The Sure Thing


I had an opportunity to apply for a new job.

I’ve decided not to do it.

It’s a good opportunity, local, pays well. I’m more than qualified and it would be an interesting opportunity to build a program from the ground up.

The opportunity also fell into my lap right at the time that things are uncertain in my day job. The career-type job I’ve been doing for 14 years now. Our big bread & butter project has been nearly killed and no one seems to know what the future will hold. As there always is in the consulting business, there’s lots of uncertainty.

Applying for this local job would probably be the smart thing for me to do.

It’s a city job and so come with all of the security a government job implies. Good benefits. No selling to clients. None of the “maybe we won’t fund this project this year.”

That’s always the lure of the good job opportunity: security and certainty.

On the other hand, taking that job would derail my writing for a long time to come. I’d lose my well-established writing schedule. A new job, especially one requiring me to supervise a staff to build a new program, would absorb huge amounts of my attention and energy.

A long time back – late 90s – I made a choice to leave my PhD program and get a job that would allow me to hone my writing skills. I cut bait, ran with my MS, and took a job as an editor/writer. I wrote on the side and my essays began to see light of day in magazines.

Then someone offered me a better job. Nearly twice the pay, private company. Terrific opportunity. Of course I took it. I’m still with that company and I do a good job for them. Better than I had originally planned on, in fact. But I have my rhythm now. In the last few years, I’ve been building my novel-writing skills. If Obsidian doesn’t sell soon, I think Sterling will when I finish it.

Writing is once again receiving attention in my life.

If I applied for this new job? I would be moving away from what I decided long ago was most important to me.

So, I’m making a deliberate choice. I’m not changing anything. If the day job does collapse, I’m better off picking up work here and there to pay the bills, so I can continue to write. This time I’m not opting for the sexy and secure choice.

I’m going for uncertainty. And all the possibility that uncertainty offers.

8 Replies to “The Sure Thing”

  1. Hi! I followed you over from Allison's Borrowing Heaven Subletting Hell blog. I'm exactly the same age as Sesame Street — 🙂 — It's nice to meet you!

    I don't envy your dilemma. I'm grateful my husband earns enough for me to stay home, raise the kids, and write. Best of luck as you make your decision!

  2. Hi Nicole – It's lovely to meet you, too! Funny that you measure by Sesame Street also…

    Your situation is nice, it's true. But I also know that raising kids isn't a piece of cake and you are hardly fancy-free to write whenever you like.

    Thanks for the follow and the support!

  3. I love the fact that you follow your heart. For a writer, uncertainty is a constant companion, but if you feel the call to be a writer, nothing else can satisfy you. With your determination, you'll make it.

  4. Take it from me, changing jobs is an ASSPAIN. And it takes 6-8 months to find a new rhythm. It took me that long. I'm finally writing during my lunch hour and making good headway. I love my hour-long writing sessions. 🙂

  5. Yeah, that's exactly what I'm thinking, Michelle. This new novel is going so well, I don't think I could bear to see it get derailed for 6-8 months.

    I'm glad you've got your rhythm back now!

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