This Crazy Work Life
Just a personal rant, because it is a Sunday. This has been buzzing around inside of my head for a while now, so it is time to get it out so that I have bandwidth to focus on other stuff.
The last two years for me have been quite interesting in regards to my career. I had a job taken from me that I worked at for over 13 years and that I did very well according to my former boss. My former boss later resigned from his position, and revealed to me that the decision to lay me off was made by his boss. I must admit that I am still angry at that person, not because of the decision to lay me off but because of his cowardice in how he sought to get rid of me and used a company crisis to make it happen.
But my observation is that my former company is still not doing great, and with leadership like that calling the shots I am not surprised. Two years later and the drama still seems to be in full swing there from what others tell me. I wish my former co-workers the best but I do worry that the stock that I bought will be the most expensive toilet paper that I have ever purchased. Please prove me wrong on that concern!
The silver lining is that I then changed careers and discovered that I had skills that demanded more money and that have brought me into contact with much more influential people. Now I am job number two (this time by choice though) in this new career and I have to say that I am happier than I ever was before. I have had a huge increase in income, face way bigger challenges in my new profession, and I now work from home on top of it all. For right now my work life is pretty good.
Now before anyone says “So getting laid off was a good thing for you!” allow me to shut that one down right here right now. Laying someone off is tragic. Good people doing good work having their jobs taken away from them is never a good thing. No, getting laid off was not a good thing for me. No one did me any favors by taking away my job.
What allowed me to get past my being laid off was my determination and hard work. I tackled the task of finding a new job and changing careers with a passion that came from within. I was only able to do that because my wife took on the burden of making sure our family would be okay while I focused on forging a new career for myself. Not just for the brief period of time while I was unemployed, but also for the period of time where I was working 80 hours a week to be the best. My wife stood by my side while I was getting up at 5am to get to work by 7:30am or earlier, staying at the office past 7:30pm, and then getting home by 9pm only to work online until 12am. Then every weekend was spent both working and studying to develop my skills even further.
I did that for about a year. My wife put up with that nonsense for about a year. The sad thing is that I did the same thing at my last job too. I would still be doing that to this day if it was not for a promise that I made my wife when I took that new job – “If after a year I am not happy I will be open to other opportunities. I promise that I will keep looking until I find a job that fits our life together.”
My wife held me to that promise. She certainly had put up with enough bullshit that it was the very least that I could do. If it was not for my wife I would be miserable.
Now I have a job where I work from home, and I make it a point to block off time every week to take my wife out to lunch. Just the two of us. All company business is a lower priority for those mere two hours, and that is how it should be.
I still work like a maniac. 10 hour days are what I seem to gravitate towards. I do not usually take weekends off. Now that I do not have a daily commute though this is actually a very manageable routine. I start my day between 7-8am and work until approximately 6pm, and if I need a break I leave my home office and grab a cup of coffee in my kitchen and talk to my wife if she is home. I now have completed the puzzle that I always working on for my entire career – I have achieved balance between my professional and personal needs.
The irony is that did not happen until I put mine and my wife’s personal happiness first and my career second. So to all of those executives that I have met throughout the years who talked about hard work, and that if you sacrifice today you will have time to relax tomorrow let me say that you are all full of it. I now work for a company that gets it, and the secret is to make sure that people have time off. Eliminate their commute and let them work from home. Do not encourage late hours at the office. Never force them to work a weekend.
You will have better employees emerge naturally if you let them have personal lives. I found that I am now more successful than ever before because of that formula, and now I and my current employer will reap the benefits. I work long hours because of the joy that my work gives me, and not because I have to.
End rant. Enjoy your Sunday!