Sunday, March 13, 2011

Decisions, choices, negotiations

Things can change so quickly over the course of a week. My new floor's looking nice and lovely. I'm now not entirely sure I'm in the mindset to be properly dating or even casually hanging out with guys in a not-serious relationship at all. I'm in a fair better position than I expected to be (though, to be fair, in some ways, I thought I would be, in others, I didn't as I thought the powers that be would mess us over), and I've now gone from thinking I had a simple choice to make to a complicated one.

But as I really ought to get cracking on something, I'll just cover the third bit. Essentially, I received news of my bonus and pay rise over the past week. It was better than I expected, although, after having calmed down and looked at it rationally, it wasn't quite the cracker which deserved my initial overjoyed reaction. You may wonder how that could occur. Simple. I'd forgotten the bonus I received the previous year had been pro-rated so I neededto compare like for like. In any case, in absolute terms, I received a bonus which was one third higher than the year before, and, in terms of percentage of base salary, was pretty damn good at over 50%. I also received a decent pay rise which compensated me for some cuts which had occurred prior to Christmas and then some, while others weren't so lucky.

In short, I learnt that I was really valued by my company, and, yet, was still fortunate enough that the deferred component of my bonus was comparatively small (i.e. an amount which I wouldn't really notice if I decide to leave before it gets paid out). I don't know what message the deferred part sends out, but I'm grateful nonetheless.

So, the problem with this is that now, I'm in a position where the new position offers me the same package as my current one, but is substantially riskier in that it's a new venture, and will involve long hours, travel and a lot of hard work. In my current role, I know what I'm doing so well that I could put in less effort, still have a life and earn a decent amount of money.

I've said before that money isn't the main driver for doing what I do. It's still an important one, nonetheless, particularly when one's living in lovely London and has a mortgage to pay. And when you consider that I may end up giving up something I've come to value so much - my spare time - I do think I deserve to be compensated more than what the new company's offering, even if it's a fantastic opportunity and I'm so damn bored in my current role.

I'm really not that much of a risk-taker and, quite frankly, I'm still not sure I'm up to what the new job's demanding. Still, I'm not turning them down outright. I'm going to go back to them to see if their offer's flexible. I'm not great at negotiating but I owe it to myself and to them to find out more about where they're coming from and whether all the intangibles offered by them can make up for my taking this huge step.

While I've been looking for other roles, I've been looking at roles which demand either a certain skill (one I'm not sure I possess but am willing to try) or looooong working hours. I was willing to try giving one or the other a shot because I was confident I could rely on my natural abilities in order to make up the rest. This new role, however, requires both, and that's why I'm agonising so much over it. I'm not equipped to deal with that much uncertainty.

Yes, I'm bored to death by what I do. And I know some people are probably thinking that I can talk the talk but not walk the walk now that I've got the opportunity to do so. But it's scary. It really is. And I don't think I should be faulted for reacting the way I am now, even if a part of me thinks I'm being the biggest wuss on the planet.

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