When I write I often focus on my personal life and don’t often talk about my work life. There are two main reasons I don’t talk about work. First, when you name your employer online anything you do or say can possibly be linked back to that company. I realize it’s not the most common occurrence but why chance it. My blog isn’t always the appropriate for all viewers so there’s no need to bring my companies name into the mix. The second and more important reason I don’t talk about work is because my job is quite uninteresting. I work in the property/causality insurance industry which comes in second only to accounting for the most boring award. Coverage questions and deductibles just are not exciting reading.
I decided to bring this up because it occurred to me recently that I’ve finally gotten to a place in my life where I feel very content in my job. When I graduated college I went straight into retail management. After a couple years I’d had my fill of retail and knew it was time for a change. Getting out of the retail game however is easier said than done. I spent several years fighting and struggling to change my career path. My resume was always online and I would constantly dig through online job sites for new postings. Feeling unsettled in my job became comfortable and normal. I got used to the struggle. Even when I finally got my first interview with my current employer it took them a full year before finally offering me the job. Advancement and salary increases have never been my main focus. I’m happiest when I have a work life balance while enjoying what I’m doing. In the past I’ve taken the promotion I wasn’t sure I wanted just for the big pay increase. I learned that even with more money I still didn’t like being a manger and I still was unhappy. You might laugh but one of my very first goals was to find a job that had standard Monday through Friday hours. When I left retail management I even took a 20% pay cut just for the possibility of not having to work on the weekend.
Now I’m happy to say I’ve gotten to that happy median where I’m content. I like working for a large national corporation because it offers possibilities. It afforded me the possibility to move across the country. While I’m not sure I would use the word love I can say I genuinely don’t mind going to work in the morning. I have a boss who trusts me and lets me work independently, my coworkers are nice people who work well together and I almost never have to talk directly to a customer. Did I also mention that I started with 4 weeks of vacation time. 4 WEEKS! Those are the things that matter to me. I don’t have to manage people and I have more time off then I can sometimes use. It may not be a high paying job or the one I dreamed of but it’s the job I enjoy.
While we’re on the subject, let me talk about dream jobs. A department store fashion buyer has always been my theoretical dream job. I use the word theoretical because while I like the idea of becoming a buyer, I’m sure I’d like the reality. The other problem is the fashion/department store industry is volatile. The continued evolution of tastes and purchasing habits have brought an uncertain future to professional buyers everywhere. While insurance isn’t the most exciting but it is stable. Seeing so many of my friends face layoffs makes my practical nature value my stability.
On one final note. It’s also nice to work in an environment with coworkers who are retiring. When I worked in retail it always struck me as interesting that I never once saw of or heard of a person retiring from their job as a retail manager. In fact it was more common to hear stories about successful managers who had climbed up the ladder only to one day give it all up because they just couldn’t take it anymore. Or to be more polite they would say they just “needed a change.” Whenever anyone tells you they need a change it’s code for I’m miserable. Seeing everyone always quit or get fired before the age of 65 only confirmed every instinct I had to leave. So now when we celebrate a retirement at work I feel confident that there’s at least the possibility that I too can one day retire from this job.