I did the interview.
It went well, but my feelings are very mixed, and my instinct in the immediate aftermath is almost uniformly negative.
The majority of the duties would be things I would loathe – namely community management, online customer service, reporting and assistance.
They informed me that, in no uncertain terms, I would be on the “bottom rung” of the team.
My access to the creative and strategy side would be virtually non-existent.
They want to start me on £3000 less than my previous role.
To be totally frank, I feel rather insulted. Maybe I have no right to be, but I do. I know this is a prestigious agency, and I know that they acknowledge that my experience commands more than they’re currently prepared to offer in terms of salary and duties. But to take this role…
It wouldn’t be a step sideways. If it were simply taking a small cut in salary or a more junior position in order to get into the agency environment then I’m more than happy to compromise. But this…This is wrong. At every turn they have given me less, nothing in my mind recommends this role to me except the fact that it is, indeed, within an agency. That is the only card they have left to play in this torturous mental game.
I do not trust them. I do not trust that they will move me on up; I never trust a brand which does that at interview level. It’s not in a brand’s interest to “move you up” because that will mean they have to pay you more. I feel confused and all the signs augur, to me anyway, that I will be miserable there.
It would be a job. It would be a fresh set of challenges.
Challenges that would in no way inspire me and that I would find exceptionally dull.
I don’t work well in the “impress us with these shitty responsibilities and we’ll move you on up” attitude. Like I said, I don’t trust it. The time I come alive is when I’m told: “Here’s a big challenge, use every initiative at your disposal and bring us something impressive.”
My mind is geared to work top-down, not bottom-up.
We shall see. I feel confident that an offer is coming, as they reiterated how much they think I would fit in with their working environment.
Of course, a team slave can fit in anywhere, because nobody notices it’s there.
My every instinct says to run; to find something else. I may have poured time and effort into this process hoping that at the last it would be the right thing and the beginning of a new chapter in my life. But it’s not.
The logical part of my mind argues that to take it may be the sensible course of action; that it’s something. It’s a salaried full-time role.
I suppose there is no point debating the matter until an offer comes through. Or doesn’t. Lord knows, that might be the simplest course of action. To be offered the role and to turn it down may lead to regret if finding something better proves difficult.
My parents are already furious at the prospect of me rejecting this offer.
But they have long held the attitude that it’s not a real job unless it makes you miserable. After 40 years of employment, I look at them as two shining examples of what to never become. I’d open my wrists first before I live as they did; dreading every day. Loathing their working lives and all the people in it only to make meagre salaries at best.
I want to be successful, of course, my drive and ambition burns within me. But I know that I can only be truly successful in what I am good at, and what I am good at is what I love: Writing, content and creative strategy.
I think part of the reason I feel insulted is, not just the drop in salary, but the fact that my skills and talents in these areas are so plain. They are obvious from even a cursory glance at my CV. Let alone the accompanying pages of portfolio and case studies which accompany it. On top of that, the reams of digital content on the web which comes with my name attached. It’s a formidable list and a sizeable body of work which I’m very proud of. To be told from all that evidence that I’m only good enough to community manage (and even when it comes to that, I must get 4-level sign-off on anything which I post) – that makes my hackles rise. I love what I do and I’m good at it. Why should I accept something which is only in the vaguest possible sense related to where I want to go?
The environment may be right, true, but can you really take a role based on nothing more than the trust that it might (might) get better in a few months? For less money? With only a wing and a prayer that there will be a sliver of creative content attached to the role? Which, as I was told today, is going to involve a tonne of out of hours duties – to which I must not utter a word of complaint?
No. My mind screams the word loud in my head. Let my parents rage. Let people say it is the wrong decision and I’m being too picky. Let them say I have too much pride or that I am not seeing the bigger picture. My every instinct revolts at this, as it currently stands.
I will reserve final judgement until an offer comes through, of course. I am not an utter fool. I will study the job spec carefully and I will weigh up the odds.
But I will not take another job just to be miserable. I will not.
Anybody with a shred of self-respect doesn’t enter into a relationship just because they like the money. Why should it be the same with a job? There has to be something to keep you inspired; something to keep you going back.
And with this one, the money is less than my last role anyway. Hardy a hot pecuniary temptation.
It’s the following morning. I couldn’t sleep. My mind jumps back and forth with this, between taking it because it’s a job – and hesitation because I know in my heart it’s not right. I know that I can and do deserve better than what they’re offering.
Is it ever right to settle? I talked it over with my friend Tom yesterday who insisted on playing devil’s advocate.
I’m so unsure of everything. It seems that everything which could go wrong in my life, barring real and true tragedy, has. I feel like I’m being backed into corners and it terrifies me. On the tube home yesterday I felt so awful about the mess that my life is becoming I thought, just for a moment, on the easiest way to end it. The irrational part of my mind said that now is the perfect time; you’re perfectly content in how uncontented you are.
Nothing is working out, not jobs, not relationships, not life. As time goes on it becomes harder and harder to keep seeing that golden light, until it grows so faint you feel that you may as well snuff it out and be done. If life is going to be shit then I’ll have it be shit on my own terms.
I feel myself slipping and falling away and there’s nobody there to catch me.