Tuesday, March 21, 2006

look through the window and what do you see i'm looking through a pane of glass

I interviewed for another job last week. It's a job I'd love, I'd be damn good at it, and I'd be incredibly, unbelievably comfortable doing it. My amazingly low self-esteem rears its ugly head about once a day to tell me that I'm useless, no good, not good at my job, unqualified to do what I'm doing, blah blah blah. I don't think I'd have that problem with this other job. My interview went well, I think, especially compared to the last job interview I had (last year, for the job I currently have).

But I got to thinking.

The co-worker I've been teaching to knit has decided she wants to make scarves for her friends for Christmas. I asked her about fiber, color, stitch, etc. Her response was as follows: "I just want to learn something new with every new project."

So I taught her how to purl and she's well on her way to making a ribbed scarf (one strand of Manos, one of Cracksilk Haze, and one of Cracksilk Spray) and then I thought about why I really wanted this other job. And I thought about how my co-worker is relishing the thought of expanding her abilities and taking on new challenges, and I am uncomfortable in my current position because it's hard and a stretch and beyond my vast amount of experience in one particular area and I want to hide in my shell like a turtle and pretend the entire world is the world that I see. I feel like a reverse Yertle the Turtle. I need to be more like Yertle, if only to expand my horizons and see that there's more out there than my little comfort zone world of high-tech electronic records management. I realizehat my knitting projects of late have been safe and ho-hum, if satisfying, in standard stockinette socks and mitts and gloves and hats. I'm need to be better than that, because I am better than that. I need to mix hats in with something more complex. I need to embrace the ideas of my co-worker, who wants to learn everything she can about this new hobby she's taken to.

The new job is a hat, or a garter stitch scarf on big needles, quick to complete and providing a brief moment of satisfaction. My current job is the cocksucking intarsia. When I finish it, I will feel unbelievably accomplished.

And I just began an intarsia project. And I'm already planning my next two.


Blogger Janice in GA said...

I'm all for learning new things and expanding horizons. That's A Good Thing, and will keep your mind active and young. But there's also such a thing as getting stressed and unhappy. That's A Bad Thing. Your job is just to decide what the balance between the good and the bad needs to be for you.

And for my next clich├ęd pronouncement...

I mean well. Really.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also just applied for a job that has caused the evil little self esteem monster to rear it's horned head. I'm hoping for the both of us that there is good job karma in the air.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Imbrium said...

I want a low-imapct, stress-free job because I want to be more adventurous with the rest of my life. I want to have more time and energy for knitting and gaming and forcing myself to be social and volunteering and starting a revolution and all that.

Now, if I could actually find a job that I love, that gives me some sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction, I might be willing to give up some of my more personal ambitions. But since I can't, I'd rather have a comfortable job that doesn't interfere with the rest of my life.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the way Imbrium does. My best work is done for free, on a volunteer basis. The work I do there is the work that challenges me, that's I'm always thinking of projects for, that I go to training for. The crap that pays me just has to be able to disappear from my head at 5:01.

Now, if I could just find something *permanent* that pays ok, instead of seasonal...

1:43 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Sigh, boy could I relate to your post today about comfort zones, job security and pondering the what ifs. I wish I had a crystal ball to lend you to help you find the answer you are seeking.

I think Imbrium offers some great advice. We all put in a lot of time at work in any given week--for some, me, it's hard to disconnect when the whistle blows at 5. I check in on my e-mail at night, on the weekends...I need to force myself to take a week off and let go.

Life is about the extra stuff..I work to have the things that I like to do, travel, knit, concerts, adventures with my kids. I'm not so much thinking I am needing a career. (Of course the perspective may be different from someone at your end of the year spectrum.)

Hang in there....I have said that my next job is going to be fun. Do you think SeaWorld is taking applications for Shamu?


4:58 PM  
Blogger Trixie said...

Balance. It's all about balance.
Well that and tator tots but that's beside the point...The comments above offer some very excellent insights.

Seriously ask yourself this...

1. Where are you going career wise and how long do you see the commuting thing working? Which job better enables you to move to the next career milestone or to a less costly relationship with your employer (one where commuting is funded by the company or client for starters) ?

2. Would you do more in your personal life if you had a less stressful job? What goals could you set for your personal life if you had this new job?

3. Would the less stressful job mean that you were commuting more or less and on who's dime? How much stress would this add to your relationship? If this would be on your dime, can you afford it?

Whatever decision you reach, we are always there for you!

6:04 PM  

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