This has been an unusual year for me in the world of work.
After having a successful first year with a company, I started the second year full of promise in a new role that I thought was going to be a great fit. For a variety of reasons, things didn’t work out the way I had hoped. I still have very fond feelings for the company, the people, and the product, but the gap between what I was being asked to do and the resources I was given to do it was too wide to be overcome by hard work and enthusiasm alone.
As the pressure to produce gradually increased it became apparent that my “new role” was a solution without a problem and there was a clock ticking for me to find a new job. So I looked for work, but not super aggressively because I was still getting paid, and still sort-of trying to accomplish the impossible. Along the way I was sleeping in, exercising, spending a lot of time with the kids, and writing.
Some weeks I would do, at maximum, an hour’s worth of actual work.
The checks kept coming, and I kept doing the same things. Summer came, and I did maybe an hour’s worth of work a month.
I knew the end was coming though. It had to. No one was this nice.
When the end finally did come in August, it was a relief. It was the shortest layoff conversation I’ve ever had.
September was really nice, all things considered. We had enough money that I could put off looking for work for a little while longer, so I did. I wrote a ton of posts. Got started on my book.
Fortune smiled on me again when a lunch led to a phone call which led to coffee which led to an interview which led to an offer to start at the beginning of November. So I did. Happy ending.
In this holiday season of reflection and introspection, I have plenty to introspect on. I am grateful that I’ve written something that was read over 50,000 times (and it was over 2500 words too, so everyone who says long form writing doesn’t work on the Internet can suck it). I’m excited that I was featured on Freshly Pressed twice. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to spend the past year closer to my family than they would probably want, helping with the car pools, making dinner, and just being there.
I started writing in a large part because I was desperate to create. Along the way I learned a lot about myself and who I really was. I have always been a “live to work” kind of guy, and this past year really made me question that assumption. Now that I am working again (and substantially more occupied) I have a new set of assumptions to question around how to balance my competing priorities of work, family, and self.
I used to think roller-coaster years were the anomalies. Now I’ve seen enough years to know that every year is full of ups and downs. All you can do is hope your ride stays on the rails and doesn’t get stuck.
Thanks for riding with me.
I’d love to hear your stories of being lost and then found too! Leave a comment and share.