My working arrangements are not standard. DefTTC and I have our own consultancy, but really it’s just a mechanism for us to bill on our contracts. We don’t actually do much to build the business, get new clients. I have one main client (in fact they are the only company I have done any work for in about a year) and I work on three projects for them which works out to four days work a week. I love this arrangement, it’s been pretty secure and yet provides me a lot of flexibility. I work Monday to Thursday, have a long weekend every weekend. I start work at 6.30 and am normally am on my way home by 3.00pm, which means I have a decent afternoon still and with Def TTC working from home it means we get to have tea/coffee together in the afternoons and catch up each others day before getting into the cooking dinner etc etc etc. Add to that I earn a good salary and LOVE what I do. I mean it is all great.
Since we started TTC I’ve been wondering if really I shouldn’t be looking for a permanent job. I’m worried that when I take maternity leave they won’t renew my contract and I won’t have a job to go back to. What I do is a fairly specialist are and I’m not sure there are that many jobs around, especially in Cape Town and not sure many would pay me the rates I earn now. I know it wouldn’t be the nicest thing to do, to take a new job just so you have some security around maternity leave and pay and a job to go back to, but this journey could still take ages, so while I may join and fall rpegnant straight away, I may still not be pregnant years from now. And companies can’t discriminate against me on the grounds of being pregnant.
Anyway about a year ago the company I contract to (my main client) offered me a permanent job. I was totally ready to jump at it until they showed me the package they had in mind – it was a 20% pay cut. Now I know you take a pay cut to go permanent, it’s the cost of some security, but 20% – honestly? We left it at me being on a contract but with them understanding that I would LOVE to work for them, but need a certain level of income.
So last Friday the head of the division sends me an email saying she wants a meeting with me. Which we had yesterday. She wouldn’t tell me what it was about leading up to it, so you can imagine how my mind ran wild. But for a fairly large part I was fairly sure they would offer me the permanent job again, but at (hopefully) a slightly better salary. So I was stunned to say the least when she tells me that actually they have advertised for a permanent person to do what I do. She reassured me not to replace me but to add to the team. She did say I was welcome to apply for the job, but in that tone that didn’t convince me she meant it? I said I would love to apply and she said that they wouldn’t pay me the rate I was after. I said that I had always been willing to negotiate that there could be a middle ground and she half heartedly said we could look at it again.
So I left the meeting and went to look up the ad they had placed. And when I read the job description, it is totally my job!
So I find myself on the verge of IVF feeling very insecure about my income, having to consider sticking it to a new company by (hopefully) getting pregnant shortly after joining or taking a significant pay cut to take my current job – if it’s actually on offer to me? Not the place I wanted to find myself right now while we are trying to save as much as possible and I’m supposed to be avoiding the comfort eating and getting healthy and staying ‘relaxed’ in preparation for our first ever cycle. And delaying the cycle is simply not an option in my mind, unless it’s because the new SA results come back so awesome that the docs says we can try naturally!
On a happier note, my countdown calendar is filling up. Thanks for the ideas and keep them coming.