I have been sick for three weeks with a nasty cold. It has kept me awake at night, stripped me of energy, and forced me indoors through an extremely cold and gloomy January. My days have felt long; I have struggled to sleep, dragged myself through work days, then crashed on the couch each night. I have not had energy for walking or socializing. I have spent a lot of time zoning out over TV shows on Netflix; I have watched all four season of The Good Wife. But in my sleepless nights and in the moments between work and Netflix, quiet thoughts have bubbled to the surface.
I ended the year feeling tired of my current job; tired of being treated poorly by our over-paid consultant; tired of working for members who take my work for granted; tired of working with a manager who provides no support while taking credit for my work. Over the last few weeks however, something shifted internally. I found myself remembering how much I love working from home; feeling grateful that I could work without having to dress up and commute into an office. I found myself thinking how much I love the autonomy I have in this job; that I write and post articles on our partnerships’s website, prepare and disseminate e-newsletters, and select guests for webinars without passing through 4 layers of approval.
Before Christmas, I applied for a number of jobs. I had one job interview before I got sick and it got me thinking about what I would be giving up if I left this job; the ability to juggle my work hours; the freedom to make decisions n my own; the opportunity to write and manage a website; and the chance to see the current projects through to completion. I found myself feeling oddly invested in my job and committed to the members in our partnership. When it came time to pass on two other job interviews because I was too sick to attend, I found myself thinking, “I guess it was not meant to be.”
When I look at what has been going on internally, I find myself facing familiar ground. My current job, which is a contract position, provides no pension, a relatively low salary, and no job security (the contract ends in October). More importantly, there is no prestige associated with it. In this position, I am not the content expert and I have little power. But it keeps me very busy; there is a huge variety in the tasks that I do; editing reports, moderating webinars, organizing events, meeting with members. There is room for creativity; writing blogs, managing the website, and preparing presentations. There is freedom and autonomy and room for quietly influence work in the field in which I am working.
My role in this partnership of professionals is like that of the mother in a family. I am the one who keeps everything moving smoothly; quietly working behind the scenes to allow others to focus and shine; doing the invisible work that is all so essential. In other words, this job has value, but it is value that often goes unrecognized and unrewarded. The question is, “Do I value it?” And over the last few weeks, with my life turned inward, I have found myself thinking that I do. So, the next question is, “Can I still the hungry voice of my ego long enough to enjoy it?”
Kim oh my goodness I can identify I have found my own internal professional cycle. I used to focus on external factors but now understand to keep my passion I have to inject some new challenge to keep my level of engagement strong. I feel like Dorothy in the wizard of oz I am beginning to realize I had the power all along I was just giving it away. I hope you are on the mend a healthy body makes it easier on the mental state of mind. Great post!!!
Thanks Marisa….it is so true. When I get off centre, I start worrying about what other people think. When I get centred again, I remember what I need and like in my work, and am willing to sacrifice salary, prestige and title to get it!! Kim
“Do I value it?” What an important question. It’s not about what others think, it’s about whether you feel good about it. Hope you’re on the mend, Kim!
Thanks Alarna…Good question but so hard to keep front and centre at times…Kim