Maybe tomorrow I’ll want to settle down, until tomorrow…

I miss the Littlest Hobo. He could have licked Lassie any day.

I was kind of amused to get an email this week from the owners of this platform reminding me that it was, I quote, due to expire. I was in a hurry doing other things and thought ’well I must get back to that urgently, as I am quite enjoying this’ and promised myself I would do just that at the earliest opportunity. So I logged on at the weekend and read the message again. It expires in three months. Three months. How many other things, let’s be honest, do I have to deal with before actually this becomes any kind of priority? Yes, lots.
Not the worst case of this kind of thing I have seen. That I would level at BBC Countryfile magazine, which started warning me that my subscription was “due to expire” half way through… Funnily enough it has expired now. I guess that is what you get if you cry wolf.
But now I have three months to actually think about whether to consider waffling on this platform or not. So maybe I should be thankful for the premature nature of the warning.
I am not very good at change or moving on, or indeed bringing things to an end. I tend to run shoes until the sole is a mere sliver of rubber forcing me to skip between puddles as they have not been waterproof for sometime… Cars I have a tendency to run into the ground rather than change at a reasonable time (I get used to them).
The same attitude I have generally applied to work.
I have been here with the same company now for twenty one years, half my existence on this planet. For most of that time, I have not thought about moving on and trying something new. I have just been glad to have a job that I (mostly) liked and that (sometimes) changed a bit and so kept the interest up
It still does, although recent events have certainly made me look at things a little more cynically than would normally come naturally to me. But the consistency is something that has made me comfortable. If that is nice and stable, the rest of my life can be a bit more adventurous. I’m lucky too that I have a lovely wife to provide yet another anchor, as otherwise I am very much a ship tossed about in a storm.
The stability at work thing is not the case for others I know, who can get restless very quickly for one reason or another. They don’t want to stagnate, or miss opportunities, and quite like the element of risk in jumping – if not into the unknown, then perhaps into the uncertain.
Some career training I was once involved with talked about the attitude and type of person you might be in the workplace. It was one tool that helped me understand my attitude to work and why my perspective seemed to differ from others.
It can be helpful to understand what your attitude might be as part of (and only part of) considering what is best for you personally at the present time and, importantly, over time as well.
People forget sometimes that what they want in life will usually change as you get older, as get married maybe, drop offspring or come across something that just drives more than those things you thought would motivate you when you were a bit younger. What someone in their fifties may be looking for is not necessarily the same as someone in their twenties. These attitudinal categories broke down into five broad buckets (I am sure you have seen these before is some form or another):
Getting ahead – constantly looking for promotion and/or more responsibility and thrives on recognition.
Security – wants stability, predictability, progression related to loyalty.
Freedom – craves independence, needs to be in control of their career and likes to be the expert.
Balance – Trying to have a bit of everything and very much focused on work as only part of the deal – important, but part of a mosaic.
High – cannot get enough of their job, committed and cause driven. Work those long hours not because they think they need to, but because they want to.
Of course all of these can apply to someone at any one time, but at times some or other of them might dominate, others be less important. And if there is a mismatch between the attitudes that currently dominate and the job you currently have, it is not going to be a happy experience. Where do you think you are?
Personally I tend to bottom out in the security/balance area as comments above might indicate. But I enjoy recognition too (who doesn’t, although how public it is can definitely be polarizing). The high side of things, mostly, comes in the stuff I do on a voluntary basis outside work.
So I am unlikely to want change any time soon, and as I get older, probably even less so. But as I have said to several people recently, they have to look at their own life and decide what to do. Because only they really know what is going to make them feel good about their work.
For me, I’m staying where I am. Well, all my stuff’s here anyway.