Friday, May 8, 2015

Career Diet: Just What I Need

Today's blog title is inspired by the "Six Word Memoirs" concept, which you can find at many online sites, including these:
A friend posted on her FB page challenging us, and I came up with today's title.  I am now back from my international business trip, and have finished our annual company conference.  Excited and energized by both events, but also tired, I am pleased with my six word memoir's double-meaning.

"Career Diet" encapsulates my approach to life.  Careers, just like food, can be wonderful, sustaining, enjoyable parts of our lives.  Like food, though, too much of it, or the wrong type, can also seriously hamper our quality of life.

I am fortunate to be happy with where I am working, and that has been the case for many years now.  I am challenged, have control over my schedule, and am paid enough to live comfortably and save for the future.  There have been times, and will be times again, when the work overtakes my life, and I have to go full throttle for a while.  Then I look forward to the pauses in between campaigns when I can spend some time on myself and my family.

At motivational work events, it's easy to get caught up in "what if" exercises.  Should I be a Director, or a VP by now?  Should it bother me if I am not?  Why am I not?  And what would it cost me to have gotten to that level of corporate achievement?  Sheryl Sandberg aside, it's still difficult to be a working mom.  And every family, every child, every marriage is different.  What worked for her won't always work for the rest of us.  She says "Lean In", and I understand why.  It's a great message, that I was eager for when I was 25.  Even at 35 it's good to be reminded not to take the foot off the gas unless you really have to.  But at 45 and up, I'm not shooting for the executive office anymore (though anything is possible).  And even at 35, you have to ask yourself if you are climbing the right ladder.  When you get to the top, is that really where you want to go?

Just What I Need:  not more than that if it will cost me my family, my other interests, my whole self.
Just What I Need:  Seems like the job is always wanting more of my time and energy.  Not sure if the diet is to limit how much career I consume...or how much of me my career consumes.


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