more different.
The start up tech company with a brilliant value proposition and trustworthy partners starting from scratch,

or the Fortune 500 base plus commission Corporate America route.

I voted tech start up. I believe this is suited to his entrepreneurial spirit. He has brilliant out-of-the-box ideas that he needs to use.

He agonizes over turning down a salary that will give us some immediate financial relief.

I say, hey, we're broke already, let's ride it out!

Really, here's the metaphor......

You know the young bride that is so caught up in planning her wedding and puts everything into the flowers, the dresses, oh no, what about the seating chart! That's really about accepting the offer.

What the bride should be thinking about is, "Do I want to wake up beside this guy for the rest of my life?" That's the work that needs to be done once the offer is accepted.

Take the offer itself off the table. Just concentrate on 'the work'. Which job do you want to get up to every single day? Which one would feed you most, spiritually, intellectually, and of course financially but not just financially. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to making big money. Safe and quick may be bigger today, but risk and reward could be more lucrative long term.

And, I'm a big fan of safety. My kids wear life jackets and they wear sunscreen. I'm a safety girl. But, I don't want my guy to be so concerned about our financial safety that he misses the opportunity to go running off the end of the dock arms flailing into a giant cannonball that feels so great you forget where you are and can't wait to get up the ladder to do it again and again every day.

As I've mentioned before, we're a prayful bunch. I gave my two cents now we're praying about it every day until the final answer needs to be given.

Either way, I'd much rather spend my days wondering WHICH job he'll take!

Stay tuned for more, Lessons from the Recession.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Off-Ramp Ahead

Last Friday was a really exciting and yet odd kind of day. As a result of this blog, I was a guest writer for the Wall Street Journal online edition blog titled, Laid Off and Looking. That was a huge honor to have my writing published. On that same day, my guy had conversations with not one but TWO opportunities. Even crazier, while he was on the phone with one of the opportunities, the other one was beeping in on the other line! How crazy is that!

Fourteen months of waiting, wondering, and more worrying more than we care to admit, and then two calls at the exact same time! Before someone wants to call the unemployment police, (since that seems to be the "MO" of the Wall Street Journal readers which clearly missed the point, I'll be clear that these calls were not actual job offers! ) Geez, can you not just get excited and talk about these things without people going to the dark side?

After this long nightmare, one would think that this would be cause for joy and celebration. Persistence was paying off. It didn't really happen that way. I would call us, "cautiously optimistic," in our style. I'm hoping one of the lessons that come from this journey is to remain well grounded and grateful and not always seeking more.

It was a Friday night like most have been lately, the girl had a friend over and they were running through the house, we were scrounging up food from the pantry which looked more like Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and settling in for the night. I looked at my guy and said, "so, you could have a job real soon huh?" We smiled and just looked at each other afraid to move and rattle this moment and find that we may have just dreamed it. Checking each other's expressions to make sure it was real.

Since then, conversations have progressed with both companies and he'll likely be starting a new role soon. He's leaning toward an opportunity that is contract sales with a wonderful start up which has huge opportunities but obviously doesn't start out with a base salary. More than arriving at a destination, we're on the off ramp of one really bumpy road slowly making our way to another. A road that we hope is way more smooth and scenic.

The reality is, we have a lot of making up to do and there's no room for Super Target just yet. The biggest mistake we could make is to slip back into spending money we don't need to spend and not truly recovering. Not to mention, the economy isn't any better than it was a few months ago. We can't lull ourselves into a false sense of security. That would be a bad idea. The truth is, we're both in sales and selling is way harder today. Often we work twice as hard to make half as much.

Knowing that intellectually, and practicing it, are so different. Just knowing that there is some relief on the way, I find myself stopping at Subway to grab dinner. I haven't been in a Subway for months. Stay strong darn it! It's like celebrating when we lose 5 pounds with a doughnut and french fries! (Not that I've ever done that.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yesterday was an Interview Day

Yesterday my guy had a phone interview. The sun shines brighter on interview day! (cue birds singing and sun beams)
Even MY days go better when my guy has an interview day. They bring hope.

Phone interviews don't require polishing your shoes, but they are still very cool days. They are cool because we are reminded that someone, besides those that live in our house, still believe we have skills, worth and promise.

We puff out our chests a bit on interview day and say, "Take that Mr. Recession, hundreds of people applied for this job and I got the phone interview!" We don't focus on the fact that the job wasn't exactly what we thought and it may not be a perfect fit. We focus on the feedback. Out of hundreds of resumes submitted to their website, only two people networked their way to the decision maker with persistance and focus. And who was one of those two?

Yes, fine people, that was my guy. (insert chest pounding sound)

We pray alot on interview day, of course. But I also dream of Target on interview day. On this particular interview day I was driving right past the SUPER Target. You know, Target with food and a Starbucks! Talk about the triple threat of cool in my book. Food, coffee and stuff I don't need that looks great and costs little - Oh how I love you SUPER Target. I'll be back some day.(snap out of your stuper, this isn't all about you)

Oh yea, back to the interview. So, It's not the perfect job but it's a connection. And there are some perfect jobs in that same company. We still need to impress, maybe he'll be referred, or start in the not so perfect job and wow em to the job he really wants. The company is still a good company. And most important the interviewer, "would be his boss guy", was a good guy. Big points for working for a good guy.

So, we go through the same routine, pour over the follow up letter, read it, edit it, read it, change it. Should he run to the post office (15 miles away) before the 4:30 deadline so he gets the hand written thank you out quickly or can it wait until tomorrow morning on the way to take the boy to band practice? Big decisions people, this is our mortgage we're talking about!

This time during the follow up letter we have a great conversation about the nature of sales today (remember I've got this consulting gig I do for a living so I'm rarely short on opinions or the latest article on trends) Anyway, it leads us to a great conversation and some new ideas for my guy. You see, interview day takes you to the next level. It has you thinking of things differently, adding new ideas to the mix. Interview day is a good day.

Interview day takes us to the next level. The next level of preparation and understanding of where we are meant to be and not to be.

Thank you interview day.

See you soon, SUPER Target.