A reader needs YOUR help! Please weigh in on her dilemma.
Dear Miss Pink Slip,
Now they want me back???
It’s been about three months since I was laid off. From hearing the words “we’re cutting back, and we won’t be able to afford your salary” to the roller coaster of emotions that followed, it’s been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. First, I wondered, “why me? Do they value me less than my colleagues?” Then, I began scanning the job sites religiously, looking for something…anything was better than scrapping by on a measly unemployment check that doesn’t even cover the mortgage. After three months of relentless job searching and networking, I’ve scored a couple interviews, but still no full-time gig. I’ve felt sad, depressed, anxious, nervous, helpless and finally, after a few months of going through all the emotions, I’ve come to a place where I’m actually…should I really say it…happy!
I’ve learned to enjoy the small things again, like cooking, organizing my closet, watching “Oprah”, working out, spending time with my family, actually getting a good night sleep — all the things I was constantly trying to fit into my schedule to no avail when I had a full-time job. I’ve also had time to do some soul searching and realized I was really unhappy. My former boss was, well…in three words, “Devil Wears Prada”. I worked crazy hours and I felt unappreciated. I was burned out, to say the least.
I’ve finally come to a place where I’m thankful I was laid off. I’ve been doing freelance work and even considering starting my own business. Then, today, I get a phone call from my former boss:
“How are you? We miss you around here! It’s not the same without you.” Blah, blah, blah. This is what your previous employer is supposed to say, right? And of course it feels good to be missed since you wonder if they even thought twice about laying you off. Then she dropped the bomb: “We’d love for you to come back and help us. Can you work on a part-time basis?”
Now I’m stuck between continuing to collect my unemployment check while searching for a job I actually like, doing some freelance work and seeing if I can develop that into a business, or returning to a job I hate because, to put it bluntly, I need the $$. I mean, it’s part-time, so I could continue to do some freelance work, right? But, after three months, I’m actually happy. Do I put up with the emotional turmoil and drama that comes along with the job for the paycheck? Then, of course, there’s the question: does part-time really mean part-time or will it turn into full-time with part-time pay? If that happened, I’d have to put my foot down and possibly quit, which would mean I’m not eligible for unemployment benefits. It’s like the boyfriend you know you shouldn’t go back to, but the sex is so good.
I’m torn. Any advice would be much appreciated.