Job Woes

 Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Y'all ready for some good old-fashioned, stream of concious blogging? Good, because here it comes.

I work as an entry-level administrative assistant at a state employer.

And I don't know how I feel about it.

There are so many perks to my job, honestly.

  • It's super low-stress. I kind of hide out in an office and get to listen to podcasts, etc. all day while just doing paperwork. 
  • Wonderful supervisors. It's a bit up in the air at the moment, because my immediate supervisor just left. But, the head of our department is great. She's very understanding and committed to ensuring her employees are able to maintain a good work/life balance. 
  • Because of the above two things, it's really easy for me to adjust my schedule as needed. Whether it's to pick Babycakes up from daycare if she gets sick, or take time off for exams, I've never been made to feel bad about having to be out.  
  • I have good benefits. My pay is low (see con list below), but that's partly because I have a lot taken out of it, like good insurance, retirement, etc.

But. I do often feel like I am coasting, and I'm not sure I like that. 

  • The job requirement is only a high school transcript, which makes me feel like I'm not living up to the degree that I did earn...why am I going for a graduate degree when I'm not even using my first one? 
  • I get paid the lowest possible amount allowed by state law- and it was an improvement when our governor defined that amount last year. I want to ask for a raise, but because I work in the education is limited, and budgets are adjusted based on enrollment and test scores and athletics and etc.
  • There is no clear path for advancement. I know it's possible, and because the organization is so big there are a ton of opportunities somewhere...but I'm not sure how to get a raise/promotion in my department, and I'm nervous to move out of the department because of the above mentioned great supervisors.
 So...I am torn. Do I try to get my grad degree and hope something in my office comes up? Do I try to find another position in a different department that pays more without me having to get another degree? Or do I just enjoy what I have and see what happens?

The last option is the most appealing, and the most unappealing.

There is something deep inside me that thinks just enjoying my life, playing with Babycakes, investing in my home, being an active part of my community, and reading for pleasure feels amazing.

But there's also a sense of wanting to move forward. I am a standard gifted millennial. I'm supposed to be hustling, right? I'm supposed to be changing the world.

So...settling for a pretty generic job feels like...settling.

 I'm not sure if I'm worried about disappointing myself, or anyone else. 

Also, I struggle of how to value Hubby's job. The reality is, he makes more money and has a much clearer path to advancement. But, his hours are wonky and for him to succeed, I really need to have the flexibility and understanding that I have in my current job. Correction: for him to succeed, aka for our family to succeed without causing internal family damage, I/we really need the flexibility and understanding that I have in my current job. Looking at it as a family unit, it's much easier emotionally and beneficial financially for his career to be the priority.

That's logic, but as a somewhat rant-y leftist feminist it's also annoying. 

It's also annoying on the aspect that I did things one way, he did them another, and his way turned out to be better. Don't we all feel that way when we see someone doing something better than we did? Like, I'm happy for him, but it also highlights my failures a little in my mind (not his, he's great, this is a purely internal struggle). It's basic jealous for his clear path- jealous isn't the right just highlights an insecurity. Jealousy implies I want what he has, in a way, or I think he has something that I want....that's not accurate. I love him, I'm super proud of him, he is great at what he does. It's just that I feel inadequate...because comparison is the thief of joy.

On the other hand, I've championed the idea many times that feminism means allowing options rather than forcing a specific path. Feeling stuck at a job is not better than feeling stuck at home.

Also, I do believe that as that gifted millennial type, my generation has become really focused success to the point where I feel like it's more harmful than good.

So it's hard for me to figure out how to balance between not doing too much and not enough.

And maybe I can just push for a raise or small promotion with my boss. I don't know. I don't really want to have that conversation, but I also know it's probably useful.

So...there's my job woes. It's a lot of back and forth. Pros and cons to everything.

I am trying to wait until August to really decide something regarding if I want to continue school. Right now I am taking a summer class, and doing 14 weeks of work in 5 weeks is rough. Even if I am taking the "easiest" summer's still work. So maybe after two months off, I will feel ready to go again. I don't know.

But I also know that I have finally started to find happiness outside of school too. 

And that's nice but weird...I've been upset over not getting into graduate school and my "dream career" for so long. Now that I have gotten into a program...I am glad I've proved to myself that I can do it, but I am no longer sure I want to do it.

And if I could be more positive that it would definitely allow me a position that is more financially beneficial and still family-friendly, I would feel more purposeful...but nothing is a guarantee. And I don't like the idea of wasting my time and money (even "just" the cost of books is still a few hundred dollars a year) for something I'm neither passionate about or can truly count on.


  1. Personally, as a former coaster... I miss that life. Going to school and working and being busy does not feel like success. It is painful. If I was you, maybe once BC goes to school, then try the school route? Enjoy the time while you can. She'll get more busy as she gets older and then you'll have the time.

    I felt unfulfilled in my current job, I wanted to do more. More that NO A SINGLE PERSON was asking me to do. Everyone at my job was happy with where I was. They do like that I'm going to be able to do more eventually, but it was not required of me. I think, like you, I struggle with the lack of doing SOMETHING/ANYTHING. I feel like our generation, especially women, are pressured to feel like we always need to be accomplishing something. We're never satisfied with WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED! As women, we have all the opportunities now, we should take advantage of them, blah blah blah.

    But I've never spoken with a man who said, yeah, I finished my degree and thought I should keep working harder. They finish their planned degree program and go to work and maintain certs maybe and they work and go home. Maybe some do extra-curricular activities, but I've never heard a man say these types of things... at least to me. Maybe the feel the same way.. I wouldn't know.

  2. I am not a hustler or overly ambitious. I need a good work/life balance that pays the bills and a flexible schedule. I have never felt some sort of way about it. I think you have the drive or you don't, and either is fine.

    Feminist me also just wants open options.