Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


The Problems of a Working Girl

I think I have a very common problem-My job. I just feel stuck. My job isn't bad. I get paid decently, I have great health care, and I have good vacation time. I will actually be getting my fourth week of vacation in January, because I will have been with my company for 10 years. 10 years! I cannot believe it! I’m only 27 and it’s crazy to think I've been with my company for so long. I started out part-time when I was going to school and moved into a full-time position before I finished. When I found out I was pregnant I was able to go back part-time with great hours and I loved it. A few weeks before Landon’s first birthday I went back full-time. Adam had just finished his first semester of his Master’s degree and we had incurred a lot more debt. I was lucky to be able to go back full-time and a decent job pretty much fell into my lap. It was challenging and a lot of little circumstances put me on a big account with lots of responsibilities. I've been able to use my brain and work pretty independently and overall I've enjoyed the last year. I've received a lot of positive feedback from my management for all my hard work and am currently trying to take the next step in moving up the ladder. But in doing that I feel like I'm making that decision to commit myself there permanently. I'm just not sure what my future holds and it's scary. I’m happy with the decisions that I have made up to this point. I stayed with my company because it’s always been a stable and steady job. While Adam has switched companies 4 or 5 times we've always known about what to except with my job.

However, over the last few months things have sort of changed that have made me re-evaluate my career path. Our volume at work has dropped drastically and I have become a little skeptical of some of the politics and upper management decisions that affect my daily work.This has affected my attitude and that's a BIG PROBLEM! I've felt very torn between staying with this stable company and trying to find something else; Something that I love. When I do though, I start to feel immature and selfish for excepting to love my job. My Mom never loved her job. She started out on the bottom and worked her way up. After working for over 35 years for the same company, she retired making more money in retirement than I do working a forty hour week. I have great respect for her and always think about her and her situation when I feel ready to give up. I know in a lot of ways I’m lucky and some day that could be me and usually that's enough to keep me satisfied, but sometimes it's not. Some days I feel like I can have more.

This yearning for more is also a sort of bitterness because I feel like I was sold a bill of goods in college. Everyone expects you to graduate high school and go to college. People say it doesn't matter what you major in, because you have plenty of time to figure out what you want to do and all that matters is that you get a degree. They say that with a degree you will be able to land a good job and frankly it’s just not true. Four years stuck in classes all day doesn't help a person figure out what they want to do. Real life and college are two completely different things and it won’t take long in the real world to figure that out. Graduating doesn't land you a good job and doesn't always guarantee you’ll have an edge in the one you have. I’m not saying college is stupid or never worthwhile, but I really wish I had someone that could have mentored me through the process better. Originally, I wanted to do travel and tourism and was enrolled at UofK. At the last minute I decided against going there and ended up getting my degree in Marketing from UofL just because it was safe. To top if off, I graduated with $15,000 in student loans. I realize it could have been much worse, but loans have also made me feel stuck. My company paid for most of my college until my last year and a half when I went full-time. I busted my butt working full time on nights and going to school only to graduate no better off with student loans. I know it may pay off one day, but the disappointment when I graduated (almost 5 years ago) has been hard to deal with and made me a little bitter at times.

So a few months ago I went to Sullivan to see what it would take to get an associate's in Travel and Tourism. It’s my passion and I felt it was worth looking into. Since some of my credits from my Bachelor’s degree would transfer over, I could get the degree in less than a year and it would cost about $21,000!!! Yeah that’s a private school cost for you. I feel sorry for the kids that get their full associates from them to the tune of $37,000. It’s a freaking associate’s degree! It’s so sad. College is such an important life decision so why are we forced to make it when we are so young and naive?

Along with all of this, there are so many unknowns for us right now. I guess in a lot of ways I can’t stand the “unknown”. I’m pretty type A and I like to plan things, organize, and be prepared. Right now I feel like my future is way too unprepared. Normally, I can live in today and not worry too much, but sometimes it really bothers me. Adam doesn't want to stay in Louisville because his career path is better suited for a bigger city. He’s actually been looking and we are open to moving anytime if the right job opens up for him. If possible, I would try to stay with my company, but depending on where we might move, I might not be able to. With my work experience I have a decent chance of finding a job with a different company in the same industry. To help prepare for all of this, I could become licensed in my industry. Being licensed would give me a huge step up and make it very easy to get a job just about anywhere. It’s not an easy license to get and would take a lot of time and studying on my part. I’m sure I could do it, but I’m not really sure I want to. Would moving to a different city give me a reason to a different job and possibly one I enjoyed? Do I need to stop whining and just be grateful? What’s the most important thing in a job for me? When I have stability I think it’s happiness, but who's to say when I have something I’m happy with that I won’t miss the stability and benefits? That’s the case with one my best friends. She followed her dream and is doing her “dream job” only to realize that there are some harsh realities with it. She has thought about going back to school to major in something else, but the high cost of the college she has just been left feeling stuck. It's the opposite of my situation, but the same feeling.

I wish I had a crystal ball and knew what the future held for me and my career path. I wish I knew which decisions were best for myself and my family. Part of life is the unknown, but sometimes the unknown is scary and overwhelming. I've come to realize that many people feel exactly the way that I do about their job. When you are young and going into college the world feels right at your finger tips, but at 27 I've started to feel like time is passing very quickly and I’m not necessarily where I thought I would be. Should I be happy with what I have? Probably, but I don’t know that it is wrong to want more. Not just more from a job, but more from myself. I am capable and maybe that's where part of the problem is. In order to help I've made a list of goals for myself in different areas. My career goals are to move up at the company I am with and then obtain my license. Hopefully if life moves us away I will be as prepared as possible to find a good steady job, but I will always keep myself open to possibility of finding something I love. If I do maybe it will be worthwhile and maybe it won’t. I guess only time and chance will tell.

1 comment:

  1. This post resonates withe how I felt this time last year. I was working for a boring company that paid the bills. Now I am half way done with my MAT and will graduate in December. I have always been one to believe that my passion and work were separated. Now I am truly going after something I cannot wait to do. I cannot wait to be in a classroom. I love school! Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. You should look into starting a little travel business on the side. You could probably do it right from your phone and computer. Follow your dreams, $$ is not everything!