Wow, it’s been a month! And I’m finally ready to tackle 2018 goal #5: Find a Job That Makes Me Feel Valued and Pays Me What I’m Worth.
I’ve worked at my current job (in accounting) for almost 12 years. I started as a temp in June of 2006 – a week after I moved to Cincinnati for good (third time’s a charm!) – and was hired on “officially” in January of 2007. I work with some amazing people, and I wouldn’t trade that part for the world. I definitely enjoy certain parts of my job too, like the research related aspects; the things that keep my mind focused and engaged.
For a while now, though, I’ve been in a state where my role feels very stagnant. As an accountant, I typically perform the same functions daily, weekly, and monthly, but over the past few months, even my usual job duties have begun to dwindle. This has left me feeling underutilized and undervalued as an employee. I’ve often wondered if they have been winding down my responsibilities so they can eventually get rid of me.
Recently, I’ve been trying to be more proactive, inside and outside of work. For instance, I’ve taken part in many the “Leadership Development” options the company offers, but so far I’m not seeing any results from it (at least as far as it helping my case goes). I do enjoy the classes, so it does give me something to look forward to when I go to work, but I wish I could understand why it seems like they have lost faith in my abilities. We have annual reviews, and my reviews have always been super positive, so I genuinely don’t understand where it comes from or if it even means anything negative. I mean, maybe my perception is off and they do have something planned for me? Either way, all of this has all left me with a significant amount of self-doubt, particularly when it comes to pursuing greener pastures.
I’ve always been too hard on myself. When I do something well, I typically think, “Anyone can do this.” If myself and 100 other people are vying for the same job, we’re likely going to have similar educational backgrounds, and be team players or detail-oriented or great multi-taskers. So I find it difficult to pinpoint what sets me apart from others. This is especially true if I’m if competing for a role in an industry in which I may not have the ideal experience the company is looking for. How will my current skillset translate? What am I great at that other people may not do as well and might make your life easier? I have my MBA, but so far it has just been a glorified and expensive piece of paper.
Historically, I’ve also been the type of perfectionist that has lived by the adage, “If I can’t do this perfectly, I’d rather not do it at all.” This has made me a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type. I feel like I’m ready to branch out now; to fly, but I’m not sure I’m ready for the insecurity that often comes with a new job at a time when I really need to have a steady, stable income to tackle my debt load. I also have an unfortunate amount of debt (oh past mistakes), so presently there’s no way I would be able to take less than I do now. It makes me feel stuck.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what I want out of life with respect to my career, and how I might be able to use the experience I already have to discover my next calling. I know I need to make some proactive changes. I can’t afford, mentally or financially, to let things go on as they have been. But what to do?
People always say, “Do what you love and the rest will follow!” My struggle has usually been that I’m passionate about numerous things, but many of those things are in industries that don’t historically pay well. And I love money! Strangely, I do know accounting is probably not something I want to continue further, at least as far as pursuing my CPA, which is pretty much what you need in order to achieve executive level status these days, at least in a mid to large-sized company. Realistically, accounting was never my first choice, though. At the time I was considering it as an option, it was more of a, “What can I do in order to get out of food service, but still make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible?” I was experiencing food service burn out, and wanted to pursue something a bit more stable, but I didn’t have any interest in restaurant management at the time. Accounting seemed to fit the bill, and be a great skill to possess. It’s an industry that will always be kicking. I don’t hate it. I just long for something a bit more creative and innovative. Something I can feel really passionate about.
Part 2 coming shortly…