Jul 23, 2010

The Green-Eyed Monster, guest post

I like to call it "Keeping Up With Mrs. Jones" syndrome.

Honestly, it's a behavior that's in direct conflict with the 10th Commandment-- "Thou Shalt Not Covet Your Neighbor's House".

Technically, I'm not guilty of that sin (God, are you listening?). I don't covet my neighbor's house. I covet my neighbor's job.

She's a nurse... and not just any nurse. She's an OB nurse, meaning she gets to spend her days delivering adorable little newborns into the world. In fact, she delivered my daughter almost two years ago (a fact which I did not realize until I was actually in labor; being that I was new to the neighborhood, we'd never met until that moment!).

I know she works long hours, and weekends, and doesn't always get her first pick of vacation days. I know her days aren't always consumed by watching new life arrive in the world to anxious, joy-filled parents; sometimes, her days are filled with death, sorrow, and parents who would rather be somewhere-- anywhere-- else.

But, I still envy her. I want her job, not the one I spent five and a half years in college working towards.

And you know what? My neighbor isn't the only person whose job I covet. Nope. I am also jealous of my friend Sarah's job as an executive at a political public relations firm; I'd also like to try my hand at my cousin's job as a teacher; and I'd really like to take on my former co-worker's new career as a stay-at-home mom.

So what's stopping me from making these changes? Mostly, it's good, old-fashioned fear. I'm afraid to take that leap and leave my cush job (particularly in the middle of a recession) and try something new. That's really the issue-- at what point in a person's career does it no longer make sense to stop what you've been doing for the past decade, and make a complete 180-degree change of course?

Recently it hit me-- I am only 28 years old. I am not old in any sense of the word (although I did have a 6-year-old at the pool tell me the other day that I was "ancient"... that really boosted my ego). I have time to make plans.

So making plans I am!

First, I started researching other career fields (not nursing; despite my job-envy, I still can't stand blood). Would it make sense financially to switch to that job? What kind of hours to people in that industry work?

I made a list of pros and cons (I'm a type-A personality, so making lists tends to calm me). And once I did, I began to see that taking the steps to a new career might not be as unimaginable as I once feared. I don't have to quit my current job today and start a whole new one tomorrow. I can take it day-by-day, step-by-step, until I'm at a place where I want to be.

So now, the only person I have to be jealous of is the person I'm about to become.

Elizabeth is a full-time working mom who writes on the topics of technical education, college, medical coding, healthcare, etc. Outside of writing, she enjoys chasing after her toddler, who is usually chasing after the family dog, who is usually chasing after the mailman. You get the idea.


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