Old 01-10-2018, 07:27 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Make no big decisions for 12 months?

So I have read here that you should never make big decisions within 12 months of your PALS death...

I am telling myself, I am going to follow that advice.

Here's my struggle...

Three and a half years ago, I left a job that I LOVED! I was a dispatcher for our local electric cooperative.

Basically, I don't like to be idle at work. I like to stay busy so I took on a lot of things that my job didn't require. I was fine with that. I made huge strides and improved so many things at the coop.

Then my current employer learned of me from a previous coop employee and asked me to come work for them.

They offered me 30% more than what the coop was paying me and I couldn't turn it down.

For the first year or so I was miserable. Why in the world would you leave something you LOVED for money, dumb, dumb, dumb, right?

About that time, Cliff was dx'd with ALS and we all know how all that went.

I wholeheartedly believe that the man upstairs knew what was in store and led me where I needed to be...

Now, this is where my dilema comes in. There are 7 people retiring from the coop. Not sure how that is possible all at once. They only employ about 80 but it's happening.

Do I try for one of those jobs? The position I loved isn't available but there are a couple of jobs I can do for sure.

Or, do I stay with the company that was SO good to me through all of this.

The pros at the coop are free health insurance, great retirement, and 7 minutes from home. The cons are that there is only so many positions available to women there. How far can I advance?

The pros for my current employer is they pay me well. I have really started to make a name for myself there. I have the support of several directors and vps. The cons are traveling an hour and a half daily to and from work. A hr and a half a day is alot guys...

I could move closer but remember, I am trying NOT to make any big decisions for a year.

Sorry to bother you guys with this but you all know where I am in all of this. No one else does.

I honestly probably know the answer to my own question?!
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:50 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Hey, Kim, I don't subscribe to this "no big decisions for a year" thing. I'm not sure how many CALS that has really applied to. New job, home, etc., I decided it all.

The key is to be far enough out that you are a thinking person about all this, not an emotional person.

That doesn't mean feelings don't count (see below) -- it means you can think about your feelings and understand where they are coming from, so they can be evidence for you just like hard cold money facts. That may be easier for those of us who mostly freelanced during that time (me) or kept working somewhere else (you), because our minds had to stay in the world game.

My main questions:

1) Is what you loved about the coop the job or the people? Are those people still there if the dream job isn't? How much longer will they be there?

2) If it weren't for the new job, would you have any interest in moving?

If your heart is in career advancement and you want to do it at your current company (never, never, out of guilt -- they did what they wanted to, and so should you), I'd move and keep doing it. Now. You're right -- 3h of commuting per day is more than most people need.

If your heart never left the coop (I don't mean just nostalgically,but to the extent that you still want to be there), you should go back, if you would be happy doing one of the open jobs forever, and not wishing you were higher up.

If your head tells you that money should be a guide for your heart, do the math on the free retirement/health vs. the higher salary at door #2, calculated up to your expected retirement age. If you don't want to move, of course, you have to factor in commuting (in time and travel costs) as well.

But do the money part off to the side and make your heart decision first. Then pretend the money part was paramount. How do you feel now?

Hope this made sense!
--Laurie
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:01 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Laurie gave good advice.

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Old 01-10-2018, 08:54 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Wow, thanks Laurie for taking the time to talk me through that.

I loved the coop for the guys I worked with and my best friend is there. I believe those friends will be there til retirement. No one ever quits there, lol! I was one of very few.

I also had pride in the company. It gave me satisfaction to be able to improve things there. But more importantly, the position I was in was perfect for me.

Honestly I don't LOVE what I do where I am now but I have learned to LOVE the company and so many of the people I work with.

My drive is an hour and a half total per day. I am about 45 minutes from Tulsa.

I am happy where I live IF I didn't have to drive so far for work. Driving to work 4 days a week makes me not want to drive there on the weekend.

I am not sure advancement is as important to me as living comfortably. Soooo the question is, where can I make the most money and have the best quality of life?

I am pretty sure that my current job will ALWAYS pay more. My quality of life is fine there.

My main issues are that I feel like I don't have ANY time 4 days a week. I get up at 4:30 am and only have 1 1/2 hrs after I get home before I must go to bed.

I also feel like because I am doing the work of an engineer at my current job, I don't feel as confident in my abilities there. I feel like I have so much more knowledge and capabilities at the coop.

Ugh! So much to think about.

Maybe I will apply and see what they have to offer? Or, maybe I will just use it to my advantage where I am.

