I've been with my new job for awhile now. In fact, I've officially had my three month review (plus a month of training, which they don't count towards that). It's not a career, per se, but it's a job that pays the bills, lets me strengthen and develop skills and that I mostly enjoy.
Turns out I'm also actually kind of good at it. Which shouldn't surprise me, since it's related to previous work experience, but it does a little. I've even got the marks on my review and some follow up from my supervisor and they're pretty clear. Objectively I'm really good at my job. My reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and I push myself to keep improving. It's fun to constantly have something to come home and brag about, even if it's just a good report or a nice mark on a review.
I don't feel so good at it though. I have this one thing that I just struggle with. I mean I hit my targets and I'm a good solid average at it. I certainly don't earn my way to bonuses in this particular area often (and this is one of only two targets we can earn bonuses for), and while I do my job it's nothing to write home about. I have other things that I'm really good at, objectively, but I find really hard to do. It's not a hard skill, it just isn't one I was naturally given. I feel like I'm growing as a person because of it, and I'm getting to develop stronger skills but I just don't feel good at it.
I wonder sometimes if it's just that I feel like I'm capable of more. Maybe I'm never going to feel good at a job that I think should be easy. Maybe taking a "paying the bills" job is never going to give me a sense of accomplishment. Don't get me wrong, I still take pride in doing a good job. I'm constantly trying to hit higher performance targets and come in consistently above standards and expectation (and for the most part, I do). I just don't feel like I'm doing enough. Not enough to feel really "good" or to be able to feels "accomplished", although I'm getting better at celebrating the little victories.
What's the line from Erin Brockovich? "Not personal! That is my work, my sweat, and my time away from my kids! If that is not personal, I don't know what is!" I may not have made a career a field I have a deep burning passion for, and I may not have a fancy job but you had better bet I take my work seriously. This is my time away from everything I love, and that's a big deal. I can't hate that time, and if I didn't strive to do my best at whatever it is I'm doing it would be an awful waste. Just sometimes it feels like even if I am the best at what I do it wouldn't mean all that much and I don't really know how to change that. Maybe I just really feel like work is never going to be an accomplishement for me - even the best job I've ever had, where I did feel like I did something really good in the world I never felt any personal sense of achievement. Maybe work is just work.
How does work and career play into your life? Is it a central element, or somewhere along the sidelines? What role do you wish work had?