I feel like I am about to start yet another post where I complain…it seems like that’s been the theme of my posts. This is unusual because (I think) I am an optimistic person. So that said, I will continue with this thought, but try to be constructive.

I’ve been struggling with the decision to leave my job. My current position is very demanding. I find myself working well above the scheduled 35 hours per week, and find many of the interventions I do to be emotionally draining. Last week I met with a student who is depressed and I had to do a suicide assessment of her – at 1am (the joys of being on call), after hearing her life story, I understood where she was coming from, and couldn’t find any words to begin to make her feel better.

I spend far too much time in meetings – more than half my workweek. I meet with the 10 students and the two professional staff members I supervise, then there are staff meetings – four in a week – I am in some way a member of four staffs, others: mental health meetings, community health meetings, judicial meetings, meetings with students that have a concern or problem, and others. All these meetings, which mostly take place during the business day, leave me with little to no time to actually do my work, so I stay late. I recently started counting my hours and found I worked close to 50 hours a week. I do NOT get paid enough to work this much, supervise this many people, and play therapist to countless others.

My “employment cycle” runs the academic year, this means, I am expected to start and finish the academic year and if I want to leave I am supposed to tell my supervisor in February, but keep working till June. This is one of the down falls of higher education, and more specifically residential life. While I think I will go insane if I stay another year (this is my third) I don’t think I can give my notice in February and not have another job lined up. I am also at a loss for what I want to do. Some days I want to leave higher ed all together. A thinks I am just burnt out from my current job and that I would really miss higher ed and the students if I left. She may be right. Problem is, I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do out side higher ed. I would love to make more money than I do now (ever will if I stay in this field). But my masters is in higher ed and is not all that transferable to occupations where there is money to be made (why didn’t I get a degree in computer science?). If I stay in higher ed, I think I want to work in career services or academic advising. I am meeting with a career counselor this week to talk more.

I’m trying to find meaning in my work, because I plan to be in the position until June and maybe one more year (but I REALLY hope not). Lately, I just feel annoyed, and like I am not really helping my students, and generally not invested in my staff.
Trying to get pregnant further complicates my decision to leave my job. If I get pregnant, I will likely have to stay. I fear that if I switched jobs while pregnant, I may run into some problems. In MA employer are required to give at least (least?) two months maternity leave, but only after an employee’s probation period, which can be as many as six months.

I want to like my job again, like I did when I first started this one. I’ve learned that I am happy in a job where there is a mix between “desk time” and “people time”. As an introvert, if find my current job, which has lots of people interaction, to be exhausting, but I know I would hate to sit at a computer all day. I am really good at administration, details, and projects that require intense concentration. I don’t want as much responsibility, but I want to remain autonomous.

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