Career Development

Pour Myself A Cup of Ambition

But you got dreams…
Your ship’ll come in
And the tide’s gonna turn,
It’s all gonna roll you away…

Dolly Parton, “9 to 5”

Elena777 (flickr)

This morning, the company that I’m currently working for posted an advertisement for a full-time position that I resigned from back in September due to an illness. As a temp, this has been my third assignment with this company, and it’s always a pleasure to come back here in the various departments. I enjoy the work, I enjoy the people, but, still, I take pleasure in knowing that it’s temporary.

Temp jobs have always treated me well — I was a temp throughout college, which provided invaluable office experience and led to my first job outside of school. They have always seemed to be the perfect professional stepping stones, so after quitting a full-time, high-paying job due to personal circumstances, it felt like a natural decision to seek out another temp agency, hoping to acquire some form of income while continuing to build on my professional skills and reinstill the confidence I had lost.

I’ve since found, over a year later, that this decision had indeed been the right one for me. It offered me the flexibility that I needed as I struggled with an illness, as well as opportunities that never would have been possible were I in any other position. More importantly, however, these various jobs helped me see my home, my community, and myself in a new light. By taking these temp jobs, I was able to experience several different industries and connect with people around my community who I may never have otherwise known. With each job, I feel I left my mark – perhaps it was greater efficiency; perhaps it was a more organized supply closet. These positions had been mutually beneficial, and I’ll always be grateful for all that I’ve learned and the people I’ve met along this way.

However, while I continue to work and learn at my new assignment, I know that it will, too, soon draw to a close, as all these temporary assignments inevitably do. Only now, I’ve realized that I’m seeking something more. Despite this economic downturn, I still want stability. I would love to be able to go to work everyday feeling valued as a full-time employee, with benefits and a steady income and a work environment in which I can participate in change, in which I can grow.

So when the job posting landed in my inbox, I realized that I had a decision to make – where did I want to go from here? I’m sure that if I applied, I would be welcomed back warmly. I know the position, I know the people, and I am certain that I proved myself beyond their expectations. In fact, the decision to leave was a mutual one – both myself and my supervisor wanting what was best for the company, even stopping by since my departure to catch up with former colleagues.

The problem is not the people, nor is it the job, per se. The problem is the high expectations I hold for myself. I know what I am capable of. I know that in order for me to thrive, I need to be challenged and find creativity in a job. It’s true that happiness doesn’t necessarily come from a job, but I love to work, and I want to love my job.

So the decision came down to this: did I want to settle and compromise myself, yet again, for low income and a seemingly mind-numbing job? Or did I want to hang in there, have a little more patience, and continue searching for a job with which I’m more compatible?

I debated, I analyzed, I sought and found sound advice. My mind hinted that an opportunity was presenting itself. My gut told me it was the wrong one.

I had learned to listen to and trust that instinct these past few months. I‘ve learned to trust myself, to have faith and believe that there’s something worthwhile waiting out there for me, if I just hang in there a little longer and keep moving forward.

And so I deleted the job posting, feeling completely complacent afterwards. I have positive things in store for me, some of my own making, some brought on by fate. But the fact remains: I’ve gotten this far; now I need to take that risk and see how far I can go.

2 thoughts on “Pour Myself A Cup of Ambition”

  1. Good job! Last week I was told that my job will be end next week. NEXT WEEK! This is completely unexpected, and as it is X-mas, no one is in their offices to talk about hiring me, and otherwise, no one has the MONEY to hire me.

    And still I find myself unable to just apply for jobs all willy nilly. I have to feel good about a job, and if I don’t feel good about it, then what is the point.

    Holly had it right this morning. There is a difference between emotion and instinct, and it is awesome that you can already tell the difference.

    Monica: I know I’m delayed in replying, and I’m not sure where you are with this situation now, but I have every confidence that the next course of your life will be nothing short of wonderful. For a long time, I applied to every and any job that sparked my interest, even though my heart wasn’t necessarily in it. And maybe that was the problem…what was the point? I want to work, I love to work, but at the same time, I want to feel passionate about my job, to feel as if it’s worthwhile. And if having some patience and taking your time to find that is what will bring that passion to a career, then maybe that is worth it.

    Thanks for your insight and thoughts, and best of luck to you, wherever your career and life paths may lead you! – Susan

  2. It has to feel right. Glad the temping thing works out for you. . . my current problem is what feels right to me isn’t feeling right to the prospective employer.

    Andrea: It’s really tough out there, and, of course, the economy isn’t making things much easier, especially for skilled and motivated workers. But as I said once before, maybe all we’re doing is exactly what needss to be done. Maybe it’s building us up, gearing us up for there for whatever other opportunity is out there. Because it’s coming…Hang in there, and I’m positive that you will find something worthwhile. How’s that for a Pollyanna outlook? 😉 Best, Susan

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