For some reason, even though I’m 7 months pregnant, I can’t help but look for a job. I quit my Sales Manager job when I found out I was expecting at 5 weeks along. I really don’t need to work. My fiancé has things more than covered. On top of it all, I don’t plan on returning to work after my maternity/parental benefits expire. So why am I addicted to searching for a job? And why does it seem like all the “perfect jobs” came out of the woodwork as soon as I was no longer in the market?
(It took me hours to write this post, but I actually came to some answers at the end… read on and feel free to leave your comments!)
This “addiction” goes back years. For the last 8 – 10 years, I’ve always had great jobs. They have progressively improved my resume as I slowly put in my time, continued my education part-time, and never quit looking for what else was out there.
I have had what some would consider a pretty good career in the hospitality industry, specifically the accommodation sector. My ultimate goal was to become a Hotel Manager and I actually achieved that goal soon after my father died. Talk about lacklustre timing. It was quite a stressful time in my life, not just because of the loss of the most important and influential person in my life, but because the hotel I was running was under severe turmoil. There were major conflicts of interest within the strata council that controlled things, my staff were being accused of stealing from the on-site restaurant even though the local police ruled that out and I was personally being attacked, not to mention I had no support (read: I replaced a GM that moved on and I was not encouraged to replace my former position, therefore I ran the place all on my own with no relief). On top of it all, the management group was on the verge of letting go to another group. Even they had had enough and just wanted out. Nothing was certain and I was not kept in the loop. Business was rough as well… being in a small resort town with little to no activity outside the summer months. This led to my leaving on stress leave and ultimately quitting all together. That was one of the hardest decisions of my life. After wanting and working so hard to reach that goal, it was nothing like what I thought it would be 😦
All this drove me to seeing counsellor weekly, taking citalopram (or Celexa) for anxiety and depression and smoking almost a half ounce of weed every 2 weeks. I was a mess. It was then that I realized my family is more important that I ever gave it credit for. At the end of the day, no matter what mess you’re in, family is forever and is worth investing in. I took this opportunity to try and make some progress with my mother who I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years. Long story short that was a complete flop and assured me that what I saw of her when I was 5 years old was indeed the truth and not a figment of my immature imagination. Needless to say we haven’t spoken since. On the flip side, my brother and I made some progress making efforts to see each other more often. It was also then that I decided I wanted a family of my own.
I was able to pick myself up and move forward from all this 5 months later and secured a Sales and Event Manager position at a local ice rink. It was a little outside my industry, but it was closer to home, and allowed me to see more of my brother and his kids. After the hotel experience, I felt like maybe I was moving too fast and perhaps I was doubting my abilities, but maybe I wasn’t quite ready for that GM position just yet? So for the first year in this new job it was pretty sweet. Good money, good hours and I had lots of support… an easy going boss and staff who had their own staff. Well, eventually management changed (dun dun dun…) and I felt just like I did at the hotel. I was unappreciated and felt as though I didn’t really understand my role in the company anymore. It became more sports related rather than events, sales and marketing based. I ended up longing to be back in the industry I knew so well and had a passion for. Therefore, I left on good terms and successfully pursued a Sales Manager position for new hotel in the next town.
It was slightly less money, but it was in the industry I loved, understood and felt comfortable in. One week into my training, I discovered I was pregnant (5 weeks). I felt immediate regret for leaving my last position. In hindsight I sometimes think I should have stuck it out and went on maternity leave like anyone else would have done. But how was I to know? And at the same time, I had to leave. I was so utterly unhappy there. So here I was in a new job and pregnant, not to mention extremely sick which caused me to miss my second week of work. Not exactly the first impression I had in mind when starting this new job. After discussing things with my man, we agreed I would step out gracefully now rather than later considering they would spend months training me just to have me go off on maternity leave with no intention of returning afterwards. This was a bittersweet decision. I really could use the break, mentally as well as physically… but I had also just gained the next best position in what I thought would be a series of career moves back to the top with a great hotel chain.
Talk about confused. I felt really lost at this point in time. I guess I still do. I never grew up with a nurturing mother. Instead, I grew up with a hard working father and brother. Without their encouragement, I felt it was my duty to one day become a business woman, able to support herself; one who would never ever need to rely on a man. Having seen the destruction that was caused for both my parents when they separated, I vowed never to put myself in that position… ever!
Well, I resisted the idea of marriage, kids, and joining bank accounts with a man for almost 30 years. When my Dad died, I felt like I had no safety net anymore, even though I was left completely set for the rest of my life. I guess this is the point in my life where a lot of my thoughts changed on how I would live the rest of my years. It was also at this time where I let go of a 3 year relationship with a guy I knew wasn’t for me. This was step one probably. Once that weight was lifted off my shoulders, I began seeing a new guy shortly thereafter who happened to be someone I went to high school with. He is the man who proposed to me on my 30th birthday. He is the father of my unborn child. He’s the one that takes care of everything financially (aside from my portion for EI (for now)). He is the one who changed everything! That feeling of security is back… at least on that front.
So, I’m back to the beginning… why am I looking for a job? Has anyone else experienced this? I see jobs that really interest me, especially in marketing and I want it. I think of all the schooling I’ve completed and I want more. It’s silly really, because I’m sure once baby comes I’ll be glad I didn’t try to accomplish more than I could handle. Been there, done that and been burnt out before. Plus, who would want to hire a pregnant woman. I’ll officially be on mat leave in roughly 2 weeks. Why won’t I start nesting already? I guess I’ll chalk it up to vulnerability. With my past anxiety issues, you can see why I’m so worried. What if something goes wrong… it has time and time again for almost everyone in my life around me. I feel like if I have a job, I’m wanted, I’m admired, I’m appreciated and I’m fulfilling something in me. I guess that’s what being a mother is about and until that time comes, I just won’t get it. I suppose the job I’m looking for has already been offered and accepted and I’m just in the training process right now… the probationary period if you will. Interesting how blogging an almost 1500 word post would finally allow me to reach an answer that was always there, I just couldn’t see it before.
I feel somewhat satisfied to go on with my life now. Funny how that can happen in a matter of hours (yes, it took me hours to finish writing this). I’m a firm believer in “Everything happens for a reason” and although the death of my father profoundly changed my life, I’m at peace with it. He has left me the house I grew up in and now I will raise my own child here. How many people can say that?
I like the brisk mornings and a need for a scarf.
I seem to like the delay in sunrise as well (for now).
I especially enjoy the rain that makes a puddle at the end of my driveway.
But most of all I feel so cozy when I hear that furnace kick in.
Some might call it autumn, but I call it home 🙂