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Author Topic: Life Decisions  (Read 7583 times)

Offline breezy03

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Life Decisions
« on: July 23, 2014, 08:15:43 AM »
So I've head a rough go of it with my application. I'm sure many of you can understand that. I got put on pre-medical hold in February and just received pre-medical clearance only to find out I don't really need it anymore? I am unsure if I am still under the old application process since that's what I applied for or if they've switched me to the new process. In April my app status got changed to Interview Cometed-Additional assessment. I've got no idea what that means. And then on my medical portal my status is Under Competitive Review. I emailed placement but all they said was thanks for updating them.

I was nominated for September. Obviously that's probably not going to happen now. But I can't help checking my email everyday because I have no idea what's going on.

My point is, I'm working as a temp at a huge company right now. But my boss just offered to take me with him to Chicago. This is a huge life decision. It involves relocating and leaving my family. How the hell do I make a decision like this when I'm still waiting to hear? I can't put my life on hold. I know that. But taking the job also seems like giving up. What if I take it and then hear back and have to turn around an move back home again?

Any suggestions or helpful comments?

Offline RPCVro

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 08:26:37 PM »
Those who applied and were nominated prior to June 1 follow the same system as before (medical and legal pre-clearance followed by invitation, final medical clearance and the background investigation). Invitations are issued a minimum of 4 months in advance (except in special circumstances like a training class being suddenly canceled).

I'm not sure which number you called, but for those who receive medical pre-clearance and want to make sure they're moving forward in placement, the number to call is 202-692-1845. I believe this is the number included in the legal kit you probably completed and submitted some time ago. I don't know what number you called before, but I've heard people get pretty clear information from calling this number.

The statuses changed because the new system went into place and they can't run dual sets of technology in the same portal. For people who were nominated/applied since June 1, the medical and legal clearances will occur AFTER invitation (they're not going away, just moving to a different point in the process). Unfortunately they can't just flip a switch and toss all the applicants who were in medical review already.

The reason there are two different portals (the application and the medical) is because they are two different systems used by Placement and Medical respectively in order to maintain doctor/patient confidentiality. These systems are linked only by the file status. I encourage you to call the number I provided in order to make sure your file's status has been updating correctly. Technology is not 100% fool-proof, unfortunately. Bugs happen.

As for advice about whether or not to take the job in Chicago, yeah, it's a big decision, especially not knowing what's coming down the road (or not). I sadly find myself coming up with inadequate suggestions as it's not a situation I've had to face. How soon do you have to let your boss know? What are the advantages of taking the job? Is it a job you really want/is it in your field? Will it benefit you financially? Do you really want to move away from your family for the indefinite future? (I'm assuming it's not a contract-term job offer). Why would you turn around immediately once you got your PC invite? To be with family? I remained full-time employed up until less than 2 weeks before my departure. Is this boss aware of your pending application to Peace Corps? Do you know anyone in Chicago with whom you could stay a month or two initially?

Offline Jimbagsh

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 08:30:04 PM »
 IMO, being a PCV is a calling. If a person isn't 100% committed, they will never have the perseverance to get through the tough days - and there are many tough days. If PC is just an "option", then I'd say go for the other job, and save the Peace Corps to another time. It will always be there.

Offline breezy03

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 08:38:46 PM »
RPCVro: Thanks for answering. I'm going to try the number you gave me tomorrow and see what comes of it. The questions you posed were also very helpful and have given me some more food for thought. It's also good to know that I haven't wasted the past four months getting pre-medical clearance.

The Peace Corps is definitely not just an option for me. I guess it's just getting difficult for me at this point because I've already put my life on hold for a year. I'm getting a little impatient at this point. I also really love my job. It's not in my field but it's opened up a lot of new doors for me and has been a great first job right out of college. I'm not sure I'll ever find such a good boss again.

It's just hard not knowing where I'm going from here. The plus side is that my boss does know about my Peace Corps application. He's known since I've started as a temp with him. I just got word today that he still has to write up my job description and then send it off for HR and that HR is going to take months with it before I actually have to accept or decline. I can only hope I can more information from the Peace Corps in the next coming months.

Offline shawn g

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 12:01:01 AM »
From what i understand there is no such thing as being loyal to  jobs. Just keep going on with life as normal. Take the job until you hear something about an invite. Just because you take a job doesn't mean you can't continue on with the PC application process. As long as you give your boss plenty of notice for them to find a new person to fill your position, there is no reason why you can't take the job and keep going with the Application process

I guess the question is: what do you want to do in your heart? Which way is your heart leading you towards? A guaranteed job that will get you a more comfortable income and a comfortable life of the luxuries that this country can provide or is you heard leading you towards something that is not very comfortable certain and well different. The first will make your own life successful and you will work to climb the ladder of success and eventually be comfortable a lot sooner than if you picked option number two.

I know PCV's may not help out their communities a lot. However, I know what life is like in a developing country is like. What you do may not change a country, however, it will make an impact on the people in your site. They will always remember you. You will make a special connection with someone most likely and you will be lifelong friends with them.  Yes it won't be easy, yes most of the time you will ask yourself what in the world did i get myself into? However, living in a developing country for an extended period of time will change your heart. It may not give you a passion to keep doing that type of thing with your life, but it will always have a special place in your heart. :)

This is your life do what you want to do with it, not what other people think is right for you to do with it. Think about what you want to do in this transitional period. This type of volunteer work isn't for everyone and i know that it won't always be easy. However, if you choose to pursue it then you will spend 27 months of your life on what could be one of the craziest adventures of your life.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do. I don't think anyone will blame you for choosing one over the other.

