Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I gotta go back, back, back to school....again!

So, after working at the new agency, same position for the last 4 months, I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake. There are some lifestyle pros: I don't have to wait for public transit anymore which is nice when it is raining and I can just jump right in my car and crank up the heat; my commute is shorter without the additional train ride and if I leave later than I plan, I still make it to work on time since I'm not working with a train schedule; the building is lovely and I feel more comfortable walking around than I did in the city; and my husband is just down the road if I need him.

The job itself; however, sucks. I'm back to being a glorified secretary in the title of a paralegal. They don't give me anything substantial to do, and then when I do some menial task, they gush about how "fast" and "smart" I am. Apparently the person who was in this position before me (when it was a legal secretary position, they requested the position be upgraded to paralegal after she left) was not very good and they had issues getting her to accomplish simple tasks. I understand why they decided to upgrade the position, but I still think it's false advertising. I did not go to school to create envelopes, answer phones, and make copies. The most "paralegal-esque" thing I do is put together filings. I managed to badger one attorney into letting me help her with discovery, but even she seemed reluctant. When I started we had a law clerk who got most of the research projects, stuff I used to do on the regular at my old position. He got a paying gig after a month of working here, but oddly none of his research projects ever made their way to my desk. It's frustrating.

Since I don't want to leave here before I've at least hit a year, I started thinking about what I could do to fill in the time normally spent twiddling my thumbs and waiting for something worthwhile to do. I started researching grad school programs. I flirted briefly with the idea of going back to my first love of writing and getting an MFA in Creative Writing, but then I realized that while that would be good for my spirit, it wouldn't do my career much good. So, instead, I opted to pursue a Master's in Public Administration and Policy. It's basically the civil servant's version of an MBA, and is a path to working as a high ranking government official without shelling out tons of money, time and aggravation to law school. I've already seen multiple state positions requesting a Masters in Public Policy or Administration, and I'm happy to have found a school that allows me to do both. It's an online course, which works well with my schedule, and it's at a college nearby, so if I need to use any of their resources on campus, I'm able to. The college created a hybrid course of their on campus MPA and MPP programs and it's in the top 10 programs for this degree field. It's expensive, but still cheaper than law school and I've already figured out a game plan to pay for it. I start May 2nd. It's a 2 year program and I'm hoping that I'll be able to find a better paying job pretty quickly after I complete it. I'm glad to be going back to school and getting more education as well as pursuing a new career path!

It does put a damper on the baby plan though. We had decided to push it back until January of next year, and then when I started applying to the master's program, we talked about pushing it back to next fall which would allow me to be pregnant my last year in the program and have the baby soon after graduating. This way, I wouldn't have to put kiddo in daycare for the summer and I'd have her help with the baby while Eric is at work. There's always a chance we won't be able to have a baby, but the plan for now is to start trying next fall.

All that said, I have to admit I've already started looking at what's available job wise with the state and with nearby county governments. I don't want to leave the state if I can help it, but I just can't imagine being stuck in this position for the next 2 years. If I have to, I'll do it, but I'm hoping to avoid it if I can help it.