Oh hello. I’m still here. Question. How would you like to be trained for a new job by someone who’s just been laid off and told that you are replacing them…and for more pay? Anyone?
That’s what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks.
There have been many things happening in the bare budget guy household, and for the past few weeks, blogging has not been one of them. For starters, I got a new job. It came out of nowhere. I’ll just start from the beginning.
The new job
I occasionally get generic emails from recruiters looking to fill finance and accounting positions. I usually just delete them because they either don’t apply or don’t appeal to me.
A few weeks ago, however, I got one from an HR guy in Mexico City, which immediately caught my attention. I emailed the guy back just for the heck of it. After almost getting my Latinamerican dream job last year, I thought that maybe this could me my second chance.
After not hearing back, I forgot about it. But after a few weeks, I finally got a response. I had a few phone conversations and eventually went to the office for “a chat.” That’s when I became a lot more interested in the opportunity.
The parent company is based in Mexico. So I’d get an even shorter commute, I’d get to go be the head finance guy, and I’d get to interact with Mexico on a daily basis (and travel down there occasionally), and I would’n’t have to move? The stars probably could not have aligned more perfectly. I really wanted this job.
I live in a small town. When people in my area get a new job, it almost always means they have to move. There just aren’t that many ways to advance you’re career unless you plan to stay at one of our few large employers. But this company I had been talking to just recently moved to my area and was in the process of forming its executive team.
I became fairly distracted at work wondering about whether or not I was going to get an offer. I seriously thought about taking off and going to the movies just to get my mind off things. Anyone who has ever waited to hear back about a job knows what a painful experience this waiting game can be, and the days of silence were tough.
Lessons on work and happiness
One day, however, 3 different things happened that helped me calm down and give me a better perspective. I was grateful, but also nervous that the universe was telling me something I didn’t want to accept.
1. Happiness is not beyond your reach
When I woke up on this particular morning, I read a sermon from one of the leaders of my church on happiness, and it was very timely. I was feeling so much that if I could just get this job that things would be better, and the following passage really hit me.
So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial.
The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.
We do matter. We determine our happiness.
You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.
2. You got a good job
My company has several buildings in the area, and I was driving from one to another when I saw an older guy in the snow flagging me down for a ride. I picked him up because it was freezing outside. His truck had broken down on his way to work. We talked as I took him to his destination, and he asked me where I worked. I told him the name of my company to which he responded, “oh, you got a good job.”
His words really struck me because I hadn’t been feeling particularly satisfied with my job at the time. I was actually on my way to talk with someone about a new position in the company.
3. Having a good plan B
After dropping that guy off, I had a really good talk with a potential future boss (same company, new role). It would have paid more, and I would have gotten some great experience. I had laid the groundwork and done enough networking that the move was essentially guaranteed within the next few months. I was grateful for that but deep down was looking for something more. But after our talk going so well, I thought maybe I was destined for this new role.
So at the end of the day I told Amanda, “ I think the universe is trying to tell me something.” Be happy where you are, you got a good job, and soon you’ll have a better (even though not my preferred) job.
If it hadn’t been for this new local Mexican opportunity, I think I would have felt pretty good about things.
It was definitely a good learning experience and would have helped me cope had I not gotten an offer. But long story short, they did finally respond with an offer.
The job transition
My first day was in Mexico for a big leadership meeting. The feel was actually quite similar to my prior company. Very well organized, a lot of talk about values, financial targets, etc. But in contrast, our local office has much more of a small company feel. A lot more freedom, more control, more influence, less political correctness, and more ping pong.
That awkward moment
Anyway, back to business. I was under the impression that they were hiring a new finance guy because the current one didn’t want to make the move to my town. I knew I was going to travel out to train with him in the beginning.
After I started, I was told that my boss was going to fly out a day early and have a talk with this guy to tell him to start looking for a new job. I was scheduled to show up the day after and start training with him. Yep. “Hey, nice to meet you. I’m the guy that is taking your job!” So…nothing awkward about that.
Thankfully, and I mean THANKFULLY, it’s been about as good as I could possibly ask for. The guy understands they want to expand the role and that they want to move it to the new office. He has been incredibly gracious and helpful, and I am just really grateful that there are still a lot of classy people out there like him.
Suffice it to say, there is a lot going on—travel, job transitions, homeschooling, a new baby fast approaching, taxes (check out my first podcast appearance ever on with Jay & Ryanne on Scavenger Life!), CPA sidework, and blogging.
Which brings me to the next topic I wanted to highlight – side hustling (sorry, I still hate that phrase) vs. the traditional job.
Isn’t dream job an oxymoron?
Sometimes I feel like I’m not normal because I find the question “What do you want to do for work” or “What’s your dream job?” to be beside the point. I usually respond “Umm…not working?” I finally had to accept that some people actually like working and do actually have some type for dream work in mind. That’s always been a hard concept for me to swallow.
That’s why I was very attracted to the idea of passive income. Do a lot of work now to reap the benefits for the rest of your life.
It hasn’t been until this brand new job that I finally caught a glimmer of how someone might actually enjoy their full-time job. I’m not saying I wouldn’t rather be at home playing with my kids, but I am starting to see that people with dream jobs in mind might not be totally crazy.
The online personal finance world is an interesting space. There are definite trends that have surfaced over the past few years such as financial independence, passive income, side hustling, etc. There is so much of a focus on these things that it leaves many people feeling a sense of failure in their traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle.
While I don’t want to be living that lifestyle for my entire working life, I think the personal finance blogoshphere could do a better job catering to those who are looking for success within the 9 to 5 context.
Bloggers who aren’t too cool for a full-time job
There are some bloggers out there who I really respect for not falling into the “work for yourself or die” mindset that is such a trend these days.
You’ve got Tonya at Budget and the Beach who made the decision to go back to a full-time job after several years of being a full-time freelancer.
There are sites like Millenial Boss that focus on how young people can advance their corporate careers.
I really respect DC at Young Adult Money because he does such a good job at executing and promoting ways to earn side income while also being very focused on advancing his corporate career. Many entrepreneurs brush off getting an MBA or climbing the corporate ladder, but his view isn’t so narrow. In fact, he’s coming out with a book in May called Hustle Away Debt: Eliminate Your Debt by Making More Money, which you can preorder. Check it out! All the stuff he puts out is good.
Anyway, I just wanted to fill you in on why I’ve been radio silent for the past few weeks, and share a few of the insights I’ve had about happiness and full-time jobs.
And my 4 year-old daughter threw up on an airplane. Now that was fun.
Have you ever experienced a similarly awkward work situation? Do you really believe that external circumstance don’t determine our happiness? What are your thoughts on full-time vs. side-hustles?