It's been a challenging couple of months. For those of you that have followed this blog, you will know that in January I was laid off of the technical sales position that I had left 17 years of academic research experience for. The reasons for that are the same reasons women drop out of the leaky pipeline every day - family responsibilities and a need for flexibility. In the moment that I was let go from the company, a general sales position in my home town with the same company became available and given the current economic crisis, I took it, begrudgingly with the goal of leaving it as soon as I could find another position in academic administration or in technical sales. I have been bored ever since but have been struggling to stay focused and to do a decent job at something that does not interest me.
How do I know that I don't want to stay in this job? Well for one thing, there's no science involved. It doesn't challenge my mind like my academic and technical sales jobs had. Most telling though, the question I asked myself: Would I have left academics to do this job? My response is always a resounding "No".
So here I am 6 months later. I did not get the academic administrative position I really wanted. I have not been called for several technical sales positions that I would be perfect for. I am still in a position that I had hoped to be out of by now. What am I doing? I'm hanging on. It's the first time in my life I have had a job that bores me. But I need to stay in it for the financial stability of the family. Sometimes this is a problem because of my cancer diagnosis in 2007. I think "Why am I wasting my time doing something I don't like?" Then I think about the kids and the finances. It's a position most likely many Americans are in these days. So I suck it up and keep trudging along.
Each day I am challenged to maintain a part of my "self worth". It's fortunate that I never completely defined myself by my science. As my description for this blog says, I'm a scientist, mother, skater and cancer survivor as well as a wife and daughter. Still I miss the purpose my academic position gave to my life. I miss the respect that I had with that position. I consider myself a strong individual but the continuation in this job wears even on me.
So I think about the good of the family and I just keep hangin' on. I hope that better things are just around the corner.