Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Selling My Soul to Make Money

I must love the feeling of adrenaline that comes with deadlines, because I'm always scrambling up to the last minute. Case in point, I just went to the post office this morning to file my taxes (I mostly e-filed, but there were some state things I had to mail in). Also? I have a quarterly report due for my job today. Oh, and what am I doing you ask? Even though I have to finish in 3 hours?

...Being sucked in by the Internet. Between Facebook, Twitter, 20 SB, and Google Reader, it's a wonder I get anything done. (Plus, I have no self control, so I literally have to unplug myself from the Internet in order to work. This is a serious problem. Help me, I'm addicted.)

There is some exciting news, though...Job interviews are in process. Two. Both are in Cleveland, which is a fun city and closer to my family. And both are fantastic, fantastic opportunities. So keep your fingers crossed and/or pray, whatever you prefer. (We don't really have a plan B at this point, so we're hoping God opens some doors for us.)

Speaking of careers (gosh, I must be getting old if I can speak of careers)- I've been wondering, how much does your job have to line up with your values?

I've always been drawn to working kids. In high school, I wanted to be a child psychologist. But then realized what a huge burden and challenge that would be, and didn't know if my delicate self could handle working with only disturbed, troubled kids. So I went to college to be a teacher, because I thought education was the way to change society. After I realized I was not cut out for being in the same classroom with the same kids day after day (I need variety!), I was left struggling to find a career path that would satiate my needs to work with others (preferably kids), while still offering me job security and a little bit of money. Plus, I really don't wanna have to sell my soul to pay the rent. (Okay okay, corporations aren't the devil, but they're kinda close. What? I warned you, I'm a borderline hippie!)

Since I love working with people, I've also thought about working in PR or marketing or sales or graphic design, but I'm afraid I'd get stuck working for some huge corporation and I just can't convince myself to do that. It's bad timing for those of us who are starting our careers now, with a crappy economy, we won't have as many job opportunities. So I wonder if maybe I should just get an advanced degree in some specialization, like speech-language pathology, so I can have job security in a tumultuous time.

I know there is no perfect company or organization to work for - I work for a fantastic (but obviously intense) non-profit now. But I see us shopping at Wal-Mart and using Styrofoam plates for 100 kids and just feel bothered by it. I can't be too picky - I mean, for God's sake! We compost our leftovers at my work, recycle everything, and use ceramic mugs for coffee! Plus, I work with two other vegetarians, which is awesome. I don't know how I would handle working somewhere with a low sense of social and environmental consciousness...But I'm not sure I should really take that into consideration when looking for a job.

I just want some flexibility and a job that will make a positive difference in the world (or at least not a negative difference). Is that so much to ask?

What about you? What do you do (or what do you WANT to do)? Do you think about your values and beliefs when thinking about your career path?


  1. I used to think about this a lot before I realized I didn't want a Real Job. Ooh, I have too much floating around in my head for a comment. I'll just say that people who can match their vocations to their careers are truly blessed indeed.

  2. Maggie's off to a good start. A few months ago I gave what I thought was some pretty good advice to a co-worker who wasn't sure what to do work-wise: Pray and ask God to put you where you can do the most good.

    So maybe a prospective employer isn't completely in step with everything you believe (few are). Is there the possibility they would be open to some new ideas? Do you think you could exert a little influence (or befriend somebody else who could) and implement some better practices? I had a co-worker who started collecting ink and toner cartridges for a charity that received a little money when they recycled them, for example.


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