Blog: Simplify Your Life
Career Pressures And The Joys Of Irresponsibility
As I sat here today, trying desperately to be witty and engaging in my latest blog (my poor, tired brain fighting me all the way), I thought about the mixed blessing that is my job. Being self-employed means that I'm not allowed to simply punch a time card and go home. I have to always be creating, producing, doing something different than the day before. And it's exhausting! Some days, I wish that my biggest responsibility involved nothing more challenging than serving up hamburgers!
Do You Want Fries With That?
You're probably saying, "You think you have it tough? Try working for my boss!" But I'm not just speaking to entrepreneurs, here -- the bar has been raised for everyone. Think about how the world of work has changed over the years. Back when most people functioned at a subsistence level, your biggest concern was making sure you had food on the table and shoes for your kids to wear.
Then our society got all high-tech, moving away from manual labor and toward white-collar employment -- and all hell broke loose! Your job is no longer just a way to make a living, but an outward manifestation of your inner self. Now, along with to a salary, we need "job satisfaction" and "fulfillment" and "opportunities for advancement." It's not good enough to do something well, you have to do it better than anyone else or you're failing. What happened to just bringing home the bacon? How did it get so flipping complicated??
And in modern America, with the insane "gotta do more, gotta be more" mantra clamoring at you from all sides, you are encouraged (nay, commanded) to seek advancement, at all costs. Many employers assume that if you're not interested in climbing the career ladder, you must have no motivation in life -- I actually know someone who (while entirely competent at her job) was let go because she wasn't interested in becoming a manager. Do you hear me? Fired not because she wasn't doing her job, but because she didn't want to do a different job. Crazy! So many of my friends have been promoted, not so much beyond their level of competence, but past the point of job enjoyment -- pushed into positions of ever-increasing responsibility, longer hours, greater stress, and reduced free time, whether they liked it or not. Matt had his own brush with forced over-achievement when he worked at an interior design firm, and had to quit his job to be able to keep doing the kind of work he enjoyed. However, even when you're calling all the shots, it's hard not to feel the tug, the little voice in the back of your brain that says, "Are you really being all that you can be?"
Don't misunderstand me -- most days, I love what I do and am thrilled to be involved in work that feeds my mind and my soul, in addition to my wallet. I recognize how fortunate I am to live in a time where I'm offered so much opportunity for success -- some days I feel positively BURDENED with opportunity! If I can be anything and do anything, why can't I be everything and do everything?! When you give me the freedom to choose any career, how can one be enough? Shouldn't I be able to everything I'm good at and enjoy -- write and speak and take pictures and help people get organized and be a coach and create glass art and do mosaics? 'Tis both a blessing and a curse to have many interests. And my only real complaint today is that I wanted to do everything at once! I always tell my clients, "You can have it all, just not at the same time" -- but it's a lot harder to remember that when your options are limitless!
Lester Burnham in "American Beauty" had it right -- there is a freedom to be found in letting go of all the expectations and baggage attached to a career, a freedom to be found in just flipping burgers to make enough money for a tape deck. Maybe the problem is semantic -- "career" is such a loaded word compared to "job." My goal is to just enjoy the work without being attached to what I accomplish in my career or where I go with my business. And on that note, I think that I'm going to pack it in for the day -- I just have to turn off the fryolator before I go!
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posted on: 8/21/2012 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips
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Simplify Your Life
by Ramona Creel
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I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!
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