Holding out for “the one”

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Today I was thinking how finding the right job is kinda like finding the right date: it can suck to be without one, but it’s better than being with the wrong one.

Am I right?

This is the conundrum Rachel faced after joining us at Bootcamp, as she faced a pending career transition at the close of her year-long AmeriCorps VISTA program.

With the opportunity to be deliberate about her next steps, she reached out to her networks about positions that might be a good fit. Before she knew it, Rachel was considering an offer from her old colleagues at an organization where she’d worked during college.

Thrilled to have a solid option on the table only a few months away from unemployment, it seemed like the natural thing to do was to accept the job. After all, she had enjoyed her prior time working there, knew the organization inside and out, and felt qualified for the position.

There was just one problem: “It hit me when I got the offer that I wasn’t excited about it.” The territory was familiar. Comfortable. Safe. Most importantly, she didn’t see herself growing in the position.

And to be clear: it’s not like Rachel had much wiggle room at the time. A year of service with AmeriCorps involves living off public assistance and a stipend less than minimum wage. She needed a paycheck to come in after her program ended – stat.

So when she turned it down, Rachel was struck with a surreal feeling. It was scary, she admits, but, “I knew I needed to think about what’s moving me forward, not just keeping me going.”

Finding the right job means having the courage to leave others on the table. twitter_button

Weeks passed. She started to question whether or not she’d done the right thing. And that’s when she came across her dream position at a nonprofit she admired so much that she’d been following them for years.

“This was the kind of job I dreamed I’d be in 5 years from now,” says Rachel, who applied despite knowing it would make her the youngest person on staff.

When the offer came through, Rachel was faced with another choice moment. Did she dare to attempt to negotiate her dream job offer?

Recalling the troubling stats she learned about women and negotiation, she knew she owed it to herself to give it her best attempt, but was so dreading the conversation that she used a lifeline. She put out a call for help on the Facebook group for Bossed Up Bootcamp alums and connected with Gray (who has her own incredible negotiation story that’s inspired so many here).

With Gray acting as a sounding board, Rachel had the encouragement she needed to call back and counter their offer. The woman on the other end of the line said that it was highly unlikely to happen but that she would see what they could do. Rachel hung up and waited 90 unbearable minutes worried about having said the wrong thing, before hearing back: they met her in the middle!

A few months in, Rachel says of the new gig: “I love it. Every moment of it!”

Negotiating is always scary – especially when you know it’s the right job for you. twitter_button

Courage for Rachel came from knowing the data-driven factors behind her options and the invaluable human element of having a community of like-minded bosses to turn to for advice.

“I love how much research you have behind everything you’re teaching,” says Rachel of Bootcamp, “and that I walked away with a community I can turn to again and again.”

I couldn’t be happier for Rachel and cannot WAIT to hear about the fantastic work that lays ahead of her.

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