There are a few lessons that we've learned along the way that have been so valuable. I'm going to jot them down so that I don't forget the gems of this experience.
First of all, we have learned that we can be a really good team when the stakes are high. One day last week my mom hung out with the kids while Marcos and I went to the local public library and shut ourselves in a glass study cubicle for two hours, to have a major brainstorm and communication session, and send out some really important correspondence. At the end of those two hours, and through this whole process, we have felt really united as we have come together in an effort to choose the best future for our family.
Another thing we had to remember was that choosing the best out of many good options is really hard work! At the expense of sounding like I am complaining about a blessing, I will say that having multiple job offers on the table was emotionally taxing. For years we have hoped and prayed that when Marcos finished up schooling he would be sought out by multiple companies, but I don't think we knew how stressful it would be to move through this process. Whew, first world problems! But seriously, even after the spreadsheet was drawn up, and the list of pros and cons for each option were measured, we felt like there was no package that was obviously the best match for us, across the board. If we could have morphed together the work satisfaction and camaraderie that the job at the coastal non-profit offered, plus the leadership experience and salary of the job at Infusion, plus the stability and benefits and long term pay off of Fidelity, it would have been super easy to reach our decision. But alas.
Another thing we learned was that a job offer is so much more than just the starting salary. At the end of the day, we had whittled our options down to two offers, and the starting salaries between the positions were $15,000 apart. Now, in our book, that is a gigantic sum of money. But you know what? We chose the job with the lower starting salary. And the reason was this: when we poured over the health premiums and benefits, took into account the generous 401-K plan at Fidelity, and their profit sharing perk, and did the math at the end, our present looked slightly better at Infusion because we had more dollars in our hand at the end of the month, but our future looked much better with Fidelity. Ultimately, the money bonus with Infusion at the end of the month was not enough to outweigh the final difference: Fidelity pays time and a half for hours worked overtime, and Infusion told Marcos frankly that if he expected to work 40 hours a week, that would not always be possible. That piece of information alone sent us a pretty clear message about how life would be for our family in each of the jobs. After years of him having to do homework in the evenings as a student, we're all ready for Marcos to be fully available after 5pm, and Fidelity will make that happen. We're pretty sure that if Marcos were a single guy with only himself to think about, Infusion would have been the right decision, but for us right now, we're all about Fidelity.
And finally, we learned that peace comes from making the right decision. Even as close as the day before we had to make our decision, we had decided to move forward with Infusion - the exciting, new job that promised good pay and some immediate leadership opportunities - and we prayed that night for a confirmation that we were on the right track. But Marcos woke up anxious in the morning, wanting to comb through every benefit document to make sure that we weren't missing any vital information, and feeling generally stressed out. It wasn't until we both said, "Let's go with Fidelity" that we stopped fretting and the huge breath we were both holding in whooshed out and our bodies and minds were at peace. Marcos has talked with both companies, and our peace still holds.
And that's where we stand! Marcos' training will start in mid July, so after a mid-May graduation from UNC we have a few months of time before the next chapter. Our want is to enjoy the time off and travel to some exotic destination, and our need is to work and pay our bills through those months. Hopefully our reality will be some of each!
Family Home Evening last month. A lesson about the parts of a computer.