Yesterday, I had to have a difficult conversation with someone. I am leaving my current job and I have about a month left. The CFO asked me if I was willing to extend and I apologized to say that I wouldn’t. I gave him 3 months’ notice which I would say is a fair amount of time to get their work in order and for me to wrap up.
As soon as I said, he had such a bad reaction. The first thing he immediately said was that you will struggle a lot. It was such a pathetic, knee-jerk reaction. I know he didn’t get his way and I know that in fact, he will struggle because he hasn’t hired to replace me and he hasn’t even bothered to let me train anyone. I was disappointed. People generally wish you well, despite what they are really feeling. But I suppose not everyone is alike and his reaction just helped me reaffirm my decision to not extend my stay.
For the last two years I have been working like there’s no tomorrow. I started this new job at a private company and hit the ground running, as they say. I gave up on giving my final level of certification, I gave up holidays and I gave time with my family. I gave up going out with friends, spending time writing or doing any of the things I love. I feel like all I did was work and when I didn’t work, I was too tired to be doing anything else. I was enjoying my role and so I put my heart and soul into the job. And now I realize that it was just that… a job.
I thought I was an integral part of the company but over the last one month I have come to realize that is not the case at all. It’s not like I have done anything wrong. But, when the going gets tough, unfortunately people start to cast blame. I don’t know how to point fingers or lie and I know this has been a big problem for me throughout my career. In the corporate world, one is meant to be ruthless and tough. But, these days most people confuse these attributes to mean being rude and having no moral compass.
Now everything that I have done for the last two years doesn’t seem to be so rewarding after all. I have spent my time trying to make one man rich and then got none of the things I was promised in return. No appreciation, no bonus for all of my achievements… instead I was told that I am not performing because they have conveniently chosen to forget everything I have achieved and all the hard work I have put in. And I did achieve a lot. Working in an unstructured private company meant I had to bring my own (overboard) organizational expertise and create policies and trackers for the 40+ projects I was handling on my own. I had deadlines and reporting methods and went above and beyond to create a very high standard for my function. In the end, this was not appreciated at all. I think it may be because the company has been running in a very ad hoc manner and the top management has a style of putting out fires or dealing with things as we go along. So planning, to-do lists and organized methods of working and execution are not really their thing. I have been told that I keep too calm under pressure. That’s a first! But it’s comments like that make me realize, that the issue is definitely not me. It is a lack of professionalism in them.
Do I regret working so hard and forsaking everything else in my life? A little bit. But I have also learned a lot during this time and I did enjoy the work I did. When faced with adversity people react badly. I know this. But not reacting badly is probably more difficult and what we should strive for. I can’t remain in a toxic environment like this where everyone just lies to save themselves all the time and throwing blame on other (whether true or not) is the game. It is sad and unfortunate. I am disheartened because I have to deal with the sad truth again… people are just not what they seem. It’s become so easy for people to cross the moral barrier and get away with it. Well, sometimes they are commended for it. I want to believe that there is something better out there. I want to believe that there are still good people out there.
All I can say to myself everyday…. Keep your chin up!
It’s been ages since I’ve written anything. Not just here, but anywhere. I’ve stopped blogging, stopped journaling, stopped everything I ever did in my spare time. It’s all because it seems that I have no spare time. I’m so overwhelmed with work and life; I have no time for myself or for any of the things that I enjoy doing. I’m even finding it hard to find time to breathe. I think about how my days go by… like one day just rolls into the next and I feel a little lost in between.
I took a bit of a break in between because I was sitting for an exam. It was a gruesome experience to say the least and I don’t think I did very well. It’s ok if I have to take it again. I’m proud of myself for just going through with it. The first half of this year has been challenging. Starting a new job that is a different to what I have been doing for the last 12 years, just means that I have had to put in longer hours during the week. As a result of this, I want to spend every free moment I get on the weekends with my kid. It’s hard enough being a single mother but, it’s worse being a single mother who works 12+ hours a day. So yes, at least I gave the exam and I’ll keep praying that I don’t have to give it again.
Today I was talking to coworker who started ranting about how some people got recognized in our monthly floor address when they really didn’t deserve it. He went on and on about how one guy didn’t do anything much, is very difficult to work with and only closed one deal, which he stole from another manager and managed to close because of his assisstant. Wow!
And then he turned to me saying that even you have closed a number of deals yet you’re not being recognized and he is. I said it was ok that the other guy is being recognized and I really didn’t care that he was. But, yes I would’ve liked to be recognized as well for my achievements. Truth is, I’m not the knd of person who is envious of someone else’s success and I don’t beleive in growing at the expense of others. In fact, I would prefer it if we all learned and grew together.
(found the picture on the internet, I don’t know whose quote this is)
I took a very short break in between. Seemed like forever since I’d taken time off from work. Although this was no vacation because I had mainly taken time off to help a friend with recovery from surgery, it still felt good to be away from the daily stress of working and having to deal with my bosses.
On the flight back, I met an old friend. We had started out in the financial industry together. Soon after, he left the job and pursued various endeavors. We got to talking and I found out he was travelling to attend several conferences related to a couple of his various pursuits, one of which is related to comic books. Needless to say, I was impressed. I told him as much. I told him it is not easy to muster the courage to follow one’s passions and it’s admirable that he has done just that.
These days I look at my life and realize that there is not one thing I’m doing that I really like. I used to love my job and at some point I did feel like I was doing something worthwhile. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that way anymore. My job has become more a pursuit of sales targets and making the numbers rather than actually adding value to the client. What’s even sadder is that the attitude seems to prevail largely in the industry leading to clients also believing that what we do is not in their best interests. Maybe I’ve become cynical or maybe I’m just not in the best work environment but, the point is I would like to go back to doing something I love. I used to be passionate about this job that I do and possibly with the right institution I may be able to regain that.
However, it would seem like more and more I would like to try something different. Change my line of work to follow something else I may be passionate about. I haven’t thought it all the way through and I know that it will be something before I can make the change. I suppose it will just have to be work in progress.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” —Nelson Mandela
For the longest time my work life had been fully integrated into my personal life. Working in a client facing role meant being called in the evenings and on the weekends. It also meant I was one of those people who constantly checked my Blackberry because replying to work emails instantly seemed to be paramount. But, after 12-hour work days and not leaving work even after leaving work, I started to get burned out. It was bound to happen at some point.
I started to feel perpetually exhausted, moody and even started to get sick more often. So I made a decision to “curb my enthusiasm” when it came to work. I realized that while is work is important, so am I. Being unhappy and tired will not make me a good worker.
While I still work 12-hour days, on occasion, I’ve decided to make sure not bring work home. I’m trying my best never to check work emails in the evening unless I know I will expect an important email. I’ve started to keep my work planner and personal planner separate. I still maintain one diary but at least I don’t have to look my list of work to-do’s, meeting notes, etc..
I’m making a conscious effort to read more, relax more and just spend time with family and friends. I’ve put my extra time to good use as well. I’ve managed to pass two levels of my professional certification and I’ve started drawing / painting again. I have to say, while I still get stressed out occasionally, I do feel that I’m a happier person.