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A big reason I have been MIA is because my job has become more demanding. But I am not complaining about that – I actually kind of like it.
I am one who gets cabin fever pretty fast at a job – may be why I stayed in retail so long. No day in retail is the same; once you get comfortable they promote you to a different location or position, or your staff suddenly quits on you. Every day was a personal challenge – can you beat last year's numbers? Can you change a customer's day? Can you better your sales, your training, your visual merchandising skills?
Well retail started wearing on my personal life and my body (anyone who works on her feet 50-80 hours a week can attest to that) so I knew it was time to move to the 9-5. Once I made that change I had more time for a social life, but I got so antsy.
I stayed at one job for a year and a month and then moved to another company. That second company I stayed at for almost three years, but for the majority of that time I knew it wasn't the best fit for me. Some nice people there, but I didn't see a future. I felt frustrated, isolated, angry a lot of the time. I know my attitude held me back, and also affected my coworkers in a negative manner. I was constantly looking for a new job, but nothing seemed better.
My current job I found on Craigslist, of all places. I took a day off work for the interview. My Ann Taylor suit was a little tight so I wore control-top pantyhose under it to keep the pants from splitting. I didn't understand what the company did, but I immediately liked the two men who interviewed me and the woman at HR. After my interview I had a “skipping school” event with some dear friends. We went to the now-closed Olives for lunch. My sister and I got there before everyone else and toasted with a celebratory glass of Cava. We went to Off the Record, which is in the basement of the Hay Adams Hotel. No politicians there at that time of the afternoon, but we enjoyed a glass of wine. We then went to see Into the Wild.
I got the job. I knew I would kinda-sorta be doing what I already did, but it would be in the city instead of the suburbs. It would be a different environment, different type of people (almost a 180 from most of my coworkers at my current job), and a fresh start where I could be positive and motivated. Oh and it also paid a bit more. 🙂
My two-year anniversary at this job was this past November and I have yet to get cabin fever. I cancelled my email notifications from Hot Jobs, Monster, and Washington Post Jobs for the first time since I made those accounts. I have never felt stagnant, never felt angry, never felt bitter. A couple months ago, I was asked to be interviewed for a new employee orientation video. I was so excited to do it – to be able to share my passion for my amazing company and coworkers.
Yesterday I had my review. Since I started at the end of 2007 and was on bedrest and maternity leave last year at review time, this ended up being my first real review with the company. I was nervous, but wasn't sure why because for the first time in my adult career life, I knew where I stood with my supervisors and knew my strengths and weaknesses. Along with being nervous, I was excited. I do work for a supervisor who doesn't hesitate to congratulate or offer constructive criticism, but I wanted to see in print what my company really thought of me.
They like me. They really like me. And man, does it feel good.
In a perfect world, I wouldn't work. I would travel the world and write and paint. I would spend every day with my husband and daughter and experience life with them… to the fullest. But well… one needs money. My husband and I chose for me to be the one to work full time because I am the one who has the good insurance, the good benefits, and I like my job. Some days I hate that I am the working parent – days when Emerson cries when I leave, when I had trouble pumping to keep up with milk supply, when my husband would call and tell me some milestone that Emerson has done that I yet again missed.
But days like yesterday… after getting my review I was proud to be the working parent. Proud to bring home a hard-earned paycheck that supports my family. Proud that I have a funny and smart and charming daughter, a hot as heck husband who loves me, AND a job where I do well and am respected.
My blogs suffer… but my personal life is thriving. I thank those of you who hang in there. When I am stuck on a boring conference call or get the chance to have a proper lunch, the first thing I do is focus on the blogs. But as the primary breadwinner for my wonderful family… the job comes first.
And thank goodness it is a really awesome job!
budget chic says
It’s all about priorities, first-things-first. The good thing is you can always come back to your blog when time permits and you have a good routine established…..but obviously you should can’t give up your real life for a virtual one! 🙂
Jennifer M. says
That’s very awesome that you have found a job you love! I also usually feel antsy after about a year and a half to two years at a job. I’m currently almost at 3 years at the job I have now, and I’m only staying to prove to myself that I can. But truthfully it’s one of the most boring jobs I’ve ever had. If I had an alternative, I’m sure I’d quit tomorrow.
This was so very inspiring on so many levels! Sometimes I wonder if I will ever find a job that I absolutely love. I wonder if it is impossible to mesh the mix of the right people with the right work. Glad you have found yours (at least for now). I also appreciated the “I am woman and I kick ass because I can do it all” attitude about this. You really HAVE done it all while still enjoying yourself.
I’m so glad that things are going well for you! I love your blogs and I’m happy to read them whenever you have the chance to post, even if it’s not that often. That life/work/hobby balance is tough to get just right, at least for me.
Sarah R says
I have to admit, I’m a tiny bit jealous right now, Allie. I’m glad you’ve found the right job for you. I graduate college in a year (and I am 34 years old…took me a while to find my niche), and literally CANNOT WAIT until I make the change into a career I love, and not just a job that I do.
Actually, Allie, that’s how I found your site. Was looking for a blog on plus size curvy career wear. Yours was the first one that popped up! Been hooked ever since.
A funny I didn’t mention in here (but think I have mentioned way in the past) – I started blogging because of my last job. When I started, they didn’t know exactly what to do with me (that should have been a red flag but hindsight is 20/20). I was told to, “look busy until we have something for you to do.” I had recently seen something on TV about blogging so I Googled it. Hey, nothing makes you look busy better than furiously pounding the keyboard!
I was a regular reader of Stephanie Klein’s Greek Tragedy back then, and started a blog similar to hers – my personal life, a couple photos, random thoughts. After getting the hang of blogging, I started this one and Wardrobe Oxygen.
So… even when a job isn’t the right fit, good things can come from it!
I’ve been lurking and reading your blog for awhile now, and I have to say, this post could not have come at a better time for me.
I am in a job where the pay is ok, but the people and attitudes are awful, and it’s making my life miserable. I’m constantly on alert that I’m going to be fired for things that I have no control over, and I’ve become a target and scapegoat for the disgruntled. I love that you’ve been in a situation that made you unhappy and ultimately found a great job that you love – it gives me hope that someday I’ll find something similar. So thanks for sharing this. It’s already making my day better and giving me a ray of light.
It’s SO important to love your job since you spend the majority of your day there. Speaking from personal experience, I understand what you mean and how it’s important to feel productive and valued as an employee at a company you believe in and enjoy working for. Life is not a dress rehearsal so priorities come first, then other things. I’ll still be reading your blog! LOL
Congratulations! You have hit the sweet-spot, lady- enjoy it and revel in Having It All. It’s best feeling to enjoy and be good at your work- well done you.
Also loving how happy you are and your great attitude. Sure, we miss you here, but we understand. We still have your great archives, plus it’s nice to be surprised with a post now and again!
I love how incredibly happy you sound!
Very cool! It is SO hard to find a great job with the whole package – good pay, great people, great bosses and doing a job you enjoy! Sounds like you are in your stride.