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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Cat Chases Tail (& related career thoughts)

I've been spending a lot of time over the past few months just trying to re-orient my professional life.  That's not a bad thing, by the's just a reality.  That reality is I spent nearly 28 years working for one organization, and then 4.5 years working for 5 organizations.  Needless to say, when change happens to me, well, it really happens.  Granted that, as noted over the past few years, 4 of those changes happened to me; only one was initiated by me.  It has been, in a word, chaotic.  

For those keeping score over the last 4.5 years:

  • Organization 1 was bought by organization 2.
  • Organization 2 laid off almost everyone on my team, including myself (and my Director, who had worked for that same company for more than 20 years).
  • Organization 3 laid me off as a result of COVID.  In all fairness, it was a business necessity, and while getting laid off always stinks, there is some consolation found in the fact that this was an event outside of anyone's control.
  • Organization 4 just wasn't a good fit for me.  I wish them well.
  • Organization 5 is where I find myself now.

With that in mind, here I am now, almost 4 months into my current gig.  Now every morning before I start my workday, I spend a few minutes pouring my thoughts out into a personal blog of sorts.  Maybe one day that stuff will see the light of day.  

Anyway, one of the things I've had to mentally settle on and musing over is the fact that I really do want this to be my last stop.  As in the end.  As in my primary goal is to simply get paid a reasonable amount of money for the work I do (and I am) and not work for a bunch of jerks (which I am not).  No promotions, no self-promotion, no rat-racing, no ego.  To that last point, it's a bit trickier than it sounds.  Like most blue-blooded American folks, I have been conditioned to believe that, in our working lives, we are either climbing up or we are pathetic losers.  With my current situation, as already explained, I have to come to terms with the whole "pathetic losers" thing.  Or, as I have explained to my boss, I have resigned myself to "shutting off my ambition gene".

Yet there is more to this whole mental mess.

Why is ambition even an issue here?  Ambition for what?  To find some sort of validation that I am smart or hardworking or talented?  This brings me to my cat Oren.

(Oren and Rambo)

Oren loves to chase his tail.  He REALLY LOVES chasing his tail.  He must think it is some other thing that he needs to capture.  To acquire.  In reality, he doesn't need to acquire it...he already has it.  He just doesn't realize that fact.

And here I am now.  Maybe I've been chasing something that, at this point, I already have.  Maybe I don't need the validation that I am smart or hardworking or talented.  Maybe chasing a "career tail" makes about as much sense as what Oren does.  In all fairness to Oren though, at least he has fun with his chase.

Finally, adding another dimension to all of this is the fact that Ms. Rivers and I think we'll be ready to retire in 6 to 7 years.  That will put both of us 2-3 years away from the magic age of 65, but we have a plan.  We're good at that sort of thing.

The above noted, Oren needs some attention.  

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