Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wherin I whine and then tell myself to shut the hell up

This is a terrible time for a midlife crisis.

I need a job. There are bills to pay. A mortgage. Gutters to replace. A remodeled kitchen to pay off. Also, food. Food is nice.

But I don't want a job. At least not just any job.

I had an interview yesterday at a graphic design firm, which - if I land it - will have me doing essentially the same thing I did at the last design firm. During the interview, I was asked a question that forced me to spread a thick smile over an involuntary grimace: "What is it about project management that made you select it as your career?"

Seriously? Do people actually wake up one day and think to themselves "Eureka! Self, let's be a project manager when we grow up!"

I shouldn't scoff. I suppose some people do awaken to that epiphany and find it to be a welcome idea. But me? Not so much. Luckily, I has a response polished and waiting to be delivered to answer the question; one that goes on about the analytical part of my brain and how it loves to make out with checklists and schedules and other related bullshit.

Which isn't actually bullshit in that it's technically true. My brain does, in fact, get off on a finely crafted checklist. But an even truer answer would be "Because I need money and I'm only qualified for so many things."

It's true that I'm good at it. I can be one anal, detail-oriented mofo when I need to be. But it's not exactly meaningful work. Of course that doesn't matter right now, because what I need isn't meaningful work. What I need is a job.

The complicating factor here is my boys. If I'm going to ship them off to daycare, I'd like it to be for a worthy cause, and not just another crappy job. (I suppose grocery money is a worthy cause. Paying the mortgage is a worthy cause. But only if you like food and shelter. Whatever. I've no desire to be rational right now.)

It's been a very long time since I had anything resembling job satisfaction. I don't want to be doing what I've been doing. And actively seeking out yet another job that I don't want is more than a little depressing.

I'm not entirely sure why it's hitting me so hard this time. The situation is nothing new. It's never been an option for me to not work. I'm quite used to shipping children off to daycare. It's status quo, and it's always been fine before. So what gives? Just too many years of selling out? Maybe I've simply reached my limit. Maybe it's a keener sense of how quickly my babies are growing up? Maybe it's a keener sense of how quickly I am growing old up.

Whatever it is, now is not the time for it. Not in this economy. Midlife crisis be damned. Momma needs a new (soul-sucking) job! In which case, I should probably stop checking my inbox, hoping for an email rejecting me.


Nicki said...

You aren't alone. My man is struggling to find work, too. Yup, mortgage issues. I manage to keep food covered.

And I am determined that this is the last year I spend at my soul-sucking job. I want to be self-employed, writing full-time.

Thinking of you.

bluzdude said...

I congratulate you for listening to the part of your mind that's telling you that you need to do what you have to in order to take care of your family. You can always move on later, but in the mean time, you're taking care of business. In this economy, that's a good trick.

T said...

Oh yes, I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO get this one. I've been struggling with this question for a while now too.

Good luck with that. Hope you find some clarity and a new job soon!

Single Mom Seeking said...

Indeed, you are not alone. Good for you for putting yourself out there -- that's a grand first step. Have you thought about offering yourself up as a consultant or strategist to companies in your field, so you can set your own hours? (Not sure if you and the kids on your man's healthcare -- which might give you the freedom to consult?)

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