21 April 2013

Break the cycle

Let’s say that today marks the 2 year anniversary of my resignation. It’s not exactly 2 years but it is within a week either side, so I’m going with today.
Resigning is great. It gives you the control over when you leave work. It is a luxury that you don’t get to indulge very often. The strange thing about working your notice period (well for me at least) is that you do your best work.
I used to be a graphic designer. When I was freelance I produced some decent work and working my notice period was the same. Because I was under notice I had a freedom that I didn’t have before. I could try anything and not care about negative reactions, this, strangely, elicited positive responses. Prior to my resignation all the sparkle and joy had gone out of the job. I was struggling to find any outlet of creativity and was producing work that I thought people wanted but that I didn’t like. Eventually and sadly inevitably this grinds a person down. When I started in the job I had sparkle but due to a number of factors this wore off over the years. It is a cycle that all employees go through and is a reason why people feel the need to move on and employers feel the need for fresh blood. The days of a job for life are gone. Great!
So, what to do? How does a person avoid this cycle? By breaking it, of course. Breaking it is not about changing jobs it is about changing the whole idea of a job or a career. There are a number of reasons why an individual might move jobs. Often it is a promotion – another rung up the ladder of career. Sometimes it is a push or a redundancy and sometimes they are fleeing their job for a greener pasture. None of these will ever provide a lasting cure for the cycle. To really break it one must step out of the cycle. Go and do something else.
That’s what I did 2 years ago and now I can never go back to having a job. Being freelance won’t do it for me either. I visit my old office every once in a while to see old colleagues and friends. On one of these visits I was asked if I get bored not having a job. I paused for a moment and replied in the negative. I thought about this some more later. I remember just how bored I was in my job. I was bored nearly every day towards the end. Desperate for the hours to go so I could go home. Since I left I can honestly and truthfully say that I have not been bored once. Yes, that’s right not once. I plan never to be bored again either.

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