For the Teabag in All of Us

Not that kind of teabag. Don't be gross.

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Location: South Florida, United States

If I go about this properly, the blog will (eventually) explain enough about me, so let me just explain the blog, or at least the title of it, here:

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, June 29, 2006

More business

So. After just about a month of consulting (which consisted of less work and more attending to personal matters, including some much-needed down time), I've been offered a job. And I don't know if I should take it or not.

On the one hand, it's a great offer. It's for a company that I think is ... well, probably in a little bit of a mess, regulatorily-speaking, but not so deeply in that I can't get it into the green with a little hard work. It's for a Chief officer position, which is totally scary because I've never been the boss before, but I've been thinking, and I think I've done a lot in the second string seat ...not to say that there isn't still plenty I could learn in a deputy's position, but it would be hard to learn much more at that level, in a holistic sense (which is what I would want), especially down here as there aren't too many companies of the appropriate size and structure to need that kind of person at that level.

On the other hand -- oh the responsibility! It's not the workload I mind. I have no problem with the work, it's the liability I don't like. What if I screw up (and I WILL screw up)?

It's such a hassle because our employment record follows us everywhere. I know that's everyone generally speaking, but in brokerage it's very public. If you don't know what I mean by that, let me explain this way: if you ever get a cold call from a broker wanting to sell you some stock, you can investigate the broker's background by running his record through the NASD's public site. This won't give you (as a member of the general public) ALL of the information about this broker, but it will tell you where he's worked and whether he has any disciplinary history. Now, the site that employers have access to is much more detailed. What I'm basically trying to say is that most people can fudge a bit on their resumes. They can leave a job off if they only worked there for a few months, and extend the job immediately prior to get rid of the gap. Registered people (like me) can't do that, because all of our jobs go into that database. And if you have too much job jumping? It's like an automatic blackball.

Also? If some customer decides he's pissed that his broker took him for a ride? Very often he'll submit a complaint and name not only the broker, but all the broker's supervisors, up to and including -- yep you got it -- the chief of compliance. And if customer wins? There goes my clean record. I mean, it's all hypothetical and based on several "if" scenarios. But still it exists, and with much higher possibility than before.

And on yet another hand (bear with me as I morph into a three-handed, self-doubting, pajama-wearing creature), there is the fact that ...um, what about consulting? Now this really deserves its own hand, because I'm just starting to get out there and garner clients and it's been a real learning experience thus far. But while it's great to work for yourself and without any real liability (and no public records!), I'm not terribly self-motivated, so given the choice, I will frequently opt to stay in PJs or go out shopping or swimming, rather than work. Also, I haven't had the time to organise myself and my fledgling sole proprietorship, and even if I had, what if I never get another client? There's always the possibility of going weeks without a client. And yes the good part is I can charge enough to make up for the difference, but the bad part is, what if a new client never comes along?

Now they've agreed to let me keep the business as long as I don't take on any clients that would present a conflict of interest -- which of course I wouldn't. So I can use my spare time (ha!) to organise as an entity, figure out marketing plans, decide if I'll partner up with someone or a few someones, or go it alone. That freedom is a key factor weighing heavily for taking the job.

I'm just scared to step it up. Ugh. How can work suck this much out of you when you're not even making a paycheck??

19 Comments:

Blogger Natalia said...

"three-handed, self-doubting, pajama-wearing creature" ROTFL Can I borrow that? Cause I have been that bt just did not know the name.

And I think you should be cautious about what job you accept because of the responsibility.

Ultimately, you wanted to do consulting. You like the freedom it affords you and it's good money without the office polititcs.

On the other hand (and I am only using two here) working for yourself can be scary if the clents drop for some reason. There's the whoke benefits thing. And one can miss the office stuff that was good. Like having people to delegate shit to and what not.

It's a toughie. If I felt confident I could live off freelance teaching and freelance writing, I would. Of course, as long as I could afford insurance as well.

-N

6/29/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

jmai it's not actually that hard.

close your eyes and ask your deep dark part of your gut where you make all your decisions.

do that once a day for five days... i bet the answer is the same every time :)

6/29/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Butt -- you can borrow any of my stuff, anytime.

See, there's that whole two hands thing! COngratulations on restraining yourself by just using 2, by the way! So yeah, there's the salary and the benefits and the socialising but there's also the freedom and the lack of liability and the flexibility. And then there's the no benefits and taxes issue and I could go on.

I think the fact that they'll take me with the side business is key. I wonder if I can continue to consult, at a reduced rate, acting in the chief capacity full time for a few weeks, and see how that goes. Hmmm.

Sass -- I hate to wait 5 days to make a decision. But I know what you mean and Chulo said the same thing, more or less. And my gut says, take the job.

I kinda knew I'd wind up taking another job eventually. I just didn't expect an offer to come this soon and I was hoping to have a bit more time to explore my options.

Ahh, decisions.

6/29/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

That they are willing to take you on with the side business is indeed proof that they are not like your ex company and that they want you enough.

On the other hand, you know I have had honeymoon periods with all the places I have worked only to be disillusioned soon thereafter.

Corporate America sucks major ass. But then again I am bitter about it :)

I think trying it out sounds rather Salomonic.

-N

6/29/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Uhhh... is Solomonic a good thing in this case?

6/29/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

If we are taking the notion of "Exhibiting or requiring the exercise of great wisdom, especially in making difficult decisions"... then yes I think your decision shows exercise of wisdom and it is fair. Try it out, keep the consulting...see how it goes. Solomonic.

-N

6/29/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger DZER said...

I wish I could stay in PJ's and go shopping ... I'll be your consulting partner! LOL

6/29/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger cmhl said...

you are so me. I have to examine and micro-manage every possible outcome and beat the dead horse to DEATH before I make a decision. then I second guess myself..

I say go for it...

6/29/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Nat -- I think that's what I'd like to do. I'm still in the research stages but when I speak to them I will bring it up and see how it's received. Solomonic. Yay.

Dzer -- if you can (no peeking now!) rattle off the 7 criteria requiring a branch to register as an office of supervisory jurisdiction, you've got the job!

cmhl -- Normally I'm a very decisive person, but when the stakes are this high... it's only natural to beat that dead horse. I will try not to second-guess myself once I decide. Thanks!

6/30/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

I say take it and keep the consulting business on the side at a manageable level. Never pass up an opportunity for fear of screwing up. You'd also be passing up an opportunity to succeed.

7/01/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger terry said...

as always, sass said it best... go with your gut.

and i like what phil said, about fear of screwing up vs. chance for great success. i've made that mistake a lot, and regret it.

good luck!

7/02/2006 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger Old Bean said...

Ta for chatting, it's moved me on. You two have it mapped, go with it, look forward to chatting again soon bab.

7/02/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Old Bean said...

no, that should have been on JMai

7/02/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Old Bean said...

I'm upset with the football, we always lose on penalty shots, so I was prepared for the pain. We're oot! So I say, go Henry. France will win for sure. Does that sound a bit odd? Of course, I want England to win, but we're oot. England is out. Hold on to your mortgage paying punters, 'Dazzle your Vacation paying punters'.
All, listen to 'Manic Street Preachers'

7/02/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I've been going through " job situations" myself..Just go with your gut instinct..Thnigs are always meant for a reason..Goodluck.

7/03/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

terry i heart you but dude... as always? have you READ kathi or natalia or or or...?

7/05/2006 01:49:00 AM  
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