An analogy for how I feel in my career

Imagine this: every year you go on vacation to a location close to home, say Drenthe*. It's fine to go to Drenthe, there are farms where you can pet a little horse, there is a small museum and some sights to see. But then one year, instead of Drenthe you get to go some place really nice and fancy, say Ibiza. It is awesome, you have sun and beach and parties and it gives you much more energy than Drenthe. It makes you realize that there is so much more in the world than just going to Drenthe.

But then the next year, circumstances dictate that your vacation goes to Drenthe again and not Ibiza. Complaining about it makes you feel spoiled because it is a vacation after all, but now that you've seen what vacations can also be like, Drenthe just seems a bit bleak in comparison.

This is how I feel about being back in my old job after having spend last year doing a different job. It feels like a huge first world problem to complain about something I liked before, but at the same time I feel like I keep doing the same thing that is not giving me a lot of energy where in the other job there were so many new and exciting things that were giving me energy. And even when those things would not be new and exciting anymore I believe they fit me better. And knowing that, additional time spent in my current job does not get me to where I'd want to be in my career. I need to figure out how to start the conversation about other opportunities within the company because it seems that people have already forgotten that I said how much I liked Ibiza and now just sent me back to Drenthe thinking I'd be satisfied just being on vacation.

*Feel free to replace this with a location close to your home.

3 responses so far

  • chall says:

    ahhh.... I recognize the idea of this. You get lulled into thinking it's all fine but when you return after your newfound freedom* (cool new creative obligations) you realise that maybe, just maybe is there something missing and derailing from that former job.

    I have tried to open a convo with boss about the difference between "what I do" and "what my job description says I do", coupled with the inevitable "future career" and where I want to go. It has been a little tricky to navigate between "I like what I do, however it is not leading me to where I want to go since I am not getting credit for the things I do since the job description never changes". I've realised that this most likely means I have to leave my job. I'm sad about it since I really do like what I do (going to Ibiza) but if it's not getting me forward to the place I want to go in the future, maybe cut my losses and move on? (I'm probably mixing your metaphor and all right now, being on vacay and writing on a small screen...)

    • babyattachmode says:

      Ah yes that's another issue: needing to leave what you do to get where you eventually want to be. I recognize the feeling that at the moment, I feel that in my current job I'm not learning anything new or getting new experience that will get me where I vaguely think I eventually would like to go. I'm curious to hear how your boss responds when you bring this up.

      • chall says:

        I'll keep you in the loop on twitter if nothing else. I stil keep hope that "we" can "fix this". I'm getting plenty new stuff, and more responsibilities so that part isn't the big issue for me. It's the compensation/promotion-career movement that isn't in sync with the fact that i'm hired to do P and I do P+F+R+coaching and leadership and there is no change in job description or compensation.

        Like I said to my boss, "once I feel like I'm being used, it's a non-good situation". I didn't flat out tell him that my excitement of working over time and doing "that extra step" is less likely to happen when the "used feeling" has entered the convo, however I would certainly hope that he gave it a thought or two. As for me, I'm collecting my experiences and adding to the things to make me more attractive for a new opportunity. Eventually I will move on, or maybe up depending on how things shape up in this year...

Leave a Reply