Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whiners are Weiners

I originally had intentions to use blog as an opportunity to vent about certain aspects of my job that make me want to gouge my eye out with a teaspoon, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like this isn't the place for that. This is my happy place and I don't want to contaminate it with all that negativity. But hey, if you are a complete masochist and you actually want to read a 30+ page manifesto about everything that is fucked up with the company I work for, shoot me an email and I'll be happy to indulge you :)

So, after I had that profound moment of maturity (doesn't happen too often...) I logged on to the 'book and browsed the activity on my newsfeed. I saw this:

Kayleigh I am not aloud to complain for a month. No thinking complaints, not speaking complaints and no being around people who do. If I complain, or have a complaint tosay I have to also come up with a solution so that it will no longer be one. I challange EVERYONE to do it with me. Lets be different ♥

Ok, typos aside, I think it's actually not a bad idea. Then I perused the rest of the newsfeed and saw a lot of the same: "I wish I didn't have to work," "I feel overwhelmed," "FML," "Flight got delayed..." and I realized how many people complain via status updates. It doesn't really bother me, everyone is entitled to complain sometimes, but there are always those chronic complainers. I've actually unfriended someone because I couldn't stand her constant pity party.

Anyway, I thought about the "challange" presented to Kayleigh and I started thinking that maybe I need to give this a try, but take it one step further than complaints about daily living: "I'm tired," "I'm hungry," and begin applying this to my Quarter Life Crisis dilemma.

Instead of constantly complaining about my job, I think it's time to take steps to improve my current situation or look for a new opportunity that excites me. I'm lucky enough to have a 3 month contract available to me at any of our company's offices across the country, several here in Chicago.

Well, I'm about 6 weeks out from the end of my current contract and I definitely think it's time for me to move on from my current office. I've started complaining a hell of a lot more since I started here a year ago and I've lost all motivation to do more than the bare minimum for my job. A lot of this has to do with the individuals at my office and not the company as a whole. The energy at this office is very negative. I've had this "burnt out" feeling since around October and I have a miniature heart attack every time the office number appears on my caller ID for fear that it is our director on the other line. She's scary and mean. Picture a Liza Minelli look-alike with a tough Brooklyn accent and a penchant for screaming at people. Now you understand why my heart stops every time my phone rings. So for me, that's a surefire sign that it's time to move on.

Right now I have 2 choices:

Move to another office

There is an existing opening at another office in the Chicagoland area, and if I want it, it is mine.


  • Excellent salary
  • The job is available as long as I want/need it
  • Autonomy/Ability to make my own schedule
  • Short term contracts - I can leave whenever my contract expires
  • I could use the extra 3, 6, 9 months, depending on how many times I decide to renew my contract, to search for my ultimate "dream job." 
  • I could use the extra time to take some continuing education classes or prepare for a clinical specialist examination to make myself more marketable to the type of job I might actually want.

  • Long commute - the new agency is 50+ miles away
  • No passion for my current setting - I feel like my clinical skills, my 7 years of school, and my 6 figures worth of debt in student loans are going to waste.
  • Having to do a lot of extra leg-work, not normally done by someone in my position.
  • Having to continue in a job where weekly staff meetings consist of the office staff screaming at the field staff about how shitty their job is...for 4 hours. (Things may be different at the other office, but I won't know until I get there)

My other choice?

Get a totally new job


  • I could choose a setting that I actually find interesting and will challenge me to use my critical thinking, problem solving, and clinical skills better.
  • I may not feel "burnt out" all the time
  • I may stop having a mini-heart attack every time I see the office number on my caller ID


  • I will have to take a major pay-cut - no matter what other job I take, my pay will likely decrease by 30-50%
  • Taking a pay cut will hinder my ability to pay down my student loans faster
  • I may not find my "dream job" right off the bat and I may have to settle for something sub-par just to pay the bills (isn't that what I'm already doing?)
So that's where I am right now in my decision process. Truthfully, I'm leaning towards renewing the contract for the other office because I figure that even if I end up hating it, it's only 13 weeks and I can look for something better in the mean time.

So good people of the interweb, I ask you this:

When it comes to your career, which is more important - an extremely well paying job or a job that you are passionate about?

Me? I came out of graduate school as an idealist. I remember telling my mom, "I would never take a job that I didn't enjoy just for the money."

And then the economy took a massive shit and jobs in my field in my geographical location suddenly became very sparse. This job just kind of fell into my lap like a little miracle to solve my financial woes.

I'm such a sellout.

Sellout or not, this job has helped me pay my rent, my bills, it has filled my fridge, put clothes on my back and shoes on my feet, and it has provided the means to medical care and veterinary care for me and A. Aside from the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, it's also afforded me some nice "extras." I've been able to take fun vacations and as I mentioned, I've had the ability to pay down my student loans at a much faster rate. Just how much faster? Well, by November 2010, 2.5 years after graduation, I will have eliminated $50K worth of student loans. 2.5 years instead of 20? That's a lot of interest saved. Granted I'll still have $100K to go, but it's enough to make a dent.

So, today I resolve to stop complaining about my job and take steps to achieve my goals. I will have to understand that sometimes you can't have it all - I may have to settle for less money and a job I like more, or I may have to accept the sacrifice of taking the bigger paycheck and enjoying my job less.

My mom always says "Nothing is permanent," so I think I just have to keep that in mind as I continue to navigate my QLC.

Anyway, if you made it this far, I congratulate you. I understand that not everyone is deeply concerned with the minute ins and outs of my day (unless they are hilarious), but occasionally you just have to get things down on paper (screen) to put them in perspective. Goodnight, loves!


Miss N said...

I played it safe because of the economy (supposed job stability) and look where it got me :-P Still not happy AND funemployed (thanks satan!).

As long as you don't jump too blindly into things, I say take a risk if you think it'll make you happy in the end. Who knows, if I would've taken my own advice, I might be in Chitown already :-P

Anonymous said...

I think it's always a good idea to start looking around if you're not happy, and it seems like you're doing it the smart way by renewing and taking your time instead of feeling pressured to find something quickly.

People say that if you're passionate about what you do, the money will take care of itself. I don't necessarily think that's true - but if you're okay with the earning potential of whatever job you choose - if you love what you're doing it's a better situation.

Nashe^ said...

Your student loans amount to THAT much? Woah! Hope you make the right choice (whatever it is) soon.

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