I started a new job last week. It's actually my first time in an office environment since 2012. Back then, I was fresh out of college and took the first job that was offered. It was a foreign concept to negotiate a salary, hours, or benefits. These were things I knew existed; I just didn't think they were an option for me. I was 21-years-old, and didn't know any better.
Part of the reason I haven't worked full-time was childcare. I didn't have anyone to watch my daughter, but more so the funds to pay for such an expense. Childcare could range from $700-1,200 a month. Unless you know someone who's babysitting under-the-table, it can be very costly. Yes, there are programs that can help defray the cost, however you have to be in school full-time, working full-time, or doing both on a part-time basis. Here's the catch, you have to prove only one parent is responsible for the child, and that the income is minimal. It can be very hard to push past certain barriers when you're working within such restrictions.
Flash-forward three years, I've finally found a position that was mutually beneficial. While most people are running from corporate positions, I see value in them. When you've had to depend on the help of others to get by, nothing matters more than having your own. However, independence has a cost. On one hand, it requires focus, time, and money. On the other hand, it requires sacrifice. That sacrifice is time with my daughter. This was a first for both of us -being separated. Leaving her at daycare wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. In the positive, in just one week I've seen profound social changes from her being around other kids. She's very intuitive. Another great thing is the caregiver sends me photo updates throughout the day. I commend Ayo's bravery. She's facing uncharted waters alone. Also, it helps me make my transition easier with one less worry.
I took this job knowing the skills I needed to learn, and the purpose it would serve. I desired structure. For some, that may seem minimal, but for me it was major. I was drained from the constant battle of doing things on a whim, staying up long hours to complete assignments against deadlines, and not being able to follow through with "plans" because of extenuating circumstances. I wanted some control over my life. I once heard someone say, "Sometimes, you have to work in order to fund your dream." I wholeheartedly believe that. I have a dream of connecting people around the world; none of that changes. I know that my dreams will not become obsolete because I will not allow them to. I choose to nurture my creative side, and to keep writing and doing what makes me happy.
Here's where people go wrong; they give into the notion that their jobs are the deciding factors of fate, when they're not. The only thing constant is you, and you are most important. You have to understand what purpose the job or career serves in your life, and find gratitude in that. If you find joy in going to work everyday! Great. You're ahead of the game. If not, think some of the positives. Does this position allow you to pay bills, have a home and put food on the table, travel, and provide tangible luxuries? Do you have great coworkers and a support system that pushes you to excel? I'm sure you can find one thing to love, and if not, why are you doing it? People go through life hating their job without realizing it's their decision to stay. It is possible that you’ve outgrown the position. You made the choice to hate it instead of finding what would satisfy your needs. A job is just that, a job. If it's not your passion then maybe it's time to find out what is.
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