Shannonine in Atlantic Highlands writes:
I really need help deciding which direction to take my professional career. I currently have a full-time job that does not pay very well and is below my educational background, but could offer some opportunities. I’ve made a commitment for the fall to a job I’m not sure I really want and don’t know how I will balance my other responsibilities with. I’ve also verbally accepted other courses for the fall that I will not be able to carry out if I take any of the other options… and last but not least, I applied for a job that I would really like, but haven’t heard anything from them yet. Help, help, help! Too much work…
You have plans and goals, which is awesome, but unless you find a position that has a workable schedule, you are going to be taking on too much to achieve your goals. This isn’t a hopeless situation, but it certainly is a challenging one!
I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. The job that you would really like to have but haven’t heard from isn’t looking like it will pan out for you. You have some serious competition for that opening, and others who have applied seem to have the edge of experience.
Your current job does have opportunities that will open to you, if you choose to stay there long enough. I don’t see you as wanting to tough it out, though. The earliest I see any promotional or advancement opportunities coming your way aren’t likely to manifest until spring of 2009. I just don’t see you wanting to stay there, even though it is a viable option.
It appears that you are going to rescind your commitment to the fall job. It will be too disruptive to your life, and your lack of enthusiasm is going to creep into a feeling of dread. It stinks to have to back out of a commitment, but you ultimately have to do what is best for you.
I do see that you will honor your commitment to the courses you verbally accepted. This is something you want to do, and will benefit from.
Keep searching for the right job and opportunity, and you will find it. You don’t have to accept every offer that comes your way, but you do need to consider how each opportunity will affect your long-term goals. Time is on your side, because your current position is workable and safe – even if it isn’t ideal mentally or monetarily. In the grand scheme of things, it is merely a stepping stone, anyway.
It is hard to find balance in life, particularly when you have as much ambition as you do. Wanting to get ahead is great – but sometimes it is better to walk across the finish line, rather than run. You are taking on too much, and putting yourself in an overworked and scattered state of being. Calm down and map it out on paper. Think in terms of a 2-year plan. This will help you to prioritize what sacrifices you are willing to make, and also help you to see the dangers of spreading yourself too thin. While it may take a bit longer than you would like, you will achieve the position, recognition, and pay you are striving for.
I hope this helps!