I have hit a milestone! I received my first job offer in over 3 years. It came as a surprise because I had interviewed for the job almost 2 months ago and been told they went with someone else. I was crushed and disappointed at the time because I thought the interviews had gone well. It was the first time I felt comfortable interviewing (thanks to my coach) and I clicked with the team.

I was surprised to get the email from HR asking if I was still interested in the position. The team really liked me, they added another position and wanted me to join, so even though I got passed up the first round they added another position and I was flattered they came back to me.

It has been exciting to have this breakthrough. I know my momentum has shifted since I hired my career coach and I got the yoga teaching job and things have been falling into place with creating training programs. I have made progress with some of the opioid programs I want to grow and expand. So much has been happening that I understand that this is the shift I have been waiting for the opportunities to make my mark in the world professionally.

I told HR that I was interested in learning more and asked what was the offer. I had questions about the salary and benefits she sent to me. Meanwhile, someone was being copied on the emails who eventually revealed himself as my hiring manager. He wasn’t the hiring manager when I had interviewed two months ago and apparently a lot had changed since then. I asked for a meeting with him.

At some point in our conversation, he asked me about what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years. He meant it sincerely, it was a valid question.

For some reason my eyes swelled up with tears. I wanted to tell him about the rollercoaster of life I had gone through, (my first blog) but I knew it wasn’t appropriate. I felt defensive, ashamed for being unemployed for so long. I am an emotional person and I couldn’t contain myself. In hindsight, it was probably the disappointment that something about this job was not right for me.

After meeting with him and investigating the position carefully, I decided not to take the job. At the top of my list of non-negotiables are that I want to be outstanding and do something profound, I want to make a difference, I want a mentor, chemistry is very important and I want to be compensated as a valued member of the team.

Through my process of asking questions and investigating the company, overall, this job did not meet my criteria. The person I would be reporting to had two full-time executive jobs including the clean-up and recalibration of the cadence of this office after some turnover and recent leadership changes so mentorship was out of the question.

I realize he had to say that everything was under control when I already knew, that wasn’t the case but transparency would have sat better with me. I would have been more than happy to work hard to get things under control. I am highly qualified for the job and with my experience, I would have been able to hit the ground running.

Doing something profound in this situation could have been getting things under control, not exactly the profound impact I had in mind but it could have been a pass on my list of non-negotiables.

More importantly, I didn’t feel I was being valued and that is crucial for me in how I perform and experience job satisfaction. I’m not being petty, I’m being human. I pointed out to him about how I felt about being valued was not in line with his offer. It was uncanny how quickly his countenance changed when I brought up salary.

It was the elephant in the room, the offer they had given me was at the lowest of the range I had been told when I applied for the job, in my first conversation with HR and even then, I figured it could be negotiated later, once they realized how awesome I was and fell in love with me working for the company.

I was taken aback at how his body language changed from pleasant to disdain. He was irritated that I called out his low salary offer and he countered that he was offering market rates. I have been out of the market for a few years, I have over 20 years of experience and I recently obtained an advanced degree, that he was offering me significantly less than I was making before, did not add up.

He did nothing more to negotiate a better offer than ask me what I thought was fair. He didn’t go back and say, “Oh shit! What were we thinking, that is on the low end of the range, it must be a mistake.” It became clear that he didn’t feel my awesomeness and wasn’t in love with me….I told him I needed to think about it and get back to him.

I did not appreciate being valued as an entry level employee and not having my experience acknowledged. This was the encounter I needed to see the truth of the situation. This was a test of chemistry that I wanted and there it wasn’t. I didn’t have his respect. That was not a good foundation to build upon.

I left the meeting with a bad gut feeling and disappointed that this wasn’t “the” job or the end of my journey. I have been trying to be patient, but I’m really getting tired of this particular challenge in my life. I know I’m supposed to be enjoying the journey, but it’s getting old and I’m growing impatient. Which informs me that there must be a learning opportunity here.

There has been a recurring theme of not feeling valued in my life. I didn’t feel valued in my marriage or my last job and I didn’t feel valued in this job offer. If this is a pattern, how do I break it? It wasn’t always this way. It happened over many years.

My take on this most recent experience is that the universe wanted me to make the decision and take my power back. Alignment feels powerful. I gave myself the night to sleep on it and see how I felt about it in the morning and my gut reaction was the same. I sent out a thanks, but no thanks response and the relief was a sure sign that I had made the right decision.

I have grown. In the past, I would adapt and try to make it work. If I did that, the other things that really mattered to me would take a back burner and be forgotten. Now I get to keep working on those projects, chipping away and networking more so that I may experience my most fulfilling reality. I spend a lot of time networking, that is my work right now, in addition to writing which brings me joy and clarity.

Right now, I feel more satisfaction as a yoga instructor being appreciated (doing something profound, making a difference and being involved with my community where I am loved and honored) for what I do than not valued as a pharmacist. My intuition is guiding me forward in the right direction. This won’t be the last job offer or opportunity. Therefore, my job search journey continues. I’m ready for what’s next!