Thanks again Laurie for the thought process.

I am assuming you didn't regret any of those decisions you made?!
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:08 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

I guess the one year rule comes from the fact that you are pretty spun for the the first year or so after this horrible journey. As a mater of fact you can not be counted as part of the minimum number of men for prayer for a year after the death of an immediate family member in Jewish thought. So the idea isn't something new. A year gives you time to process the loss and get your feet underneath you. You are also not making decisions on pure emotion. I spent quite a while angry at everything and anything for quite a while after my brother died. The urge is to run away and start over again. As time goes on you will remember that he only died on one day, and where you are has good memories there too. Maybe even more than bad. Just give yourself time, all these decisions can wait.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:23 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

You are right-- I do not regret any of the decisions I made, which included moving further from work to pay less rent and a job that does not pay what the past couple of pre-ALS decades did, but allows me to believe that I am making more of an individual difference.

What happens when I skim -- sorry I doubled your commute! That one I do now on a bus. But I don't have to get up at 4:30! That would break me.

So in your case, it sounds like maybe you could again expand your role, if you went back to one of the open jobs that you didn't do before? The coop obviously values you if they let you make this difference, despite not paying you in cash.

I do have to caution you about probing for a counteroffer from your current employer. Those rarely work out well, as the camaraderie that you value is generally lost and watchful waiting takes hold. Managers are advised to start looking at you as a flight risk from the point that you seek a counter, whether you get it or not. And that is because generally people who ask for counters do take flight within a year or two, tops.

But you are better paid now anyway, so maybe you mean changing responsibilities? If so, just ask now, before you apply elsewhere. But I agree, if you apply to the coop and they offer you, then you have something real to compare. The risk is if you turn them down and there are hard feelings given all your friends there. So if you do apply, you pretty much know how it would be, and I would do it because you really wanted to return.

I take it you see your coop friends outside work? But if you moved closer to your current job, would you find it harder to meet up with them? So you can sketch out the 3 scenarios [status quo, coop, move] you have to work with, on each dimension, what you do, where you do it, whom you do it with and lifestyle (like the commute).

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Old 01-11-2018, 01:53 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Sooner, it sounds like maybe you have already made up your mind, though it may help to sleep on it just a bit longer to make sure it still feels right. Rather than a one year rule, you might try a one month rule. That is, consider staying with your current job another month, and then revisit the decision.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:20 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Sooner, I’m going to speak for a moment as an employer. We have always encouraged our employees that if they can find better go for it. In our case light manufacturing and it only can pay so much. However, with all the accommodations they have made for you with Cliff recently, they must really value you. I would hate for you leaving so quickly after Cliff passing to put a bad taste in their mouth. These things can and do get passed along to other employers, such as this very company finding out about you. I guess I’m basically saying you don’t want to burn bridges.

The other question would be how the coop felt about your leaving when you took your current job. Were they left in the learch? Will you run off again if something better comes along closer to home. They might think. That could prevent any upward mobility at the coop, if there was any to be had.

Ok, now that l’ve spoken as an employer, personally I’d find that an unacceptable commute. However when you first took the job, for whatever reason it must not have seemed so, but does now, maybe since you are used to being at home. Is there anyway to work one or two days from home. I know you did for a while, would they be willing to split your time up that way? If they did, would you feel differently about leaving?

How acceptable would you find it to move maybe half way there? Have you gone online to just see what’s out there? Might be worth a look since everything is still a big question mark.

That said I have a few employees that drive an hour each way. Seems crazy to me and they’re not making enough in my mind to justify the cost, but they love where they live.

Hugs as you work though this tough decision.

Sue
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:16 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

I don't know that my comments will be of any help or insight, but I'll offer them anyway. I started a business out of a room in my home. That room happened to be the dining room. I had the good fortune of being able to take a hobby that I tremendously enjoyed... and which I was very, very good at... and turn it into a business. When avocation and vocation are one and the same, a funny things happens. Instead of looking at the clock each day to see if it was time to call it quits for the day and go home, I'd look at the clock and hope it still had more time left to allow me to do the many more things I still wanted to do.

As some, here, know... I really am a Boy Scout. I wanted to run my business in such a way that instead of customers, I'd have clients. Instead of "anything for the sale", it was whatever was in the client's best interest (though I'd not intentionally neglect myself). Early on, folks would ask, "How can you be so honest? How can you tell me that I'd be foolish to buy XXXYYYZZZ from you and why? How will you stay in business with that kind of attitude?!?" I always replied, "Others work to make as much as they can from you on every sale. I, however, will make a little bit... a fair amount... on each new sale. My bet is that you'll wise up to the one's taking advantage of you and will come to appreciate that I didn't. So... by making a little bit a lot of times, I'll beat the guy that makes a lot once (or twice) and is soon out of business."

