I keep seeing things about how you need to have a 5-year or 10-year plan in terms of your career and I honestly cannot think of what I would want.
I’ve been in my current job for 12 years (and 4 months, but who’s counting?) I guess it’s not the exact same position, I did get a promotion a couple of years ago (“We’re moving your area to a different department and the old director is staying in IT, so I guess you’re the director now.”) And in reality, since I work in web development my job changes all the time as technology evolves. There is no “higher level” position in my current employment to work toward, I’ve peaked in that regard. But in terms of having a plan or trajectory, I’m lost.
I’ve felt this way for years, but it’s really amplified lately. The main reason?
When I was younger, I always assumed that if I had kids I would NEED to keep working. Not necessarily for financial reasons, but for mental salvation. I thought I would need the time and interaction with other adults as opposed to spending time with a baby all day.
But I also knew that as a working mom there would be a feeling of guilt about leaving my child with someone else all day and the expense of paying her tuition. There’s the feelings of guilt for taking time away from my desk to pump each day, even if I’m allowed that “privilege” by law for the first year of her life. There’s the guilt of feeling like I’m not as reliable as an employee because I quit working immediately at the end of the day so I can rush off to get her, where the old me would keep plugging away for far too many minutes or hours past the end of the work day.
As it stands right now… I get the worst of both worlds. I get the guilt that comes with working and the lack of adult interaction that comes from staying home.
The addition of Skype and Google+ Hangouts help me feel a little more connected to other people at work. My daughter’s school teachers are amazing and they do activities with her that I wouldn’t think of doing if I was on my own with her all day. There are some positive things to my situation, but on a broad scale I’m just generally discontented with life.
I feel the biggest reason I’m unhappy is that I’m scared of change. Taking a leap to make changes is scary, even more so now that there is another person in my life who would be affected by these decisions.
I think that getting rid of the notion that I need a 5- or 10-year plan and being more mindful and living in the moment will help. It’s too bad that our world doesn’t encourage mindfulness more, we’re always supposed to be looking to the next thing. I’ve found that in my running too. I couldn’t just finish my first postpartum half marathon without being asked multiple times that same day, “What’s next?!” Can’t I just have this moment?
Do you find that you struggle with being in the moment? What do you do to pull yourself back into it and not focus on the future too much?