Friday, September 20, 2013

From Paycheck to Paycheck

During the Great Recession, many people, some for the first time, might have experienced the humbling living of stretching a home, a family, and a refrigerator paycheck to paycheck. It's stressful, and I think a majority of us have been there at one point or another. I'm blessed to not currently be in that situation (I think you have to make a paycheck to be a part of that crowd), but I have been reflecting lately on what it was like to work and live on an emotional paycheck to paycheck regiment. I might have just made that up, so here's my explanation.

A person gets a new job. This person is glad to have a job. And a job that offers lots of growth and promise, at that. Yay, job! New job is wonderful. Boss is wonderful. Coworkers are wonderful. Life is good. Over time, boss shows a new side that is less wonderful. Job promise starts to dwindle. Growth shrinks. Soon new job feels more like new prison. Yikes. But, hey, no complaining because person has a job. Except, person does complain. To coworkers. To spouse. To friends. To parent. And worst of all, to self. Once person begins examining job to self and seeing the whole picture, each paycheck seems farther and farther away. Because the paycheck has become the only perk. The only good feeling. Between checks, person is stressed. Person is not sleeping well. Person is battling an inner struggle. Person is feeling guilt for being so negative. Person tries to put on a good front for others, but that just makes person feel worse inside. Then the next paycheck comes, and things seem okay for a few days because maybe that's the price to pay for taking care of bills and splurging on retail goodies.

See? Living paycheck to paycheck emotionally. Sometimes there isn't a choice. Or it doesn't feel like there is. But, for this particular person, (can you guess who?) there was a choice. It was just a hard one to make. After making the choice, every step of the way has only served to show this person that it was the right one. God has a funny way of answering our prayers for relief sometimes. We think we need to conquer our emotions, but our emotions are there for a reason. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

That's a lesson I continue to learn with jobs. If the interview doesn't go well, even though the job seems to be perfect for you, it wasn't meant to be. If you can't find the job you're looking for, it's not the right time or you aren't looking in the right place (meaning something is available for you, you just don't know or see it yet). If you hate your job between paychecks, it's probably time to take the lessons you gained from that job and pack 'em up to find another. Change is always uncomfortable, but it's also the only way to grow.

I know several people seeking jobs, looking to change jobs, trying to get hired for jobs right now. And every. single. one. has struggled with the "right" job whether it be in the search, in the change, or in the interview. It's okay. I've struggled too, and I know I'll struggle again. The thing that must happen is relinquishing control (ideally you are giving it to a power much higher than yourself) and acceptance that all things really do come when they are meant to. That doesn't mean the next job will be the perfect one, but that's okay because you might still have a lesson or two to learn before you find THE job. After all, getting what you what too soon, while you aren't ready and ultimately lose it is worse than never getting it at all. But keep the faith! It is out there, and you will find it. It just may be a few paychecks down the road.

Happy Friday! (Cue mass resignation letter writing!)

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