Saturday, June 16, 2007

Playing hooky

I skipped my mandarin class this morning to sleep in. I figured if there was a class to skip, it would be today's since we were just going to watch a couple of films. I slept in a bit, read the morning paper, and to assuage some of the guilt I felt from playing hooky, I spent some time copying Chinese characters for my assignment.

I still have quite the list of to-dos to get through this weekend, the most important of which is probably applying to a couple jobs. I've been growing increasingly dissatisfied job-wise and though I hadn't planned on it, I ended up having a chat with my manager about it during our regular status meeting earlier this week.

This wouldn't have been the first time we've had this conversation. Right about this time last year, I was job-hunting too, but I wasn't so jaded at the time that I was ready to leave for just any job. So I bided my time for the right role to come along, and since we underwent a couple of organizational changes which came with promises of more interesting work, I stuck around...but after waiting and seeing and waiting and seeing some more, I'm beginning to realize that these were just empty promises.

So before I become any more cynical and jaded about work, it's time to start looking again. The problem though is that I'm not sure what it is I want to be when I grow up. I don't know how to answer that ever-popular question, "So where do you see yourself in 5/10/years?" And I feel like I should have some inkling before going out to interviews.

I have a vague idea of what I'd like to do in my career - I've had a taste of it in my current role - there's just not enough of it to keep me busy on a consistent basis so that I feel like I'm developing and growing. But a role like mine is hard to come by in other companies because not very many have a group focused on strategy like ours does. So what am I looking for? Perhaps it's one of those things that I'll only know when I find it. Which stresses me out because I don't like not knowing. It does not jibe with my ISTJ personality damn it!

Anyway. I'm meeting S tonight for dinner. Perhaps talking out some of my frustration will help bring about some clarity.


william d. anderson said...

hey phoenix...i hate to hear that you're so unhappy with your work environment. in a way, i'm wondering if posting a comment here is helpful or not. i've been there. and for the most part i've done it poorly at every step. what do i want to be when i grow up/ i wanted to be a psychologist. did a Bachelors, a Masters and worked with it for awhile. then bailed to do a masters of architecture. i dont regret the shift...but i dont know that i'm infinitely happier in a different. field. turns out your demons follow you.

i've stayed with companies for too long too. listening to the promises for change, and seeing things managed in the opposite direction. staying too long was the wrong choice. but i've jumped ship too, and ended up in a position that i regret. so i dont recommend that either. i guess the point is to do whatever is the opposite of what i've done. or maybe not. maybe ask someone who seems quite content in your field...but then again...they dont really know anything, so dont trust anything you hear.

sincerely, good luck to you in your journey. its tough. it only gets tougher. mabye find someone with more than 25 years of experience...and listen, earnestly, to what they tell you. someone without an interest in your future. no parents, clerics, or love interests. ask your favorite physician. or dentist, if you have somebody you admire.

or not.

phoenix said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, william - I really appreciate it. My main struggle at the moment is coming to terms with my decision to job search because it's such a huge commitment in terms of time and emotion.

First there's the actual search for a suitable position and the necessary questions that need answers: is this something I'm interested in doing? is it worth the effort in taking the time to write a cover letter and go through the motions of applying? would i be better off in this position? is there opportunity for growth and development? etc.

Once I've applied, and assuming I get the call back for the interview, there's the stress in preparing - I don't do well in interviews...I get nervous and I do a terrible job at selling myself. I've bought a few reference books to prepare myself but no matter how much I study and practice, I still feel like a dork.

And then there's the waiting to find out whether or not I've gotten the job, which is understandably nerve-wracking. It's a very fine balance for me to keep my expectations in check because while I don't want to have low expecations of myself lest it translate that way in the interview situation, I don't want to be overly confident and risk disappointment.

I suppose the root of the problem for me is that I'm not as career-driven as I appear to be, and if I was, perhaps my quest might be easier. I guess the only way to my answer to is muddle through. I know I'll stumble along the way, and I'll just have to allow myself to stumble and be patient - which I've never been good at.

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