That numb feeling that comes from being exhausted likes to linger on me mingled with the day’s dirt and grime. Since I work at a desk I have to sometimes wonder if it isn’t the energy numbness more than sweat, blood and tears I feel all over my skin. Tears certainly come some days but I honestly can’t remember the last time my job required blood and sweat outside of the proverbial sense. More than anything it’s mind work that drains me with the high political drama, constant chaos and never-ending demands. Grit and grime of a working day, except sometimes you feel it more on the inside than out and it’s harder to wash off.
I used to have these hopes that I was going to find this great job I loved and I would stay there until I could retire and then go have even more fun the rest of my life. We are led to believe this is all possible with the right degree, connections and perseverance. The idea that a certain job title and salary range make us successful and is an ambitious goal we should all strive to achieve in our careers is the secret to happiness too, or so we are told. I used to believe it all. I had goals of working to a higher level, going great things in a rewarding career that supported the life I wanted to have for myself. What I learned was the life was easily built, the career and job not so much.
Certainly my lifestyle has depended on paychecks coming in but it took me a while to realize how much was not dependent on my job. I appreciate how hard I have worked to get where I am, the house my husband and I worked to pay off and the cars, trips, holiday gifts and more our jobs provided through our hours of labor. It is easy to tangle though the deepness of inter-relationship we have with our jobs and real life. That’s because they are intertwined and should be to an extent. Once upon a time jobs were where we did claim success in the business world and our family’s lives reflected that in home upgrades, more flexibility of our time and more. Today, it is different. Success often means more work, less time and we may upgrade our home but we never see much of it because we’re always working.
From working a few hours extra every week, eating lunches at our desks and missing important family time and vacations, work dominates a lot of our time and then some. I even had an employer that demanded happy hours once a month so we could collect as a team, because working shoulder to shoulder every day wasn’t enough it seemed. We tell ourselves the payoff will be worth it though and push through. We’ll make up for the time lost with family on the vacation by having a bigger vacation next time. We’ll catch up on sleep, exercise and losing weight after this project is done despite the company’s supposed messaging on caring of our wellness too. They don’t, if you wondered. Your wellness is concerning the point it prevents work from being done, on time.
The trade off for the paycheck is supposed to be our lifestyle and life we want to build for ourselves and share with our families. In reality, our jobs and careers take as much from us as they can and leave us covered in a grit that wrecks havoc on our souls. We are left depressed, burned out, overweight, with anxiety and sleep issues. We can’t feel anymore and the relationship to our own happiness is tied to this identity we are made to believe we need because of who we are at our jobs. We lose ourselves in the grit of corporate bullshit.
Perhaps I’ve just had bad job luck in my career and my own jaded view of the corporate landscape is wrong. In talking with my friends though we all feel this weighty grit. Most of us are just counting down the days until we can retire, win the lottery or some miracle happens that we can leave this behind us and actually live. Until then we must accept what we have, make the most of it and let go of these silly dreams it can ever be something more. To succeed in corporate work means to survive. It is not for the faint of heart.
In place of my hopes for the perfect job, that is deeply covered in stained grit of a long career path I feel numb. Burned out from believing someone had my back, was going to keep their word or that this was a good job. My description of a good job has certainly altered over time as a result. It is no longer promotions, achieving goals or any other pretty worded corporate mission. Rather it is can I survive here for a few years? Does this place smell of crispy burned dreams, big egos and personal agendas? Do I dare to have a sliver of hope?
The reason so many people work multiple jobs and try direct marketing companies is to buy back their freedom. Those that have realized the glitz of corporate work is nothing more than a place where dreams go to die try to put their efforts elsewhere. People want better in their life and want to try anything to make better a reality. Being your own boss holds that appeal of possible. Of course there is risk to any reward but it seems possible and sometimes that’s enough when all else has been taken from you at work.
I crave the day my hands no longer type corporate emails or my voice speaks at a corporate meeting. I dream of the day I can make it on my own in work that fills my spirit and bank account. Faith in the possibility is what keeps me going on those days my job is sucking the life out of me again. Anyone who mocks direct marketing obviously has not reached this point in their corporate work to know how deep of a pit those snakes go. Working in direct marketing means to be brave enough to try. For me it was the possible outlet to free my hands from the grit of corporate work that was killing my soul.
Currently, I do still work in corporate work. I am also pursuing a second degree in natural and holistic medicine and building a business with an natural products direct marketing company. It is a lot most days to keep up with but it is also where I see my power energy coming back. The modern corporate career leaves most of us at the bottom of the pit and those that still have something in them are the ones trying to build a way out of it. Lifting each other up and helping as many out of that pit as possible is where I feel called. Direct marketing offers a ladder and it’s up to us to learn to use it and make it our own stick for pushing back those that want to keep us in the pit with them.
The grit of working changes the more you free yourself. Some days are harder than others but the more you step away from it the more you see what it has taken from you. Your confidence can take the longest to rebuild. I found I had become scared of speaking up, unsure of myself and always looking for the hidden meaning in things. When you start to detach from that you realize just how much it wasn’t your fault and how much burden you carried from your job. I may never be at the point I can completely leave corporate work but that small taste of freedom was enough to quench a lot of hurt over the years. It left a trail through the grit covering my soul enough to realize I still have one that deserves to be free. Yours deserve that too.
Are you open to learning more to see if this is the ladder of hope for you? Let’s chat. Contact me through the messenger available at dragonspitapothecary.com