Given the current economic climate, I've been hearing a lot of people saying, "Well I'm just glad to have a job right now."
That is definitely true for me, but this past month, I've learned more about why I really do love my job - and not just simply because it pays the bills.
I went to a mix and mingle event last week for PR professionals, mostly just to hang out with a friend of mine there (I know, I know - PR is all about networking and meeting new people). But honestly, I wasn't really in the mood to shmooze and talk career stuff.
There were a couple "in between opportunities" people there (a.k.a. unemployed), and it brought me back to the days when I was moving from the Bay Area and looking for work in Sacramento. Finding a good PR job in Sacramento is tough, not to mention when the economy tanks, it's even harder. I had to talk to people a certain way, ask certain questions, put my best foot forward, collect business cards like it was nobody's business. Basically, I had to kiss a lot of ass. It was horrible!
So I really feel for the people who've been unexpectedly thrown back into the whole job hunting thing. It sucks, plain and simple.
When I was looking for work here, I was really willing to work anywhere. I'd been told that my first "real" job after college didn't matter (as far as "making or breaking" my career), so I was open to working anywhere where someone said "yes." Imagine my luck when I ended up at my current job.
Now, this isn't me trying to brag and talk about how perfect my career is. There are some things I wouldn't mind changing, and I second-guess myself and my path all the time. But sometimes it takes hard times to really make you re-shift your thinking and see things in a positive light.
All of the things I would complain about when it came to work have lately seemed petty and irrelevant. I see people moving on up at their jobs, and it really made me question if I was learning enough or at the right place.
But when it comes down to it, who cares what my title is? And so what if I'm not 2 steps from becoming VP? I don't meet famous, wealthy people, and I don't name drop my clients. My job involves some administrative work that some would classify as "below" my job title. But in the grand scheme of things, who cares??
I guess I did for awhile there, and I think I lost sight of what's important. I work at a small firm, where everyone is tight-knit and close. We get along, and we don't have the trouble of office politics or cliques. No one is power-hungry here, willing to step on anyone's toes just to make it to the top. I work with 5 of the best people I've ever met, and I can honestly say that I genuinely like every single one of them. They each have something about them that I can learn from, and that learning takes time. I've only been here not even 2 years, and I have a long way to go.
I just need to remind myself why I'm here - we do great work for our clients, and I almost always enjoy coming into work every day (I'll admit, it's tough on Mondays, but once I'm there, I'm always happy to come in).
I've just got to keep that in mind next time I'm making copies, scanning or putting items in the mail. I once heard a good quote: "You are right where you're supposed to be." (Maybe it was a fortune cookie or something). Oh, how true that is.