For the last two weeks, I’ve been girding my loins to jump back into the corporate world… searching the jobs boards, poking around various companies for the next big corporate thing. April 18th will be 6 months out of the corporate world. Saturday I started feeling like crap. Sunday night, I went down like a felled tree. Monday was miserable, fretful, whiny, and possibly my lowest moment in the last six months. I questioned EVERYthing that I’d been thinking. And out of that unforgivably self-centered, possibly delusional, certainly depressed (and bluntly, annoying) moment came a battering ram of a realization. I don’t want to do that any more.
♦ The fact that you are good at something does not mean that you want to do it for the rest of your life. ♦
I just finished three paragraphs on the last six years of my corporate employment. I was good at both jobs. Hell, I got bonuses, awards, stock, promotions, kudos, backpats… But I read those three paragraphs back, and the biggest point out of the whole self-serving diatribe is this one: You cannot tell the truth in a corporate job without being fired, or at least threatened. (And you’re welcome for the deletion–it was pretty tedious.)
That’s as bald as it gets. I’ll spare you the details. but both times, I told the truth. The first time it was in public. The second time it was (I thought) in private. It did not matter whether I respected my boss or not–the lady I worked for more than three years ago is, and was, one of the best people I’ve ever known. My last boss was not. My old boss was just laid off from her job. My more recent boss is, to my knowledge, still at hers.
♦ Being a good person is not only not a guarantee of corporate success, it may well be a detriment to your future. ♦
So, with that in mind, I talked to Corey. Because that’s what we do. We talk. We tell the truths that we don’t necessarily feel we can share elsewhere. And I told him my truth. I don’t want to go back.
He said more than a few things to make me feel better, but the gist is… “OK. So don’t.”
All I can hear this morning (between the lingering hacking of the allergy attack that brought on my mini-piphany) is the chorus from the Wizard of Oz, “Ding-dong, the witch is dead…” I know he’s said it before–but some things I have to hear more than once.
I don’t have to be anybody’s corporate… okay, let’s go with “witch,” shall we? That’s enough. What’s the future? I don’t know, do you? I have my suspicions… but I’ve got time. For now, I’m engrossed in stripping my corporate persona off the Internet. No resumes on the boards, no Linked-In marketing blah-blah, right groups, right recommendations, right words for a picture that is me, but not the real me… it will take a while to disassemble all the hype. It’s kinda funny that, to take the next step, I first have to erase the last 30 years of my life–pretty much the same number of journals that were destroyed in a flooded hold on the way to Texas. All the self-absorbed blah-blah of the last 30 years, wiped away. Independent confirmation, one might say, if one were to lean that way.
Caveat emptor, baby. Not sure the world is ready for the truth… as Jack Nicholson might say. But I do feel like I can finally discard that niggling suspicion that I’ve been fudging the truth to myself, as well as everyone else. I’ll let you know how it works out.