Last week I started a new job.
I wasn’t happy at my old job – I’ve always been up front about that here on the yoga blog – and I’ve written about trying to apply what I’ve learned about meditation and mindfulness to my work troubles. I reminded myself to be grateful to have a job at all, especially one that paid well, where I was liked and respected. I tried to treat my job as my karma yoga duty, the work that’s mine to do at this point in my life and the work I need to do to support my family, and so I tried to do my best and practice non-attachment. My mantra became “I am here to do my work the best I can, without attachment to the work itself or its results”. On the whole, this isn’t a bad attitude to practice, but it was always hard to let go and not get caught up in frustration, and I kept hoping I could find a job that would suit me better: work I liked better, a better work-life balance. After YogaBaby arrived, sending out resumes became my little project, something I worked on while she nursed or slept in my lap. And I got some calls, and some interviews. (And believe me, you’ve never been nervous about a job interview until you’ve worried about leaking breast milk in front of your potential employer.)
A few weeks after I started back to work, this job offer came along. It wasn’t perfect (with all due respect to my new colleagues and my division director – hi, E! – who’s already found this blog). The work will be pretty similar to what I was doing before (although with some key differences that make me think I might like it more). The pay is also very similar (although the recruiter did her best to make the offer as sweet as possible). It’s a lateral move in terms of job title (although with more potential for advancement than I felt I had at my old job). The offer was actually so similar to what I was doing and earning at my old job that I had to consider it for almost a week. I compared the cost of health insurance, the time off/vacation policy, even the 401K matching program – in some respects my old company was stronger, in other respects the new company was stronger.
Ultimately, it came down to a choice between the known and the unknown, the familiar and the new. Did I want to stay where I was and maintain the status quo, good and bad? Or did I want to take a chance that I could be happier making a change, taking a risk?
I decided to take the chance, partly because I knew that if I didn’t accept the job, I’d always wonder if I should have, and partly because I feel like you can’t wait around hoping for change to come to you. There’s no point in waiting for the perfect thing to come along because nothing in this world is going to be perfect. I felt that I had to put myself out there and take action if I wanted a change to happen, and I really did need a change. I made the best decision I could, and so far, I think I made the right choice. So here’s to change, and risk, and being brave, and crossing our fingers as we jump.