What do you want to be when you grow up?
Don't know? That's ok, neither do I.
It feels like I've been thinking about what I want to do with my life for most of the time I've been on this earth. I'm still thinking about it. I thought maybe I'd work with the federal parks system, or the provincial parks system. I'd work outside, I'd love my job, make good money and generally be pretty happy.
After graduation, I searched for that dream job. (Spoilers: I didn't find it.) I took a job that was close to what I wanted, thanks to a friend's help. Now I'm stuck. After moving laterally in the company, I'm finding that there's no tangible way for me to move up. We have no HR department, so I can only voice my concerns to my supervisor. She's on my side, but getting anything done in my favour is hellishly slow. It's been 2 years since I asked for a proper raise, and it's 2 years and counting that I'm still waiting for it.
What do you do in a place where you can't learn? Where you can't better your skills? Where you don't feel like you're valued? I'm looking into taking courses on the side and maybe moving into a new industry. I'm tired of not learning anything new. I haven't used the skills I acquired in University since I started working here.
I'm close to my 30s, and this is the time of my life where I thought I'd have my shit together. But I don't, and that scares the hell out of me. Every job posting I've applied to has been met with silence, or rejection. The things I feel confident in doing are slowly slipping away from me.
So, what do I do? I could go back to school. I'm not in debt right now, but I really don't want to be in debt. But I want to learn. I could quit, find something temporary and just do something I'm familiar with (I worked retail for a long time). I could move somewhere new, try and make my way there. Unfortunately, my health limits the pie-in-the-sky dreams of just packing everything up and going, but a planned move wouldn't be too difficult.
I wish that I could bottle this feeling and give it to the fresh out of high school kid that thought she knew exactly where she'd end up. Tell her that maybe, she should give a wider variety of ideas a shot. To take the time to find out what she really, truly loves. That the things she's good at are all valid career paths!
School seemed like such a literal straight path, and I wish that I'd known that I could have taken my time to figure out what I wanted. Because I think I rushed through trying to just get that degree, and now, it just feels useless.