In July of 2016, I moved the business from my location of many, many years in a thriving business park and back into my home. I made the election to take on no new business but to continue to support and service the many clients that had stayed with me through the years. When the opportunity to explain what I'd done and to offer them an out by referring them to another outstanding company, I was told - "I don't care if you're working out of your bathroom and sitting on a toilet. Just don't quit working with me (us)."

Moving the business home and having more time... which for me equated to less stress... was the best thing that I could have done. My start to 2018 is the best early January beginning that I've had in over a dozen years. And I appreciate not having to take all the time that I spent getting Darcey ready to go... driving to/from work... and settling back in at home with the end of each day.

For me, time is my most valuable asset. I'm glad to be able to use it for those things most worthy to me. And speaking of time, in April I'll complete my 30th year in business... with the majority of my clients being folks I've basically grown up with from those first 10 years. Time... guard it well... it is a powerful, yet fleeting item. The older we get, the faster it runs and more are the things that want to put a demand upon their resource. Be wise with your time.

Kim - I've read enough of your posts to know that you'll make the right decision for yourself. That you question what you should do suggests that it is not an impulse decision. I suspect you'll know what is right when the time is also right.

My best...

Jim
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:07 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

So many thoughtful posts... Thank you Jim for your confidence in my decision making.

Honestly, I believe at this time the best decision for me is to stay with a company that was smart enough to SHOW me how much they valued me. At some point I may decide that I would like to move closer to them. In the meantime I am enjoying my new role as mentor to the two newer employees.

Yes I do love the coop, I used to say my heart will always be at the coop but I will be at Oneok working my tail off...

I honestly don't think the coop has what it takes me make me happy unless something changes and my perfect job there has an opening again, some day.

My current company and the people I work with show me daily why I belong there.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:06 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

I would like to apologize. I didn't realize where this thread started and I haven't earned the right to post here. Mods... please feel free to delete this.

Again, my best...
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:39 AM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Your post was an excellent contribution, Jim, so I'd prefer to leave it in place unless you insist on deleting it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:07 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Hi Sooner, there has been wonderful advice here. I can't really tell you what to choose but I can share a bit of my experience.

I also had a job that I loved and was my true passion - I changed careers 14 years ago and this was my true calling. The year before my PALS was diagnosed, we hit a rough spot in our relationship and I moved to another state for two months, leaving my relationship and the job I loved behind. But I realized what a big mistake I had made and came back to New York and we worked on our relationship. And just when we were experiencing the beginning of a second honeymoon my PALS was diagnosed.

I had been trying to go back to my old job but I realized I wouldn't be able to handle the stress of that job and take care of my PALS, so I went back to my original profession and took a job that is not my passion but management was super understanding and gave me tons of flexibility while my PALS was sick.

After my PALS died my immediate first desire was to quit my job and go back to the field I love (and I also wanted to sell all my belongings and move to Paris ha!). But I gave myself a 6 month moratorium on any major decisions. That six month deadline is coming up but I have decided that the way things are in my life right now give me a sense of stability that I need to be able to work on my grieving and to process the trauma of ALS. I know I am not mentally ready to move to a new environment and take on new personalities, new tasks, new politics, new skills.

So I think the 12 month thing also has to do with allowing yourself to heal so that you can take life by the horns again. Perhaps the best thing for you right now is to continue with your routine of the past years and wait before you take anything new. Or perhaps it might not. You are the only person who can answer this.

Sending positive thoughts your way!
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:53 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Sooner, as so often happens, you answered your own question by looking at what matters to you most -- and in terms of the coop, it sounds like you're saying, there's no point in "going home again," at least at this point, because you have built a new work home. That is a great thing, and, as you say, you can think about changing residences at your own pace and apply the same decision process.

Manhattanite, it seems as if you have taken the same path, in terms of staying with "apples" for now in your career, as you process. You still have professional options for the future.

Kudos to you both for doing what is right for you, for now.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:34 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Make no big decisions for 12 months?

Thanks Laurie! I honestly know staying put is the right decision... I am so glad I could talk it through on this forum. I miss having Cliff here to give me his opinion. He was always so logical.

I tried to talk it through with my mom but she just got defensive because she thinks she knows best...
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