10 Years from Now…

In 10 years, I’ll have an almost-10-year-old. I’ll also likely be at the same exact level in my career. I’ve been writing a lot about this lately, because it’s on my mind a lot. I see others my age who are already much higher up in their careers, and even though I know it’s not the right fit for me, I can’t help feel disappointment in myself and a bit of jealously.

It’s nice to work in a larger company where there are some older folks (late 30s, 40s, etc) that are in mid-level roles and probably will never go much further. It’s hard to accept that for myself. But it’s so hard for women in my industry to get ahead, even if they’re rockstars and socially capable. 

It’s not just because I’m a woman, of course, but it doesn’t help that I’ve been hit on my senior level execs who could have become mentors (after we weren’t working together anymore, but still), or, just entirely ignored otherwise, or that I don’t know how to maintain ongoing relationships with the executives (all male) that would be that type of mentor/friend that younger male managers with potential have. I don’t know what guys talk about when they go get drinks (I’m sure it’s not all work stuff) but I don’t have that type of friendship with anyone I’ve worked with in the past (who is in a more senior role than I am), male or female.

I don’t see that changing, ever. And although I’m unsure if I ever want to move up, it’s tough to see that I can’t play the game. I’m a halfway-decent creative at best and that means a long working life of presenting ideas that executives turn down and disagree with, and not having enough time to do good work. I think management, at some point, is just refreshing in being able to set strategy and not be so stressed out over the details (stress is still there, of course, but it’s a different kind of stress.)

I still don’t think I’m cut out for management anyway, but it’s just sad that there is no path anywhere in my career but flat or out. It very well might be out in a few years. I feel disappointed in myself because I’m so close yet so far from being professionally successful. I’m trying not to care. There are plenty of ways to find fulfillment in life other than being an executive. So why am I so stuck on this?

Because it isn’t just about becoming an exec. It’s about having those professional relationships that help in the day-to-day at work. It’s about those relationships not just being work based, but having a social element to them. But no one would invite me to an event outside of work that isn’t formally sponsored by the company. And, if they did, I wouldn’t know what to say anyway. Which maybe is why I don’t get invited. I’m just so awkward. I wish there was a way to fit in more and make professional friends, but it’s pretty hopeless. My best bet is just trying to output good work on time and keep my job for as long as I can.

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4 thoughts on “10 Years from Now…”

  1. ISFJ here. Same career level in last 5 years. Unfortunately my personality type is the perfect fit for motherhood, secretary, elementary school teacher and customer service Rep… Basically all the low income jobs. I’m lucky to find a corporate niche where I’m paid a bit more than the other roles for my personality type. It’s taken years for me to accept that my natural pre disposition and personality is so lowly monetarily valued in society but I’ve gradually accepted that not everyone can be STEM wired and thats what society is paying bucks for in this generation.

    Fortunately I came to this realization early in my career and built up multiple income streams early so all is not lost.

    My job is borderline government like, routine and stable enough for me to make plans outside of work and enjoy life after 5pm. That’s a rare view in the world u live in I’m sure.

    Boys club exist in all industries . I have the same problem as you especially being Asian female and having a natural default soprano voice that nobody takes seriously and always seen as soft and kind. I guess I’d do well in HR or training role but it’s weird working in all female environment too. Those departments are overwhelmingly female as is my industry already .

    My workaround has been befriending clients with obvious similarities to start building networks and friends. Female my age going thru the same life stage outside of work, or people of similar ethnic minority where we speak the same second language… Find a commonality. Build from there. Eg hope you’ve reached out to the other mommy coworker. Check out my post on breaking the bamboo ceiling. Applies to other groups and demographics outside of WASP too.

    Have a good work week
    Financial Orchid recently posted..LaLaLand Day 3&4 – Discovering the Garden of Eden  

  2. Interesting. I just read your post. While I think it’s not ideal to focus on only getting to know someone who is “like you,” I see why this would be the easiest route. That said, I’m just a white woman with nothing really special about me. I don’t relate to other white women. There is a woman who had a child recently and she is very nice, but she’s not really at a senior level. When I look at the women in senior roles, I don’t relate to any of them–I mean, they’re all “STJ” or “NTJ” (you should work in tech, you’d fit right in.) I don’t think there are any INFPs. If there are, they hide it well. I just give up–the best I can do is hold on to this job for 3.5 years, then find another career. But it still sucks. I can’t imagine becoming friends with clients… not that I have any contact with clients in my role.

      1. I read that the F types generally have the most struggle in their careers. Not everyone was pre disposed to have a thriving career. It took almost 10 years in the work force to come to terms with that even though I worked very hard thru school. This is one of the difference between schooling and work I suppose. F types can still find education success but it is truly the T types that thrive especially in corporate environments.

        Perhaps if one day we are fortunate enough financially take on those lesser compensated F roles like your lucky husband we will feel most in our element. In the meantime it’s back to maximizing earnings.
        Financial Orchid recently posted..Be an Artist/Entrepreneur and Raise Kids with Recurring Income

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