Decisions.

I've always been a terrible decision-maker. It was harder for me when I was younger, as I hated being the one in charge of things, but even as an adult I tend to shy away from making the tough choices. I'd like to think it's because I'm a fairly mellow person who isn't interested in making a fuss, but no doubt it's because I'm just plain hopeless when it comes to taking charge. I'd rather avoid it, and have things done for me.

I had my first teaching interview with a UK school a few days ago, and despite the fast talking (nerves), rambling sentences (nerves) and sweaty armpits, I thought I did pretty good. I've been lucky enough to have always had a teaching job, I've never had to inteview for an education position before: this was a huge first for me. All nerves aside, I must have done a decent job, as the school offered me a position. It's a good school, the principal was lovely, it's a grade three class and it really sounds like me.

Sounds fantastic, yep. But here's the catch. It's a long way from home. It'll take about ninety minutes each way to arrive at the school, and I'll need to catch three different trains and then a bus. Because the school is in Greater London, and not in the city itself, the travel costs will be more expensive per month. I always knew that there would be travel involved, but I really didn't count on eight changes a day.

And also, the pay? It's not a fantastic offer. Being that I've had a few years experience in Sydney, the rate of pay is no different to me just working casually here. The reason we were going to the UK is to travel, yes, but also to save some money to get ahead when we move back home. Earning the same as what I'm earning in Sydney sort of defeats the purpose. Plus, the cost of living in London is a heck of a lot more expensive than home.

So here's the decision: to take the job because it's a nice school and deal with the long commute times ... or to decline, and hold off until I get there and do some interviews with schools closer to home. I already have a batch of agency interviews set up, so it's not like there is no work available: it just means it may take a little while longer to find it.

I think I've sort of made up my mind: But what would you do?


34 Comments • Labels: ,  

34 comments:

Fiona said...

It soudns like you're leaning owards waiting and seeing for something better... the commute sounds hellish. If onyl one of those busses or trains is late, the day would be completely messed up!

Lel said...

Speaking from experience a long commute can really start to wear on you, for the last three years my commute has averaged about 45 minutes each way daily (winter is typically closer to an hour on the way home). If you really want to be scared by it, total up the number of hours in a school year you will spend traveling to and from work. I often wistfully ponder the things I would do with an hour and a half back of my life every day.

Wait it out.

Lara said...

i'd wait, definitely.

mooiness said...

Like everyone else said, I'd wait. Wait till you go through the first round of interviews and offers before you decide.

I would have also suggested moving closer to the school but since it doesn't pay that well, then it's probably not worth it.

Noelle said...

I think it sounds like you're ready to wait it out, and that sounds like a good choice. London is not just a little more expensive, it's borderline ridiculously expensive. Since I took this job with the 10 minute commute, life has been just grand. You may say you can do it, but really, short commute = good life.

michelle and the city said...

well could you take it and then still look for something better? if that was a possibility i might go with that, but if not, i would hold out for a better offer.

good luck my dear
xoxo

Belinda said...

keep looking but try and keep it up your sleeve! closer is better

Jamie said...

I'd wait too. The travel time is kind of a bummer. Hold out for something closer!

Zandria said...

I don't think there's any problem with exploring other offers, especially if your main reason for moving abroad was to save money (as well as have a different cultural experience, of course). No need to commit yourself so quickly.

thecasualperfectionist.com said...

Personally, I'd wait to see what else is out there. Something closer and for a little more money would be best, and who knows? (I could see accepting a position involving a bigger commute if the pay was awesome, but if both the pay and the commute are less than stellar, I'd hold off...) It may be just around the corner... Good luck!!

Tali said...

You should go with your gut, but I personally would lean towards waiting. It sounds like you have many opportunities, and I've learned from experience what a pain commuting can be. That's 3 hours of every day right there!

kirby said...

I'd go insane with that amount of travel. And you're right.. it seems pointless to take a job that's paying you the same, then spend a full day's wages on travel. If the point is to get ahead, I'd wait it out.

janet said...

My immediate thought is No Way. The whole point of going there is to have a great quality of life. Commuting that far sounds like a disaster. Sorry if that's not what you wanted to here. I'd hold out for something closer, surely there are nice schools all over.

Julz said...

I ignored everyone's comments, just so you get my own opinion that hasn't been swayed by anyone. :) I say wait it out. Sure it's terrifying waiting and not knowing what your future holds, but I reckon the outcome will be better than you having to commute such a long way and getting average pay. :)

Miss A said...

You know what I would do? I would go with my gut. And if my gut tells me to hold off, then hold off.

As a commuter with experience, if you aren't in the right mindset to do it, then don't - it can make your life a misery if you really aren't 100% set on what you are doing is the BEST you could have done.

I think I am probably leaning towards what you are leaning towards

Whatever that is. :-)

LaLa said...

I cannae be bothered to read everyone else's comments but am going to put in my own 2 cents worth.

Hold off.

You can use a computer and are a nice friendly person so you can always get temp work anyway, so try to get something closer to home.

Nice new layout! xx

grungedandy said...

