My name is Michelle and I have a problem. I think I hate my job.
Well, wait a second – first and foremost, hate is a strong word. And secondly – I don’t think that I hate my job, I know that I’ve been pretty displeased with it for awhile. Work’s been reminding me of that bully from the playground. I take a beating and sulk, seem to forge a tenuous peace with said bully where I “share” my chocolate milk and then BOOM! I get sucker-punched again.
Did any of you ever get bullied when you were a kid? Remember how you would beg and plead with your folks to let you stay home from school? There was no excuse that was too feeble to try and escape what would be a sinister fate.
And that’s how I feel on the weekdays when it’s time to get out of bed. And I don’t whine and plead – I just stay in bed as long as humanly possible so I don’t have to face the day. (OK – that’s sounding rather pathetic …)
Last night the hubby and I had one of those wonderful late night talks where we just laid in bed and chatted without regard to the time. Unfortunately, I was grousing about work. But somewhere in the midst of griping, I was able to verbalize exactly what was wrong and what has been making me unhappy about my job.
Ready? Drum roll?
I don’t feel appreciated at work.
Some of you are probably nodding your heads as you read this – I might even get an “amen sister!” in your mental thoughts. And some of you probably echo this other thought that I have in my head – “So what? A lot of people don’t feel appreciated in their jobs, so suck it up and be thankful that you even HAVE a job.”
And maybe my biggest problem is that the feelings of inadequacy that I have with my full-time job split me into two parts. The first part of me is kind of meek, eager to please, thankful that I have this job in this economy and is willing to put up with however much shit I need to take to keep my job.
Well – then there’s my alter ego who has a healthy sense of ego. This is the swashbuckling ex-journalist who stared down danger, stood in the midst of storms to watch funnel clouds roll into small towns and was just a really big idiot most of the time. (At this point, my faithful readers have seen pictures of me – so hopefully you’re laughing at the idea that I was a swashbuckling ANYTHING. 🙂 )
The ex-journalist is still chafing over being admonished the other day for some snafu that was made after I arranged some travel plans. The ex-journalist is tired of going into my vice president’s office and trying to have conversations with said VP only to have him staring at a computer screen and barely acknowledging my presence.
The ex-journalist chafes at being an administrative assistant but recognizes that newspapers are really going into the shitter, so it’s probably good she got out while the going was good.
The ex-journalist is ready to quit. But the ex-journalist is trumped by the new wife who still has over $3,000 in credit card debt and the health insurance in the family. The new wife also has a healthy sense of responsibility and tries to remember that as much as I idealize my old life as a journalist, there were plenty of crappy things that happened while I was doing that as well.
What am I going to do?
Here’s where you can think I’m totally mental … when I left journalism, one reason that I left was to try and finish a novel that I was working on, hence fueling the cliche that every journalist has an unfinished draft of the “Great American Novel” in their bottom desk drawer. The other reason was that I loved my future hubby and wanted to move closer to him and convince him that I was the woman he was going to marry. (And ha honey! I was right … now to finish that novel.)
One of the reasons I don’t want to leave my current job is that I’ve finally started writing again and I don’t want to jinx the muse. Because as frustrated as I get with work, I know the precise amount of mental energy I need to exude to do my job competently. The rest of my energy, I put toward my life – my marriage, the novel, etc. I’m afraid that if I get another job, it will derail my tenuous progress because the energy will shift.
Another reason to not leave my current job – right now I have the health insurance in the family and will continue to carry said insurance until my husband is hired permanently. I don’t care how crappy the insurance is – it represents a buffer between responsibility and financial disaster if something should happen to hubby or I if we did not have the insurance.
So now that I’ve whined to all of you, what am I going to do about my current conundrum? I’d like to say that I don’t know what I’m going to do. But I’ve given this enough thought that I think I know exactly what I’m going to do.
I’m going to stick it out as long as I can. I’m doing this because I want to finish my book. I’m doing this because I have quit too many jobs (three newspaper jobs, one entire career) in the past nine years since I left college and I think that I have a tendency to bail when maybe I should stick things out.
But I’m not an idiot – I’ve recognized that I need to get myself out and network with other folks in case the time comes where I should find another job. When I worked in newspapers, I knew a lot of different people and had options. I feel like I’ve been out of circulation for the past three years. I’m thinking about joining a networking association for young professionals and I’m going to polish up my resume.
Aside from my crazy alter ego and my pie-in-the-sky dream to be a successfully published author, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there in this situation … what do the rest of you do?
(PS – Sorry this is long-winded. I think I have about a dozen drafts of this particular thought process and I’ve been holding some of my angst in for awhile. 🙂 )
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