Life & Job Update

Hello all! Long time no see! Like I mentioned I might in my last post, I’ve been taking some blog downtime this month. I thought it was just because I was tired and overcommitted, which is true, but I got some news today that made me feel a little impelled to write, so now I’m not sure my lack of desire to blog was really about having lots of other things on my plate.

There’s no hard news, but I did get word today that I will be having an on-campus interview for an academic job I’ve been applying for since last October. Basically, I am changing jobs this summer, but I’ll either be transitioning to a new role in the same Midwestern university I already work for, or I’ll be moving back to a big east coast city (not New York) to take this other job. There are pros and cons to either move. Both will likely be good for my career, though in very different ways; both would have less than ideal parts of the job (very different less than ideal parts though); both would have personal upsides in terms of closeness to friends/family, and both would have personal downsides in terms of the type of city/overall environment I’d live in.

The upshot is that either outcome will be good, though neither is the Platonic ideal of a job. So I’m not super worried. But I think the uncertainty has been preventing me from blogging. It’s hard to write posts on a PF blog if you don’t know whether you’re researching house-buying in an inexpensive town, or group apartments in a really expensive one.

One thing I do know is that in either case I would have an employment gap of six weeks to two months. My current contract ends June 30 and the new one wouldn’t start until mid-August, no matter which university I’m working at. This isn’t a problem, obviously, because I already have plenty of savings and I have three full months of paychecks to top them up. But psychologically, I do feel suddenly impelled to hoard cash. Almost exactly this time two years ago, I was equally desperate to open a Roth IRA account, my very first retirement account. I took several thousand dollars out of my savings to do it, even though I wasn’t sure what my employment would look like later that year. Now, exactly two years on, I have a perfectly reasonable retirement account and a healthy savings account (it turns out living frugally in a cheap-tastic Midwestern town is good for the net worth), but I really want that savings account to be bigger, BADLY. If I’m moving and not buying a house, I’d like it to be well over $10000 by the time I hit my employment gap. (I think, based on my interpretation of my state’s unemployment website, that I’ll be able to claim unemployment benefits during that time, but I’m not going to count those $$ until they’re in my bank account.)

Anyway, that’s where I am at the moment. Finding it hard to blog regularly because I’m not sure what to blog about, with so much life and job uncertainty. But I’m basically fine! It is wonderful to realize how secure I feel now that I’m in a good financial position.

18 thoughts on “Life & Job Update

  1. Good luck on the job offers! In regards to blogging, blog about anything you want. I hope you don’t feel compelled to only blog about PF because this is a PF blog? It’s your blog so you are free to write about anything you want 🙂 At the end of the day, do whatever makes you happy. Take care 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you for the well wishes 🙂 Regarding blogging, I think it’s just that the things I’m thinking about are all things I don’t want to blog about — I was super vague in this post, but to get into the details of what the pros and cons really are involves revealing too much about my prospective employers. So, maybe I should just write some posts about making lunch until the employment question is sorted out 🙂

  2. Hey, that’s exciting! Best of luck on the interview! And if this large east coast city happens to be Boston by any chance, definitely feel free to look me up. 🙂

    That’s pretty cool that you can say that a two-month employment gap will not be a problem. I understand your eagerness to hoard and save before that point, but I do think there’s a lot to be said for the fact that two months with no pay is not a scary idea.

    Keep us updated! 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It’s not Boston 🙂 I realize I’m narrowing the options down…. Thanks for the well wishes! Hope your new job is going great!

      1. Jason says:

        Is it Providence? Because then you can look us up? We could have a New England discussion!

  3. I hope everything lands in a way that you are really happy about. It’s so hard to be up in the air! I’m having a bit of a hard time with my blog too, mainly because if I work on it like I used to I will be “busy,” and I hate that word and don’t want to be, so I’m finding I have to sacrifice something. 🙁

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! I think whichever way things come out will be ok, I just want the decision made. Also, on your blog…there are seasons in life and all that. In a sense your blog has served so many purposes for you already; this may just be a season where it’s something else, something you work on when you’re feeling like it rather than on a professional schedule.

  4. Jason says:

    Good luck on the jobs. I know you don’t have too, but have you looked into summer teaching at your current university or online somewhere else. It could give you some income. Also, good luck on the unemployment I know that some places are better than others. Depending on the job, if you stay with the current university, they could say that you are still employed full-time and not receive benefits (e.g. like a normal school teacher).

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I don’t want to summer teach. I probably could, but I don’t really need the income and I do need the time to work on research stuff and maybe to move. I might well look into that next summer though. And yes on the unemployment — I’m not counting on the $$ because I know every place varies in how they handle it!

  5. There you are! It’s good to hear from you again.

    Isn’t it funny how these things run in cycles? Almost a year ago I was in a very similar financial situation to the one i’m in right now. Best of luck with your campus visit. I didn’t know it was possible to qualify for unemployment benefits while between contract jobs. I’m guessing that is unique to the education field or to your state? I hope things work out the way you want them to!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Well, I *think* this would qualify as a layoff with a return to work date. But there’s only one way to find out! I’m not counting on the money, but I’ll give it a try. I am really looking forward to seeing you in a very different financial situation a year from now, btw.

  6. I wanted to comment on your last post, but comments were closed — so I’m glad to see this one so I can say hi! Sending lots of good vibes for your interview. I can definitely see pros and cons to each side, and hope you get the option that your gut tells you is best for you. It’s got to be an amazing feeling to know that you can weather a pay gap with no problems! That’s the big wohoo moment of this post for me. But I’m keeping fingers crossed that there’s another big wohoo moment coming for you soon. 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh man, you know you haven’t been blogging regularly when comments close! I agree, that was a big woohoo moment for me too 🙂 I’ve managed pay gaps before (freelance life FTW) but I certainly feel more comfortable this time around…. Thanks for the well wishes. It really will be ok no matter which of the two options happens.

  7. Ronnica says:

    What an exciting/nervous time! I recently got hit up for a job opportunity that I definitely wasn’t looking for, and it was the first time I’ve ever considered pursuing a job when I already had a good job. Not the same situation as you, but I do feel that having a full emergency savings and zero debt helps me to consider the possibility of jumping jobs when I wouldn’t previously. It truly is financial freedom!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It really is! So many congrats on getting headhunted–always a good feeling to know people want you. What will you do?

  8. Liz says:

    Exciting stuff, good luck with the potential jobs! It’s amazing how much less stress and how many more options become available to you once you just start focusing more on your finances, I’m still a ways away from feeling completely secure if I were to lose my job but I’m so much better off than I was two years ago. I look forward to hearing what happens 🙂

  9. Amanda says:

    I’m so curious! I can’t wait to hear the news:) I’m living in a bit of uncertainty, too, which made me suddenly focus on savings more than anything else. But I”m excited to hear that things are going well and there’s so much cool stuffs in the works.

  10. Congrats on your new opportunity! I also have a difficult with uncertainty–it’s so hard to picture life and plan accordingly. Sounds like you are handling it well, though. I agree, living in the inexpensive Midwest make low spending easier.

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