Friday, February 08, 2008

A Conundrum

You know -- I love my job, I really do. I occasionally am less than thrilled with various aspects of my job, but the kids make it all worthwhile. I *love* seeing their faces light up when something they've been struggling with suddenly clicks for them. I love knowing that I helped make that happen.

My administrators have been full of good things to say about me lately, which makes me feel very good. It's always good to know that you're appreciated and that people think you're good at your job.

However, I have a sticky little problem that's niggling at me. A few days ago, my administrators offered me a chance to take on a job next year that would be ... hm ... how to say this .... um ... more challenging, but also a job that no one else wants. Now, the reason that they offered me the position was because they wanted a strong person in that capacity, and they thought I was the right person for the job. That's a nice gesture, but I'm afraid that the cons outweigh the positive here. The *bad* things about the position are that I would start off the year with a deficit -- I would have a lot more responsibility for no more pay or recognition. (Not that I'm only out for the accolades, but you know what I mean.) Also, I would have to work with another individual who is less than fond of me, and who would, most likely, treat me as a subordinate even though I'd be doing the lion's share of the work. Now, I'm not afraid of hard work, but I don't want this to be a set-up for me being dumped on for an entire year.

I told the admins that if they really need me to do that job for the next school year, I will but if I have any say in the matter, it would not be my first choice. Or second. In fact, it's last on my list. I just don't think I want to subject myself to it, but I have a very bad habit of second-guessing myself. Now, I'm wondering if my initial, knee-jerk reaction was the right one.


Miche said...

I know all about second guessing. I'm good at that too!

Urm. Why would anyone want to take a position working with someone who doesn't like them? Unless you're feeling "unchallenged" by your current position, or hoping for promotion, why would you want to have more responsibility with no pay increase?

Sounds like you made the right choice to me!

liz said...

Me too.

I would also maybe say to them that IF they make you take it that you would need a significant pay raise and a commensurate title for the responsibility. Especially since nobody else wants the job. You would be in the position to make demands, no?

KLee said...

You would think so, wouldn't you, liz? But, no. You forget -- I work in public schools. Their opinion is that we should by paying THEM for the opportunity to teach.

I think that turning it down was probably the smart thing, but I can't help second-guessing my reaction. You know?

La Reina said...

I agree with the others. If it's more work - and no one else wants to do it - you'd be crazy to seriously consider the new job without a pay raise. I'm sure they honestly do appreciate you and the job you do, but that praise alone is not reason enough to take on far more responsibility with no additional compensation - especially if you'd be forced to work with someone who doesn't get along with you.

Yes, it's a public school system, but if it's anything like the one in my town they can find money to pay specialists to come in an evaluate things and pay for studies that say teachers are underpaid, etc... If it's a position they're serious about filling, by rejecting it you're limiting their ability to hire from within, meaning they'll probably have to bring in an outsider who will no doubt cost far more than they would have been paying you. So hold fast, and if it's meant to be they'll find the money (and perhaps a nice title) to make it worth your while.

That said - I hope no one you know was involved with the sugar factory explosion!

ccw said...

I'm trying to find the silver lining in this post but am unable. More work, same pay, working with someone who doesn't like you?

I'm with you, stick with what you have unless forced to move.

kathy a. said...

it sounds like you made the right decision -- but that under different circumstances, you'd be very interested in the job.

did you tell them *why* you made that decision? because, you never know, they might learn something. more pay is a good start for more responsibility. but it sounds like you also have a concern about getting so much more responsibility without some kind of corresponding authority to get the job done.

and -- it must be possible to state the difficulties with the other person in an objective way, so it doesn't come off as "i don't like her." for example, "in my experience, she doesn't work collaboratively -- here is an illustration." or, "she is very good at X, but when problems come up, she tends to blame other people instead of finding a solution -- this is my impression because of Y."

just tossing out thoughts. you had good reasons to say no to the job as offered.

coffeypot said...

I was always safe. I use conundrums regularly when I was single.