Julie

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 05:53:32 AM »
I too had to face a similar decision way back when, during my Peace Corps application process. I chose the new job but I also continued with the application process. My invitation came through about 4 months into my new job. So I resigned and moved forward with my Peace Corp commitment.

25 years later - one of the best decisions I made. Peace Corp was a life altering experience. Your new job opportunity may seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity but unless it truly is, you'll have plenty more 'great' job opportunities I am sure. But Peace Corps is an experience that's hard to replicate - truly a once in a lifetime experience.

I say be honest with your boss, thankful for the opportunity but clear with him what your goals are. He may not like your priorities but he will surely respect you for them!! You never know what future opportunities he may have to offer you after you return from PC. Two years goes by VERY fast!!


RPCVSVRK

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 07:59:04 AM »
I had to take a medical separation from my Peace Corps service only 6 months in. I had left a good job to serve, a house I owned, my dog, and, of course, my family and friends. It was emotionally one of the hardest things I have gone through. You will question any decision you make. Just keep in mind that a door is never closed forever. Neither for the job or for Peace Corps. In your hardest, darkest days of Peace Corps service, you might think about what you left behind and beat yourself up for it. But if you do decide to serve, I also know it will make you a better, stronger person for doing so (even in you have to leave 6 months in) and that is great to talk about with future employers. But think about it, if you think relocating to Chicago is a big deal, how will you handle the move to a developing country? Be honest with yourself. Don't let anyone, even yourself, shame you into any decision. You don't need anyone's permission to make decisions for yourself. It is your life. I have a brother who moved to Chicago recently and he loves it. If that is the "adventure" you choose for yourself, go and live it wholeheartedly and find a way to bring some Peace Corps spirit to Chi-town. Best of luck to you!

Offline breezy03

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 08:21:49 AM »
I think you misunderstand. Moving isn't a big deal in the way you guys might be thinking. I lived in Chicagoland for four years to go to college. I'm accustomed to leaving home and being away from my family. My point is moving all of my stuff, finding a new apartment...that stuff if hard. And I would like to avoid it if I'm just going to be leaving in the near future. In that case, I'll just find another job and say thanks to my boss. But, I don't know if I'm leaving in the near future and if not, I'd like to stay on with the company. Moving is a big deal and it means possible advancements in the company. Which is nice. But ultimately the peace corps is my end game.

It's nice to hear from people who understand. I tried to talk to my family but they just don't understand my need to serve. They keep pushing me to forget about it and not give up on what could be a great job. It's really nice to see all of your comments and questions.

As far as my family goes, I just think anyone who is family oriented will understand that if I'm leaving the country for two years, I would like to spend time with them first.

NikkiS

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 09:22:10 AM »
1) You shouldn't wait for something that is not certain; move forward in your life until you have to make a decision. You can always say no later down the road

2) PC Application - It sucks, it was a poor reflection of people's ability and knowledge; however, those who completed it had grit enough to serve

3) Other people's opinions about whether you should serve or work don't matter; at the end of the day, you are responsible for your own happiness

4) As much as RPCVs say that it was the best/worst experience in their life, the fact of the matter is, PC service is whatever you make it.

5) The whole thing about being 100% committed is baloney and frankly, it shows a lack of empathy for others and what they are experiencing. Nothing in life is 100% certain, you make the best choices you can when you have to make them.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!


Oyebimpe

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 09:36:16 AM »


Peace Corps as many have said is a life changing experience.. but  you can join at any point. Yes the process is long and you have been waiting but trust me that your job will understand even after you move to Chicago start and then say I'm going to PC. They will understand and if they don't it's ok.  Because it is your experience and your life..  So I simply say move... take the job you love.. make some money save some money and when Peace Corps calls.. then you make that decision. Having more work experience in a position you love is worth it for your sanity and for your resume... Peace Corps placement with or without changes  takes time.. Also if you are in middle of a great thing and the placement comes.. you can delay. As much as they don't want to say that.. You could as to leave at the next  group.

Thanks my two cents!  Life needs as many adventures as possible it makes you stronger and more able to adapt and be well rounded so go experience Chicago... You never know what it might bring to your life!!  Then Join PC you never know what that will bring to your life!

- O

Clemente

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 02:25:52 PM »


Unless you've done something like the Peace Corps, never pass up the opportunity.

Offline breezy03

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2014, 02:35:47 PM »
IM GOING TO BURKINA FASO!!! January 2015!!!!

Offline RPCVro

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2014, 05:24:30 PM »
IM GOING TO BURKINA FASO!!! January 2015!!!!

Congrats!!!!

Kirsten

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Re: Life Decisions
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 07:57:39 AM »
This is a personal decision only you can make. From my perspective, if you know that eventually your application will go through (you will get medically cleared, etc.) I say 100% do the peace corps. Jobs will come and go but Peace Corps is a once in a lifetime experience. The older you get, the harder it is to do Peace Corps ... relationships, mortgages, children, etc... can make it more difficult. Carpe diem.