Saturday, March 13, 2010

Working Girl

I knew this time would come, eventually.

I have an interview (my first real, professional job interview in over five years) on Tuesday. I'm very excited, actually...while I have reservations about going back to work while still finishing up school, it's time to start beefing up the resume and the house fund.

We're incredibly lucky; I'm incredibly lucky to have been able to be a mom and student the last three years. I didn't have to work during school, or my pregnancy, and I've been home with Elle since she was born. My husband works for a fantastic company who treats its employees well, and he has been noted by his supervisors as someone with a great deal of potential for advancement. The distinction there is that he's actually taken advancing steps; it's not just talk. His job, combined with my school & degree are huge reasons for us to stay in the Cities after I graduate.

I've been thinking a LOT about going back to work. There are lots of reasons to go back, and a lot of other reasons that tell me to be cautious when selecting which jobs for which to apply. One of the advantages to having professional experience and an advanced degree is that I can be relatively picky. I'm not a new grad in the "22 and a liberal arts bachelor's degree" sense; while I'll be a new lawyer, it's still not the absolute ground floor of an adult career. I'm also eternally grateful to have that experience (life and job) on my side; I can't imagine that my decisions are the same as a coltish, single 25 year old law grad. (I'm also thinking my foray into the law will last longer than it takes to pay off my loans, realize my bliss and open a cupcake bakery. Which, really? Sounds pretty damn good at times.)

I'm also a LOT older than I was when I graduated from college, and along with my experience, I have a family to think about.

In preparation for my interview, I've jotted down a few of the things I'm looking for in a job.

1. Enough money. This may sound like a no-brainer, but if the cost of day-care for Elle and before/after care for Bea, plus the cost of commuting, parking, dry-cleaning & the other requirements of a job aren't at least covered by my wage, I can't take that job. While my husband makes wonderful money, the fact is that we're on a budget and it's an unnecessary strain on the family for me to spend money on a job.

2. Flexible hours. This is a pipe dream, but ideally I want to start back slow: around 20-25 hours a week. Ideally lumped as 2-3 solid days per week. Getting used to a commute and a morning routine is going to be tough enough, plus I am still in school. I still need time to study and prep for class. I'd love to work "mom" hours so that I can still put Bea on the bus in the morning and then be home for her in the afternoon. (This would also avoid before-after care costs.)

3. Geographically convenient. I'd like to work on my side of the Metro area. Elle's current babysitter is close to downtown, and we both adore her. She's agreed to take Elle on for than her current 1-2 days a week if I go back to work, and I really want to avoid putting Elle in a day-care center just yet.

I'll probably write more on this later...but for now, if you are reading this, take a moment and send a few good thoughts my way on Tuesday. Most especially that I don't kill myself in my new Calvin Klein heels. (Haven't worn heels this high in a VERY long time. Will be practicing in the house this weekend.)

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