Tuesday, November 9, 2010

heigh-ho, heigh-ho

I generally try to avoid writing about work. I don't like feeling work dominates my life, although that is probably closer to a reality for me than I would like to admit.

Regardless, it would be a complete lie to say work doesn't affect me. It dictates where I physically am from day to day, how tired I am, to some extent what I wear, and even what / where I eat. It's difficult to not seem like I'm complaining about it, but work often (although certainly not always) dominates my life.

I periodically wonder why I'm doing what I do, and whether it's worth it. I am rapidly approaching my 4-year anniversary with the company. FOUR years. I can hardly believe I have been out of college for that long, much less at one place of employment for that long.

Yes, I feel like I am still learning and I am challenged daily. Without a doubt, these things are of utmost importance. But it's hard to trump a few things. Regardless of a career path and the actual material of one's work, I feel like it's about the time spent being worth it - and to me that comes down to three factors:

  1. Advancement: If there's no forward / upward mobility, no achievable professional goals within grasp, then what's the point?
  2. Compensation: Let's be real. If the pay doesn't justify the hours, if the strains on personal life aren't outbalanced (or at least balanced) by benefits, then what's the point?
  3. People: This can be debated, but at least for me, the people I work with impact my daily life and my personal state of being in a huge way. In fact, the people often make all of this worth it for me, trumping #1 and #2.
I guess all of this has been on my mind as I approach this anniversary - a stake in the ground that reminds me what I've been up to, how much of my life I have dedicated to it, and the unspoken question of how much longer I will stick around.

It's difficult to consider a new job and the associated new location, new surroundings, and new people, when a routine has been established, when relationships have grown, and when life already works the way it is. But when it comes down to it, I'd make life work regardless. There is no other option. And change is probably in order more often than not. So maybe it's time to face all the scary bits and think about what I really want.

The above #s 1, 2, and 3 can be found in a lot of places. It would be easiest for me to stay in Boston, particularly as I've put down roots here and the thought of moving again too soon makes me queasy.

As I've mulled over this in the past month or so, I had somewhat "decided" to stay for about another year. But that decision has left me still a little uneasy. Some things still aren't quite right, and I don't want to feel like I'm settling, just doing what's easiest.

Maybe it's time to push myself harder and step out of the comfortable cocoon I have made for myself here. I need to make a few (unreasonable?) requests and put things in motion to improve the quality of this life. This life needs change.

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