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OT: Overwhelmed with choices

Old 08-23-2016, 05:51 PM
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OT: Overwhelmed with choices

How many other former spouses of A's (and the abuse I dealt with from mine surely impacted this too), struggle with making decisions?

I am feeling almost debilitatingly unable to make a decision about a job offer... I don't recall always being so panic stricken about making decisions- but in the last 4-5 years, I am paralyzed by anxiety about "what if" and fear of making the wrong decision...

Do others experience this?

And for anyone wanting to weigh in or hear my logic behind my mulling over my options, here's the conundrum...

Planned to go back to a job I despised, but which paid well.

Decided to apply for some other positions, and interviewed well it seems.

In the last 2 weeks, have been offered 3 different jobs. All really, really good jobs that I would love for entirely different reasons.

And therein lies the issue: I don't trust myself to make the best choice. I have made many, many bad decisions and I have led each job to believe I am wanting to accept (they asked if I was interested when they offered each and I said yes and said I needed a couple days).

Job #1: So, one is high school teaching- regular ed history classes... the pay is lower than the other 2... it's a small ish town I would be in (which has pluses and minuses). It's about a 30 min commute.

Job #2: The second is 20 or so min from me. Urban community (my comfort level and preference). But it's not classroom teaching. It's special ed. It is however, middle school and I love that age most of all. The staff I met seem amazing and I like the feel of the school. The school is also in the backyard (metaphorically) of an area I have amazing childhood memories of so I am sentimentally attached to the area. The pay is about 20,000 more than job #1.

Job #3: The third is about 35-40 min away, at a high school in an urban community. I would be doing classroom teaching (english and history) in an alt ed program at the public high school with at-risk kids (this was my background...). The pay is the same as Job #2.

Anyway, I have to decide by tomorrow and I'm really torn.

And rather than just focus on the choice of jobs, I am trying to sort out what it is that I'm so stuck on in terms of fear of simply deciding...

Anyone else find themselves struggling with this?
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:00 PM
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Just from what you've laid out, I think you want Job #2, and I agree it sounds like the best choice. I think you're just afraid of not having anything to fall back on if the choice you make doesn't turn out to be what you hoped. Backup meaning an additional paycheck coming in.

I also think you need to learn to trust yourself. I know it's scary, but you'll learn to feel more comfortable making decisions on your own after you do it a few times. I believe in you!
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:08 PM
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Yes I have a hard time making Decisions! I think mine comes from being raised by a critical mother although living with a critical alcoholic didn't help either
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:09 PM
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Job #2 is the safe bet-- not really what I feel excited about doing work wise but it is closer to my home and is more familiar... Im inclined to take that one but feel like I might regret it... Ive spent 10 years missing classroom teaching and have 2 offers to go back to it and I think maybe I am afraid of not knowing that I'll be successful...

I KNOW I will easily rock it at job #2... And there's the familiarity of the work that although I do not love it at all, I am good at it...

But Im not sure that that is the best path of action for me --

Sometimes just typing this out here helps me flesh this all out more in my own mind...

Thank you all as always for listening!
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:14 PM
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YES!!! Every decision has become a monumentous task for me lately. It's a terrible feeling.

So, if job #2 is giving you the feeling that you might eventually regret it, and you eliminate that from your choices, what is your next top choice?
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:15 PM
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if you had no other concerns except which job YOU want....which would you pick? if you can quiet all the noise, what does your inner voice say NOW?
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
if you had no other concerns except which job YOU want....which would you pick? if you can quiet all the noise, what does your inner voice say NOW?
Job #3...

But that is the one that makes me have to leave the kids home alone for an hour before school and I am truly not sure I can do that to my 8 yr old and hope for the best that she can make it to school ok herself... The kids walk bc we are too close for a bus and DD10 is headed to a new school this year-- so DD8 will be walking alone-- and I just am struggling to convince myself that it is ok to have her at age 8 have to do this on her own...
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:20 PM
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is there not any before/after school care ON SITE?
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
is there not any before/after school care ON SITE?
None at all-- insane right? The community has been asking for it for a decade...

Nothing. The district seems to believe parents either do not work or have nanny's to cart kids around...
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:36 PM
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well IMHO, 8 is a bit young to be left to fend for oneself. so that does alter the decision.....
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:38 PM
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This is where math comes in handy.

Make a table, rows for job characteristics in order of importance (pay, children's safety, commute, interest level, job security, what have you). Assign multipliers to each category (children's safety could be 1.5, pay 1.3, commute 1.2, job security 0.8) - depending on importance/weight
Jobs 1, 2, 3 will be in columns. Rate each category for all three jobs as 1,2, or 3, times importance multiplier. I.e best paying job #2 will earn 3 * 1.3. Job #3 will earn 1*1.5 in child safety, Job #2 will be 3*1.5

Add all of your ratings for each job. Whatever ends up higher - wins.

or you could simplify it with just writing out pros and cons and ranking them.

I am with Anvil - 8 is young and I am an overprotective hovering freak of a parent - so that would eliminate #3 for me. I would assign multiplier of 5 to that category.

I vote for #2 - special education teaching jobs change lives
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
well IMHO, 8 is a bit young to be left to fend for oneself. so that does alter the decision.....
Yup... It is a nightmare at the moment in terms of what to do... Whatever job I take, the kids have to leave home after me together and walk to school-- they did it together last year and DD10 will walk DD8 part of the way this year too--and then they each walk the rest of the way alone.

