I think I might be a job snob. I’ve been called a snob before, but never a job snob. I’m not quite sure how to handle this.
For the entirety of my adult life, I’ve held two jobs – both as a special education teacher. The first school I worked at was the epitome of a living hell. I would cry on my way to work, during my lunch, on the ride back and then a little more at home. I dreaded going to work everyday. The second school, where I currently am, causes far less tears. I have a fun group of kids, a great case manager and the autonomy to teach how I see fit.
“Is this enough? Am I fulfilled?” I still find myself wondering. Yesterday, I had a pseudo midlife crisis meltdown and cried for two hours about how my professional life is in shambles. “My job doesn’t tick all the boxes,” I cried. I had written a list down at the end of the last school year with attributes my dream job would have. It would have flexible hours, great pay, autonomy and an unlimited supply of LaCroix. On top of that, it would also be aiding in the greater good of the world, challenging me daily and thrill me on the regular. Isn’t that what everyone strives to have in their career?
This got me thinking. When did a job stop being “just a job”? When did good pay, and health insurance become not enough? When did it become something that was expected to fulfill you as well? I think it might be a millennial thing. I worked a summer in a bougie office between my first two years of teaching, and everyone who came through the elevator had the same jokes about retirement. “How many more days for you Sally?” one would ask another. “Ah, you know, 452 and 2 hours,” Sally would reply. My stomach would turn, as I vowed to never be like Sally and gang.
I want a job that I am excited to go to every morning. I enjoy what I do now, sometimes, but it gets monotonous and boring to teach single digit addition on the daily. Am I supposed to get thrill from a career? Is that pretentious of me to desire? My husband made a great point – I want everything that would be found in a fulfilling life in my career. Why can’t I get the checkmarks that go unchecked outside of my job? Why am I insistent that my dream job exists?
I’m in the midst of reading the Michelle Obama book (book number 8 of the year for my self imposed challenge). She apparently had similar feelings when she was a lawyer, and segued into working with the government. She took a pay cut and lost some sweet perks of the job in order to follow her heart. Oh, and then she became the First Lady of our country. So if Michelle Obama can figure it all out, maybe I can too. Maybe if I just finish reading the book (I’m about 44% through), my answer will be there, glowing, highlighted and in bold text, on the last page. Maybe I’ll just run for president. I’m sure they have that unlimited supply of LaCroix that I was asking for. Wishful thinking, amirite?