Tuesday, 2 February 2010

At the Crossroads - a dilemma

Dilemma dilemma dilemma. Here are the main points:

I’m miserable in my current job. Have been for a long time.

A teaching position (immediate start) has arisen unexpectedly. It’s full-time, ongoing, not far to travel.

I still miss some aspects of teaching (and still don’t miss some others).

Did I mention that I’m miserable in my current job?

I currently have an application in with another department. I just found out their recruitment process has been put ‘on hold’ and they hope to get around to short-listing for interview in 2-3 weeks (applications closed almost 2 weeks ago). That's the Public Service for you... a deadline is as elastic as - as elastic.

Do I apply for the teaching job and chuck in the glorious public service career? I took a ten grand pay cut to become a public servant five years ago, and the only thing it has going for it is flexibility – of working hours, of leave arrangements – that sort of thing. The other flexibility (one that really bugs me) is the approach to deadlines. As far as I'm concerned, a deadline is a deadline is a deadline. You have to be a teacher to get that, I guess.

I’m weighing up the pros and cons of returning to teaching…

Considerably more money.

Professional respect: I'm tired of the Powers That Be looking at my 'rank' here and assuming I must be mentally deficient. I don't need micro-managing and I am quite capable of writing a coherent sentence all by myself. I bloody taught kids how to do it for years.

Ownership of my work.

I love teaching.

Lots of holidays (even though you spend half of them catching up/planning ahead/doing professional development).

Lack of flexibility – you get leave during school holidays when things are more expensive and everywhere is full of kids and holidaying families. Your working hours are not-negotiable. The school bell, not your bladder, determines when you can go and pee – that’s an inflexibility that's hard to handle!

No more Phillip Island for me – both World Superbikes and motoGP happen during term time. Could also mean no Wintersun. Would put a big hole in my motorcycling social life – no, a HUGE one.

Have to take work home. Kiss your evenings and much of your weekends goodbye during term time.

You know, that hasn’t helped one bit. I guess it won’t hurt to do an application for the teaching gig and leave it in the lap of the gods. If I get an interview, and if I am offered the job, I don’t have to take it. It mightn’t even get to that, right?

In the meantime, applications close next Monday - that's only six more nights of tossing and turning on the horns of this dilemma dilemma dilemma.


Andrea said...

Hi Sue,
I don't know you or the details of your life at all, just surfed on in because I liked the title of your blog, but I'm going to offer my two cents worth anyway.
If it were me I'd apply for the teaching position just so it remained an option. By the time they get around to interviewing for that you may have heard back on the departmental transfer.
In the meantime pretend you got the teaching position and the other is offered-how do you feel? That should give you a hint about you what you really want.

Sue said...

Thanks for that Andrea - good points. I will apply for the teaching job, I think - it's better than just laying awake and turning it over and over in my mind! Whatever happens after that - well I'll try not to worry about it until/unless it happens!

Anonymous said...

i say go for it.......why?
because i admire teachers!


Jimmy Nightingale said...

Hi Sue,

Listen to Andrea, she is talking sense. We both know that is what you want to do.

And keep your fingers crossed...

Sue said...

Hi Jimmy - I know that I would slip into the rhythms of school life again, but I want it all, dammit - teaching AND Phillip Island! Hmmm, maybe I need to move to Victoria and get a teaching job there, heh heh heh.

lemmiwinks said...

I'm miserable in my job too so I've got no suggestions, sorry. I'm kind of in the opposite situation to you though, I took a massive pay increase when I left the real world and I'm pretty much left to my own devices. I'm very, very bored, though I won't leave because I love the hours and pay. D'oh!

Anonymous said...

You've probably already decided by now, but just in case you're still dithering: worst outcome - the teaching job is no better than the current job BUT it pays better. Best outcome - the teaching job is a barrel of fun AND it pays better. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

BTW, what kind of low level grommet in the APS can you possibly be to get paid less than a teacher?

Sue said...

Hmmm, when you put it that way, Andrew.....

The application has been sent - watch this space.

PS, when I joined the APS I thought it made sense to go in at a more lowly level until I knew how things worked, and then try for a promotion. It hasn't worked out that way though, and I'm bored shitless. I have to get out before my brain turns to cabbage and my self-esteem gurgles down the drain :-/

Sue said...

Lemmiwinks, I think your prob is worse than mine, coz only crazy people take pay CUTS to do more interesting jobs ;-) The extra cash in your pocket is a huge incentive to stick around in your boring job.

Anything you can do to make the days more interesting? (write a novel in your spare time, play the stock market *grin*, that sort of thing...)

lemmiwinks said...

Funny you should mention that Sue, I took a huge pay cut about 18 months before I started out here. I could see that the knowledge I would gain by changing jobs would pay off in the long run (and it certainly did!)

I've thought about studying etc, but nothing has come of it. As for writing a novel, well, you've read my comments here - drivel! ;-)

SuPine said...

I'm a bit late reading about your dilemma and it may be solved by now but if it was me I'd go for quality of life (job) every time. You could always pull a sickie to do the other stuff ;) - only joking! Your job is a major part of your life and sometimes sacrifices have to be made to be happy. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

do what your heart desires.

its your choice. other people's idea's are just that! there ideas may knot be you'res. live life!

Sue said...

Well, all that angst for nothing - I didn't even get an interview for the teaching gig! Still, will keep an eye open for any other positions that come up.

On the positive side, I don't have to change the plans I'd already made and financially committed to for March - a ride to Phillip Island for World Superbikes and a whole lot more - wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Kirsten said...

coming slightly late to your dilemma (okay, when it's completely irrelevant) but that's okay, because I had nothing helpful to add. The pros make it sound absolutely the best thing, the cons make it sound completely insane!

But - are you getting as many apps out there for other jobs as you possibly can? Because it sounds like you really need to get out of your current job, but maybe not back into something as inflexible as teaching. Unless relieving was an option?