Late night thoughts

Last night I slept terribly. It was a million degrees in my room. Except not really. In reality, it was cool enough that the a/c wouldn’t turn on unless I set the thermostat at 66. And even that wasn’t cool enough. Eventually I turned off the a/c and just opened the window. It was only moderately cooler outside, but between the breeze and the fan pointed directly at me, I eventually cooled off enough to sleep a bit… before I woke up sweating again. Thanks pregnancy hormones.

So, as it turns out, I was awake most of the night. And my thoughts turned, as thoughts tend to do in the middle of the night, to life. I did a lot of thinking about a lot of things last night, but upon reflection this morning I realized most of my thoughts were about my career.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while you know that I’m an attorney. What you probably don’t know (because I’ve been a terrible blogger for the last 22 months or so) is that I’m not a practicing attorney anymore. I did let you all know that going back to work when Stella was tiny was really really difficult for me. And I let you know that my law firm was awesome and allowed me to work an 80% schedule instead of full time. What I didn’t let you know what that even that wasn’t enough. Practicing law in the private sector is hard, y’all, and when you add an infant into the mix the billable hour, marketing, and publication expectations become downright overwhelming. In the end, though, it was the stress and another big life event that made me reevaluate the kind of life I wanted to lead. As it turns out as much as I loved practicing law (and I really did), I didn’t love working 50+ hours a week (yes, even at 80%), still not having time to complete all my work, and having no time to spend with my family or with myself.

So, in February I started looking for a new job. A job outside of the legal field. Coincidentally, at about the same time I started job searching, I got a call from the HR director my alma mater. She was letting me know that there was an opening as an investigator in their Equal Opportunity Office and wanted to see if I might be interested.  My legal practice was focused mainly on employment and higher education law so investigating claims of employment discrimination in an higher education institution was kind of perfect. Long story short, I was interested, I interviewed, I got the job, and for the last 7 months or so that’s what I’ve been very happily doing.

I love not being in the private sector. I took a pay cut to move, but I have tons of free time, lots of vacation days (I’m on Fall Break right now!), and great benefits. So, why was I up all night thinking about my career? Because I’m having a career upheaval again. Two positions that I’m VERY interested in have opened up at the university where I work. I’ve applied for both, interviewed for one and will probably be selected to interview for the other. Here’s the problem: I’m not sure which one I really want. The positions represent different future career paths and I’m having a really hard time deciding which path I want to follow.

I know that I’m the only one who can decide which way to go. I just needed to get things down on paper (or rather, on screen) to help myself think things through. Either way, or neither way, 2014 is shaping up to be a year of HUGE change for me.