promotion? nah, i’m good

TL/DR: forever an entry to mid-level employee and it’s cool.

if a lack of capitalization and “free-flowing” grammar annoys you, you might want to relax your expections on this one.

i wake up at odd hours for multiple reasons. i have to pee is the most common, but least interesting one. lately it’s because I’ve been experiencing bizarre, but not bad dreams. really cool ones actually, ones that soon fade but were fascinating while my mind retained them. often i wake up just thinking about my life and where I’m at. anxiousness often follows. tonight i was thinking about career growth and society’s expectations for it. at least from a white, middle-aged woman with a college education’s pov.

occasionally i feel conflicted about my status in the working world. i’m a job-hopper by some traditional folks’ standards. i get bored and have to change things up every few years. the thought of staying employed in the same place long enough to get my 15 year gold watch, 20 year pin, or rocking chair (yes, one place i used to work gave rocking chairs emblazoned with the company logo to employees who were there for 25+ years, as if to say, “if you’ve been here this long, you probably need this piece of furniture because you are old.” that is me, stereotyping rocking chair users, but i can do that since i own one) makes me nauseous + panicky. to each their own, but it’s just not my style.

what’s also not my style is climbing the traditional career ladder. and i have conflicting thoughts about that. my boss and well over half my coworkers are younger than me. my job title is one that people would probably classify as entry to early-mid career level.

the thing is, i have a self-imposed threshold for promotions. i don’t really understand the expectation of “older = higher career ladder rung.” bc what i hear is “bigger title = more stress, staff you are responsible for, office politics, expectations that i do not want.” my conflict though, is sometimes feeling that i “should” want the promotions, the higher rung, the bigger paycheck, etc. what my mean brain sometimes does is tell me that i’m in my mid-40s and should be a director or VP or at least a middle manager of widgets by now, and that i’m avoiding commitment, shying away from leadership, selling myself short, blah blah blah. this is reinforced because i’m a good employee, and in literally every job i’ve had, i always get to a point where it’s time for a well-deserved promotion past my comfort zone and i’m all, “no thanks, i’m good.” people don’t get that.

but what if it’s ok to just want health insurance and a job that i mostly like but that i get to shut down at 5 p.m. and let the higher-ups worry about their direct reports, employee reviews, and office politics? what if it’s ok to just want to worry about me and the two other people who live in my household? most importantly, what if i actually want to have the mental space and time for the creative things i do that most people don’t get to see but that i actually consider to be my real life? i’m not being defensive here, rather, just curious and comtemplative about it all.

*i realize the privilege that i have in even being able to have this stance, so don’t come at me about that. i get it.

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