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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The month of May has been a struggle. I haven't been keeping up as well with many of the good habits I developed in April. I believe I will fall short on most of my May goals.

I have been doing some soul searching to try to understand why May was so tough. In an earlier post, I said that the reason I wanted to lose weight was to make my outsides match my insides. That I didn't want to be kept in my place anymore. What I realized as I thought about that motivation is that it's more than my weight that's keeping me in my place. A big part of the reason I lack motivation and am stuck is my job.

I feel guilty even putting this out there, because by most people's standards, I have a pretty sweet deal. I am paid well, have flexibility with my hours or to work from home if necessary, have good benefits and get 4 weeks vacation plus the days between Christmas and New Year's off, and I work with some really nice, really smart people. To complain about that seems pretty crazy. The thing is though, I have no passion for the job anymore. Haven't had any since last September. Prior to that, I loved what I did. But things changed in September and I had little to no control over where I ended up. The company that I work for went from being the market definer and leader in our industry to struggling for survival. Layoffs and cutbacks are everywhere and it isn't much of a fun place to be. I'm actively looking for work elsewhere, but I'm not sure that finding a job at another company is going to solve the problem.

Here's what I want. I want a job that pays what I'm paid now (actually, ideally more since I had to take a fairly significant pay cut in September to stay employed) but gives me even more flexibility. I want to be able to work a 4 day week if I want to, or take a couple of months a year off. I want to have more time for myself and my family, without having to sacrifice our lifestyle. Not that we live an extravagant lifestyle -- we don't. I want to do work that I feel some passion for. I want to help people make their work lives (and maybe personal lives) better. I want to be my own boss. I want to decide what projects I work on and what projects I turn down. I want to feel as though the work I do makes a difference to somebody. None of that is true for me today.

I don't know whether what I want is possible. Maybe I'm just being a crazy dreamer and need to be thankful for what I have and get over it. And even if it is possible, I don't know how to achieve it. My financial situation does not allow me to quit my job and pursue setting up my own business. I am the only source of support for my family. Lately, I live in fear of getting laid off. I haven't been at this company long enough to get a very good severance package and if I did get laid off I would have to find another job very quickly. Maybe that should be incentive for me to find a way to not be at the mercy of someone else to make my living.

This problem isn't going away on its own. I need to figure out a path forward. Not sure yet what that is.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow. That's some really great self-reflection. Do you know what kind of business you would open if you could? Is there anyway that you could start making little steps towards that goal? Could you freelance on the side?

    Good luck!
    3105 days ago
    good self reflection...I know exactly how you feel...think I am there right now!
    3105 days ago
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