Last week I was working with a client on their job descriptions. What I mean is, we were rewriting them because the descriptions sucked. Sucked bad, like all job descriptions do. Fortunately they knew it so the process was easy.
I was working with their VP and during this writing process she said, “What’s your dream job?” A really neat conversation to have and we decided to write what that job description would like.
Things I included were:
- Being a Recruiter (nit not the account management side)
- Creating relationships, being an evangelist
- Involved in the local business community and groups
- Helping job seekers
- Doing some training, teaching
- Being able to try and experiment with new things and ideas
- Be on a team that is more like a family
Yesterday I received a call from her that I should expect an email while we were talking. Sure enough I here the chime and open it up.
Moved about what I want to do and the way to do it she had passed it on to their management team and it’s a job offer for exactly the description (plus a couple of things) that I wrote.
Because of some non disclosure issues I cannot get much into it but really that part is not so important anyway.
There it was in writing including a salary (which I have not had in 12+ years), some perks, a sweet office and location, and the stability I guess I have never really felt being on my own.
But with it comes an expectation of 60 hour weeks and a 3 year commitment.
So that gets me to the question, what price are you willing to pay for your dream job?
Friends close to know me are aware that I have been running a marathon as a sprint these past three years. ’07 was about all the ideas that were running through my head and experimenting with all of them, quick to discard and add new ones. ’08 was about narrowing that down and going deeper with them. The goal for ’09 has been to filter that down more so when 2010 starts I can be focused on just a couple of things.
Because I want my life back. I long for some time when my mind is quiet, when I do not wake up at 3 am with an idea that needs to be thought about. Or staying up until 3 am because I cannot settle down. I want to be able to spend time with family and friends and not be thinking about what I have to get done when I get home.
I made a rational decision three years ago to do this marathon/sprint. Knowing what I know now then I would do it again. I have enjoyed this. It was good timing for me personally and professionally. It allowed me to get a lot of stuff out of my head that had been making noise for a long time.
But I am not willing to do it again, at least not now.
I have been looking forward to slowing down, to get away from the constant buzz in my head. Making a near term commitment of 60 hours a week is just too much to do. I just ran a marathon with the goal of crossing the finish line and taking it slow for a while.
Two years ago or two years from now this would be awesome.
I went for a long walk last night and realized I am for the most already doing my dream job. I looked at the job description and am doing all that. Maybe not to the level I want but I am on the path.
What is missing is some stability. I guess most freelancers, consultants, “one man bands” feel this way.
I made the call this morning and I politely declined. The VP and I had a long conversation. We went through responsibilities, pay and expectations to see what could be changed.
At one point I was quiet, not something I normally am. It was that really awkward pause.
And she said something that took the weight off my shoulders. She said,
“Paul, I know you well enough to know you want this. I know you hesitate because you do not want to say yes and then not be able to complete the race. And I know your heart and mind are in other places now and that is a benefit to you, your family, friends and your business too. You will be able to do more by doing less. I told our executive team that you taking this job would be the biggest mistake you could make. What I suggest you do is keep doing what you are doing, find ways to make it easier and stop going off on tangents.”
Then she said the one thing many friends have told me (over and over again) over the years but this time it was like a two by four to the back of the head,
“You need to allow yourself to ask for help. You need to tell people you need a hand. You need to be OK with others doing for you what you have done for them.”
We agreed that while this was an awesome opportunity for both of us that the timing was not right.
I know this is going to get mixed reactions but I ask anyway, am I nuts? What price would you pay? What would you be willing to give to have your dream job?