Career Woes: Should I Stay or Should I Go, Now?

Posted: July 16, 2008 in Jobs and Career
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If I stay there will be trouble; if I go there will be double. Isn’t that how the song goes? That feels like my life right now, too. And trust me, it’s an uneasy feeling. Let me explain…

I have a steady full-time job right now as a preschool teacher. In fact, my job is the higher paying job between me and my husband’s (although his has the better benefits). The problem is this: this past school year was, to put it bluntly, hellish. I actually started looking for another job once summer break began, but found that I am actually being paid very well compared to a lot of other jobs in the area I live in. Plus, I get to work a public school schedule. So, in short, I’d be stupid to quit. (That’s the “if I go there will be double” part. Less pay and what if where I end up is worse?)

So my choice seems to be improving my lot where I’m at. Which means I need to have a talk with my boss, because there are many issues from the previous year that need to be dealt with before the new one starts. This is not going to be easy for me…I am one of those people who don’t like to make waves and don’t like to create enemies. So If anyone has advice on how to deal with an unpleasant work environment, I’ll take it. I am at this moment working up the courage to set up a meeting with my boss. My new motto is this: “If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” It’s all in the outlook, right?

So my next focus, aside from improving my lot at my day job, is my secret ambition. I want to start my own business. I’ve already done this once, and had some success as a ghostwriter. But I was a stay-at-home mom with my newborn at the time, and if we ever wanted to buy our own house and move out of my parents house (which was supposed to be temporary after we moved halfway across the country but ended up lasting 2 years!), I needed a steady paycheck. Hence the preschool teaching job. So my writing just fell by the wayside while I adjusted to a full time job and daycare for my baby girl…and renovating our house…and sleeping…well, you get the picture.

I would still like to pursue writing, and in a perfect world I would do both of my business ideas: writing and my new passion: creating handmade photo albums for others. (Okay, most people call it scrap booking, but I am still one of those people who view scrap booking as having a “cutesy” reputation, even though many awesome scrap bookers have elevated to an art form.) I love scrap booking because I can feel accomplished by finishing one page, and I can use my artistic bent (I love to draw and paint and minored in art in college, but never went anywhere with it. You know how artists are.) So I can feel like an artist, without the pressure of being an “artist.” So far, it’s just in the idea stage. But that’s my usual way, taking on way too many things at once. Full-time job, raising my daughter, scrap booking, reading, writing, researching business ideas, and doing all those things you have to do to keep your life running. (Making sure your husband still comes home every day, putting food in the fridge, making sure there are clean clothes to wear and there aren’t science projects in the sink, attempting to pay bills so the bill collectors stop calling. You know, important stuff.)

So what do you think? Can you improve an unfulfilling job situation? Can you run a side business at the same time, and keep your family happy? Or maybe more importantly, can I do all that? I’ll keep you posted as I work my way through all of this!

A page from Sophie's 2006 Scrapbook

A page from Sophie’s 2006 Scrapbook


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