Monday, January 16, 2012

How do you like YOUR desk?

Every January, raises are doled out here. And every year the process makes me question my worth in comparison to others. If I wasn’t one of the few in the company who can see every other person’s salary, I doubt the comparing would happen. But it does – because I do see. I can compare down to the penny. Sometimes that’s pretty uplifting and sometimes it’s the opposite.

Either way – when it’s all said and done – it’s a huge lesson in gratitude and in learning NOT to compare things that are not apples to apples.

You see, being a mother and a wife has never been enough for me. I suppose to some that sounds appalling but it’s not…it’s called honesty. I have always known that I’ve needed an identity that is all about me and my talents or skills. Something that labels me as someone other than woman, mother, wife, daughter, or friend.

I can easily admit that those terms above take priority over my career but still - I need them all.

I’ve always worked in the professional arena and always full time. I’ve always loved my jobs and the people I work with. I’ve always done “stuff” with numbers. Though I was a 4.0 student, I knew that any longer than 2 years in college was too much for me.

I was engaged right out of high school to Rambo. Almost the only thing I could think of was saying “I do” so I could finally live with him and be his wife. Two years of college was almost too much but I did it. I chose a technical college and I never paid a penny for my education due to grants. All three of my siblings have huge college loans that they struggle with so I never once doubted my decision. I never lost a job due to my education or lack thereof. I don’t make less than my siblings because of it.

And even though I knew I’d do something with numbers, I never really had a dream job. I never said, “One day I will be a ______ at _______.” or anything like that. I never, ever thought beyond having a good paying job that I loved. Period.

Until now.

I still have a good paying job that I love. A full-time job in a professional government arena that I excel at…which allows me the time and ability to work on my other two part-time numbers jobs.

It’s an amazing place to work with amazing people and benefits and flexibility.

But the thing is – I’m comfortable. I can’t make this job any more efficient than I already have. There is no more to do. There are no challenges.

I wonder if it’ll be enough forever. It is for now because my kids are young and I don’t have the ability to do and be more right now but how about long term? I could go back to college for free but do I want to? Am I too scared and am I letting that fear dictate where I go in life? Can I really accept that this may be the top of the corporate ladder for me? Can I learn to stop comparing my career to other’s careers? Can I figure out what I really want?

Do I want to do and be more or stay comfortable? And can I live with my answer?

I’m not sure. What I do know is that I appreciate the part of me that is willing to ask the question. Maybe I won’t change a damn thing or maybe I will. I’m just glad I allow myself to think about it. If I stay here for the rest of my life – I want it to be a conscious choice….not a choice made out of fear of risk or fear of leaving my comfort zone.

Today I think it fits. I fit in this spot right here at these three desks I’ve attained for myself.

Yup – for today. I’m good.

Are you?  Do you allow yourself to ask the question or are you afraid of the answer?


~Miss Lorie~ said...

I love my job. It is the one area in my life that I can say "I'm good at this." I'm just good at it!

Dinnerland said...

I've had a lot of maturing time this year relative to my career... I've realized that so much of satisfaction in that area is acceptance. However: acceptance doesn't mean you can't look for change either... confusing but true.

Robyn's Nest said...

I am asking myself similar questions. I have gone as far as I can without at least a BA; I am second in charge now. Even with degree, I could be skipped over for the top position because I work in a completely political arena.
I have found a college close to work that does 5 week semesters and I could take almost all my classes online.
It is deciding if it is worth the money I would spend and the loans I would take out and maybe never make anymore money.
My husband says to do it because you never know what will happen but I am just not sure it is worth the stress and money when I know I want to retire in 15 years anyway.... Why spend 4 of those years in college to prepare for the other 11? Ugh.

Darlin1 said...

I'm good at my jobs and I love my jobs.

I think it boils down to how we approach any job we do from cleaning the bathroom (the one I hate the most) to volunteering. If we give it our best ...then we're HAPPY and so is everyone else!

Justawallflower said...

I do allow myself to ask the question, but I am scared to death of the answer! I know I want more, and I have the education and grades to demand more, but not the experience or confidence to obtain that experience! I'm with in though. I'm a numbers girl, but do not know exactly what that means for my future. I know it will involve numbers, but not in what capacity. I guess one day I'll figure it out....

MandaPanda said...

Currently I feel as though my desk is too big for me. I just got promoted in November and I still don't feel that I know what I'm doing. I'm hoping I grow into it. I know this isn't my dream job but I don't know what that would even look like.

Lyla said...

I love my job, but my recent question has been-- do I HAVE to do exactly this to be happy, or could I open myself up to the possibility of change in the future if an opportunity came our way? Two years ago I would have said no way. Now I say, heck yes.

Security is so comfortable, and hard to risk, but sometimes to live your life to the fullest you have to sacrifice the comfortable known for the more risky, exciting new.

Michelle said...

I kind of feel like that with my job too. I like it, I got a master's degree to get it, it pays ok, but I feel like the skills I learned in school are already long forgotten and I'm just in the every day swing of things here. It pays the bills (if I could stop spending...) so I'm content until I can spit some kids out. After that I'd like to look for something that makes me think a little more.

FitBy40 said...

My youngest will be in kindergarten full time in September so I've been doing a lot of thinking about what's next for me. It's a weird feeling.
I don't know what I can picture myself doing every day. Maybe when the time comes, we'll both have figured it out!

MizFit said...

I looove my job.

affectionforfitness said...

I'm overly challenged in my job. I have to learn new complicated ideas all of the time. On the down side, I often feel demoralized about never feeling like I know enough. On the bright side, I am a woman who has used every electron of my brain from every angle.

:-) Marion

Laura Belle said...

I don't know, I could write a novel on here. So I won't. I'll just tell you that you'll know what to do when the time comes. To stay or to go. No more education or add more ed. You'll know.

Love you!

Miss April said...

I am a job hopper, I stay at a job for 1-3 years. I have been at my current job for 6 months and I'm already planning my escape, I will leave in about 2 years from now. Not 'escape' because it's a terrible job - I love this job, it fits me like a glove. But, I know in 2 years I will have the program up and running and someone who does not have my skills can come in and still make it work, I just need to get this new grant off the ground then I can move on.
As far as education, I will always say go for it. I come from complete and total poverty. I have 40 first cousins (Mom & Dad's side of family combined) who range from 20-40 years old and there are 3 of us who have advanced education. THREE. I'll never regret it, not even the student loans it took to get my Master's degree. It's something that can never be taken away from you. Education doesn't make you the smartest or best for the job - but it means you set a goal for yourself and you achieved it. That's the real message and ability that shines on a resume that shows advanced education.
Do what makes you happy. If you love this job and you are happy, then just Be happy to be happy and quit worrying! :)

Ice Queen said...

Why would anyone be appalled because you want more than being a wife and mother? A full life is about living your idea of what that means. If that means being a wife, mother and career woman, then that is right for you. Nothing in the least bit appalling about that.

It is about choices, my friend. And you are making the right ones for you.

About college: Your two year degree seems to be getting the job done. Why push for more, if you don't need it? There are a lot of people with Bachelor's and Masters degrees sleeping on their parents sofa and flipping burgers to keep body and soul together so I wouldn't stress over that. lol

I can't answer your last questions. Those have to come from within you. You will figure it out. :D