Sanity Check (More money, more problems?)

A week lost to interview anxiety, and all for a job that could pay me less.

The past week has been a weird one. I feel like I’ve been away somewhere else. Like I’ve been on another plane of existence all week, and I need a sanity check to pull me back to reality for the new week.

A couple of weeks ago I had shared about loneliness and anxiety over my few social connections, and that had left me in a contemplative headspace and feeling ready to explore that a little more. I even have a couple of drafts started.

Then, I got an invite to interview for a job I’d applied for weeks ago and almost forgotten all about. This derailed everything else I had going on (including my boyfriends birthday, bless him for his understanding!) as I was consumed with anxiety and preparations.

I’ve been crawling up inside my own head for days.

I’m historically not great at interviews. I’ve failed at a lot more than I’ve ever had job offers. I don’t make much of a first impression, I get nervous, my mind goes blank and I’m terrible at remembering to say examples (you know, that STAR thing!).

This time I really wanted to figure my shit out, and I had Obsidian to help organise my thoughts. I will probably post about that separately! But it definitely helped, and after three days of hard work preparing I feel like I did the best I ever have in an interview.

I felt confident and professional. Genuinely incredible stuff. 🏆

Following the interview, however, Anxiety has not been assuaged because it transpired this job will pay less than my current one (this was not surprising to learn, I’d still have applied if I’d know but I do wish employers would advertise with salaries!). So I’ve been plagued all weekend considering the pros and cons of taking a lower pay, so I’m mentally ready if I got a second interview and an offer.

The negative is obviously that I’ll be a few £1000s poorer, which is a really good holiday or half a new kitchen. I’ve honestly lucked out to be on the pay I am on in my industry. I’ve known since I got my last big pay bump that I’ll probably never see money like this anywhere else, and my employer has now got me priced out the market – which is tiny and niche as it is!

Money is not everything though 💸

There are some compelling reasons to move for a less salary, which is why I took a chance on applying.

  • If the new company offers me more annual leave. I get the paltry statuary minimum of 20 days (plus the bank holidays but you can’t take them when you want!). It doesn’t feel like it’s enough to ever be recharged. Plus my partner gets 27 days (and extra afternoons), so we miss out on more time we could enjoy off together.
  • If the new company offers opportunities for development and advancement. Will it be possible for me to increase my pay again over time and move up bands?
  • If the new company would offer me training for new skills. I’d love to learn my technical skills, and that did seem to be something they were interested in.
  • If the new company has a nice team of colleagues I can work more collaboratively with, and meet in person with the hybrid working. This could be a real chance for me to work on expanding my social horizons, and help my long term mental health.

What would you do?

Most of this will be impossible to know without a leap of faith.

For now I’m in purgatory waiting to hear if I have to suffer through another interview, or if I’m rejected and go back to my life as it was.

I think even if nothing comes of this interview, it’s given a bit of a jolt to the system. It’s made me pause to think carefully about my strengths and weaknesses, and consider my options in more detail.

I’ve been stagnating at work for years now. But the positive side of that is, because I can do my job without thinking too much, it leaves more mental energy for this blog and my other creative pursuits which is rewarding and boosts my self-esteem in a different way.

Let’s sign off with some gratitude 💝

Lots of lovely things happened this week too, sometimes listing those can help ground me back to Earth!

  • Feeling proud of myself for doing well with the interview.
  • I had a wonderful Saturday with my partner treating him to café pancakes for breakfast, and board games for the rest of the day (Ticket to Ride and The Deserted Lighthouse Exit box we found stupid and hard!).
  • My car passed it’s MOT with no stress!
  • I finished a fantastic audiobook (The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell!)
  • I arranged a catch up with a good friend for next month.
  • I had a nice interaction with the new neighbours.
  • There was a break in the rain that gave me some gardening time, and the physical task of more digging out roots helped get me out my head for a while. I’m starting to see that I’m making progress!
  • My sweet peas are finally blooming – and they don’t yet have any powdery mildew!
  • I have been replaying Outer Worlds which has been a nice brain break, and reminder of how much I love the whole vibe of that game. Its given me some embroidery design ideas (whenever I finish the wall-hanging I’ve been working on over a year!).
  • The endless love and support of my partner and his patience and understanding when I get all locked up inside myself as I have been this week.
  • The cats just always bring me comfort and joy.
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