You might want to send me a private email on the answers to these questions!
Where are you living?
Where is the school?
There are a number of transport changes going on at the moment in and around London due to the bloody Olympics!
90 mins might seem ok but I can tell you when the transport goes wrong it can really go wrong and if you've got loads of books to carry it can be a bloody pain!
Good teachers are hard to find, from what I can tell from reading your blog your good. I know there is a drive at the moment for "ethnic male teachers" especailly in primary schools as there is a shortage but it will take a while to train enough of them. And I think someone mentioned it you can always temp.
Anyhoo I think you already know your answer or you wouldn’t be asking us to confirm it! GO WITH YOUR GUT.

Seeya hugya *G*

Nilsa S. said...

Congrats on the offer - says a lot about you if they're willing to give you an offer sight unseen. In the States, it's not uncommon for people to accept a job and then quit once they find something better (even if they haven't yet started that first job). Not the most ethical behavior, but it does happen. Guess it all depends on how you feel about the risk of taking a job now that's not ideal versus not taking the job and the risk of not getting an offer later.

The Mouse said...

I would decline. As much as the principal and the school are lovely, the commute is not, and that's a significant factor to be considered. For me, the long commute with many changes will eventually outweigh the loveliness of the school. 90 minutes is a LONG way there and back and I would be tired and grumpy, to be frank.

I'd wait till you get to London and start meeting up there. I've no doubt you'll be snapped up at a lovely school much closer to home.

PS: I love your new blog layout! So pretty!

Viviane said...

I would probably keep looking. The commute sounds like it will be a pain in the ass, and you have several interviews set up already so it is not like that will be the only job offered to you.

Marriage-101 said...

I'd hold off.

Margaret said...

Like everyone else. I think you should wait to see what else is available when you get there. That might also give you a little bit of breathing room so you don't feel like you're rushing a wholee lot of life.

Virginia Gal said...

If you have to be at school at (assuming) 8AM - that means you have to be out the door earlier than 6:30 - yikes! A 90 min commute seems a little excessive, even if it had no changes. I'd definitely hold out for something with less of a commute.

Plus, I'm sure you and Jason could come up with a better way to spend those 3 hours together, right?

natalie said...

90 minutes each way is a LOT of time. Even if you do enjoy reading. I'd hold out until I got there, and if it is meant to be, then when you get there and complete all of your interviews it still sounds like the most attractive offer and it is still available, there you have it. I like the new look!

The Underpaid Princess said...

I would wait it out. I know it's scary not to have a job, but you don't want to jump on the first offer just to have something. It sounds like it might be more advantageous to find something closer to you that pays better.

You blog is beautiful, BTW. Love the flowers!

Virginia said...

It sounds like you've already sort of made up your mind, and I think in a situation like this, you have to go with your instincts. Sure, it'd be really nice to have a job all lined up before you leave for the UK, but the commute does sound horrible and if the pay isn't so great, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it. I've no doubt you'll find an even better job that will be closer to home and pay more! I think in this circumstance, keeping your options open a bit longer is definitely the wise choice.

All that being said, it feels pretty great to be offered a job, doesn't it? Congrats!

And I love the new blog look!!

Ree said...

I'd change my blog template again. Oh, wait. Sorry.

Unless the position is sooooooo you and exactly.what.you.want, you have to weigh the 'issues' against the benefits. Sounds like, although it's a nice position, you're not justifying the commute (which, if it was perfect, you would.)

So, if I were you, I'd wait.

Katie said...

I would probably decline the offer. You'll find something else - something easier to get to. Coming from someone who had to travel 3 hours a day and pay $12 to get to and from university - travelling time and money does add up and it's not something you want to be struggling with!

The offer however, just reinforces the fact that you WILL get offers and you WILL find a great job. I just don't think this one is the one - when you find the one you'll take, you'll just know. There won't be hesitation, there won't be 8 transport changes to do!

LW said...

I'd wing it and head over and then suss it out on arrival. Its part of the thrill of going over I think, letting life just fall into place as you go. Good luck!

Kristabella said...

Ooooh, pretty new design!

I would hold off. As someone who has had horrible commutes, I advise against it. It will be OK at the beginning, but after a few months, your nerves will be shot and you'll not be a pleasant person.

Plus, teachers are always needed, so there is no need to jump at the first offer, especially if you're not 100% sure about it.

Laurel said...

Definitely wait for a better offer! I know that you'd love to have the job situation pinned down, but this does not sound like the "right" position to me. You're so fabu, Aly, you can do better!

Katie said...

I used to commute two hours each way for my first job out of college and it was complete hell. It made me so stressed out and I could never really stay after work for a happy hour because my commute took so long. It will get old very, very quickly.

nicheplayer said...

I'm not sure what I would do, but I'm fairly certain Burt Reynolds would tell them to take their job, roll it up real tight, and shove it. FWIW.

katelin said...

I don't really know what I would do either, I'm not very decisive. But I think once you weigh your options you'll be able to figure something out.

pps. I love the new background!!! :)





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