Jun 12, 2008

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

In the past month or so the topic of my career, or lack thereof, has come up time and time again. And when I say it's come up, I mean that it's briefly mentioned and then I change the subject. Because that's how I deal with things that frustrate me. I internalize it.

I was very unhappy in the corporate world. I used to work crazy hours. 70+ hours a week wasn't unheard of. Saturdays. Sundays. I was telling a funny story the other day about how I would occasionally sleep at my desk on a Friday night because I had to be at work early that Saturday. Turns out it wasn't such a funny story.

Six years ago I was offered a job in Florida that I really didn't want to take. When I turned it down, I was told that it was either that or the road. I chose the road. They still needed me so I worked from home for another year or so. And I got used to it.

After a little break I began to consult for a small company that a friend of mine started. I wasn't making much, certainly not as much as I made when I was corporate. But I was happy. Sorta. I still didn't enjoy what I did on a daily/weekly basis, but it was a living. I had to simplify my life a bit, but that was fine.

It's been five years now and things haven't changed. I haven't grown. I need to move on. But its hard. Its damn hard. But I still need to do it. I need to move on. I need to do it for myself. I'm just not sure how to go about it. I'm not sure what I'm qualified to do. I'm not sure what I want to do.

I just want to be happy at work. And besides a short time as I transitioned from the office to the home office, I haven't been. Happy at home. Happy with my family. Happy with my friends. Happy with my Gia.

Just never at work.

Is anyone? I don't know if anyone in my life is happy with their work life. Why is it so hard?

Sorry. Just feelin' a little down about my life tonight.


badgerdaddy said...

Things could be a lot worse - you could still be sleeping over on Fridays, 70+ hours a week...

Sounds like you're doing a bit of soul-searching - no bad thing. At the end of it, you'll either find a new direction to (gradually) move in, or you'll find a new way to appreciate your current one.

Chin up. x

tina said...

maybe you're still in a transition phase... just keep your options open, and don't stop looking around. at least you've gotten away from the hellish schedule. :)

oh yeah, i'm still a student, so my advice might not be so credible... ^^;

Anonymous said...

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Fucking rich. Not from marrying some guy (although I joke about that I really don't want that.) I just want it to magically appear. I don't really want to work for it. Bleck.

I've seen others do the 80 hour weeks. I've had brushes with (eek!) 50. I'm just not interested.

I choose not to define myself by my career. (Is that now like a big fucking cliche???)

If you can be happy with affording what you have and not "working for the man" then more power to you. If not, jesus FUCK there are consultants in my neck of the woods driving Ferraris and pulling in $400 an hour. Even in this economy.

Email me. Let's talk.

livesbythewoods said...

Work is a pile of shite. That's why we get paid to do it.

I have days where I feel really positive and pleased with what I do, and others where I wish a truck would run me over just so I wouldn't have to go back.

If all the important stuff (family, home, relationships) is good, you're doing pretty well, matey. Don't beat yourself up.

Avitable said...

Have you tried talking to your friend about it? The one who owns the company?

Verdant Earl said...

badger - yeah, I was just venting. I was actually gonna close the comments on this one, but I've never done that in the past...why start now.

Tina - Welcome! Still a student, eh? Odibe Youngagain. ;)

bobgirrl - Exactly!!! Magically wealthy without any work involved...that's what I want!

LBTW - I know, but it's beginning to affect the other things in my life.

Avi - I skipped some things in my job summary there. That company eventually went out of busines (no fault of mine), and I've been with a number of different companies since then as a consultant doing things like business plans, Accounting systems, loan system integrations, etc... Funny thing is, I'm now back with the same friend who is starting up a new business. I don't know if I see it going anywhere, though.

RW said...

Last year around this time I was kicked out of a 6 figure job I didn't care for too much because the every-other week on the road travel was getting to me after 9 years. I ended up working for a small company at about half of what i was making and am home everyday at around 3;30. So long as i see myself actually saving money every month (I have a thing about that - totally anal) and handling everything else I'm fine.

By 4:30 every day I am usually drunk and happily working on my writing. So, all in all, i am probably as happy now as I have ever been, even if it mostly because I realistically recognize that the writing aspect may never earn me much. I don't dream of quitting my job and doing novels. I dream of doing novels however that has to happen.

I think life's what you make it, probably.

Bruce Johnson said...

Aggghhhh....not the sad clown face....anything but the clown face......Noooooooooo.

There is a favorite quote of mine, "We spend so much time in hell, because we know the names of the streets."

Or another way of putting it, is that we fear change, so we put up with an aweful situation instead of making the big leap and moving on. This is basic human nature.

You are in the rut of having been lead to beleive that unless you are productive member of 'society' you are a failure. Which isn't the case at all. Society has failed you, not the other way around.

Few of us like our jobs, but we put up with them to make ends meet (like paying off that new HDTV, or the Hummer, or the McMansion in the burbs, ...the things we really NEED!)

A famous greek philosopher once stated, "That the only education that a child needs, is to play amoungst beautiful things."

We lost that somewhere on the way from there to here.

RW said...

Just got an idea for a video post. thanks earl, you're a genius!

Suzi Q said...

I'm not real good at giving advice. but I do know it's important to at least like what you do. I worked at a newspaper for three months, from the outside it looked like my dream job. And then I met the boss and I cried the whole way to work every day. Then I came back to insurance and it's not what I thought I'd be doing with my life, but the staff here is AMAZING. Just give it some time and the right thing will come to you. Until then I've got a great big Canadian hug for you!

Slyde said...

you used to work CRAZY hours, but you always seemed to have money. You would treat all the time when we went somewhere. it was nice. I felt like your bitch.

But i agree that you need to get some sort of stable job again. Just make it something you like.

Thats why i always tease you about the fact that you dont have a real job. That is my hetero way of trying to get you off your ass and join the workforce again.

You are, after all, my snuggly little Boo-Bear.

Verdant Earl said...

RW - drunk and writing by 4:30PM every day sounds pretty nice.

Lotus - started and ended with some pretty good quotes there. Thanks.

RW - hey man! Whatever I can do to help the process. ;)

Paige - Do Canadian hugs feel any different than regular hugs? Are they colder (or warmer because of the cold)? ;)

Slyde - Thanks punkin!

i am the diva said...

Find Your Bliss.

and also, Canadian Hugs are warmer, sweeter, and often a little drunk (from all the Winter, Maple Syrup, and beer)

Suzi Q said...

Yes, what the Diva said, Canadian Hugs are WAY better! You should try one one day!

limpy99 said...

eh, they call it work because no one would do it for free. No one's going to pay my mortgage to watch me sit around in my underwear while watching TV.

Are they?

Verdant Earl said...

Diva/Paige - that's what I thought.

Limpy - I dunno, but if you find a job like that be sure to let me know.

white rabbit said...

Courage mon brave! You are a talented guy. Two quotes.

1. The well known Scarlett O'Hara one 'Tomorrow is another day'

2. Winston Churchill when broke, depressed and totally out of the political loop 'Keep buggering on'.


Alles ist gut.

Seals said...

I fought this for years. I've been at my current job for 7 years --and I still like it -- but I've never stayed this long at one place.

I think the tenure of your current job plays into it too. It's "time" to move on as much as anyone else.

Seals said...

... or "anything else," if I wasn't so quick to hit that button.

elizabeth said...

I know what you mean... I don't think that very many people are actually happy at work. But there's certainly nothing wrong with trying to be.

Big hugs!