I had a call from a recruitment agency person at 8:20 this morning. Now this is a bit odd because I haven’t had contact with any recruitment agencies since flirting with the idea of getting “a real job” back in February-March.
Nice Recruitment guy: Are you still looking for work?
Me: Um, not exactly
NRG: How would you feel about a permanent role?
Me: Hmm, I am really more interested in contract work.
He then talked up the job and asked me how much money I was looking for. Apparently I want about $15,000 more than they were thinking – which was not a deal breaker. Also, I only want to work at most 4 days per week. Also not a deal breaker (and it drops the salary to just a pip over what they were wanting to pay, if my calculations are correct.)
Outcome: He would send me an email, then I would say “yes, please represent me for this job” and we would go from there.
I get the email, which includes the name of the company. Hmm. It’s a company that actually offered me a job around 7 years ago, when I moved to the state government job. The job was interesting, but I wasn’t done having babies, and the state government were offering 3 months’ paid maternity leave. Bad timing.
But … back then, I got the feeling that they were a company that paid well and expected a lot of their employees. Which is great, but (without wanting to sound like a slacker) I am not sure how I would fit in in a role like that. Working for myself and subcontracting, I’ve had a lot of freedom to schedule myself to do things like pick the kids up from school – and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about surrendering that sort of freedom. On a more specific note, I simply can’t stay late – if I have to pick the kids up at 6, I have to pick them up at 6. How much of a problem is that going to be? I don’t want to be the weak link in the organisation.
I rang him back and said thanks but no thanks, I don’t think it will work – and explained why.
Ten minutes later, he rang back to say they’re really not like that, there are other people who work part time, it doesn’t hurt to go to interview, yada yada yada.
Me: I have a sick child, I can’t come in
Him: I can come to you.
Me: Let’s meet in a cafe. And I will have a child in tow.
So now I have a job interview tomorrow.
I read the job description and it does sound interesting. Much the same work I am doing now, but with a regular income and benefits like sick leave and superannuation. And working on development projects rather than scoping, so I’d get to see things actually happen.
I am trying to keep an open mind. This year, the income question has been stressful. I’m still waiting for my “first week of September” project to start (latest start date estimate is 19th November). I’m still a screw-up on my tax, and I haven’t been paying superannuation since I left my job in 2004. That’s starting to worry me.
The stresses are the commitment to be there at certain times (and possibly missing out on things with the kids – especially with Otto starting school, that’s a concern). Also feeling that I’m letting down the people I’m currently sub-contracting to. And how to cope with school holidays.
In many ways, this opportunity is 12 months too early – by this time next year, I suspect I’ll be keen to find something like this.
So … I am going in with some really specific desires. If offered the job, I will work up to 4 days a week, but I want at least 1 of those to be flexible, and at home (so I’d work, say, 5 hours during the day, and then make up a couple more hours in the evening). I will either start really early or a bit late (depending on the day), so that we can get the kids to school without over-using before care – this organisation is on the same tram line as school and home. Unless I am running workshops, of course. And I would like to have 6 or 8 weeks holidays a year instead of the standard 4. (4 weeks taken in January, which would be unlikely to be a problem – lots of places essentially close down in January).
Obviously, there would be salary implications. And that is a lot to ask. I think they will roll around laughing at the cheek of those sort of demands.
But if they say yes, I suspect that it will be hard to say no.