I started training at a new job on Monday. It’s a call center, not my first one by a long shot. After almost two years working retail, I’m ready to go back to taking calls. Part of me never quite got used to only working part time. Or at least the part about not having anywhere to go hang out with people five days a week.

As is my habit online, I don’t tend to disclose the details of my employment. I can say I’m excited at this opportunity. Unlike my previous call center jobs, this is a small company with plenty of room to grow. A friend who has been there six months loves the company culture.

What I can’t seem to decide for the life of me is wither I’m content in the long run to be an hourly wage cog or if I have the ambition and drive to pursue promotion. I find companies place more focus on people looking to climb the ladder, but a really good employee who wants to stay on the bottom rung, meets goals and has a positive outlook can be just as much an asset.

My thoughts on the matter flip-flop more than I care to admit. Both approaches have appeal. Advancement means greater job satisfaction, closer relationships with colleagues and influence over my work environment. Of course, money has appeal, but not enough for it’s own sake to decide the issue. Staying put and focusing on being the best possible agent, a valuable member of the team and a resource for my teammates, has it’s rewards. It’s less stressful, certainly, and I can leave work at work. Gainful employment for the purpose of making a living is perfectly honorable. I am not lacking in passions outside of my job. My personal life and hobbies overflow with goodness. My identity isn’t based on my career.

Of course, these concerns are merely theoretical seeing it’s my first week in a new job. I cannot help thinking on it as I picture my role as trainee morphing into a care agent and possibly what lays beyond.

Worse still, I have struggled with this dichotomy pretty much since the beginning of my professional life.

I do realize I’m not alone in these distinctly first world problems.

I’ve been blessed with a solid employment record and a personality interviewers like, so I’ve never spent more than a month looking for a job. And, realistically, even if I fell on hard times, I’ve got so many people – first and foremost Chris – who wouldn’t let me go without the basic necessities of life, I don’t worry about keeping body and soul together.

Plenty of humor lives in the idea that only those of us who are sufficiently well-off are able to worry about things like fulfilling potential and aspirations. I’m 98% sure Douglas Adams commented on the irony on a galactic scale, but the details escape me at the moment.

Author: Tina Louise

Nerd. Geek. Dork.

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