Last night I was hanging out at my very favorite local watering hole knocking back some delicious and hard to find brews. The place was pretty packed and since there are few things more awkward than standing in a crowd of folks alone with not even 20% cell phone battery to hide behind I decided to grab a seat at the deli counter away from the bar. As is wont to happen in this particular establishment I soon found myself talking to the other girl parked at the counter and she invited me to join her group who were en route.
They showed up and we went through our introductions and before long one of my new chums asked the unavoidable landmine of a question: "So, what do you do?"
I hate answering this. It makes me feel like a fantastic failure every time i have to own up to being a secretary. Even if the people I'm talking to don't know that I have a Masters degree, I know it and I beat myself up wondering how the bottom fell out. Shouldn't I be doing more? Really, Danielle, how lame can you be?
As it turned out, one of the guys in the group also had a psych degree but was currently working in a shipping job. We got to talking about what could have been and he mentioned an outreach program he used to work for. I guess the conversation plus the residue of job shame (and maybe a bit of the brew) got my gears turning because this morning I found myself investigating similar outreach programs in our part of the state. Low and behold, one of them has an open position. Perfect!
Well, almost perfect. You see the position is overnight and the top of the possible pay range is 1/3 less than what I currently make (which, trust me, isn't a ton to start with). Could I manage it, yes, but it is forcing me to really look at what I value. This is a job in the field I studied with a chance to make a difference but I find myself weighing that against the inevitable money crunch and further squeeze it would put on the already limited time I have with Indie Jake.
...sadly, even though this could be what I want, I'm wondering if I want it enough.