Here I am, at a major cross roads in my life. One path ahead of me, however difficult to get a solid footing on, is one that leads to a six-figure career, possibly as soon as I sign on the dotted line of my next full-time contract. This road considers my employment history in an area that’s highly desired right now yet not clearly understood, one that important and big companies are seeking to hire expertise in that I now have, if not the knowledge, the employment history to back up. At least more than I did before my last job when my entire employment history was 1.5 years as a journalist, which only got me a foot in the door at some PR firms for a very entry-level position.
The other road, however, is one even more unclear. It’s one filled with $15 per hour jobs sans health insurance, part-time and/or contract work, minimally paid internships, graduate school, going back to the start. And it seems like such a waste of the opportunity I have to make something really “good” come from this layoff (at least in terms of my bank account and professional growth) to jump into an entirely different field that may lead me to a spot with the same “I’m not meant to be here” surroundings on a different path, just two years from now.
There are some opportunities in the first version of this scenerio. Well, to be honest, right now there is one possibility, but others may exist, especially if I’m willing to move. I don’t know if it’s really a six-figure job, but I assume I’ll make at least what I made at my last gig ($60k) and likely more because it’s for a bigger company with a lot more responsibility. There’s a chance they expect to pay $90k or more. I don’t know. I’m in the process of interviewing for the position. It sounds like an amazing opportunity. But I’m terrified of failing. I’m scared of failing when the stakes are higher. I’m scared of not knowing what to do, how to make up the tasks of the job, set measurable goals, and meet or exceed them. Sometimes results related to this role are difficult to quantify, but without the numbers success means nothing in these types of companies. So what do I do?
It is a luxury to get to “choose” but… in reality, I haven’t secured a job offer yet for #1 and I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes in the last three weeks, only to receive a few “you don’t have what we’re looking for” or to just be ignored. I’m onto the second interview stage with the “really good opportunity” job but that means very little other than I have a shot at this gig. I’ll get to interview in person instead of over the phone. They’ll decide if they like me. I’ll decide if I think I can really do this job without falling on my face.
In the meantime, I daydream about things I’d really love to do. Design. User research. Product management. Heck, maybe I’d even enjoy…. teaching? Retail? Being a waitress (I have a friend who loves it.) I don’t know. I’m an INTP. I like solving problems. I like helping people. I do well with the big picture, but not so much the details. I know what type of job I want to have (design research) but I don’t have the experience or skills for that type of job. My resume is schizophrenic. I don’t want to get my hopes up about the opportunity because it may not be right for me. Or I might not get it. And beyond this, I haven’t had any other biters on potential employment. So it’s difficult to compare this opportunity to another, since there currently isn’t another.
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