…married with a lack of vision. OK, maybe I don’t have a TOTAL lack of vision, but you better believe I want to rule the world (but so does everybody, right?).
All kidding aside though, I imagine you get the idea that I’m in between a rock and a hard place at the moment. Well, I am. I’m currently faced with a very difficult decision, and it’s a decision that I do not have an easy answer to yet.
A few weeks ago a recruiter from a telecommunications and networking company reached out to me and encouraged me to apply for a CAD drafting position at the office in my home town. I immediately beamed with hope and I’m like “oh HELL yes” because of how much I hate my current job and how badly I want out (it’s gotten to the point where it’s starting to affect my health and the pervasive thoughts of suicide have returned because I just feel so trapped).
So I got through the pre-screen and interview process and I am on the verge of receiving an offer with this new company, but I have a feeling I might have to play hardball with them to get compensation where I want it. I was ready for that, but I was not ready for the major speed bump in the way.
While I wait I had a brief look at their benefits package and I almost gouged my eyes out at what I saw. The health insurance premium is outrageous – $180/month and for piss poor coverage too – $2,000 calendar year deductible and $5,000 calendar year out-of-pocket maximum for in-network. Currently I pay zero for health insurance (current company pays 100% of the premium) and have a $1,500 calendar year deductible and $3,000 calendar year out-of-pocket max. In other words, I would be paying more for less coverage.
Vision, dental and disability insurance is roughly the same cost per month and roughly the same coverage level so I’m not worried about that. Regardless, figuring out taxes and other deductions, I calculated that I would at the very least have to be offered $2/hr above what I am currently making. That would ultimately be a very modest bump in pay but any less than that and I’d effectively be taking a pay cut, which is not an option. Of course, that’s just take-home pay. That’s not counting the additional $2,000 I could be out of pocket in a year for medical bills should something go outrageously wrong or I get into an accident of some kind. If you figure that in, a “lateral” move would be a $3/hr bump in pay.
That’s not the only concern I have though. At the present time I have my own office space, my own desk and that has a door I can shut when I need to be distraction-free and hunker down. I’ve yet to see this office space but I have every intention of going and checking it out before I make a decision just to make sure I won’t be in a toxic working environment. Due to my autism, I very much need a minimum distraction work environment which preferably means my own private office room but could also mean like a corner cubicle blockaded in all directions with just a small entrance/exit as to dissuade other employees coming and making small talk or a micromanaging supervisor over my shoulder. I’m pretty sure I have some rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to this effect but I’m going to explore it just to make sure.
The last major concern I have is my tattoos (both current and future). Being a newer company I imagine they will have a more progressive attitude toward tattoos in the workplace but you never know. My current employer doesn’t give a shit about tattoos, piercings or any other body modification. I don’t think it’ll be a problem (especially since I won’t be dealing with the public at all) but it still might be. When I go check out the office space I will be in short sleeves so whoever is in charge there will definitely see my tattoos and I hope will make a remark one way or another (being required to cover my tats at work is unacceptable to me and is an immediate dealbreaker).
That said, there are several upsides to the potential new job. For one, the commute will be much shorter (16 miles each way as opposed to 29). Second the scope of work will be more of what I like to do instead of these mind-numbing “side tasks” that consume most of my day now (my current company recently underwent a reorganization which drastically changed my primary job function). Third I won’t be having to deal with the terrible trio that are my immediate supervisors (they’re all assholes).
Now, I absolutely have realistic expectations for a career move. I know I will remain unfulfilled and not truly satisfied even if I do take this new job. It’s just something I’ve accepted. No matter what job I work I will not feel satisfaction from it because it’s not my dream job (which, as I’ve mentioned several times, I am shut out of due to my autism). It’s about finding something that has an acceptable amount of displeasure. My current job has an unacceptable amount, hence my desire to move on.
Whatever the case, I’m trying to look at this from all angles and at the present time the decision is proving to be very difficult. Luckily I don’t have a formal offer just yet so I’ve got some more time to mull it over. I just don’t want to regret whichever decision I make. Do I take the safe bet and stay and potentially drive myself insane, or do I take the risk and go and potentially have a major sickness hit which will negate any and all wage increase? Do I stick with who I know for office mates (I actually like my office mates) or do I risk not getting along with a new set of people for a new opportunity? See, these are the questions I’m having a hard time with.
Yes, I’m in a pickle. Luckily I have time. I just hope that whatever decision I make is the right one.