I am an office manager for a mid-sized business. I really like my job and am well treated and decently paid. I am also a single mom of a son who is in eleventh grade. He and I are spending a lot of time planning for his college applications and I have been researching scholarships.
My problem is that I find myself envying my kid. I never finished college for all kinds of reasons—the biggest one being the birth of my son. The professionals in my office all have master’s degrees. I know I am at least as smart as any of them, but without a degree I will never be considered for those types of positions. Daily, I fight the urge to quit my job and go back to school. I am worried that one of these days I’ll just up and quit. —Champing at the Bit
Whoa there, Champing.
Envy doesn’t make you a bad person. Actually, it can be a gift—it gives us insight into what we truly desire. So use it as a critical data point about how you plan to spend your time and your resources. In the future.
I sympathize with your impatience. You seem to have really behaved like a responsible grown up, which I can tell you from personal experience can be exhausting. I can certainly understand that you are feeling done. But let’s not get crazy and do anything rash. It sounds like your job situation is decent and I believe you’d regret losing that security without a plan in place. The key word there is plan—and that is what I recommend you make for yourself. Take a look at adult education options where you can start earning college credits while you are working. You could get a few credits under your belt and then continue more intensely once your son goes away to school. Many companies will reimburse their employees who take courses toward a degree. Have you ever discussed this with your boss? Even if your company won’t pay, you can certainly pursue a degree while you are working. I earned my master’s that way. Okay, it took me a long time, but I finally finished and I cannot tell you how satisfying it feels.
So. Don’t quit a good job. Do your research, make a plan, start small and take steps. Soon you will be so busy achieving your goal that you won’t have time to feel impatient.
About the author
Madeleine Homan-Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.
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