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The 2nd interview

July 19th, 2012 at 11:54 am

I had my 2nd interview at the PR agency this morning. I think it went very well. Meaning, it was one of the more unusual interviews in that she let me know they liked me and made encouraging comments. She was very personable and friendly. Normally, I seem to get the kind that are a complete closed book, ask a lot of "trick" questions out of a textbook they read somewhere and give you no idea how you are doing.

By using a net pay online calculator, I determined that this job, which would start at just 2 days a week, would net me enough money to cover all my essential monthly expenses! Unless she hired me at the very low end of the pay scale she quoted ($30-$45 an hour). (And again, very unusual for the employer to tell you their payscale, for which I am supremeley grateful becus it will help me position myself if and when the time comes to negotiate.)

But back to my original statement: Working just 16 hours a week will cover my basic expenses.

Don't forget, i just paid off my mortgage, and only by having done so is it now possible for me to do this. For anyone out there who is not sure that prepaying a mortgage is a good idea, well, I think this is as good a reason as any.

It is completely liberating to, for example, have the freedom to bypass a high paying but highly stressful job, or one with a long commute or other disadvantages, for more modest pay and a better quality of life. This is what I have wanted to do for my entire life, it seems. Work somewhere because I want to, not because I HAVE to, to pay the bills.

If she winds up making me an offer, I don't have to get the very top end of their pay scale, but I do plan to push for $40 an hour, which I think is reasonable, given my years of experience.

In the not-so-distant past, I might have just accepted whatever they offered, especially if I was coming into it from a period of unemployment, but I have learned the hard way that you are really hurting yourself, in a really substantial way, for as long as you hold that job.

I mean, you can struggle and cut expenses to the bare bone, but if you just gather up the gumption to at least TRY to negotiate your pay, you could eliminate make your life so much easier. Successfully saving is not just about cutting expenses and depriving yourself of various comforts. It also means maximizing income. I have always been very, very good at the self-deprivation part but lousy at negotiating pay. And it's only been in the last few years that I have realized this.

Men, it seems, more naturally negotiate pay while women tend to be more passive about it. With my extensive copywriting experience, which the person who interviewed me complimented me on at the very start of our meeting, I could easily make a case to come in at the higher end of her pay scale.

When I say the job would cover my "essential monthly expenses," I'm NOT including any unusual home maintenance, the vet, retirement savings, eating out or clothing. So I'm talking very bare minimum.

If I get hired, at the pay rate I'm shooting for, then I would have an additional $421 left over each month. It's been a LONG time since I had that happen.

And I'd still have 3 days a week to do my freelance work, not that i get that much of it, but whatever I could make from it would be icing on the cake. Perhaps I could even contribute something to my SEP IRA again.

I also don't know if the unemployment office, when calculating reduced benefits for someone who works part-time, goes by amount of weekly income or number of hours worked. If they go by hours worked, I might still receive something additional for unemployment benefits, which again would be very helpful.

Once again, though, we are not in Nirvana, because in June 2013, my COBRA ends. If I don't have a full-time job with benefits then, I will have to pay who knows what for health insurance, and maybe it wouldn't cover my pre-existing condition, I don't know. I'd almost be tempted to self-insure, but it seems like a huge risk and not having any idea how long I might have to go without that salaried job with benefits.

The woman I met today said that everyone the owner has ever hired has always started out p/t. The owner had told me start at 2 days a week, with the idea of going to 3. Today's interviewer said that even if I went to full-time, though, there are NO benefits. They are a very small company, maybe 10 people, so they are exempt from laws requiring employer provision of health insurance. Most of the women who work there are on their husband's plan. (I wish I had a husband.)

She was unusually candid, which i really appreciated. She said the owner can be hard to work for becus when there's a project that's especially important to her, she can micro-manage and keep changing your writing a lot, so if take that kind of thing personally, she said, you probably wouldn't work well here.

She mentioned that because their clients are all government agencies, they don't have the kind of crazy deadlines or insane hours that many PR firms have. Of course, being a part-timer, I would just leave at 5, regardless. Although I mentioned I'd welcome more hours if she was willing to pay me.

It's a 45-minute drive. I hope to get an offer next week. Not a done deal, as I have no idea who the other candidates might be, but I think I have a pretty good shot at it.

13 Responses to “The 2nd interview”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Good luck! Nice to get good vibes from the interviewer!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    So glad it was a positive interview! Good luck.

  3. PNW Mom Says:

    Fingers crossed!

  4. Ima saver Says:

    I so hope you get this job! My fingers are crossed for you too!

  5. Thrifty Ray Says:

    keeping my fingers crossed for you...this sounds like a great prospect!

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    Good luck! This one sounds good on several levels.

    I wonder if Obamacare will be able to help you find a new plan in 2014. (Assuming it doesn't get dismantled before then.) There's this provision; don't know if it means what I take it to: "Effective by January 1, 2014: Insurers are prohibited from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on gender or pre-existing medical conditions."

    If that's to be taken at face value, and if opponents haven't figured out a way of overturning this law, it might mean you just have to limp along for 6 or 7 months in 2013. Of course that's a lot of ifs, and a LONG time to be uninsured or paying a gigantic premium.

  7. Swimgirl Says:

    Fingers crossed for you!

    Of COURSE it's a good idea to pay off the mortgage... but I do love what my step-sister and her husband did. They didn't want to miss out on that interest tax deduction, so they refinanced and bought matching Mercedes! Idiots! The Husband and I have been laughing at that one for years!

    Oooh, I SO HOPE the job works out! Sixteen hours would be great!

  8. patientsaver Says:

    CJ, yes, that's exactly what it means!!!!

  9. cheapiepoo Says:

    Wow...I hope you get this job. You so deserve a break!

  10. baselle Says:

    Good luck on the interview. It took me a long time to learn to negotiate pay properly (ie like a man). I talk smart but I still don't really have it perfectly down yet.

  11. Dido Says:

    Good luck--fingers crossed!!

    BTW if CT is like PA, unemployment benefits are based on earnings, not hours.

  12. My English Castle Says:

    Excellent interview! Ah, now I really want to pay off the mortgage.

  13. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    oh I hope this works out!!

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