Monday, September 22, 2014

August Moon 14: Day 5: The perfect (work) day

What would your perfect work day be like?

Whatever scenario that you have conjured, how does it make you feel when you picture yourself in it?

Not here any more. Not for a few years now. Won't be again, not in this lifetime.

I can tell you that working for myself was the perfect work day, however. I loved the flexibility to set my own schedule -- when my daughter was in school, I could attend after-school soccer games or track meets or assemblies without taking 'personal time.' If I had appointments, I could adjust my own time to accommodate them. I got to get out and meet and talk with people enough to keep me from being a total hermit, but there were plenty of home days in sweats and no makeup as I wrote stories or fanned the creative muse. Nobody but me was responsible for my meeting deadlines and completing projects, or pitching projects and making them happen. I was harder on myself than nearly any manager I ever had.

I found this out by working in other areas for much of my career although I did a lot of freelance work too. I liked my nonprofit work too, although working with a diverse board of directors can be a challenge especially if there are political landmines to both identify and avoid stepping on. But I enjoyed promoting a 'product' or service that benefited the public. I liked selling intangible benefits and I was pretty good at coming up with ways to do that. The stuff I didn't like was the office games and power politics and snarkiness.

But when it came to lining some big honcho's pockets with corporate dollars, I didn't do so well. Oh, I made some good money at it, and tried hard to believe that the products we were selling really would improve lives and make a far better difference than those of our competitors, but it was the politics that eventually got me. The jockeying for position within the company and department. The gossip. The backbiting and clock-watching. (Funny how everyone noticed what time you arrived but nobody saw when you left...) The lack of good people managers -- maybe they were smart enough in their field, but TERRIBLE at taking care of their direct reports. The reorganizations. The hockey-stick sales projections that MUST be met. The lack of interest in anything remotely personal or humanitarian or service-oriented.

Not for me, that life. I am no good at being political. I am lousy at gossip. I expect people to be truthful and loyal and decent to each other. And they weren't.

I am happy to be retired from working. My toughest critic is still me. My schedule is still flexible. And the benefits are great.

No comments: