Monday, January 3, 2011

January – Work

I have been avoiding work month for a while now. At first I wasn’t sure how to tackle it, after that I was simply avoiding it. The whole point of my Happiness Project is to be happier, this means adding more happiness and removing sources of unhappiness. To be honest, most of the time my job is a source of unhappiness for me so it’s time I addressed it.

In senior year of high school I felt stressed about choosing what I wanted to do. Yes most people don’t know what they want to do at 18, but when choosing where to go to school and what classes to take motivates you to narrow it down. I’ve always been smart and the difficult part of choosing for me was that I felt like I could do a lot of things. I had enough confidence in myself to believe that I could do whatever I put my mind to doing. This made me terrified to choose wrong. I wanted to do meaningful work; I wanted a job that I enjoyed, that I got a sense of purpose and satisfaction from. I felt that a job with a strong creative component would help me accomplish this.

The creative component is lacking in my work. I feel underutilized at my job and have gone for extended periods of time without much to do. I know I’m smart, but since I’m not consistently busy I find opportunities to learn new things are few and far between. It’s a weird mix of not enough work to keep my busy (due to the recession and the reduction of new projects) and my superiors not having time to sit down and train me so I’m left waiting around for projects to be at a stage where I can work on them.

I feel anxiety about the fact that I’m not learning the skills I think I need to be a well-rounded productive member of the team. I feel safe at my job, in a complacent sort of way, but I also feel trapped in the sense that I don’t think I have the skill set that would allow me to look for another job. The big thing that prompts me to consider doing something else at this point is money. My job doesn’t pay very well and I don’t see that changing anytime soon if I don’t start getting busier. I also feel some anxiety over the idea of leaving this line of work all together for something else that might pay better because I worry that if I leave the design world I’ll never get back to it. Maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I worked really hard in school to be in a certain field of work and I don’t want to throw that away, not yet anyway.

I’m sick of waiting around. My goal this month is to find a way to advance my skills. I’m going to subscribe to an online training site and do tutorials for several computer programs. I have a schedule for when I think I should be done each of these and will write down how much I get done each day. I’ve done some of these tutorials before but I mostly just watched or followed along. I think the best way to get confident with these new programs is to devise my own little projects any use what I’ve learned to do them. This fits into my one word resolution: create.

I’m also going to spend a little bit of time each week looking at job postings. No harm in seeing what’s out there and getting a sense of what skills people are looking for.  As for my resolutions from the previous month… I’m feeling selective. I want to keep up with emailing my friends and getting back on track with healthy eating. I didn’t stop eating healthy, I just found that when I wasn’t organized about groceries and planning meals everything got off track. I didn’t have anything to make for lunches and we were always grabbing something for supper. It requires commitment and I need to re-commit. Exercise is my other struggle. I think I’m going to have to do another month on this, I’ve got completely off track with it and need to dedicate some real time to figuring out what works for me.

As of today I am officially committing to cutting back on sugar.  On the first I found myself sitting in front of the tv with a box of Ferrero chocolates, three Oreos and a can of Dr. Pepper.  Shit, bad start.  Everyone and their dog gave me some chocolate this Christmas.  Go team withdrawal.

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