Lucky to Have a Job…

It’s Monday. Today I ran into a coworker while taking the elevator down to grab lunch in the building cafeteria. After completing the round of  “what’s new?” small-talk, she told me that my former coworker got laid off from his most recent gig at a competing firm. He had been laid-off from my current firm about 4 years ago, after the big market crash. We parted ways, and I began to think about this person and how he’s somehow landed back in the stress of job searching again.

I couldn’t help but think to myself “I guess I’m lucky to even have a job”.  As much as I hate hearing this phrase, particularly from my parents, I started to wonder if this is what life has become. Maintaining a sub-par, dead-end, and sometimes demoralizing job just because I have one? What happened to the days of challenging myself and achieving and growing? My “career” has stagnated, to put it lightly. I am now in a job that is so mindless a monkey could do it. I am bored 3/4 of the time. I feel like my life is being wasted away every single second I am sitting in my dismal cubicle in this dismal office.

Before accepting this “lateral” position transfer (let’s be real…this was a demotion), I had been interviewing with outside firms. The positions they were offering seemed challenging. I was excited by them. But something inside me kept me from making the move. The first time it was because I was so busy planning my wedding that I thought, why make a move right now when I am able to coast here and maintain a low-profile? I could take long lunches for dress fittings, or leave work early for vendor appointments. That was almost two years ago.

Exactly this time of year, one year ago, I was interviewing with a firm and got an offer for a more challenging position, but the commute canceled out the modest increase in salary.

So here I am today, feeling invisible, insignificant, and worthless. I shouldn’t let my job define me. But let’s be honest…I spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, sitting here. That’s the majority of my time. Shouldn’t I try to find something that makes me happier?

Easier said than done. Firstly, I don’t really know what I want to do in my “career” anymore. If I knew what I wanted, I could map out a plan and go for it.

Secondly, if I make a career transition into something new, I will take a paycut and undoubtedly start at the bottom.

And C, I haven’t gotten too many call-backs from recruiters as of late.

And do I really want to be stressed and challenged, when I can cruise over here? Keep a low-profile? And be comfortable with the familiar?

Lucky to have a job? You betcha. But my spirit is dead and I’m extremely miserable. And that definitely spills over into my personal life, as much as I try to prevent that from happening.

Something’s got to change. Something’s got to give…