Saturday, February 2, 2013

Do I?

I've been trying to figure out lately whether I like my job. I'm working in a job that would definitely not have been my first choice if I had my pick of social work positions. I accepted it because I was unemployed and it was a permanent job in government during a government hiring freeze. I accepted it on the advice of a trusted supervisor. I accepted it because I had to, or risk losing my unemployment insurance. So, I accepted the job, and I turned down another one just after. I'll never know if I would have liked the other one better. So here I am, new job, and really feeling like it's not an amazing fit but that I can still do some very good work, but do I like it?

Let's start with the good things about my job.
- I'm learning a lot about case management
- I get a lot of independence
- I have an assistant who does my filing
- I get to do a ton of networking
- We have every colour of post-it flag ever (in fact our supply room is twice the size of my last supervisor's office)
- It's downtown so I can go for indoor walks through the skywalks and tunnels when it's freezing cold out
- It's only one bus from home
- I'm learning a lot about geriatrics
- I make more money than I've ever made before

And some not so great things.
- I have very little client contact
- SO much dealing with money
- I never see my supervisor
- I get NO feedback on my work other than grammar corrections
- It's busy all the time but I find the work itself boring
- I feel extremely awkward having an assistant
- We're not allowed to hang things on our walls or put tacks in them
- I work for lawyers.

The bottom line is that I feel stuck. I might like this job more if I hadn't got laid off from the old one. One of the hard things about this job is that I'm resentful about having to be there at all. I also keep coming across stuff the person before me screwed up and having to fix it. On the other hand, I feel like in this job I really get to have a voice for the voiceless, and I like that. I just sort of feel like I could use my gifts and talents better somewhere else. That administration just isn't the best place for me. And yet, I'm not looking for a new job. I want my old job back. Still. And if I stay in government it will be a lot easier. Plus, I really don't want to start anything new, I don't want to have to start everything all over again, I've only been in this job 11 weeks. I'd like to work my way up to having holidays somewhere so my dad and I can go to Europe. I'd like to work my way to having a bank of sick time, in case I get sick. I'd like to be somewhere, and make a name for myself. I was doing all those things at the old place....

There isn't any room for advancement at this job. I'm 26 and I'm already at the top if I stay here. The only way to be higher would be to become a lawyer, which just isn't happening. My supervisor is a lawyer. I also don't see myself being able to have much impact on any policy changes or systemic issues at this job. I can do my little bit, but I feel like I could do more somewhere else. It strikes me that perhaps I need to set a time limit on this job. Give myself time to learn the job, to adjust, and to give it a real and full chance, but if after a time frame I'm still not happy, giving myself permission to look for something new. And really, I'd at least like to get through my three month review...