Please expect this blog to become a little narcissistic these days but it won't be depressing. Clare's getting stuck into her new business about which I'll say more another time. And I'm madly applying for jobs.
Today I had a second interview with the Baptist Community Services. Nope I'm not religious but my gorgeous and yet-to-be-met blog friend Gaye told me about them and a position that was advertised for Office Manager. Close to home, worthy cause who coordinate respite carers for people of all ages and abilities to give their home carers a little break. I was heartbroken to hear stories of 10 year olds looking after parents with severe disabilities. Sons and daughters giving full time care to their parents with Alzheimer's or dementia and families of the severely disabled (intellectually and physically) not being able to get a break when they need it. Even whilst sitting there, calls were coming in that wrenched my heartstrings. People who just needed a little break from their 24 hour charges.
This organisation is Federally funded to allow disabled and aged people to stay in their own homes rather than become institutionalised because they are cared for by members of their own family. The Government motive isn't so noble. It's cheaper to have granny at home than in an institution or mum who's had a stroke in her own house than in some residential care. But care the BCS do. It was their value statement that really appealed to me and made me apply for the position in the first place. Imagine, being paid to help people who need help.
It was the perfect job. Administration Manager. Close to home. Good cause. Nice people. So the first interview went well. Bear in mind, I haven't been to a formal interview since 1997. I really liked the women on the panel and after an hour and a half of very gruelling questions although never intimidating, we closed and shook hands and I walked away thinking that I might really like to work for this mob. Great values, good community service, friendly workforce . . .
I was asked to go back for a second interview today to meet their Community Manager, a sort of older version of Jennifer Byrne. Happy, smiling, slightly nervous but clearly capable. All went well, we talked - honestly, we laughed, we agreed that I'd be great for the 'culture' of the place. We asked and answered questions and we agreed that it was indeed a relaxed and family friendly place to work where all 'chipped in' . There was even a 'family friendly' day off each month.
Finally, the money question. How much would you expect to be paid. They knew my current salary and the salary provisions were complicated. Because it's a charity, they offer a credit card with a tax free limit, higher than the minimum tax free threshold then a taxed income. The bottom line $47,000 . . .my face dropped, their faces dropped. I 'ummed' and 'arrghhd' but there's no way I could take almost a 50% drop in salary. They were offering less than that offered by temp agencies for junior receptionists but admitted that their hands were tied by bureaucracy and they could offer no more.
So . .after all the excitement . . I was interviewed, called back . . hopefull but cannot accept a job with such a low salary. Had I a partner, a breadwinner, I'd have done it for the job not the money but I don't. I have commitments and bills and debts and had to decline.
I feel great that I managed to be offered a job on my first foray into the big bad world. I feel great that a fellow blogger cared enough to give me a heads up on an organisation that I didn't know existed. I feel great that these two women encouraged me to keep applying for any jobs within their organisation knowing that they'd give me an endorsement. I felt great that I left them disappointed but understanding that they couldn't offer more even if they wanted to. I felt great that I've met two women with whom I can now network and meet in the shops and say "Hi, hows your Office Manager search going . . " Seriously, they were lovely.
I feel like shit that I can't go into work tomorrow saying "Hey, I found a job with great people, serving a fantastic cause, close to home and with a salary that matches mine . . !"
Ah well . . .the job search resumes. And Gaye . . you are a complete saint. Thank you so much for making me aware of this organisation and for pitching in for the job. Sadly, we won't meet over the reception desk at Seven Hills!