Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rationalization for Settling

Still haven't heard back from the high school I applied to for the guidance counselor position, but I honestly don't really care. I was having thoughts about whether or not I wanted to work there, and my gut feeling told me that I wouldn't like it. It involves way too much "school stuff" such as scheduling classes, and I personally feel like I didn't get this degree to schedule classes for people. I want to be a counselor. My would be supervisor told me that I would do very little actual counseling if I got the job, and I just don't think I'm OK with that. So if they don't call, I won't be upset, in fact, I'll be relieved in a way.

Here's the rationalization part. I love the hospital that I work at, and I really want nothing other than to work there. My problem is the pay. It's horrible, and it's a hospital that's known for paying very little. I'm trying to find ways to come to terms with the low pay, but it's just not happening. I get along really well with everybody and it's the best psyc hospital I've seen in Louisiana. I feel like I'm becoming part of the team, they're giving me more responsibility, and I just feel like I'm in a very comfortable fit at this place. I've been putting the word out more and more to people there that I would like to work there when I graduate but that the pay would need to be a little higher. Maybe someone will hear that and suggest something. I've been told by my supervisor and one of the other social workers that they would like to have me and they can't wait until I graduate. That's very flattering.

Here's my rationalization: My ultimate goal is to go into private practice, which is hugely in demand right now in New Orleans. In order to do this I need my LPC. We have LPC supervisors at the hospital. If I can work my supervision being payed for into my contract, that would figuratively add $5000 to my salary ($100/week for 50 weeks). Once I have my LPC, I can start a private practice and supplement my income at the hospital with that. Or if all works well, do only private practice. I'd also have my foot in the door for private practice because we're always looking for outside therapists for our clients for after they're discharged. I honestly just want to stay where I am when I graduate, because I know I'd be happy, and to an extent, that matters more than money. At the same time, I need to make enough money to at least pay my bills. So what do I do?

I got the best complement today. One of my patients asked me if I do private practice, and I told her that no, that's why I'm in school right now so that I can get to that point. She then told me that she wishes I did, because I'm the first therapist that she's ever felt comfortable with and been able to open up to, and she feels like I've really helped her. That made me smile, and at the same time made me upset that she's never had a therapist that she could be comfortable with.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I know I would be happy at the hospital and I can do the type of work that I really want to do. I want to deal with clinical cases. And maybe I can find a way to adjust my life to be able to live with the salary. Eventually, the salary will be where I want it to be, I may just have to accept that I'm going to start off on the low end.

1 comment:

Carl V. said...

I think you have the right attitude about the whole thing. Happiness in your career is truly priceless, and if you can adjust to living within your means now, you will be a much more fiscally responsible and wise person when the money does start increasing.