Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Land of Opportunity

What happens when opportunity knocks at the door you're not you want to open?

I have the best problem to have: potential new jobs while having a job. And the job I have, I like it for the most part. The honeymoon period is over and the last few weeks have really tested me, but I like the basic job function and the people I work with. I feel like I'm coming to a sort of crossroads in my career (whatever it is I think I'm doing). Do I want to stay in the industry I have a love/hate relationship with, or do I venture back home to try something that may or may not lead to bigger and better later?

Financially, especially long-term, I would probably be better off leaving. At this point that's the only thing that sounds like a good enough reason to pick up and go (again). The problem is that I'm getting some resemblance of a life here. Plans every week with different people, roommate shenanigans, enjoying days off in the city, a new boo (yes, but that's all you get for now). My point is that my network of Chicagoans is growing and I don't know if I'm ready to leave them. As much as my schedule is not 9-5, having a day off during the week means I can get downtown and relax while everyone else is at work. Working evenings til 9pm means I'm not sitting in front of the TV and I still get home by 10 at the latest. And Saturdays in retail fly by when you're working. It is now weird to me when I have a Saturday off. I never thought that would happen.

Yes, vacation time is tricky and I still get phone calls from the store on my days off. But the calls are fewer now and I trust they'll keep dwindling. And the reality is that I make my own schedule. If I want to take a long weekend, it's easier to just schedule it in so I don't have to take vacation time. That kinda rocks.

Say I left for something a little more "normal": i.e. regular Monday through Friday, flexible vacation time, weekends off. This opportunity is not in Chicago, so does that mean I spend every weekend in the city? Driving two hours every once in awhile is not a big deal, but every weekend? That could get old real quick. Would the money be worth being away from my new network of peeps I'm growing accustomed to? Sure, a few friends are back home and family is obviously there. But I can't help but remember that living there, all I wanted was to be here. Now that I'm living here, I don't have the same yearning to live there.

While I think it's important to love what you do 40 hours a week, I also think it's important to love where you're living. If I'm not hating what I'm doing, maybe my love for Chicago will trump whatever comes up elsewhere.

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