I think I may have done it

Both interviews today went really well. The one this morning was the big one – the final interview for a position I’ve been interviewing for for two months. Ultimately, we decided (mutually), that the position I was interviewing for wasn’t a good fit yet. I needed some experience at a slightly lower level and then I’d be ready. So she verbally offered the job, pending a background check. After that’s done, they can send an official offer letter. All of the interviewing is done. Now it’s just paperwork.

I think this is a good thing. I had really questioned the sanity of putting me in a position, after completing two years of training, mind, with little to no experience. Jumping straight into a store manager role, to me, makes no sense. There’s a lot of experience and learning opportunities I’d miss out on if that was what was going to happen. She agreed. So we’re starting a step lower than that. I’m perfectly happy with that as over the last few weeks I thought about how much stress it would put me under, even in a training program, to jump right into the deep end. I have no doubt I could do it, but I feel that this is a much better turn of events. I’m happy, my parents are happy, the few friends I’ve told are happy… everyone is happy.

I did the second interview, just to keep my options open. And I have to say, I’ve gotten really good at answering the question when they ask why, after a degree and almost a decade in science I went back to get my MBA. I’ll come back to this in a minute, but I felt as though it was important to do this interview – what if something at the first company fell through? What if I needed another option? I don’t want to close a door before it even opens. Besides, doing another interview would continue to hone my skills.

This position is definitely not a good fit. 85% travel or more. The money would be good, but it’s a high stress job that would require me to do a lot of sales work from cold calling, which is something I really don’t want to do. But I’m keeping it in my back pocket if I need it.

Let’s chat for a minute about why I left science.

I love science. I still read up on new research and developments. As it turns out, I really hate bench work. The work is monotonous, at my last job we worked in teams of 2 in a basement with no windows. Especially at night you had no concept of time or the night passing. If no one came into the lab and you were too busy to get out to the other department that was there at night, unless someone came in you literally saw no one other than the one person that you were working with. There was little to no room for a career advancement. To make matters worse, where I worked was at the top of the pay scale for tech jobs. I was never going to go anywhere and make even 80% of what I was making there. I was up against a wall.

To make matters worse, my mental health really suffered there. My anxiety was constantly ramped up due to the culture of “make a mistake, lose your job.” They expected robots, both in and out of work. You were expected to sacrifice your family life and quality of life for them. To be honest, the whole experience really soured me on working in a lab and even in certain sections of healthcare. Which stinks, because I really like the field. Maybe some day I’ll use that part of my MBA, but at least as of right now, I have no desire to.

Anyway, because of the anxiety I was always on the edge of an episode. I can think of three mixed episodes and four depressive episodes off of the top of my head over the six years I was there. There was probably even more minor blips, but that’s seven in six years. That’s not stable. That’s always on the edge.

It is so not worth it to work in a toxic environment like that. The price that you pay is far from worth it. I don’t care if it’s in science, retail, healthcare, sales, culinary – it flat out isn’t worth it if you’re miserable all of the time.

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