Last week, I found myself with some extra time off and decided to take a long weekend and visit Grad School State. It was definitely a much deserved vacation.
I was happy to get off campus for once. It seems that even when I’m not on call, I tend to stick around (now that I’m making friends in the area) but as long as I’m in the city, I feel the need to be “on”. What’s that mean? Well, if something serious were to happen, if I’m on campus, I’m going to have to jump in. And if I’m around the city, I need to make sure I’m on my best behavior. During RA training, we talk about how RAs are role models to their residents. Who do you think act as role models for the RAs? Oh you know, the pro staff.
I was also glad to see all the people I knew from GSS. I had friends that were in lots of different departments and it was nice to see them after all this time and hear what they have been up to. Everybody in my program seems to like their jobs. I only know of two that are searching and it’s not so much that they don’t like their jobs, but rather they are relocating to be closer to a significant other. My friends from outside the program…that’s a different story. They always seem to be looking for something better or complaining about something. Part of me wants to smack them…”Oh, I’m sorry, your boss asked you to come in on a Saturday? I had to go to the hospital with a kid with alcohol poisoning at three am.” But then I realized we’re the lucky ones! We like our jobs! It must suck to get called into a job that you don’t like on a Saturday.
The moment that it really hit me, I was talking with someone who is looking for his next job and he just seemed really down and said, “Oh well, it’s not like you can get your dream job right out the gate or even ten years down the road.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but I did! Granted, I’ve always thought about “dream _____” in a much more reasonable way than others. I know that I can’t have some high level job right after graduation, so I kept my goals in the entry level arena. I also tell people that my dream car is a car that only costs about $40K which isn’t exactly unreasonable. Back to my original point…
People also keep telling me that they “admire that I’m doing what I love even though it means I’ll be poor for the rest of my life” (except sometimes it’s more eloquently said). Yes, I know that I have a masters and I know that my job requires more than the normal nine-to-five and I’m sure if you divided the amount I make by the hours I worked, we would find that I would have been better off as a stock room worker at a chain clothing store that sells overpriced jeans, but that’s not the point. I’m happy with my job. At the moment, I’m able to make ends meet. I’m not on the border of being starving and homeless. I guess what I want to say to those people is sorry I value my happiness over a paycheck (#notsorry).
Sorry that went a bit towards the rant-y side. I’m not even mad, I’m just happy with my job. I do have friends that aren’t in student affairs that do like their jobs. I also have friends that are still looking for their dream jobs but are making sure they are taking on the “right” responsibilities and projects in their current job to help them attain that dream job one day.
If you’re not in your dream job yet, what is your dream job? What steps are you taking to get there?