I figured I’d give you all more details, because I am REALLY excited/nervous/terrified but there aren’t many folks I can talk to about it right now, as a plan for the telling must be developed and crafted.
It feels so surreal. Last Tuesday, L and I were sobbing our little hearts out about the dream of a move to Olympia, fostered lovingly for weeks, that was dashed. That night was so awful, because the decision felt so wrong. It was such an involved process, and it felt so clearly right. But the idea was gone in an instant. 8 days ago the dream was dead and gone. 8 days ago this other potential path wasn’t even on the radar. 8 days ago, I hardly even remembered that I’d applied for this job.
And now, it looks like we are likely going to move to the Seattle area in two months.
I feel like I’ve been very vague here, so I should catch y’all up.
So, when L was in the middle of the process with the school in Olympia, this job came across my desk. It’s a health educator position with the family planning section of the Seattle King County health department. I have worked with these folks before, because they wrote and publish a really incredible curriculum which I sought out and got trained in a few years back. The training was even more impressive than the curriculum, and I got to know one of the trainers because I enjoyed it so much. I’ve stayed in touch with them as they’ve begun a process of doing more involved research on the program and publishing it more widely. Which is how I ended up getting the job announcement.
I submitted my application at the end of April, and aside from the standard ‘we received your materials’ e-mail, I didn’t hear anything until last Wednesday, when they asked me for an interview, which happened last Friday afternoon via skype. They told me that day that they would likely call my references and get back to me with a ‘preliminary decision’ by today. The preliminary decision turned out to be a job offer. I’m sort of in shock because the last time I got a job offer after a single interview, it was for a part time retail gig while I was in college. Since then, I’ve always had to do at least a phone screen and an interview, if not 2 or 3 full interviews. My imposter syndrome is on high alert!
And the offer is DREAMY, y’all. I knew that a job with public health was a good gig, but I didn’t realize HOW good. For starts, the annual salary is almost 10 thousand more than I make now. In addition, the medical and dental insurance is fully covered (ie: I would pay no premium) for my entire family. We currently pay $140 per month for Ansel on the healthcare marketplace, and another $150 for L through her work. This benefit puts that money back in our pockets, plus the money I pay pre-tax for my insurance at work (nominal, but still.) They also have a mother fucking pension. Y’all, no one has pensions anymore! There is a pay increase at 6 months, and then annually thereafter. And all of the other folks in this same position that I know have been there for 10+ years, which speaks highly of the kind of work environment.
The job itself also sounds fabulous. I’ll be housed in a family planning clinic, and my job duties will include providing one on one sex education to youth at the clinic, as well as providing some sex ed in schools, training teachers to implement sex education in schools, and doing outreach to increase the number of youth accessing services at the clinic. The role I’m in now is HIGHLY administrative, and I miss doing on the ground work with young people in communities. I left that work because it almost always paid much less than the boring admin roles. So it’s exciting that I’ll be able to do the stuff I love. The job sounds really autonomous and varied, with tasks really varying day to day, which I also love. The clinic I’ll be in is in South East King County, so actually about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma. And because the salary is good but still not enough for Seattle proper to be affordable, we’ll probably be in Tacoma or the surrounding area.
They are being incredibly flexible with start date, and so we are aiming for August 15th for me to be out there and ready to work, getting a lease secured for Aug 1, with some time to move out there in the weeks between. I want to give my current job lots of notice so I can really fully wrap things up and leave in a good place. I have loved my time there. I still adore my colleagues. My boss is incredible, and the culture has been magical.
But, it’s also definitely time to leave. In the last week, there have been multiple conversations about the budget that have left me feeling less than secure about the organization. My current job would be the last (or close to last) on the chopping block, since I run a 5 year federal grant. But we are in the hole already, bare bones budget, with a board of directors that doesn’t seem to get what ‘fundraising’ means. There will be no raise this year, and if things don’t turn around quick, it’s only going to get a lot worse.
I’m ready for this adventure. And, I’m also terrified.
For 4 of the 9 weeks we are planning to be here and prepare to move across the country, I’ll be non weight bearing, in a cast, on a scooter. There’s a house to pack and sell (lucky for us, we are in one of the best sellers markets in the country, in a house that is in a very marketable price range and a good area), a job to close out, a rental (hopefully short term), and the general logistics of moving three dogs, two dykes and 1 baby from Colorado to Washington state.
Well. Here we go.
Gratuitous picture of Ansel, who, thanks to the Happy Sleeper, has been laid down in his crib awake the last three nights, smiled up at me, rolled over and gone to sleep and then slept for 12+ hours: