Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Circus Time


Right now I am just leaving my office on a Friday night. Terribly sad. As usual I am turning off the lights and locking the place up.

I've worked in the same field since I was 20 years old. I've done extremely well for myself and considering I am employed in a very old, very conservative industry, if you have to be employed in this industry, my special niche is probably about as glamorous as it gets. I certainly experience a great deal more diversity in my day to day work than others in this line of business do.

I've also been responsible for managing staff for 15 years. I've managed as few as 5 and as many as 50, predominately professionals. Overall I've enjoyed it. I like, or used to like, training people, encouraging and motivating them to succeed. I'm not a particularly personable or warm person and have always been uncomfortable with the sympathetic/empathetic aspect of managing staff. I know how to manage to each persons strengths and weaknesses, I just don't enjoy doing it, so anymore, I don't. Well, I still do, sometimes. But it no longer feels natural to me. Through the years I've become very adept at the distancing part of managing people. I've learned the hard way how difficult it is to manage friends. I am surprisingly efficient at firing people, something I am ashamed to even admit.

This is the career and industry I know. It is a career and industry that can still, on occasion, entertain me. But by and large, I am bored much of the time. And boredom, far more than happiness or pleasure, governs my attitude and my attention span. And this is the dirty secret about why I am always the last person at work in the evening. For the first time in my career, my attention span seems to last for shorter and shorter durations. So I work longer hours, just to accomplish the same amount of work I would have accomplished 2 years ago expending an hour to hour and a half less time. I need more breaks and more distractions to get through the day.

I think sometimes that I would like to try something new, walk away from what I do, have done for so long, and do very, very well. So many obstacles. Let's see - old dog, new tricks comes to mind, unwillingness to make certain adjustments at this point in my life, comfort level, reputation and respect and then there's the big one ... money.

I am not ready to even begin contemplating retirement. I know it is not a stage of life I will handle gracefully. Fortunately, it is still many years away.

But, I am wondering, am I too grown up now to run away and join the circus?

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