Serving Yourself

At 11, my son somehow still thinks that I’m both important and cool. Before bringing him to work for #TakeYourKidToWorkDay, I set expectations that both me and the work that I do are not valued here and that most likely no one would need anything from me during the day.

I said these words in a matter of fact way so that he would understand that my feelings of worth are NOT wrapped up in the views of others. I also reminded him that my current situation was a stark contrast from that last job where I was valued enough that they still reach out to me for guidance… a year later.

Here’s the deal, I work at a customer site that is not a good fit for me. Plowing through the futility of it all, I frequently remind myself this is only temporary while simultaneously holding out hope that in x number of months my company will rescue me with a new project that is a better match.

Won’t this pain spur personal growth?! Gosh, I hope so. I know it’s inspired at least a couple of blog posts. Trust me when I say, ”Inconsequential work + hellish commute = whole lotta angst.”

An upside to my job has been the ability to vary up my schedule and telework one day a week. This flexibility and a glimmer of hope about a new project allowed me to soldier on. When a department-wide email at my customer site arrived that likened flexible hours as “serving yourself, not your customers,” and also removed any teleworking ability and implemented rigid hours, I felt hopeless.

Initially, I fixated on the “serving yourself” words and how they repulsed me from a philosophical viewpoint. (I could fill an entire blog post with that rant). Next, I went to feeling persistently anxious about how would I manage the energy and time requirements for a long commute, work, family, studying for a VCP certification, and some extra blogging for which I had previously committed.

“Be grateful for that well-paying job; you knew it was a bad commute when you accepted the job offer so suck it up.” These are some of the ways that I’ve chastised myself in the past year. In a warped way, I’ve treated my job and long commute like a “jail sentence” for which only the “warden” could set me free.

After a drive to work in silence (Thank you @RealJobTalk ep. with @cgaither for that advice) and days of despair, I realized that I am solely responsible for both what I accept and where I end up next. My priorities need to reflect this fact.

Oh, so, what was that conversation that inspired both tears and this blog post? My co-worker asked how I was handling the new time requirements. Maybe it is time that I serve myself.