Is it really already September? All signs point to obviously.
Just two months ago I was fed-up with the distress of being unemployed in D.C. — a city that demands a generous monthly income for even basic needs, let alone rent, and I started writing about it. But I didn’t write very much. I didn’t have time.
As of this past week, I now have three jobs. And I’m completely stressed out. I feel hypocritical complaining about it, and I try to remind myself on a daily basis that I’d rather this level of hysteria than the paranoia of immediate post-grad-graduation … but there’s no way that working 65 hours a week while getting around to 3 different jobs (sometimes all in the same day) can be sustainable long-term, right?
Here’s the breakdown:
When I was desperate enough, I went back to my pre-grad school job of being a barista. Not even a shift supervisor, which is what I had been when I quit the first time. I wanted to start from scratch because I wanted to give myself time to adjust to a new team and a new store while getting back into the swing of things. Logical? Yes; Stupid? Yes. What an underestimation of my own capabilities (once again, my mother was right). Now, not only am I stuck in a job that I’m overqualified for on multiple levels, getting paid an embarrassing and abysmal hourly rate, I’m stuck taking direction from superiors who baffle me as to how they have earned their titles. But the company offers great benefits, and the manager is working to overhaul the store’s operation, which it seems involves me being promoted rather soon. Fantastic. I look forward to it.
On the other hand, I dread it. I have an internship that I LOVE, and it’s EXACTLY what I want to be doing when I’m all grown up. When I was first offered the position I thought “this is why I’m back as a barista … I’m supposed to do that so I can have a flexible schedule and also have this internship, because this is going to get me places.” I still believe that, but I’m also starting to believe that maybe I’m a more valuable work commodity than I first anticipated. Within a week of starting the media relations internship, a team member in charge of the editorial affiliate site offered me a part-time editorial assistant gig — PAID (and a whole lot more than my barista take). I jumped on it, obviously, because that is also right up my alley of not only what I’m good at, but what I like to do.
So now, do I scale back my hours at the coffee house and just say “forget the benefits, I’ll get a real job soon enough” (I need to average 24/wk to be eligible for benefits), and risk giving up the promotion because of limited availability, but in turn keep some sanity in my life? Or, do I try to keep working the 65 hours-a-week to satisfy requirements for all three positions, keep my benefits and save some $ for the holidays?
People tell me I’m young and I can handle it … but at what cost? Do we really need another young person on the path to craziness???