That is unfortunately the same no matter which job I take. And it sucks. A lot.

The kids are anxious about it and there is no way for me to work around it unless I quit teaching entirely and find a 9-5 job. But even with that, they are home alone in the afternoon...
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:43 PM
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Which ever you choose isn't a life-long commitment. Is there any chance that you could move to a classroom at some point in the Job #2 scenario?
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Which ever you choose isn't a life-long commitment. Is there any chance that you could move to a classroom at some point in the Job #2 scenario?
Maybe, though that has been my logic for the last 10 yrs and it seems that once one is viewed as a non classroom teacher in a school, it's a little hard to make that leap within the same building...

I truly am struggling with weighing the practical issues (kids still would be home alone in the morning with job #2- just slightly less long) vs. trying to find a job that I enjoy so that when I come home from it, my kids have a mom who is happy vs one who has had all life sucked out of her at work... and special ed, due to the paperwork, sucks every bit of life out of me and I don't know that I have it in me to do it, even if it is with middle school kids -- Idk.... Sigh...

It would be a lot easier if I had not been offered them all... Deciding between the options is hard.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:29 PM
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Well, another thought is to consider which job would be easiest to move on from, or to advance in.

Seriously, this isn't a job that will have lifelong consequences for you. People change jobs much more frequently today than they did even 20 years ago.

Imagine, for each job, that you'd been offered that one and lost out on the other two. Which one would have made you the most excited to land? (Maybe thinking, well, those other jobs weren't nearly as great as this one.)

And jobs often are what you make of them. There are imponderables out there, like what kind of relationship you'll have with your boss and coworkers. You won't get a REAL feel for that until you've been doing it awhile.

One other thing--is there any possibility of negotiating a higher salary or some other benefit by informing the hiring team about the other offers? Maybe some perk that would benefit you?
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Well, another thought is to consider which job would be easiest to move on from, or to advance in.

Seriously, this isn't a job that will have lifelong consequences for you. People change jobs much more frequently today than they did even 20 years ago.

Imagine, for each job, that you'd been offered that one and lost out on the other two. Which one would have made you the most excited to land? (Maybe thinking, well, those other jobs weren't nearly as great as this one.)

And jobs often are what you make of them. There are imponderables out there, like what kind of relationship you'll have with your boss and coworkers. You won't get a REAL feel for that until you've been doing it awhile.

One other thing--is there any possibility of negotiating a higher salary or some other benefit by informing the hiring team about the other offers? Maybe some perk that would benefit you?
Job #3 is the one I was the most excited about for a number of reasons-- the shared interest in working with at risk kids of the colleagues I would teach with, the classroom teaching, the salary, the benefits (that far outweigh the other two options)...

I am looking into trying to find a high school kid to stay with my girls in the mornings -- I think DD10 (almost 11) is fine to be home for 45 min and walk to school herself... DD8 I am less ok with that for... So maybe if I can hire some college or high school kid to stay with her in the am, that solves that...

Job #3 also offers the most room for growth...
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:00 PM
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Well, if you can find a solution for the mornings, I'd go with that one. What about checking with the moms of some classmates? Maybe you could offer to take their kids for a few hours on the weekend so they can run errands or give them a few hours of peace. Plenty of people need that fill-in for a short time before or after school.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Well, if you can find a solution for the mornings, I'd go with that one. What about checking with the moms of some classmates? Maybe you could offer to take their kids for a few hours on the weekend so they can run errands or give them a few hours of peace. Plenty of people need that fill-in for a short time before or after school.
Yeah, I just need to get creative and get over my fantasy hoping that I can have a job I love and be 5 min from home- lol!

I think I would enjoy the chance to have 30 min alone in a car twice a day to be honest-- so I will find a solution for the morning and that will be that I think...

Job #3 is a big district like Job #2 but #2 is notorious for layoff's due to budget crises year after year-- it feels a bit like a gamble to take a job that is open due to last years employee being pink slipped (and then she found a new more stable position elsewhere)...

Each position has it's own pluses and minuses...
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:50 PM
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I would go with your passion. If you have the opportunity to do something you love. I personally wouldn't take a 20k hit. That's just me though. I couldn't afford to live, but I live in a very pricey area.

I am with you in that it is much harder to make decisions for me than it used to be. I think that comes from trying to weigh in what's best for my kid, too. And most of the time, I have no help trying to make any decisions that have to do with responsibility. I like to feel safe & secure but also am flighty, if that makes sense, haha.

I think you should sleep on it. Sometimes turning the idea around in the subconscious is great.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by letitend View Post
I would go with your passion. If you have the opportunity to do something you love. I personally wouldn't take a 20k hit. That's just me though. I couldn't afford to live, but I live in a very pricey area.

I am with you in that it is much harder to make decisions for me than it used to be. I think that comes from trying to weigh in what's best for my kid, too. And most of the time, I have no help trying to make any decisions that have to do with responsibility. I like to feel safe & secure but also am flighty, if that makes sense, haha.

I think you should sleep on it. Sometimes turning the idea around in the subconscious is great.
I am so much the same! I want to be safe and secure but I have a flighty side too...

I can not afford the 20k hit so Job #1 is not in the running, sad as that makes me...

I do need to sleep on it and hope I wake with a sense of what is best...
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