Do what you love and then your job becomes your life.
When I was little girl in school I wanted to be a teacher. I used to love Russian Language and Russian Literature, and this is what I wanted to teach. Unfortunately for me, being Jewish in former Soviet Union means having a quota in colleges, and not really realizing the dreams of your childhood. Instead of going to University of Moldova to study what I loved, I went to Polytechnic Institute, where I got an engineering degree, that I never was able to use and frankly did not want to use it anyway. The only reason I end up there is because my parents found somebody who will accept money for placing me in college.
Being a good girl I did not want to disappoint my parents and I got in and actually graduated with honors, so what?!?!?!? Trust me, I’m not the only one who did it, almost every Jewish child went through the same process. It was the fabulous 80s in a fabulous country! Not!!!
Don’t take me wrong I loved my student’s life, it’s quite different from what my son is going through right now. Every year from September till November we had to help the farmers and everybody from 1st year up to 3rd year of college would be placed in different farms for almost 3 month, where instead of studying we would be harvesting grapes, tomatoes, potatoes, you name it we did it. ….. and it was the best time for us. It was like a Summer more likely Fall camp for 17-22 year old’s “kids”. The funny thing was, after this whole farmer’s mess was over with and we would go back to our books and exams, we would be graded by our teachers depending on how good or bad we were working on the fields. Oh the Communism!!!!. By the way I forgot to mentioned that we worked for free, o, no wait, we worked for our grades.
Lucky for me the year after I graduated I left this wonderful country used to be named USSR and came to US.
Now, we are all here and what’s next….but I am lucky, very lucky. In about 4 month being here my very resourceful neighbor found me my first and I should say the only job.
I started on May 1st 1991 and I am still here. I felt very blessed, because a lot of my friends were still struggling to find any work, the lack of English or any other skills made this process very difficult. My boss was… is from former Soviet Union too, so the problem with English was not very significant then. Every time I needed help with anything he would translate for me. He actually placed me between 2 black ladies and in the matter of once month I picked up pretty good language along with a pretty good slang.. One of the ladies is still laughing at me, in a good way.
Slowly but surely I started to be comfortable in this place, it was not always easy, but it was better than sitting at home collecting a welfare check.
During my first year I learned a lot, but mostly I learn how communicate with people. I am a big fan of education, but college will never teach you people skills the way you will learn them at work. In the meant time I enrolled in college to take proper English and some computer skills.
I was employed and happy!!!! Whatever I had to do was my job and I accepted it, it was not boring and it was not exciting, it was just there. It paid part of my bills, the other part (huge part I should say) was paid by my hubby. He had a “real” job (this how he always called it). He was an engineer for the company that was a supplier for GM, eventually he was transferred and it has been 16 years since he has been working for GM directly.
Back to my story,few years passed by now and everyone I knew were busy to update their skills and learn computers Y2K was coming!!! According to the media, the world was supposed to “blow-up” if our computers were not up to Y2K standards. I refused to learn this trade (could not imagine myself doing it) I enrolled in the different college on-line to learn Diamonds and Colored Stones (I forgot to mentioned that I am working at the jewelry and watch place) and something exciting happened to me, I got “promoted” I became the person “in-charge” to be honest with you no-one ever is in charge in this place except for my boss.
Never the less my responsibility had changed, I started to travel a lot and I loved it, I absolutely loved it. I can’t described how many interesting people i have met, how many wonderful places I visited in US and outside of US and I honestly have to thank my job for it.
I have been very happy for the past 8-9 years, loved every moment of what was I doing. Frankly it wasn’t always fun, (keep in mind I work for a Russian Boss, who reminded me every day that the place I worked in is just a little communist country. Why did I ever leave?!?!?), but it was challenging and brain worthy. I loved coming to work and to be a part of something interesting. Over the years we had people came and left, you would have to have a certain personality to be able to stick with us and not everyone could fit in.
I never felt that I should go anywhere, I was almost always happy here, until now…. My 20th anniversary is coming next May, and I feel like I have achieved everything I could here and maybe, just maybe it’s time for me to move on. I started to hate coming here, my attitude toward my work has changed completely, I am no longer challenged, but very, very comfortable. I am not sure if it’s a good thing.
For the past 2 years the most repeated sentence on TV was: “during these difficult times”….. I am afraid to make some kind of changes during these difficult times of recession, what if it’s not going to work, what if all my dreams, are just that….dreams and I am looking for troubles trying to realize them…..
There is another excellent saying: “be careful what you wish for” I don’t want be the one who is going to quit perfect (somewhat) place of work of 20 years not knowing 100 % that whatever I am looking for is going to make me happy professionally. “Be careful what you wish for” will be hunting me if my dreams will not turned out the way I dreamed them.
Who has a guarantee for me with ‘GO” stamp on it allowing me to do what I want and assuring me that I am not making a mistake? I guess no-one, but me. But do I have the guts to do it? I know for a fact that I have all the support that I need from my hubby and my sons, but is it enough…. I am lost… I guess today I can’t have the “quota” excuse. This is AMERICA!!!!!!! We came here to do what we love and to be happy while doing it, or maybe it’s just my dream when I had when I was little girl…..