#Microblog Mondays: Means to an End

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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For a little while now I have been uncertain how I feel about my career; part of it is due to insecurity and instability with my company, and part of it is that I’m not sure I’m still happy with what I do for a living. I’ve found myself increasingly dissatisfied, especially while we were struggling with infertility treatments. I kept seeing mat leave as my escape (I live in Canada where you can get up to 52 weeks paid leave), but the longer it was taking to get pregnant the longer my future with my company was. I’m fairly certain the negative pull that infertility was having on my life was affecting how I felt about work, so while I was perhaps slightly dissatisfied, the lack of control in the rest of my life heightened that feeling.

Now that I’m so close to being finished work (my last day is Aug. 14) I feel checked out, because I know my time here is limited. While mat leave is as an escape from work now, what do I do about my career afterward? I’m hoping things will have changed for J at his job and it may affect our decisions but for now I’m not sure I can see myself coming back to the same job. I need to work, we can’t afford for me to be a SAHM once my one year mat leave runs out but when I go back to work it will likely be for the long haul, so I don’t want to get stuck in something I don’t like.

I have thought about going back to school for something, but I don’t know what. Plus I did spend time and money to go to school for my current job and I don’t really want to throw that all away. My training is pretty specific to my industry, and even my particular job, so although it has many transferable skills, it would be difficult to completely change careers without further training. Said training that would take time and cost money. I’ve considered that I could do distance learning while on mat. leave but realistically, I don’t see that happening. My thought is to see what plays out with J’s job situation (possibly transferring locations, within our same city) and perhaps make a visit to a employment placement agency closer to when I am looking at coming back to work. I know I’m getting a bit ahead of myself but my career plans weigh on me.

What’s a girl to do in a career crisis?

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17 thoughts on “#Microblog Mondays: Means to an End

  1. I feel the same way! I’m unsure of where I’m headed after maternity leave. I just keep telling myself that I’ll start looking next Spring (half way through) and hope something falls into place. I guess my suggestion is to take the time to get clear on what you want. That may not be a total career change, but rather a few factors that will make you more satisfied. Your perspective on career may completely change after baby comes. You’ve got lots of time to figure it out.

  2. I sympathize. I’m overall happy with my career, but in my case fertility issues and now being a mom makes it hard to think about what I want in a career long term. I feel like I have limited time and energy, and I want family to be a priority. At the same time if I’m going to take time away from family I want it to be for something worthwhile! I have no advice, but if you are really not happy in your job, I think it is worth considering a change, even if it is scary/a lot of effort. We spend so much time working that our jobs should be bring something positive into our lives. Also you are setting a good example for your child by working at a career you enjoy. Children are perceptive of these things. When I was very young my dad was not happy at his job. I actually used to think that his real job was to argue with his boss and that his other work was what he did on the side for fun lol. Obviously no one is perfect and no job is perfect but I do think it is a good example for parents to be learning, making positive changes in their lives and showing that career can be a great life experience not just a way to make money while being miserable.

    • I wouldn’t say that I am so unhappy, or miserable with my job just general dissatisfaction but taking a year off and having a child will certainly have me reevaluating my priorities I’m sure. Though even if I had the choice (financially) to be a stay at home parent, I don’t think I could. I need something for myself, something else that can provide fulfillment and the job I have now just isn’t cutting it (most of the time). Hopefully I can figure something out!

  3. I’ve been using volunteering as a way to gain skills that I otherwise might not have a chance gain to help me to get on a new career path. Doesn’t cost you anything more than time, and you often can do it for things you are passionate about anyways. I obviously don’t know what you do now or what you want to do, but you’d be surprised at the skills you can get through volunteering, and the different opportunities that are out there.

    • Actually, it’s interesting you say that because I used to volunteer in a field that was/is of interest to me professionally. I could probably find some “in” that way but I still in no way qualified (at least not for that field). It’s probably also a good way to test some things out to be sure I know what a career might entail. That’s a good thought, thank you!

