On Being Challenged

How do you feel about being challenged in your career? If you are like my husband, you are content with a job that, once trained in it, seems rather easy with only small challenges now and again. The deadlines are there, but manageable and the day to day work is easy for him. His biggest challenge is an OCD CEO.

If you are more like me, you like manageable deadlines as well, but you also like something that drives you to do some thinking and research. You long for projects that are more than just a daily grind. You don’t want a job that is repetitive, but you do want one where you are constantly learning. I am not getting this at my current position.

Some would say going back to work full time with a severe mental illness should be challenge enough. I suppose in some ways, I should be grateful that my job is not stressful or taxing, which would exacerbate my symptoms. I have been trying to make the job interesting by coming up with projects that keep me engaged, but so far, only one of those projects has been accepted by my bosses. They seem to worry that I will overdo myself as a new employee.

I have talked to two people at work about this. One is just as under challenged as I am. The other feels that I should feel rewarded because the work I am doing is needed and our clients are grateful for it. While that is true to a degree, I don’t feel that is enough of a reward. I need intellectual challenge in order to feel rewarded. I am not sure what line of work I need to be in for that to happen.

Some days, I think I should quit and work for myself so that I could set more of my own goals and challenges, but I don’t know what I would work at. While writing is appealing right now, I do tend to rotate my hobbies and it might not be something I am into a few months from now. I would really like to keep it going, but I know myself better than to quit and write full time. I need the structure of going to the office every day. Plus, my current office doesn’t have a couch for naps like my home “office” does.

So what this comes down to is that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, even though I am 40 years old. This is a very very taxing problem for me. It makes me feel like my life doesn’t have any direction. Do you feel the same, or are you content with your professional or personal challenges? Weigh in by leaving a comment. Have a great day!

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