Last week I did two second round interviews. And by Friday I had an offer. I was very very grateful to have bagged a job offer in the current horrendous job market. Most of the companies I was initially interested in put hiring freezes in place after the financial crisis broke in late September and early October.
Today the second company contacted me with an offer. I was delighted, but had already decided to accept the first offer. So I rang immediately and explained that I wouldn't be accepting offer number two. I gave the genuine reason: the commute was two long (it would probably be around an hour and a half at each end of the day while the job I accepted is less than half an hour).
In some ways both jobs are similar, though the company I will work for is much smaller (around 30 people) than the one I turned down (recently taken over by a multinational). You could say the big one might be more secure, but in the current climate, it's not even possible to be sure. Job wise the one I turned down probably had the edge, but in terms of company culture and what the job really turns out like, well, these can only be discovered after.
So today I signed the contract with my new employer and I start in the middle of January.
I consider myself very fortunate to have found a job right now. It's certainly a nice way to go in to the Christmas period.
I had prepared myself for a much longer period out of work. And I think I had got myself into a routine that was workable - basically as much activity as I could. I was enjoying the extra time and I read quite a lot and even got around to writing a few bits.
Financially our household could have stuck it out for even another year - we had found ways to narrow the gap between various outgoings and modest income: this involved adding a few odds and ends to welfare. A few bits of writing for me, and some teaching work by bean Thomaltaigh. And of course a fairly tight approach to spending. That is not to say we had cut off all little luxuries. We were prepared to use some of my redundancy money for what it was designed for: keep us alive between jobs. But the idea was to not spend it all. It is easy to imagine more rainy days in the near to medium term.
So finance wasn't the main factor that would have nagged me going into next year still unemployed. Not finance and not idleness. It was more practical. First, I felt the job market would get worse next year not better. So being unemployed in April could easily turn into being unemployed by next September - a full year. That would lead to the second problem. I feel that many employers take a dim view of long breaks in a CV. I could be wrong but that is my impression. I think this is ridiculously narrow minded, but if it's a reality it would have to be dealt with.
Therefore I felt that if by next September I was still out of work then my odds would start to decline. This is what urged me to do all I could to get back into employment now.
I hope now that it turns out fairly decent and that it lasts at least long enough so that light starts to appear at the end of the hideous economic tunnel we have entered.
Sin a bhfuil a chairde. Nollaig shona daoibh go léir agus guím gach rath oraibh sa bhliain úr.