Friday, March 25, 2011

I choose (2).

To respond to my post below, (2) is worse.

In other words, I'm leaving my job for another job.

At first, I really didn't want to. My current job is just so damn comfortable. But after some lengthy contemplation (i.e., typical Yellow Gal neurotic fretting) and lengthy discussions, I decided to take the leap into another role. Something more challenging, a little scary, but hopefully more promising.

It definitely helped to hear my senior manager tell me that if, down the road, I ever changed my mind about leaving, I would be welcome back.

Now the goal is to maintain efficiency for the two remaining weeks I have left without lapsing into Slacker Mode (last triggered during senior year of high school).

Then the next new adventure begins.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Which is worse:

(1) Taking a chance, and regretting you did?


(2) Not taking a chance, and regretting you didn't?

Ironic thing is, you cannot know whether or not you regret something until you already regret it.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

People stop asking you this question by the time you reach your twenties because: (1) you are already grown up, and (2) you should already know what you want to be.

I've reached most of my nominal goals in my life, and still I wonder. The question now isn't exactly what do I want to be, but what do I want to have achieved in my lifetime?

When I reach the end of my life, I'd like to be able to look back and say, "I've lived a full life. And I'm happy I did all that I achieved."

I feel a number of cultural forces vying within me at this point in my life. There is the desire to reach my utmost intellectual potential. My parents bred us kids to study, do our best, and achieve as much as we could. We were blessed with above-average IQs and were somehow commissioned with the duty to live our lives to our fullest potential.

Then there is the desire to be a balanced family person, to have a social life with friends and family. My parents worked 12-hour days every day because they had to, given our modest circumstances, and left us kids at home alone to eat TV dinners and have our after-school meetings and concerts without a parent in the audience. I always envied the other kids whose parents were there to pick them up or greet them at home when they came home from school.

But you can't have it all, can you? You can't reach the top of your company by working strictly 9 to 5. And you can't work 12-hour days and be there for your kid's play or orchestra concert.

So then the question becomes, "What will you regret more?"

I remember speaking to a lawyer who left her large firm job to work at a smaller firm with more reasonable hours. And she told me with a sense of regret that she made sacrifices detrimental to her career because she was a mother.

Currently, I feel like I've plateaued in my position. There was a steep learning curve, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. My managers like me, I've received glowing reviews, and I'm on top of my game. The downside is, I don't feel very intellectually challenged. I stated as much in my most recent review, and my managers said they'd give me more opportunities. But I look at people who've been with the company for years, and I don't see them in intellectually stimulating positions. It's mostly project management, sprinkled with bouts of minimally higher-level thinking.

The job is, however, very relaxed. I have very flexible hours with flexible coworkers and managers. I am rarely stressed and I know that this job would be ideal for someone with an active family life.

I know there are jobs that are more intellectually stimulating, but they are perhaps more stressful or require more hours. And I really don't want to be a deadbeat parent.

So there seem to be two sides of the spectrum: (1) staying in an intellectually-bereft job with the flexibility to be an involved parent and spouse, or (2) pursuing a more ambitious, stimulating position with social limitations. There must be a balance between the two scenarios.

I suppose, though, that in the end I'd rather have my family and friends by my side on my deathbed, rather than a 10-digit bank account balance and a nice title at a company.

Hmm, maybe the answer lies there.
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