Thursday, May 10, 2007

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

All this talk of job satisfaction around the blogosphere makes me think about what I want to be when I grow up.

Some days I really want to be a stay-at-home mom, with a gift box and a deep freezer and a crockpot. On these days I want to make lunches in brown bags and stock from scratch. I want to shop yard sales and drive carpools and swap recipes with the other moms.

Other days I want to be an MBA, sleek and besuited and bountifully compensated. I want to buy an apartment and a beautiful dining room table for that apartment. I want to invest like a busy investing bee and have millions of dollars. And then I want to quit and write a novel or something.

Yesterday I looked at jobs on There's a position open at one of the organizations I tutor with, and I thought about applying for it. The organization is badly run at present, which is both a concern and a challenge. I thought about how the problems I solve at my current job mostly involve bureaucracy and overnight shipping and formatting things and how the problems in that job would involve far more interesting things, like making a volunteer program work well. I thought about being able to walk to work in the morning, and never having to take the rush-hour train. I thought, too, about the fact that I'd be able to negotiate a new starting salary, one which even from a non-profit would almost undoubtedly be higher than my current salary. I thought about my vague plans to go to grad school, and what that timeframe might be like, and how much of a chance it would give me to try the new job (for which I think I'm a strong candidate, actually).

I don't like my job that much. I just...don't. It's not challenging and it's not interesting. I have one project that I'm invested in, and that's it. But I've built so many plans on top of the platform of this job that it's difficult to seriously contemplate leaving before those plans are completed--before I've saved the amount of money I want to save this year, for example. And I hate, hate, hate the thought of using up the emergency fund I've worked so hard to build.

But the other name for my emergency fund is the Freedom Fund, and the whole idea is to let me do things that are good for me even if they cost money.

So I think I am on borrowed time at this job. Ideally, some new and fascinating job will pop up around September, when I'll reach the one-year-served mark and can respectably quit. But should I be worried about when I can respecably quit? Shouldn't I be more worried about the way I feel of a Thursday afternoon (to wit, drained, bored, and frustrated)?


SF Money Musings said...

Have you looked into freelance writing or thought about pitching ideas for a novel?

My coworker is working on publishing his first novel - a mix of sci-fi and religion. It's mind boggling how much work it takes to pitch an agent but it pays off in the end. There are a few other food bloggers who are writing their first cookbook based on their blogs.

I know how frustrating a job that's boring and uninteresting - I'm sitting at a desk staring at numbers all day. I read how it looks bad to jump ship too soon or even after a year but people do it all the time - for money and opportunity. If you don't do it for yourself, no one else will.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

plonkee said...

If you were asking for advice, I'd suggest that you went for this other job. Its unlikely to harm your standing where you are now, and if they like you they'll offer you the job and you can decide then.

Its probably more important not to keep changing jobs every 6 months than it is to do it once.

beth said...

I agree that if you've found a job you think sounds more interesting, to go for it. I regret staying in this job this long, and I'm looking to move on, but I'm just not sure where I'm going to go.

HC said...

It doesn't hurt to apply. And if you think it would be an amazing match, it might not hurt to pursue it.

At the same time, I maintain that even the most fulfilling jobs will have periods of boredom and frustration. So while I've never been a hiring manager, I think I'd prefer to see that year of toughing it out on the resume.

So I guess I'm left with: Drop in the application. See where things go. If it looks like an offer might be forthcoming, have a long talk with someone in your current office/field about the ramifications of leaving.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it takes employers a frsutratingly long time to hire new employees (esp. in a chaotic office). So, there is always the chance that by the time you interview for the job and they hire you that you may have been at this job a year.
On another note, I think styaing at a job for a year is overrated. Especially, if it is your first job out of college. This is a starter job, to find out what you like in an office.

GradGirl said...

I have no advice, just this comment: posts like this make me feel like I know you and we're friends. I SO understand this situation.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

You know, the career and the SAHM thing are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Once you have kiddos, they are really only young for 5 years, then into school they go. You do lose time in the job market professionally etc, but you can have one, then switch to another, then switch back or even on to a third. You don't have to do the same thing forever.

heck, I was an Army Officer for 11 years, now a SAHM for almost 3, and who knows what I'll do next. . . .

I will say this, keeping the debt down intially and trying to spend a few years putting away money and taking a job that paid the bills and gave me good opportunities for advancement (ie the Army in my case) set me up to be in the position I am now where I can make many different choices.

MissGoldBug said...


I am going through the exact same thing. Its tough... I switch back and forth between what I am capable of and what is comfortable. Its a breeding ground for apathy, that's for sure.

I have the same dreams, too... between a Mom and the Board Room. Ah, wouldn't it be lovely to have both? Maybe we can?

It will be interesting to see how we both turn out. Only time will tell-which isn't very comforting, is it?

Keep posting on it...



baoerji said...

wow gold
wow gold
eve isk
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
warhammer gold
warhammer power leveling
bestchina traveland
UGG Mini
UGG Sundance
Tiffany Accessories