I am relishing each and every moment these days. I’m in that sweet, delicious space when you have some time off in between jobs. It’s been delightful. I highly recommend it if you ever have the opportunity. Perhaps a little background will give you a better picture of my happiness.
I’ve spent the last two years working as part of a big corporate machine. It was a “big girl” job meant to be a step up in my career. Looking back, I remember how excited I was about the opportunity. In the midst of my excitement, I also vaguely remember some confusion from people when I told them the news about working for this giant company. At the time, I didn’t give it a second thought, but now I know why.
Life at the machine
My new position came with all the right buzz words – director, strategy, leadership, oversight, management, budgets, blah, blah, blah. When I started, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and make a difference. I had fire in my belly. That’s my personality; I am constantly seeking to improve myself and my game, and I’m a true team player. Oh yeah, and I like to have fun at work too. Doesn’t everyone think this way?
I quickly learned that, no, this is not the case. The big corporate machine is just that—a machine. There were some top notch folks at the machine, but there were also some people who settled for just getting by. What?! I never experienced individuals like this- this can’t be right. Since “director” anchored my title, I decided that I needed to make some changes on my team. I quickly learned that my dreams of revamping my team was unachievable. I didn’t get very far without approval from HR, legal, the president, my mom, your mom, etc. (I’m only kind of kidding.)
I was in charge of marketing for the machine, but I did very little of that myself. My team did the creative work, and I was their fearless leader. I considered myself both a babysitter and a firefighter. I was constantly jumping from problem to problem, and we were always under pressure on nearly impossible deadlines. Awesome. I dreaded the idea of going back to work by Sunday evening. My fancy new job started to lose its shimmer. With the reality of corporate restrictions and stress, my disappointment slowly began to creep in.
My life after the machine
I look back over those two years and realize the impact this position had on me, my health, my relationships, and my life. It consumed me and was totally overwhelming. I did my best to put on a happy face and try to look like I had it all together, but it was exhausting. This was the first time in my life that I struggled to find time to work out, volunteer, be present with family and friends, and really just be myself. The stress of it all had me staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m. on a regular basis. I had no balance in my life.
So, here I am taking a minute to breathe, decompress and transition. The weight has been lifted. This feeling began the very first day I decided I no longer wanted to be a part of the machine. Phew. The change was so needed. I can hardly find the words to share my sheer joy in doing things that are normal and were a part of my life before corporate life. I’ve had time to go for a run, have date night with my boyfriend, catch up with friends, read a book, take my cat to the vet, organize my Gmail folders, clean out my closet (yassss!) and rekindle my relationship with my yoga mat. Ohm. Okay, maybe all the Gmail organizing is a little extreme, but hey I had the time!
I learned a tremendous amount during my time at the machine. I’m very thankful for the experience, but it wasn’t sustainable. I’m in a dreamy period now, and I realize that I’ll be back in a work groove soon. This truly excites me since I’m so much more in balance because of the time I’ve had to reflect and recover. I’ve accepted another marketing position in my industry, but for a smaller organization. I was approached by a dear friend who wanted me to join her team. They’re growing, and I was the first person she thought of when they needed to add to their marketing team. I learned so much from my previous position despite the stress. After my short hiatus, I feel rejuvenated and ready for a new beginning. With a positive attitude, I’m ready to jump back into to my industry. But this time, I’ll be the one doing the fun stuff, so it’s time to get the creative juices flowing again. Here’s to being renewed and to my new adventure!