So Here I Am…

Published October 30, 2010 by Michelle Sharma Fitness

I’ll be 36 in just a week and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!

When I first got back to the states from  India, I knew I wanted to get a job to keep me busy so that I wouldn’t be focusing on how much I missed my husband and kids and also to get back to the business of paying off our debts. (Currently we are using Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Method and it’s been working great in just the few months we’ve been on it! Find out more here)

So I began the job search in earnest the day my husband got back on the plane to go back to the sandbox. Fortunately for me, or so I thought at the time, I didn’t have to search long before I got lead for a job from an acquaintance of mine. I sent this company an email with my resume attached and the next day I got a phone call asking me to come in for an interview. Now I am a medical coder by profession and the job I was being offered was in medical billing. Since I had a bit of experience in my last job with medical billing, I figured I would go ahead and accept the job-after all how hard could it be?? Huh…was I in for a big surprise!

Now, I know that there are many people in this world who thrive and grow under pressure(and thank God for them!!) but I am not one of them as I found out in my short time at this job. Multitasking I can handle, but not under the gun of completing monthly task queues which are an essential element of the job. I was trained for about a week and then let loose to fend for myself during my 90 day evaluation period during which I would be held to the same expectations that seasoned employees were in regards to completion of task queues.

I took a pay cut from my previous job in New York because I was told that in Texas “You’re not going to see above $9.00/hr.” I was calling insurance companies, writing appeals and dealing with angry patients who had “just got a bill in the mail” with just a little sprinkling of coding here and there. Shortly after I started working there, I began to go to work with knots in my stomach and a horrible sense of dread. By the end of two months, I knew I couldn’t do it any longer and I put in my notice.

Now I am at a crossroads of what I want to do with the rest of my life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration and a coding certification. The billing job has left a very bad taste in my mouth and I don’t know if I can continue on in this line of work, stuck in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, only stopping to get a breath while popping up my head above the cubicle like a prairie dog poking his head out of his hole.

So now perhaps because I am quickly approaching middle age, I am increasingly feeling a sense of urgency to feel that I’ve accomplished something in my life-to have made a difference someway, somehow. I have done the career assessment tests, personality tests, even thought about following a suggestion to re-embrace what you loved to do before you were ten years old, before other distractions set in. In my case that would be biology, which by age 10, I was reading large volumes from the library by Jaques Cousteau and other such biologists. For all my life, I have been utterly fascinated with Animal Planet, Discovery Health and National Geographic and would rather watch those types of shows than anything else. Unfortunately at this point in my life, such a drastic career change would cause me to have to go back to school and rack up way more debt than I already have-I’ve been paying on my student loans from my Bachelor’s degree now since 2008 and they haven’t budged a bit!

I think that a person is supposed to be happy in their career-I’ve heard many experts say that. My husband wouldn’t agree, but then that’s a whole different blog post! In an attempt to get my college loans paid off and hopefully pursue a different career path, I am trying to join the National Guard or Reserves. I’ll let you know how that works out. Meanwhile, I love to hear opinions on whether you think the job or career should make you happy or whether you should be happy no matter what kind of job you are in…


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