  4. Do you get a whole year of paid leave? Wow! Yet another way the U.S. has some serious catching up to do! I think you could do online classes when baby is about six months or so. Don’t rule it out till you get there! Once your little one is sleeping through the night, and you are too, life looks a whole lot different! It’s amazing!

    • Yes, paid leave! It’s only 55% of my regular pay and they do have a cap on that but still, a lot of people make it work and take the full year (which you can bet I am!). I can’t imagine not having that, or at least half of that. The US definitely has some catching up to do in regards to maternity and paternity leave, that’s for sure. I figure we’ll have to reevaluate the situation once baby is here, to see what’s going on with hubby’s job and what might work for me going forward. I’m a planner so I don’t like not knowing, but we’ll figure it out!

      • I think that’s terrific! A country invests in its citizens when it provides paid time for mommy and baby (or daddy and baby, or both!) to bond without worrying how to pay the bills. It just makes good sense. In the U.S. we get three months unpaid leave. 😂 Ridiculous. You are in Canada, right? You’ve probably noticed we have a trend of following you guys about 20 years later. Do fathers also qualify for the same leave? My husband had enough vacation time saved that he took a full month to be home when our son was born. It’s not very common to do that here. It was such a special time for our family. 😊 You have some truly magical moments ahead of you. How long do you have left to go?

      • Yes, absolutely, I can’t imagine the burden of knowing your time off is unpaid, and then having to put a little baby in daycare. I read so many blogs where women can only take a little time off, and then they are back at work, pumping in the bathroom, worrying about their babes. Sucky!

        The 52 weeks is split, 17 of it is maternity leave, strictly for the mother, but the other 35 weeks can be used by one parent or the other but as far as I understand, not at the same time. A coworker of mine took the last 6 months off after his wife took the first 6 when their baby was born.

        Unfortunately, for time off when baby is born my husband will use sick time and some vacation time. So he probably won’t be home long. That side of things is up to an employer as to how much paternal leave they’ll allow, and usually it’s not much.

        I have about 6 weeks left! Getting excited/nervous!

      • P.s. I’m a planner too, but infertility really gave me a new insight as to what I truly have control over and what I don’t. Then having a baby really showed me how little power my planning had over anything! 😋

      • Very true, I did learn some patience through infertility, I think pregnancy has made me slightly less patient but this child will be a lesson in how little control I really have ha ha. (And yes, I’m in Canada!)

  5. Going to a job one doesn’t enjoy anymore can be soul destroying and it takes courage to make a change. I have always gone with my heart and made the change. Perhaps 1 year of mat leave will give you a different perspective and things will fall into place during the time. Best is to go with the flow during this special time.

  6. I agree that volunteering in an area of interest can give you experience and help you feel out a new career. I volunteered with a youth mentoring program before finally deciding to go back to school to be a teacher when I was 27ish, and it was the best decision ever. Doing some reading on different careers might be interesting, too… my husband got a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute when he was feeling like he needed a change (although it kind of sat neglected next to the bedside forever and things worked out in a different way). I’ve heard it’s a good book but can’t vouch for it specifically. Maybe do some research into different fields that might offer you more fulfillment and more flexibility in your new situation? Talk to people who have jobs in areas that are interesting…people love talking about themselves and you can get a LOT of information that way. I wish you luck, and enjoy that mat leave! Canada is so much more civilized than the US in that regard. I am hoping that the paid parental leave legislation that’s floating around the state and the federal levels gets passed before we’re placed, because that would be lovely. It seems to work in Canada (and just about every other industrialized nation!!!). Good luck to you!

  7. I catch myself thinking about the same thing. Al though I don’t have a year off for maternity leave, so I would have to figure it out sooner rather than later.

  8. It’s stressful to not know the plan; what will happen when you come back, etc. Sending lots of good thoughts that things fall into place.

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