What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?


Recently, topic I’ve been avoiding trying to think about—and definitely avoiding writing about– has been my job. I haven’t written about it yet because I’m not sure what I want yet. And this blog is about getting what I want, and the steps it takes/progress/obstacles I face on my way to said wants. But when it comes to my job, there’s a lot that I like about it. I have a great boss, nice co-workers and have a pretty low stress level- which are all great things! You know this, especially if you’ve ever worked somewhere where any of those 3 components have been missing. They’ve also been really great flexible with me when it comes to my 19-month-old son. He started daycare about 6 months ago and he was sick at least one day a week for what seemed like months. My boss set it up so I was able to work from home, when needed. I’ve also spent many a workday (after a sleepless baby-keeping-you-up night) thinking ‘I’m glad my job isn’t more stressful- I don’t think I could do this if I wasn’t able to auto-pilot my way through this day’.

Yes. These are all great things.


I’m also wondering if I’m stagnating here. I feel that I’ve mastered the job that I’ve been given. I can adequately handle most of what’s thrown my way and have been successful in learning everything that’s been required of me to complete any job tasks. I think that the problem is, is also the thing that I sometimes like about this job- is that it’s a small, local company. So if I want to learn something, I have to teach it to myself. If there’s a problem, I have to figure it out myself most times. It would be nice to be inspired by someone who was willing to teach me new programs, skills, ideas, etc.

One of the other problems is that there is a ceiling here. Since we are such a small department, there is nowhere to go. There’s no ‘marketing manager’ position to strive for- because there’s no one to manage but me. Which also brings me to the fact that there’s no way to get raises beyond the yearly cost-of-living or merit raises. Don’t get me wrong, I think that I’m paid adequately, and I work for a non-profit, so I know every $ counts. But still. When you don’t have that carrot, it’s sometimes hard to muster the gumption to pull the cart.

The 3rd issue is location. My job is about 30 mins from my house. Granted, we are hoping to move soon (slightly closer) but I still don’t love the area where I work. It’s a pretty industrial, blue-collar part of Portland- which is a really cool city! There are so many great neighborhoods that I love to eat, shop, explore in. But this. This is not one of them. The only time I’d been out here previous to working here was when I was lost and trying to find a gas station on my way home from the airport. So yeah. There’s that.

And I guess the 4th – and really the heart of the issue- is that I’m not sure of what I “should” be doing for work. Am I a “live-to-work” person? Or am I a “work-to-live” person. Right now my job is something that provides me with a salary, which allows me to pay all of my bills and do some of the things I want to do in my free time that are important to me. I like the hours, the flexibility with a young child, and the low-stress atmosphere. But this job is not feeding my soul. And I think I need to do some work trying to find out what does.

So, that’s where I’m at. Not really sure if I’m ready to move forward on this one… but not really sure I want to stand still, either.

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