At Work: Passing the time with minimal effort

Yesterday, I had lunch with an old professor/advisor and a fellow geography graduate. Among the topics we discussed was the act of passing the time at work with minimal effort. My professor recently moved to a new job that proved more challenging and fulfilling than a previous position. He admitted that during the last months at his previous job, he gave minimal effort to get the job done but 110% in his search for alternative employment. My grad school friend, who is looking for new job, also finds herself passing the time at work while she keeps an eye out for the next big step.

And I'm in the same boat. As I approach the two-year mark at my current job, I'm becoming more and more restless for a change and a challenge in my career. I know that Peace Corps service will provide the change and challenge that I desire but it can't come soon enough. As I'm sure I've mentioned on this blog before, I would like to work on the Hill before I leave D.C. I doubt that I'd be willing to take a probable pay cut to work on the Hill when I'm older and have more financial responsibilities. So now is my opportunity to try it out. I'm not excited about the pay cut or the reduced autonomy/responsibility that I'll have as a staff assistant or other menial position. But I think it is a small sacrifice to fulfill my dream of working on the Hill.

I'd been hesitant to seriously apply to Hill openings in the past. I felt that I needed to complete at least two full years of service at my current job in order to provide a solid work reference for my resume and give myself enough time to "hit my stride" and be more productive in my position. I now realize that there isn't much mobility at work and as I keep reminding myself, my current job was only meant to beef up my resume while I decided when/where I should go to school for a PhD. Most likely, when I return from the Peace Corps, I will work in ATL for a short-time before moving to NYC or Southern California (another of my life goals) for a PhD program or employment to build my case for the PhD track.

So, here I am once again passing the time at work--giving no less than 85%, just enough to get the job done. It's quite unfortunate that it has come to this, but it is feeding the fire that has finally given me the courage to strike out for more.

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