Has it been two weeks since I last posted? Work has been keeping me very busy. It’s chilly days that make me more thoughtful… so here are some thoughts.
In late July I went from a schedule of 15-25 hours a week at work, to (suddenly) a solid 40 hours a week. 40 hours a week sounds like “the dream” to many who (like myself recently) are underemployed, but 40 hours a week in a retail environment is very taxing. I have to be just as upbeat, informative, and charming to a customer who walks through the door fifteen minutes into my shift, as I am to the very last person I help when my feet are aching eight hours later. I can’t close my office door to catch up on work or get a jump start on projects at home….
Here’s the thing though: I like my job.
A year ago, I sought a retail job because we had just moved into town and needed money to pay rent. Retail jobs aren’t hard to find as long as you have open availability. They’re willing to train on the job. I was coming from an office job that seemed more “grown up” and appropriate for a college grad, but really didn’t make me happy at all. My current job is at an up-scale shopping mall, which makes me put more effort into (gasp) actually wearing makeup to work and generally presenting myself to the public in a put-together manner. I get to talk to all kinds of interesting people all day long (even the weird or upset ones). I’ve learned so much about cookware and cooking tips from coworkers and customers. And I love my coworkers! I have fun joking with them even on hard and stressful days.
I don’t see this job as a long-term plan, but the weird thing is that the year I’ve spent is longer than the time spent at my last two jobs. I got a promotion and I feel like I’m good at what I do! I hate that when I talk to my friends I’m so self-deprecating about my work. “It’s just retail.” Why do I feel the need to say that? Because I went to college? Because I’ve been out of college almost four years (say it isn’t so). I am keeping my mind open to new opportunities and now that I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20 I am thinking hard about a long-term plan. It’s just that I want to do so many things I can’t decide. Use this retail experience to open a business of my own? Try networking and join a smaller up and coming company? Or something more traditional…
I really miss blogging. I miss interacting with other bloggers, working on projects, and coming up with new and exciting content. I’d like to write freelance for other San Diego blogs — food or travel writing perhaps? I want to do so much more, but I’m so tired on a daily basis.
I think I’ll get the balance figured out; after Christmas my hours should lessen. I am taking this opportunity to sock away money– so I am working towards one of my goals–buying a house/condo/whatever in maybe a year. Once my hours die down I’ll have more time to think about what I really want to do.
4 thoughts on “Introspection on a Friday”
I feel ya. It’s so easy to dismiss what we do because it doesn’t directly involve our college degree. But it’s all part of a purposeful journey, it’s true! Whenever you figure out what you “really want to do,” it’ll be spectacular :)
I, too, have struggled with the “I have a degree in X, I need to be doing X,” or “I have a college education, I should be making more $,” yet trying to navigate a crazy economy that doesn’t make it easy. I am learning to focus on doing what makes me happy and what works for my family, rather than what I “should” be doing.
I feel you, Staci! I FEEL YOU. And I appreciate your honesty, here.
Lately I’ve been feeling very… unsettled. I like my job a lot. I’m learning tons and I DO see myself in this field (which has nothing to do with the English major that I obtained five years ago). But lately, maybe because I’m turning 30 in one week, I’m getting very “what do I ultimately want to be doing-y.” I’m blessed to have Ryan near me, ready to remind me not to forget to love and appreciate and adore these days that we’re living right now because in no time everything can (and does) change. It’s hard to take it one day at a time while keeping an eye on the horizon, though.
Working in retail isn’t any less important that working in a medical field or at an office job or anything like that. Especially if you LIKE what you do. So many people do not love what they do. I feel like if I’m going to make a kitchen investment, you’re totally the kind of person that I want to run that by before I make the purchase. You’re smart and I’ll bet that you make people feel good about what they’re buying and how to use it on a daily basis.
I think so many people our age are going through similar things! You’re definitely not alone. I think it’s up to us to decide what’s best for us instead of worrying about what we “should” be doing. Glad to hear you have a job that makes you happy! Not everyone can say that!