How Work Killed My Spirit
It used to be something I was proud of. The time I have spent working in healthcare at a corporate job; well now several corporate jobs over that time. The total time served doing what I thought was paying it forward to help others access healthcare for their needs. In reality though was I doing that? After a few layoffs, organizational restructuring and just plain needed job changes I started to see this time served as not serving me beyond the paycheck.
It happened after a series of job changes that spanned a few years. Yes, I know these days to have a job more than a couple years is a victory but I was tired of that scene. It wasn’t fun to always be looking for your next job and I quite frankly didn’t enjoy the rejection or non-response to applications I made. Job searching was a full time job in itself. I know I’m experienced, talented, smart and capable but constantly selling myself was getting old. Proving myself time and time again in jobs wasn’t really getting me anywhere either.
Maybe it was the rejections of jobs I thought I was more than qualified for, the salary that was less than I needed or the jerk bosses I encountered that had me updating my resume again but I realized this wasn’t a fun formula for success. All I seemed to be doing was replacing one bad job for another in the end that inched me closer to retirement hopefully. The idea a good job or even one we like is out there and will last for the time we need it instead of the company needs us, was a unicorn.
After a while I felt like just giving up. You know just doing enough to get by at whatever job I was in, putting up with anything I was told to do and subsisting until I could find something better or retire or win the lottery. You know all the things we talk about with our co-workers who also feel less than joyed at spending another Monday coming to jobs that leave them drained at the end of the day. We were all just subsisting, getting by and keeping our fingers crossed this current job held out a little longer than the last one.
This one time I was hiring for my team to backfill someone who had just left I met a woman who was interesting over the rest of the candidates. She said to me in the interview that her current job was fine and there was really nothing wrong with it but she wasn’t learning anymore. There were no challenges and opportunities to move forward and she wanted more. Her interest in applying for the job I had open was the search for something fulfilling, rewarding and satisfying. Inside I felt my own spirit call out saying yes me too! I couldn’t tell her this job wouldn’t give her all that either.
A slightly better title, salary and benefits with a slightly better job is only slightly better than before and not for very long. There will always be something that makes our slightly better situation start to feel like it was before where we know the signs to start looking for another one. My question is why do we put ourselves through this time and again? Are there truly no other options in life than to keep inching forward or settle into something that leaves us feeling deflated and well settled?
People can bad meme direct sales all they want but I swear more people should try it for the simple fact it is the opposite of corporate work. It is the hardest work someone may ever do in their life too. Hard in the sense that you have to reawaken your brain to think differently, get creative and be yourself more than anywhere else in your life you are typically allowed to be. It has been the place where my spirit has become the most alive in my work though. Contrasted against a 30 year career, here is this little direct sales business I have giving more joy and fulfillment than my career ever has. I swear that was not what I expected it to be. I thought I would just make a few extra dollars on the side and have a little fun.