Dreams of fulfillment

by Ginger on March 4, 2010

in Becoming Myself, The 9-5

Ok, I know in my last post I said I was going to post today about the practical part of traveling without the kid, but that’s going to have to wait for a few days.

Today, I need to talk about dreams. Fulfillment. Happiness.

I’ve never been one who had some big dream about what I wanted to do with my life, professionally. I kind of fell into my career by way of I was an English major and had to figure out some way to pay the bills. Somehow I ended up in publishing. And from there, I ended up in marketing. I’ve been doing that since my senior year of college, in one form or another. I even moved to New York to further my publishing career (for anyone not aware, all but a very few of the “big” book publishers are based in NYC).

However, after a few years I realized that New York was not for me. And while I enjoyed my job, and the books I worked on, and the celebrities I got to meet, I realized that it wasn’t enough to continue living in that city. I learned about myself that no job satisfaction was worth being miserable in the REST of my life. And so, we picked up and moved across the country.

When we moved, I resigned myself to a career that wasn’t in publishing. There’s not too much in that field in San Diego, so I was prepared to take a job in marketing, and call it a day. But somehow, I ended up in one of the only publishing jobs to be found out here. And while the books I work on now aren’t as glamorous as the ones I worked on in New York, they’re still books. Being a small company, I’ve had my hands in every aspect of marketing and publicity that we do here. I run a small department, where we all do about 4 different jobs, and I run it pretty well. I’m damn good at my job, and I pride myself on that.

But I find myself increasingly dissatisfied with my professional life. I find myself envying, for the first time ever, those people I know who are freelancers or contract workers. Those people who get to set their own goals, and bust their asses for their own dreams. Those people who get to push themselves into whatever new direction their business leads them. Those people who don’t have to play the games that come with working in a big company. Those people who call their own shots.

I’ve tried offering up ways to my boss, however small, that I could get a little closer to professional fulfillment. But I keep getting shot down by the folks higher up the chain (not my boss, she’s awesome. Just restricted like me). I’ve tried creating parts of my job, however small, that make me excited and stoked to come to work in the morning. But they keep getting given to other people once I’ve made them successful. I keep trying and they keep putting up road blocks.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want to be one of those people who becomes a soulless entity because her job is sucking the life out of her. I want to be passionate about my job again. I want to be excited to sit down and do my work, at least some of the time. If I’m going to deal with the commute, and the people, and the being away from the baby–shouldn’t it occasionally make me fill fulfilled?

Her March 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

Is there any way to turn what you’re currently doing into some sort of freelance position and work on a contract basis? I worked in an office for a while, and though I don’t have the pull of a kid at home to make it tough, quitting that to focus on freelance writing and photography was the most liberating thing.

It’s hard to deal with poor upper management people who don’t listen–I’m sorry about the unneeded stress!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks March 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

Why not ask your boss if the two of you can have a conversation with her boss about your situation. Map out the things that make (or made) you happy about your job … the things you want to keep (or take back). Also map out the things you hate about your job that you’d be willing to give up (and maybe figure out who would be good candidates for those tasks). The hard thing about small companies is you’re asked to do a bunch of different things. The nice thing is you can hopefully have a say in how your role is defined.

Ginger March 5, 2010 at 11:59 am

@Her,
I would love to work something like that out, but with the kid in particular, I’m a nervous nelly about the financials–specifically the health care costs. But I do have some ideas and am starting to play with numbers and…I dunno where I’ll end up, but for once in my life I’m not closing any door that may open right now.

Kate March 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I hear you so loud and clear and your message resonates with own feelings and struggles. I have an 18-month daughter, Beckett, and I work full time. I was blessed enough to have 6 months off of full maternity leave and then to work half-time until my daughter turned 1.

I am outstanding at my job and I thrive with my co-workers. But, it is missing something. And, it isn’t the “one” or “it”. The medical benefits are a bonus, but not necessary. In my heart of hearts, I long to find a job that gives me my adult time, the freedom to be a mommy, pays the bills. But, most importantly I was to rise in the morning and have absolute contentment at the end of my day. Perhaps the order is too tall – but I will keep on chugging…

Keep your chin up and keep writing. You are wonderful at what you do.

Ginger March 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Nilsa,
The sad thing is, I’ve tried. And the response was something along the lines of…we all have to do things we don’t like right now.
I’ve actually got some meetings like that planned for the entire department to see if we can build a place where we’re all happier (I’m not the only one who is dissatisfied). But I’m not sure whether it will amount to anything when the answer from on high lately has kind of been “suck it up.”

Ginger March 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Kate,
You nailed it exactly with this “In my heart of hearts, I long to find a job that gives me my adult time, the freedom to be a mommy, pays the bills. But, most importantly I was to rise in the morning and have absolute contentment at the end of my day. Perhaps the order is too tall – but I will keep on chugging…”

That’s what I want. Desperately. I’m no good when I’m not happy at work, just like I’m no good when I’m not happy in the rest of my life. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to get there!

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