I was recently called the “hired help.” Sure, it was in jest, but in reality, that’s what I am. Whether or not that statement stems from someone else’s insecurity, it makes me sad. I’ve struggled for 20 years in my career to build up something meaningful only to fall short every time I turn around. It sucks. I hate it. Not once is my performance praised long enough for it to matter. Or long enough before a reprimand or ‘you should have’ is uttered.
I’ve also grown weary of the unqualified arrogance I experience on such a frequent basis. Are they faking it until they make it or are the so disillusioned that they actually think they are that good? I’m thinking it’s the latter and I feel sad for their ignorance.
What it boils down to is that I have officially succumbed to my inadequacy. My inability to focus on one thing has made me a Jane of No Trades. I have no answers at this point. I mean, I got a master’s degree, only for it to not amount to anything worthwhile. I have more than 20 years of experience in my field, only to be belittled on a daily basis. I’m over it. I’ve reached the point of defeat.
When I decided my word for 2014 would be ‘evolution,’ I wasn’t entirely on-board with that. But now, I think that the chips are falling. Hard. I can see that my ability to hang on, to maintain the status quo, is thinning. I need to be in a position that builds me up, not one that tears me down with every move I make. I need to evolve in so many ways. I need to take charge and design my own future.
But what do I bring to the table? Well, I’m an expert at media relations, communications, writing, strategy and social media. Yeah, sure, and so are 2.5 million other people in the U.S. and 2.495 million of them are better than I am. Or so they say.
I don’t know…I’m rambling and I do apologize for that. Wait. No, I’m not sorry that I’m pissed. I’m not sorry that I’m almost 40 and I’ve made absolutely nothing of myself that is of any value to anyone. I am sorry that I cannot seem to focus or find a strong direction or find someone to help me figure out what the Hell I’m supposed to do. I’m not sorry for any of that. I simply haven’t had the time to devote to focusing on these efforts, whatwith me being the hired help and all…
Maybe my evolution for 2014 means it is time for an overhaul. Sean 4.0. It’s not like I am a stranger to reinvention. I just need a new motivation to get there. Maybe what happened recently is that thing? I don’t know. Maybe. I guess that just remains to be seen.
I purchased a coffee mug for myself a few years ago. It says “Worth- just because you’re necessary doesn’t mean you aren’t replaceable.” It was my attempt to put into perspective my feelings of being overwhelmed and underappreciated.
At the end of the day, whether I’m here or not, the sun will rise in the morning and life will go on. I’ve been immobilized by that thought and galvanized by it as well. At 42, knocking at 43, I find myself lost more often than I care to admit. I feel like I’m a drunken bumble bee flitting about aimlessly from one thing to the next….but then I try to remind myself that bumblebees pollinate the world along their haphazard journey.
For now, I’ll just keep flitting along.
keep pollinating, girlfriend. XO
Woman, you are a rockstar! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 🙂
I have felt the same on so many occasions! My career feels totally pointless and I’ve been doing it for 15 years…I don’t love it but I am at the top of my field and have no idea what else I would do. And, frankly, I can’t afford to try anything else – I make too much money doing what I’m doing and need every penny for my family.
I wish I had answers for us both. We both deserve better than this!
Ewokmama recently posted..Two Years Behind Us
We all deserve the best, don’t we? And it’s totally up to us to make that happen.
BalancingMama (Julie) says
Oh, how I can relate! I’ve said similar words many times. Sometimes I completely regret choosing to have a part-time job for the sake of being mom. Sometimes I wonder why I get no respect, despite intelligence and being pretty damn good at what I do. I’m not moving up in the working world and I’m getting bored with the mom world. It’s a tough place to be. I obviously have no answers or advice, but you aren’t alone! Moms give up so much.
BalancingMama (Julie) recently posted..Favorite Childhood Toy
We do give up so much. It’s like we can’t win no matter what path we choose. I guess we can just try to be the best people we can be and hope that is good enough for the world.
Girl, you Rock! Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. May 2014 be the year of YOU!
It totally will be – I’ve come a long way in the past two months. This moment was a huge eye-opener for me.
I think we’re all kind of there..I hope you get the change you need. .
Kendra recently posted..So how was your holiday????
Sorry it took a while to get back to responding to these comments. I’m working on that change – starting from within. so far so good!
I thought I had your email address… but now I can’t find it. I’d love to send you a longer message that way (instead of in comments), but I really feel for you and the position you’re in.
I’m also an “expert” at media relations, communications, writing, strategy and social media (do you remember talking when I still worked at TxDOT and you sent a press release about moving a shuttle??), and I’ve felt the same way you felt when you wrote this post MANY times.
Email me… let’s talk.
Thanks for ‘talking’ via email! XOXO
You’ll always be a special one of a kind somebody to someone, you’re a ‘Mom’. No other explanation needed…
That is so very true.
Sean…I know I told you via Twitter that I’ve been here, too. The straw that broke my back was a new boss saying ‘you’re on salary. I own you.’ Things spiraled from there. I won’t pretend going out on my own hasn’t had scary moments, or that it’s all been red wine and roses, but I can tell you that those voices telling you that everyone else is better/more talented/etc are lying to you. Yes, there are many people who act like they know best. doesn’t mean they bring YOUR viewpoint, YOUR voice or YOUR special combination of talents to a job, a project or anything else. The one question I’d encourage you to ask yourself is ‘what would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail’ and then find a way to do that, if even just a little bit.
Lisa recently posted..Reverb 13 Day 15 & 16: Tethered
I know Lisa, and your story inspires me a lot. I just can’t take a leap of faith. I was raised in such an unstable environment that it created a huge barrier for that. I’m not even able to determine what I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail. Isn’t that kind of sad?
Kristin Shaw says
I’ve been there too, Sean, and I understand. I quit my corporate job last August when my boss said to me, “Your questions are below your grade level.” I was PISSED. I went downstairs, cried on my husband’s shoulder, and he told me to put myself together, go upstairs, and quit. I’m not saying you should quit today, but I’m saying that life is too short to feel frustrated and undervalued. Today is the day. Start making your plan. xo
Kristin Shaw recently posted..Learning how to be a better parent… with a little help from a friend
I’m in awe of people who can take such a huge step like that. I’d love to be able to stand up and determine my own future, but I just don’t think I’m equipped for that just yet. I am working on some significant changes and maybe things will fall into place. I can at least hope for that.