When you’ve been searching for a new job for awhile, you get into a routine of filling out applications, crafting cover letters, and always being on the lookout for new postings. After you get a job, switching from that job-seeking routine and mindset can be tough. Sure, you’re busy learning your new job (and possibly moving, selling a house, or other such major life changes), but when you’ve had a focus on constantly looking for the next great opportunity, it’s challenging to stop looking. It’s like getting sucked into Pinterest or falling down the tumblr rabbit hole: you’re always scrolling to see if one more neat thing might pop up. You have to find a way to turn off that desire to look around, to stop imagining that there’s something better just out of sight.
Writing this I can see that there’s a pretty strong analogy to relationships. It gets tricky there, though, because, for me, anyway, when I committed to my now husband, I had fallen ass over teakettle so it was pretty damn easy to not care at all about whatever other options might have been out there. But with a new job, is it ever that kind of twue wuv? I can’t imagine that it is. Every workplace comes with issues and in pretty much any job you end up inheriting some problems that should’ve been fixed long before you arrived. And you’re dealing with a multitude of relationships that are way more fraught – when the other person has the power to fire you (or you, them), it’s a different sort of dynamic than a romantic relationship, and no one wants that kind of farts-and-all intimacy in the workplace.
So maybe it’s more like buying a house. Even a move-in-ready home comes with things you can see right away will need to be fixed or changed, as well as hidden shoddy workmanship that only becomes apparent over time. It takes patience, hard work, a support network, and probably some adult beverages to get through the rough bits that inevitably arise.
All of this is to say that my new job is going well but that it’s taking an effort to get out of the job-seeking mindset. (My librarian researcher maximizer1 nature certainly doesn’t help.) While I’m not actively looking, I still see position postings in my twitter feed and on facebook and such, and it’s tempting to think that one of them might be The Perfect Job. But really, there is no perfect job. Certainly the specific challenges of any position are going to vary, but of course the grass looks greener when you haven’t yet stepped over the fence. It’s only after you’re already committed that you can really see what’s going to drive you nuts. And there’s always something that will drive you nuts, so you may as well do your best and be happy!
Of course I’d still love to win the lottery and be able to do crafting and writing and other creative pursuits as a full time job. Who wants to buy me a ticket?
1. I am a happy maximizer: I enjoy the information-gathering process immensely, and I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction from knowing that I have considered all the options. Maybe I should be working for Consumer Reports?