Monday, August 22, 2011

Money Can't Buy Happiness

So I'm back.  Back to blogging.  Back to housework.  Back to job interviews.  Back to being unemployed.  Back to trying to figure out what in the heck I want to do with my life.

I think I see a problem.  I've held a lot of jobs in my life: babysitter, office manager, test processor, curriculum writer, tutor, teacher, administrator and a bazillion other things.  However, I've never held a job for three or more years.  Never. Ever.  Not on purpose.  There were several jobs that I loved and would've gladly stayed in for years.  But most of the time in my life I end up being the person whose contract ends, the one who gets letters that says she's the most incredible worker and the best at her job and it's a shame she was RIF-ed.  And so this time around I wanted to find a job that I would be happy to stay in for at least three years, preferably five.

I don't know what that job looks like.

And the most difficult thing about being stuck in this place is that I don't know where I want to be in five or ten years and so I can't really plan what I need to do to get there.  With school it was different and I ran full steam ahead to reach the end of the road.  With students it is different because I can listen to them and then articulate what they want and the steps needed to get there.  When it comes to me I am stuck.

Someone once told me it was because I was good at doing a lot of different things and so I get distracted.  This may be true.

Last month, I went through an identity exercise, courtesy of my dear friend Jan.  She created My Brand of Teaching and designed a workshop called The Big Brand Build. Going through that process helped me define myself and my talents and see how I could utilize them in a number of fields.  It helped me see that I am valuable.  But now I need to figure out how that turns into a career and some income.

Today I had a job interview for a job I could do in a district I don't care about.  The job pays really, really well -- especially compared to my last job.  But it's a job with late hours at night so I'd never see my family.  There are other issues -- some major -- with the job as well, but the main problem for me is that I would never be home in the evening during the week (I'd get home around 10PM).  Now I do believe that a difficult job that leads to something better, something I'd love, is fine for short term.  But does this particular job actually lead to something better?  I don't see it.

Later this week -- on Friday -- I meet with a director of a new start-up about a possible job there doing something that I love and that I've been doing for the past couple years.  Being a new company, the pay might be low and inconsistent for the first year...or two...and so if I were just making a decision based on finances, I would choose the other job.  But I want some place where I'd be happy.  Some place flexible.  Some place where I can be effective.

And I still don't know where that is.

A number of people have told me "A job is a job."  But money can't buy happiness [and to my siblings, "Money can't buy knives."].

And apparently a doctorate still doesn't tell you what you want to be when you grow up.

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