Saturday, January 26, 2008

Professional Muse

About this job I interviewed for yesterday: I'm actually wondering if it's really a good idea.

I do think it went very well. There were even a couple of tests, one of them being to proof and edit a mock press release. Of the five applicants interviewed, who do you think is most likely to know the difference between "compliment" and "complement"? Huh? Who's your mama??

The main thing that's hanging me up is the fact that it's a step back into an administrative field. My job position right now is - well, nominally more technical. The one I interviewed for would do meeting planning, organization, customer service, some writing and editing, and even - this is a bit scary - answer phones to the general public, from time to time.

Phones! The general public! Eewww!

But I'm trying to figure out how much of my resistance to this is just that I perceive administrative work as being lower status than technical work. It's "soft" - women's work, you know? Yet I've always been best at this type of work, and arguably happiest, too, if you dismiss the fluffy image concerns.

I've been with the agency two years and am eligible for tuition reimbursement, if the current budgetary environment will allow it. I'm, oh, say two years away from my bachelor's. This newfangled internet thingummy will probably make it a lot easier for me to go back to school, and finish up, than it would have been ten years ago. But of course the agency would want me to get a degree relevant - nominally - to my work functions. So in my current position, my best bet would probably be computer science or GIS. If I were offered and accepted the other job, I could probably swing something more like public relations or maybe even journalism, which I think I'd enjoy a lot more, and would probably be able to finish much more quickly.

When I had my review this week, my supervisor said a grade promotion was in the works. Systems Analyst III doesn't sound bad - but then again, it doesn't really mean much outside of my immediate work area, and certainly not outside the agency. I couldn't be hired as a systems analyst at a real company. Why, I couldn't analyze a system if it came running up and kissed me on the ass! Also, it feels unfair to me that I'm treated as well as I am when others I work with really kind of get the shaft. I do a really good job with my particular duties, which are somewhat specialized - and administrative! - but I really think they're a bit lighter and more pleasant than what everybody else is doing.

I can also think, off the top of my head, of one or two people who are at the same grade I am who deserve a grade promotion - in this particular classification - way, hay, hay the hell before I do.

I guess it's silly to start agonizing when there's no guarantee the offer will even be made, but how else can I avoid getting started on that sink full of dishes?

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