Someone asked me once if I loved my job, and I took awhile to really come up with an honest answer. I mean the easy answer is (now) yes, (years ago) no. But I really wanted to figure out why I loved my job, I want to quantify what it was about this job that made it a job I would be happy working at my entire working life should that happen.
Now most of you know I have a Bachelor's of Education (Go Huskies) and I used that degree in the teaching field for approximately 8 years from 2003-2011. I had temporary contracts and I had subbing positions and it was fine. I actually really enjoyed subbing because I could make my own schedule but it sucked because the work was inconsistent. I enjoyed being a classroom teacher, I enjoyed teaching, I didn't enjoy the politics of teaching though. Don't get me wrong, I know that all jobs come with their fair share of politicking, but with teaching I just didn't want to play that game, I wasn't interested in it. I just wanted to be left in my classroom to teach, which every principal said I did a great job at however, it never became a full time contract. The politicking got in the way of me really loving teaching. That and teaching middle school takes a special person and let's just say I'm not that person, give me elementary or high school, but keep those walking hormones away!! (Disclaimer: Middle school students are awesome outside the classroom, inside the classroom all together, recipe for disaster!! ;))
I've twice ventured into the social work field. The first time I was working with families that had involvement with Social Services and I was over seeing family visits. It was hard, emotionally taxing work. Some of the families were easy to work with, they wanted their kids back, so they were putting in the effort, some just didn't have the skill sets, but couldn't see it. That was hard, I liked my job then but I didn't love it.
The second time I started working with an agency that supports people with disabilities in providing day programs, group homes, independent living supports, and foster care. I'd never worked with people with disabilities but at the time it was a part time job, something to help supplement my subbing income. I found that I enjoyed the company and felt I could make a difference so I moved my way up the ladder and found myself in a Program Coordinator position, this would be like junior management.
I can say that I loved my job, and I look forward to returning to it. I enjoy the camaraderie between myself and my coworkers, I enjoy the constructive criticism I receive from upper management. I enjoy that I'm told I'm doing a good job, that people have faith and trust in my abilities. That's a big one for me, I need that feed back, good or bad, I need to know that if I'm doing something right people recognize it and if I need to improve let me know as well. I enjoy that I'm helping people and making a positive impact in people's lives. It's not always easy, you deal with guardians and government (a different type of politics) and sometimes you make mistakes but sometimes you get it right and that's an awesome experience!!
So I love my job, and even thought I love my job as a mother just as much, I do see myself returning to work. The job I take when I go back may not look exactly like it did when I left, but it will be doing something that I love and that's amazing. To be honest, doing something I love is really the only thing that would make it worth while for me to leave my children in the care of someone else!! They are only young once and I'm going to enjoy them while they are young for as long as I can!!