Monday, January 21, 2008

Take This Job And, Etc.

I kind of tried to quit my job, but it didn't quite work.

Over the Christmas holidays, with plenty of time to objectively reflect on my circumstances, I realized I don't like managing a staff. No matter how much I hone my time management skills or how well I handle the stress of constantly putting out fires, I just don't like it.

It's really too bad because I love where I work. The benefits are good, my coworkers are friendly, and I believe in our cause. But I've struggled for more than a year to convince myself that I like my job more than I do.

Life is too short to be unhappy, and whatnot, so I sucked up my courage and explained to my boss that I was disappointed, but I needed to start looking for another position. I let her know I wasn't in a hurry to leave, and I didn't want to leave them in a lurch, but I needed a job that was a better fit for me.

She was really understanding, and didn't seem surprised. In fact she told me she appreciated that I was being upfront with her. But, here's the kicker. She was already working on a proposal to split my job into a staff management position and a program administration position, which would focus on reporting, grant contract compliance, budgeting, and all that boring stuff I much prefer. She planned to offer that job to me and should know if it is approved by the end of January.

Basically, she was going to let me quit doing all the stuff I hate and only do the stuff I like and still keep my job. Awesome! That couldn't possibly have worked out better. Of course, now I have to suck it up for at least another month, assuming that the proposal is approved and they hire another person relatively quickly. I'll actually be surprised if I see any changes before March or even April.

In the meantime, my boss is taking it really easy on me. We're already short two staff members, and if I leave now, it will really suck for her. I know this place has a tendency to take forever to make decisions or implement changes, so I may lose patience before they offer me a new position, but I want to stay at least until they fill the empty spots. I'm not so miserable that I could stand the thought of our programs and clients suffering. Not that I'm so special that success depends on my mere presence, but it would be hard to run our department being three people short.

Deep down I really want to work part time, and spend more time around the house gardening and cooking and wholesome, homely stuff like that. But, I feel like I have a "duty" to maximize my financial resources. I'm not sure if that's coming from my feminist, individualistic ideals or my anxiety that allows me to imagine all improbable manner of potential disasters, but that's probably a whole other post.

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