Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Change is a comin'. And I'm not just talking about the upcoming election.
I'm tired of my job. I've been there for a little less than two years and I think I burned around mid-September. I approached my boss about two months ago with the possibility of a promotion and a raise and he was receptive, provided I continue to prove myself through the crunch period of a project that culminated the first week of this month. Yesterday we continued the conversation. He thinks I should talk more in depth about raise and title change with my immediate supervisor. I am excited by the prospect, but the truth is, I'm exhausted. I need something different. I do love what I do, though frankly, I've never been excited about where I do it or the products we produce nor the clients for whom we produce them. My tolerance for any job has always been about a year, so I'm overdue. Maybe all I need is a long vacation. Not just a week, but two or three - something that is anathema to Americans and certainly the American work structure.
... and I'm enjoying performing again. Not that I ever really stopped enjoying it. I always love it. But I'm enjoying it differently these days. My degree is in acting and I never really pursued it: I'm not that disciplined or competitive to make a career of it, plus too much of anything, not matter how much I love it, turns me off, for a while at least. I don't think I want to go back to working towards a stage career, maybe not even a local TV career, but I am seeing that I can make money - if not a living - locally by performance gigs in the region. The gist of all this is that I'd like to find some way, ultimately, to create a work/life path whereby I can pursue performance more, make money at that as well, and still continue in my line of work, making money at that and start writing, in earnest, making money at that and ideally, have better control over my time, so that quality time with my family is not just a pie-in-the-sky concept. This is probably impossible, but I figure I have to at least attempt it.
So, I'm beginning to take steps and I've decided to do something each day - no matter how great or small - to nudge the path a little forward. Yesterday, I continued the conversation with my boss about advancement and management projects they're giving me. While that continues me in my current office, it still puts me in a position that allows me to bandy for something better when I look outside the office. Additionally, I started dropping crumbs of discontent, specifically about work/life and work/work balance. (Though I rarely get paid for my performance gigs, I've decided to classify them as work, because they are labor intensive and I'm starting to look for paying gigs more.) Hopefully, it won't come out of the blue later this month when I start talking to him about the possibility of job-share - a conversation I had with a semi-freelance colleague of mine who worked with us through the big nasty project this summer and fall. She wants more hours, more stability and ultimately a full-time staff job. I want fewer hours and, provided I learn how to sell myself and manage my time better (big HA on both), ultimately I imagine freelance to be something I'd like to do. At issue is this: she's been in the industry longer, has a higher title than mine - internally, the title to which I am currently aspiring and which probably most other offices would assign me or hire me on. If we successfully pitch this job-share idea, it will be hard to also successfully pitch me as worthy of the title and/or pay adjustment. Honey and I brainstormed negotiations the other day. We'll see how things go over the weeks and months.
Other things great and small I've been doing lately: submitted my resume to a company for whom I'd like to do no-brain work from home stuff (giving me more time to perform and write); started updating my LinkedIn page and getting in touch with more industry colleagues through that site whom I haven't seen in a while; begun creating a website to showcase my talents and not just have some supremely lame vanity place holder; and I'm trying to get better about updating my resume more frequently and tailoring it to certain positions. I despise touching my resume. Not sure why. I'm sure it has something to do with my reluctance for self-promotion, but I gotta get over that. It's agonizing to overcome that revulsion, by the way.
My goal is to be out of that office, doing something different by January; April at the latest. Let's see if that happens. One thing's for sure: if June, the month where the mega-project crunch traditionally gets into high gear, rolls around and I'm still there, then I've failed.