Monday, June 26, 2006

Back on the Grind

This is one of my better rants...

I have officially begun my employment search. I am quite disheartened to know that despite my stellar resume and experience, most of the agencies I have my eye on cannot afford me. This has been a dilemma of mine since I made the decision to formally resign while on medical leave. Most of the reputable social service agencies in NYC are somehow subsidized by the city, state, and federal governments which in turn leads these agencies to be frugal when offering a salary due to budget cuts and fiscal mismanagement by the government. It becomes a vicious cycle, and the people that suffer are those in need of assistive aid.

In college, I chose sociology to major in, thinking that I would like to continue on in some sort of law career. After graduation I went to work at a drug rehab, dealing clients from the NYS Drug Treatment Courts, figuring that I could be in a legal environment testing it out, to help me decide if law school was my next step. It wasn't. I began working closely with the Vocational Counselor there (most of the DTC clients were also mandated to a training program or work release as well). I saw that there was more opportunity to be creative with her job, so in lieu of law school I went back for my Master's in Education. I've mentioned before that I love the work that I do, and wouldn't change it at all. Except for the salary.

My asking salary is by no means astronomical, but only about 5 thousand more than what I left. For a social service position however it is quite high. The only positions that are available to me in that salary range have been administrative or directorships. All these positions have minimal contact with clients, and that is one thing that I do not want to give up yet. I feel like I am still young, I have the rest of my career to become a program director or vice president. I still need action at work, to be able to think on my feet quickly because my client is trying to get one over on me, not sit in front of a computer balancing budgeting spreadsheets and deciding who can take a vacation when.

So it seems that I am at an impasse. Do I take a paycut and take a job I really love or take the salary that I want and then hate the job I have to do? Sometimes being an adult really sucks.


Ranting said...

Well, to be honest with you, I think that if I were in your shoes...I would have to decide if I could live on the money from the job that I love to do. Of course if you can't...bills have to be payed.

Maybe try offering yourself to a place that only wants to give you sub-standard pay, with the understanding that you will prove yourself worthy of the amount in question. Say at 90 days...and if they like you maybe they would be willing to pull more strings to get the green that you are worth. If not, you could walk away and you still wouldn't have wasted much time at lower pay.

DT said...

Oh, I understand your dilemma Sloane! I keep choosing professions and/or jobs that I love but pay comparatively low salary, like the one I have now.

So, I can't afford copper pans but I do love what I do (mostly). And I love the people I work with...that makes up for a lot.

Good luck!