Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Job vs School thing

After being laid off from yet another job earlier this year, bringing the total to four in the past five years, I was, needless to say, a little depressed. I chose a career that tends to have a more up and down type of path and a lot of people freelance in the television business. I never really considered myself a freelancer though. Every job I took was with the hope that it would last. Most of the companies I worked for hired me as a salaried employee. So with each job I had some sense of security if only for a short while.

Between each lay-off I consistently have the same ideas:

1. Go back to school. I never finished my degree and was able to just work in my chosen field and get experience that way. But going back to school either meant not working at all and going full time or taking classes in the evenings. I just wasn't motivated enough.

2. Start my own business. But what? Cafe, Boutique, Door to Door Salesman? Starting your own business always seemed so idealistic and great on paper, but in reality it's tough, a lot of hard work and you most likely will be in debt for a long time before you make any money.

3. Take a trip. Again, always seemed like a good idea, but I never had the money to go anywhere and of course no money was coming in. Plus, once I was married I couldn't just up and leave my husband for a month.

Then I would get a call for a new job and boom, back at the career and my ideas were now just books collecting dust on my bookshelf.

This past time of being laid-off, now with a child in my life, was the toughest. I just didn't want to look for yet another job. I started going to career counseling that was provided by my previous employer. The counselor was nice and helpful and really kicked my resume up ten notches. But that depression wasn't going away and employers weren't calling. I even cried in her office one day. Yes. Cried. (Which I attribute to being a new mom and the lack of sleep for the past year). You just get this feeling that, god dammit, why doesn't anyone want me? I'm 36 and still looking for a job. It's depressing.

Finally, reality started seeping in even more when most of the jobs I went for required a degree of some sort. Here we go again. That school thing. In my mind I always thought...How does a book degree compare to my 12 years in the trenches? Can a degree holder really be better at the prospective job than I?

My Husband started feeling the pressure too. If he made more money I could just stay home with Maddox and everything would be great. But would it? Could I stay home, day after day? I am a working mom. I would never fit the SAHM profile. I don't think I could hack it. Not the taking care of Maddox part, but the not having a life outside of Momdom. I know, I know, a lot of moms do it and are just as happy as clams. It just isn't me. At least not right now.

Once again like be smacked over the head with a ruler, the school thing is staring me in the face. Could I do it? Could I really go back? I would basically be right back where I was 15 years ago. The studying, the tests, the books... I was on the fence. Then when my husband got offered this new fancy job that would bring in more money we whipped out our calculators to see if we could make this work. Once and for all, I was going to be a student again.

Algebra? History? Yes, it's that kind of school. Since I only took a couple of semesters out of high school, I have a lot of work to do. But, I'm doing it. Yeah, I still work part-time too. I need some kind of income. My husband isn't that rich, but I did it and here I am. A student. At age 36.

Stay tuned for part two of my first semester of school.

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