Work to Live or Live to Work?
In my adult life I feel like I’ve always defined myself by my job. I’ve been fortunate to have jobs that I was very passionate about and therefore worked very hard at doing my job well. I always thought that my work was the sole reason for my success and that maybe one day all my hard work would pay off and I wouldn’t have to work quite as hard.
In many of my past roles I did the job of multiple people and waited to be recognized or promoted for my work. Instead I am now doing the job of one person alongside another person. I have 1/5 of the sales team I used to have and about 1/5 the responsibility while being paid double and getting a manager title, instead of my former specialist title. Because I wasn’t used to this I would spend a lot of time being paranoid I’d be fired once they learned that I wasn’t insanely busy. Instead, I’ve realized that what I’ve worked my ass off for in the last decade is finally paying off. Yes, I don’t feel as busy, but part of that is because I’m more efficient and strategic with the work I do because of all the practice I’ve had. Along with that I don’t have to try as hard to prove myself because the work I do shows it for itself.
You’d think all this would be great and I’d think I had life by the horns. Instead I find myself addicted to the drive and busyness I became accustomed to. I entertain inquiries from recruiters if they talk about the prospect of me creating a training department or running it. In talking to my coworker tonight I’ve realized I’m just not challenged at work. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
Since my work has always defined me I find myself perplexed by this and wondering what other things in life I can do to challenge myself. Our motivational speaker yesterday said, “Work harder on yourself than your job.” I agree with that. I’ve been given a gift of no longer having a job that defines me, but now I need to figure out what I’m going to do with this gift.