I have been unemployed for exactly three months now. I figure I will go into detail on the problems of my old job once I have a new job and am safely employed.
Yesterday however I had something unusual occur. I have had four employers circling me as a possible employee. One of them was a job that was relatively low pay (about 40% pay cut for me) but it sounded cool when I applied. I went into the interview a couple of weeks ago and found some things I didn’t like about it (once again I will go into it when I have a new job for reasons that will become clear later in this post). After the interview I decided I did not want that job, unless I had no other options (and then I will still go look for something else after starting for them, unless I am stunned and find I like the job).
After that interview I had an interview with the Insurance Commissioner as a Financial Examiner this last Monday. Basically I would go in and audit insurance companies and brokers (especially brokers) and ensure they are abiding by state law. I want this job, it fits with my personality and is better paying then my job as an Assistant State Auditor. I was hoping they want me as well.
So on Tuesday I got a phone message from the job I don’t want, asking me to call them. Since I am on unemployment I have to be careful about refusing work, although this job is fairly low pay and lots of travel so I am sure it would be considered acceptable.
I avoided returning the call on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Insurance Commissioner indicated they wanted me to come in for a second interview the following Monday. Bazinga… That is the job I want and things are looking optimistic. Right after I got done talking to the OIC, I got a call from the job that I don’t want. I figured what the hell, I would answer.
Now, first let me say that the manager for the job I don’t want seems nice. The parameters of the job is what made me unsure, not the people that interviewed me. She was happy to hear me answer and told me they wanted to hire me. She seemed surprised when I asked up front what the wages offered were. She told me, and they were about 40% less then my last job. I told her that wouldn’t work for me at all.
I guess I was spurred by the fact that I had that second job interview, so I pushed it. I told her that I couldn’t accept the position for less than 25% increase on her offer. She seemed surprised (not mad, just surprised) that I hadn’t hesitated for asking for money (this is a state job, so I know what the benefits are). After a few moments where I explained that I knew what the payscale was and that they would have to start me higher on that scale (they were trying to offer the lowest scale). I explained I have a certain level of income I need to support my spouse and the fact is her offer after taxes would be about what I make on unemployment. After a few minutes she said she completely understood.
This is where I followed it up with another item. I told her I wanted to be up front and that even with the increase I couldn’t give her an answer at the moment. I told her that I was a finalist with the Insurance Commissioner and that the payscale for them started at about where her agency ended (and I probably wont be offered the lowest). She seemed surprised and impressed. The impressed part is what surprised me the most. She seemed even more eager to hire me. She told me she understood, they really want me and she would go to bat for me with HR to get me an increase. She just asked to let her know when I know if I take the OIC job, then she can push for a raise for me.
The whole reason for this post is that it was weird. I was dismissive of the offer, countered with a number 25% higher then what she offered and told her even with that she was my second choice. She was even more interested in hiring me.
Wolsey was there the whole time listening (my spouse for those who aren’t familiar). Wolsey said I had a lot of confidence in my voice and that the prospective manager’s response is really common for that kind of confidence. I am not normally confident, and it was a weird feeling that I was so uninterested and dismissive that someone wanted me even more after that. Wolsey explained this is why sometimes assholes get really interesting and highly sought after mates, because the confidence exuded is what people are attracted to. Wolsey suggested I keep doing that with everything.
I guess that was my first real bout of self-confidence in over a year (my last job hired me on October 8, 2012 and my confidence and self outlook has suffered greatly since accepting that job). YAY for self confidence.