May 26, 2004

You’d think that getting a great job offer after ten weeks of unemployment would be great. You would think that. Turns out you’d be wrong.

The past ten weeks have stripped me of my confidence, stripped me of my trust in my inner voice. It is so hard not to think that the only common factor in all the jobs I applied for and didn’t get is me. My inner voice has started to question and doubt everything I say or do. I know better and yet I can’t help but give in to the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that is currently giving lectures in my head.

Ten weeks of rejection, of self doubt, of self recriminations have left me incapable of processing the offer that was made to me this afternoon. The position is a dream job in terms of its technical focus and duration. I would be challenged to expand my broad development base into new areas of application architecture. It is the kind of job I’ve always said I’ve wanted.

Only now that it’s been offered to me, I find myself wanting to reject the offer. When I think about accepting it I get sick to my stomach and my hands get shaky. Since I no longer trust my inner voice after weeks of getting nowhere, how can I trust it now?

Should I ignore my trepidation and take the job and hope for the best? After all, if I can’t trust my inner voice any more, what it is telling my about this job is wrong. Or should I listen to it now that I’ve gotten an offer? After all there were doubts in my mind about this position before the offer was made. Those concerns haven’t (yet) been addressed.

I want so desperately to make the right choice, to do the right thing, that I am afraid of doing anything. Our money is growing short, our time is running out. If I turn my back on this offer I am risking everything on getting a new offer that I can accept.

I know that I feel out of control right now. Events have left me in a precarious position and I don’t like having to make a choice because it’s the only option left to me. I need to find some way to gain control of this situation again, even if it is only illusory control during the transition to what ever is next.

Just having identified that I must do something to regain control, or the feeling of control, is helping me to feel better now. It is late and I am utterly spent and exhausted. Hopefully dumping all of these thoughts here will keep them out of my head long enough for me to fall asleep.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.