Dream job and life's choices

In 1994 I was extremely lucky to land a job with exactly the organization where I wanted to work. (We'll call it A). It was entry level, which I see now was perfectly appropriate, although at the time I delusionally thought I should started in a higher position. It was then I learned the expression to "pay your dues, then move up!" Yet I was THRILLED. I loved being in New York City, but hated being poor in the City. My cubical, in the high-rise I called "my office" sat just a few blocks from the UN and I often walked the fifty blocks home to the apartment I shared with two other girls on the Upper East Side.

My joy was short-lived. A eliminated my position just 2 1/2 months after I started. Instead of looking for new work in Manhattan, I returned to my fiance in Seattle. I became a travel agent and we ended up leaving the West Coast and I worked for A's largest competitor at the DC headquarters. (If you've been able to follow, I moved back and forth from the West Coast 4 times in under six years - I think I had 12 addresses in seven years!!! Maybe I should write "expert packer" on my resume?). We had a baby, but working sixty hour weeks with far too little compensation to hire a nanny (and our whole house was smaller than our current kitchen and living room!) forced us to think outside of the box. We quit our jobs, took a risk and moved to T's homeland where family values were a national practice and not just useless rhetoric. T got hired by a multinational company within 2 days! Eventually - after 18 months - I got a great job that I truly loved, C got a brother, and we moved here... I worked at Rutgers for a while, and now I write from home.

There are lots of what ifs in this world. Everyone has them! What if I'd stayed in New York and looked for a similar position? I'd have worked my way up, I'm sure. Instead today I'd be happy with that same entry-level position at A (of course, my salary wouldn't cover train fare).

The CEO and President position at A is open. I think I have three of the 20+ qualifications they are looking for (I speak/write English, I believe in the mission of the program and I am flexible).  I'm 40 and have few qualifications for a job that has been a dream career since I was sixteen! Having kids is great. I am not wishing them away. I know I'm lucky. I just wish I'd made smarter long-term choices so that instead of writing this blog I were writing a cover letter that a search committee would take seriously.

Normally I'm optimistic, but today I feel I'm too old for that entry level position I so loved. Companies want bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 20 somethings. Not jaded, but clever, 40 year olds.

Gary Moore, Rest in Peace... I don't think you had A in mind when you sang this song that I danced to 20+ years ago. Then again, neither did I!


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