My work life runs in cycles (as does everything), and right now my position on the wheel is heading toward the low point. I don’t even know what to say about it. I’ve said the same things before. I just feel trapped. I feel like I’m too old to go somewhere else and do the same thing. I wouldn’t get paid as much, I’d have to start over at the bottom with vacation time. I’m approaching the age at which companies are reluctant to hire a person, unless I was an executive, which I’m SO DEFINITELY NOT.
And then I look at my peers and they all have much loftier titles and responsibilities, though by no means are they all happy and satisfied in their careers. I know I allowed my fear and anxiety and lack of confidence to keep me on the grunt level. I would like to have more to show for myself at my age, but then again I’m not cut out to be anyone’s manager and I know that. If I did get myself into a Director-level position I would have probably been eaten alive by stress. It’s a really ambivalent place to be in my head. I feel both embarrassed and relieved that I never climbed the ladder. It’s usually the most embarrassing when I look at friends’ and acquaintances profiles on LinkedIn: Creative Director, Marketing Director, Senior Art Director, Managing Editor. . . and then there’s me: Production Artist. Entry-level, twenty-five years on. Make no mistake, I’m very good at what I do. (I better be, after all this time.) And maybe people don’t judge me for still being here, but I wouldn’t blame them if they did. I’m not an ambitious person. I never have been. I can get competitive sometimes, with certain people, but not as a general philosophy of life. Maybe if I gave a shit about this business I could be, but I don’t.
It’s been so long since I interviewed for a job I don’t even know how to do it anymore. I don’t know what I would put in a portfolio, or how you’re even supposed to DO a portfolio now. I don’t even know what kind of a job I would want. I don’t want to end up doing the same thing in a different building. No. If I had been smarter with my money and had some savings, I could just quit and figure it out as I go. But I didn’t do that right, either.
Now I have to finish eating my frozen lunch and go to a meeting that I don’t care about.