This is part of a 5 blog series telling you my top five excuses…..
If you’ve ever wondered, unhealthy “could I leave my job and travel for a year?” The answer is if I can, ambulance you can. Most who know me would call me practical, predictable, even. I had many excellent reasons not to pack my bags and go.
Excuse #2: I won’t find a job upon my return.
Hello, we are in a recession. Sane people aren’t quitting their jobs. We joke that UCSF, the university where I work as an HIV social worker, means “U Can Stay Forever.” In the past four years, I have only known of one employee leaving for another UCSF job. Everyone else has either stayed at our clinic or left kicking and screaming when they have gotten laid off.
The golden handcuffs of a UCSF pension weighed into my decision process and created fear. What if they change the retirement system while I’m gone? What if the State of California goes on a hiring freeze? What if I can never get back in? These questions kept me up at night.
Jenni asked me, “Would you ever really go hungry?” I knew the answer was no. As a social worker, I witness people who are hungry and impoverished all day. The biggest reality checks for me come when I meet one of our many Latino patients who are HIV positive immigrants. Last week I met with a woman who was supporting a family of four off of $1000 a month. She even brought me a bouquet of flowers to thank me for a letter of support I had written her. Her generosity blew me away.
Unlike many in the city of San Francisco, I have an amazing safety net, including loving friends and family who would catch me before I hit the ground. I may not find my dream job when I return, but I’ll find something. I have a master’s degreeand a $150,000 educated brain. The evidence to go was mounting. I am rich in assets among the top 1% in the world. If all else failed, I could fall back on my waitressing skills.
I’d love to hear some comments…
What does your job mean to you? What would it take for you to walk away to follow a dream?