I had a job interview this morning. For a BIG JOB. Like the kind of job I had hoped to get at this point in my life. It was only a screening interview by the recruiter. But I rocked it – I’d be willing to bet that the recruiter will recommend that the company interview me. The job is perfect – great money, great company, great management. But I think I’m going to decline any future interviews.
I’ve always been a career woman, focused on the next step, the promotion, the career path. I did well in school, went to college and then grad school, focused on getting a good job. A good career. And I’ve been successful. Currently I have a good job on paper. I make good money, I do interesting stuff, I work with good people. And yet I’m bored out of my mind. My job is no longer challenging. For a couple weeks each quarter, I work the entire day, and even a Saturday occasionally, but the rest of the time, it’s a good day if I work for half the day. The rest of the time I’m surfing the internet, reading blogs and articles, wasting time. And yet my boss loves me and continues to give me high ratings. My employees think I’m busy, super effective and what-not. It’s all a big ruse. I’m so comfortable it’s pitiful. This is embarrassing to me – I don’t tell people this. My husband doesn’t even know how little I actually do during the day. I hate that my job is like this. But I stay because it’s comfortable, and it fits my life. Yes, I have to be here during the day, but I run out of the building at the end of the day and go get my Alex and love and cuddle on her. And the little bit of work that I do is interesting and generally challenges my mind, or at least some of it does.
But today I interviewed for the BIG JOB. The one that would keep me busy all day long – and beyond. The one that would take me to the next level in my career. The one that I figured I would want in my late 30’s. And the one that I probably could get, if I fought hard in the interview process.
I don’t think I’ll ever be a stay at home mom, I’m just not cut out for it. In an ideal world, I love the idea of staying home with Alex, but financial considerations notwithstanding, I don’t think I would be very good at it. I have patience like I never thought possible with little Alex. But if I were with her 24/7? I don’t know that I would. I’m not really sure. And so much of my identity is my working life – I like being an accountant, and I like going to work. Ideally I would like to work three days per week. I’ve talked about this with the hubs, and we may pursue this if we move, which we’re still talking about – someday. But right now working at my easy job seems to be working well for us.
During the interview today, I got excited. It’s a challenging job at a company that is going places. Very exciting times, and management that is passionate and demanding. I would thrive in this environment, and my days would go by so quickly. I could rock this job. And yet…
I don’t think I’m going to pursue it. The recruiter asked about my willingness to work in an “intense” environment. And what would I do if someone told me I had to work on a presentation that was due in a couple days with no notice. It all sounds exciting, and so attractive. But after I got off the phone, and started thinking about my life, and what is really important now, my career just doesn’t seem that important. I feel lazy, but I’m happy in my comfortable easy job. It doesn’t demand too much from me. I can easily get to daycare – there’s no struggle. I can come in a little late if she’s being fussy. I can leave if she’s sick. I can spend half the day researching the best way to feed her…
I came across this article today, and it spoke to me. Every working mother, or aspiring working mother, should read it. I’m struggling with making the choice between my career and motherhood, or at least the motherhood I want to have. Yes, it’s an old struggle – one that has been done for years and by countless women. So far I’ve only struggled with how much time to be away from Alex, and whether I should be working. But to make the choices of the easy job vs. the big job – that’s a different kind of struggle. I’m glad I read this today. It gives me permission to take the “easy” path. I guess I need to come to the realization that I’m a parent now. My desire for the amazing career may need to stand behind my desire to be a good mother. Maybe not forever, but for now.