Lately, I went out on quite a few limbs and stuck my neck out pretty hardcore, in ways that could have been risky, through some of my writing as I detailed my “falls from grace” from traditional employment over the last year. I was warned by a few to shut my mouth, but I’m glad I didn’t.
I have been so pleasantly overwhelmed and quite surprised with the number of messages, emails, and comments that have come my way in reaction to my stories. I am in good company with people feeling similar ways about their employment and the circles of people they work within, but I’m also saddened to know my stories about the how cold corporate life can be are quite common. More common than I could have ever imagined.
On your deathbed, your job will not be there. The people who you spent countless hours around a board room table with will not be there. Your benefits package may provide you with a comfortable bed, but it will not bring people who love you around your bed to comfort you. Your CV that lists all your professional accomplishments will become irrelevant when you face your final days. You will likely wish you had spent less time stressing about deadlines, strategies, and quotas, and more time laughing, focusing on friends and family, and you will likely realize that those figures behind your name or those zeros behind the number on your paycheque are just superficial representations of “a successful life”.
I hope that everyone who is in an employment situation that is starting to hurt their emotional, mental and physical well-being can find their way out of it. Life is too short to spend selling your time, energy, and morals on someone else’s agenda, or to have to set aside your own beliefs for a paycheque. We all need to make money to survive, that’s not up for debate, but it’s possible to do on your own if you have imagination, dedication and a vision for how you want your life to be. I never thought that I could do anything other than research, student services, and curriculum development. Now I am a professional writer and a shop owner, and believe it or not, I still use my skills that I developed in academia and my education will never go to waste.
Thank you immensely to all those who have connected with me over the past few weeks as I share some of my stories. Thank you for bravely sharing your stories with me. We’ve been able to share our humanity together, rather than look at each other as colleagues or business partners, and I am so thankful for these moments of true and pure connection.
My wish is for you is that you can find the bravery and spirit within yourself to seriously consider what you want for your life, and whether your current situation is helping you get there. It may be terrifying to make that leap, but I’ve made that leap, and I survived. And if I can survive with all my weaknesses, flaws and anxieties, you can too.