Doubt

While sorting through the official offer packet yesterday, I began to have some doubt. Did I make the right decision about taking the job? Is this what I want? Didn’t I tell myself that I wasn’t going to work for a large company like this again, after my unhappiness with corporate world at Caterpillar? Wasn’t I really happy with the small-company work environment?

What did I like so much about the small company? Lax dress code. Flexible hours. Flexible (to a point) leave schedule. Bring-my-pet-to-work days.

Then, I thought about the things I didn’t like about small company enviroment: not much chance for official promotion or recognition of advanced skills. Not much in the way of raises. Benefits could be shakey. Paychecks could be shakey. If there was a personal problem between employees, it affected everyone until and after it was resolved. One bad mood had the potential to make everyone’s day worthless.

Next, I thought about what would be solved by working for a large company. The benefits and paychecks would be regular. The first salary review is listed in my offer letter. There are more benefits offered than I can take advantage of (like the stop-smoking program for pregnant women… I only meet one of the three criteria for that, since I don’t smoke and am not with child.) The interpersonal issues will probably still hold, but at least they should be diluted. They stressed the training available as part of the benefits of working there. And, when I asked the hiring manager, she told me that each group has its own dress code, some involving jeans and t-shirts.

And then I reminded myself of the reality of the next two years: we’re going to be moving. I won’t have this job forever. If nothing else, it’s a stable paycheck while TCB finishes his degree and it’s a job with programming training that I can take to our next location, and I can choose again to look for a small or large company. I’ll find new pants to wear if I need to.

I guess I’m just nervous about starting a new job, meeting new people and learning new skills. And lunch. I’m also nervous about eating lunch- does everyone hit up the cafeteria(s)? Can I eat the food in there? Am I better off still bringing my back-up cans of soup? I think that these questions, like most of my nervous questions, are best addressed in the wait-and-see model. In just over a week, these questions will all be answered.

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4 thoughts on “Doubt

  1. The start of any new experience always has its own set of doubts. A reassurance is that likely everyone else at your new workplace had similar doubts when starting the job. It’s a bit like the first day of school — everyone’s nervous for similar reasons, but then routine sets in and you wonder why you were ever anxious.

    Maybe Jeremy can be your Harrison Ford to your Melanie Griffith like when she starts her new job in the movie Working Girl. It could be that all you need is a cool lunchbox.

  2. One of my favorite places of work ever was a big corporation… several of my least favorite have been small businesses. Big corps can give you a buffer over a bad boss, too. My boss right now is HORRIBLE, but there’s only so much she can do, since HR is above her.

    I never bought my lunch when I worked places with cafeterias, unless they gave me a gift certificate to the caf or something (the big company I liked did that frequently as a little mini reward). I didn’t think the food was that great. It wasn’t healthy for the most part. And it cost a lot. Add in gluten and I’d say keep 10 dollars in your desk just in case you need it, but plan on bringing your lunch. Usually takes less time, too.

  3. Good points.

    And as for food, I somehow forgot that the last building I worked in had a cafeteria, and I rarely ate there, either. If I did, I got a salad (cheap) and/or a baked potato (cheaper), and filled the potato with the broccoli-cheese just-for-one veggie things. (really, that was enough topping, and even cheaper when I brought my own potato.) I guess my initial reservation is about the first few days, when fridge/microwave availability is unknown (also, the day that I work at a retail store. Thinking that a giant breakfast is in order that day.)

    So. Need to figure out some non-microwave meals for the first few days that also fit in my lunch cooler. Also need to pick out my first-day-of-work outfit, because it’ll be in my badge picture.

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