Community: How Important Is Your Career?

Since the pandemic, I feel less tied to my career. I have work — both paid and unpaid — but my work is not me. I’m someone who has always chased prestige. At times I felt like a bad feminist, when I couldn’t work, because of my responsibility for kids. So, this shift has been rather significant, but perhaps unstable. If a really good opportunity came my way, I would probably dive into it. But, at this moment, I am definitely “leaning out.”

Did the pandemic shift your relationship with your work? How tied are you to your work?

4 thoughts on “Community: How Important Is Your Career?

  1. I gave up the prestige of a university teaching position (associate prof at a small school) five years ago for family balance reasons and am now teaching high school. It’s a harder job but also very satisfying. I was miserable when I took a year off from teaching during the transition. I think that means my job is important to me or at least being a stay at home parent doesn’t make me happy. It’s not a simple analysis. Covid didn’t really change my feelings about teaching even though it’s been a roller coaster couple of years.


  2. As the breadwinnner of the family, the pandemic has made me even more attached to my job (or at least the income that comes with it). Luckily I really do enjoy what I do 😉

    That’s not to say we couldn’t survive (for several years) without me working – it would eat into my retirement funds – but it would be do-able.

    But Covid has made me more risk-averse, sheeting home the reality that income may take a dip in the future, so better to salt it away now.


  3. I have worked very hard been obsessively focused on my work and I’ve also not been working, in in neither situation was the money or the “prestige” the driver. There was prestige in the paid work, and “prestige” was necessary for the access to resources, and it was pleasant to have the work recognized. But, I’ve never thought of the value of the work being the money paid for it (and, have been economically privileged enough not to have to worry about the work having economic value beyond what I was receiving). And, I am very prone to working to please myself and not anyone else (and, that has significant costs, including in the ability to continue the work).

    Since I stopped working for pay, I refuse payment when it is offered for my skills (usually my photography, crafting, etc). I don’t care if I get paid, don’t care if the value is validated with payment, and am only vaguely appreciative of the appreciation. A significant reason — the cost of having top lease someone other than myself. I’ve volunteered my floral skills and have recently been mildly irritated at having to listen to advice about color choices. I don’t mind artistically (happy to make a graphic any color they want), but flowers come in particular colors, and can’t easily be matched to other things.


  4. I also have become more attached to my income. 🙂 But I had already left the more glamorous media/arts org world for my local small business and so I had adjusted to a lack of prestige. It’s been freeing and good for me, even though it occasionally stings.

    I may have told this story before but I had a meeting with my son’s English teacher in grade 8 and his teacher knew me only by my current job, and had prepared a note for me on what a sentence is and what a paragraph is. I just laughed but it was eye-opening. I also get a lot of consideration when I’m in my neighbourhood wearing my company polo – there’s a kindness among front-line service staff so I’ve been handed coffee that someone prepared wrong or end-of-day leftovers for free, and that never happened when I was in regular office garb.

    In terms of approach though…I am kind of burnt out. Dealing with all the lockdown/restrictions/vaccine mandates/mask arguments and having a good percentage of our members either blame us for some of those things or quit for various reasons, sometimes unkindly and with high volume, all kind of at once, has taken a toll. Worrying about my staff’s income and health. Coping with everyone else’s short fuse. Staffing issues due to both Covid illnesses and the great resignation + 2 years of not being able to train new staff effectively. Working to keep the kids that come in feeling safe and confident. The amount of hand sanitizer I have bought.

    So I am thinking of finding a job that’s less…direct, and a bit more contained. I’m also two chapters away from finally finishing my YA fantasy novel (I know, cliche genre at the moment) so that’s a something.


Comments are closed.