Thursday, September 20, 2012

To die at the next sword

‘To die at the next sword’ is a rough translation of an old Thai saying, it simply means to take a chance now without knowing how it will turn out in the future.

And that is exactly what I have just done, whether one likes it or not, in the most simplistic term ‘Life’ is like a giant jigsaw puzzle between ‘Family’ and ‘Work’, and for the past few months the ‘Work’ side of the puzzle wasn’t working out, it just doesn’t fit into the ‘Family’ part of the puzzle, one has got to change.

I am sure like so many, after leaving a steady job of six years to try something new, well the ‘new’ got old fast and 2 jobs later I found myself sitting in a darkened corner contemplating on what to do, for a fish cannot climb trees (well, that isn’t quite true, give it a few billion years of evolution even a fish can fly (again unless you are a ‘creationist’, then a fish will always be nothing but fins and tail :)).

The decision to jump ship without a raft was a huge one, still hoping something will turn up soon, I still think it was worth it, no more bad vibes being brought back home, more time with the kids, more time with everything (have been wanting to visit an old friend whom I haven’t seen in over thirty years). But of course, soon reality will come knocking, and it will be time to look for another set of ‘Work’ puzzle that fits.

Never thought that I would have these kind of feelings, when we were young, work was actually fun!

Most of the postings on this blog have been, very largely laid in the ‘Family’ part of the puzzle, I find it hard to post anything about ‘work’, well, ‘work’ is ‘work’ who wants to hear about ‘work’? Unless you are an astronaut, actor, aristocrat or if you really enjoy your work then writing about it would come naturally. Mine obviously doesn’t come naturally especially for the past year and a bit, perhaps one day I’ll find it, and blogging about work would be a much welcome change.

As I am sitting here tapping away on the keyboard, this is my 5th job in 12 years, (don’t worry I am not going to copy and paste my resume here) :) In my naive past, at the beginning of the working life I had never understood how life at work can drive someone to the edge of breaking point and in some cases beyond. Isn’t work something you leave at the office?

That was well and true at the beginning of my career, responsibilities were light (not so many pieces to the puzzle) and there was nothing to take home at the end of the day. Working was fun, you just did as you were told, and the only concern was to deliver the work on time. There were no ambitions, in fact never have one, never thought of being an apex of a company or anything close to that level. However, one did move up the ladder, more responsibility came, subsequently and inevitably more problems to be solved, the pieces of the ‘Work’ puzzle have increased at an interesting rate :)

At the same time the number of pieces also grew in the ‘Family’ side of the puzzle, so many more pieces were added, courtship, girlfriend, wife, a car, a child, another child, another car, schooling, mortgage and other gazillion things :)

With more pieces on both side of the puzzle, it was getting more and more difficult to match them up, pieces grew more and more. Fundamentally ‘Work’ is maintaining the quality of ‘Family’ that is growing, it is obvious that ‘Family Life’ is now getting more and more dependent on the ‘Work’ pieces

Some people are contented to stay with the same organisation all their lives, my path was different, decided to move when I can into different industries (seeking new experiences), perhaps that wasn’t the right path to take after all :) It was fine to begin with, with less puzzle pieces on the ‘Family’, it was just me, so taking chances had less consequences.

Old habits die hard, now with a full fledged family, eleven months ago decided to move away from a job of 6 years, into another industry, that only lasted for nine months. Now after three months of yet another industry, this time I have found that the ‘Work’ puzzle pieces totally doesn’t fit to the ‘Family’ side of the puzzle at all, so after a long discussion, I’ll ask for my leave just as the probation period is ending.

As you climb up a corporate ladder, it’s harder to move to another ladder while maintaining the same rung (of course that is unless you were hunted), and that is where I find myself now, very uncomfortable in my current role but the commitment at home means I must jump to the same level on the next ladder, and so far that ladder is nothing but a pile of wood on the floor. But I have decided to jump anyway.

My mindset have changed, the urged to seek new experiences have truly gone, to be replaced by a, dare I say ‘more responsible view’. So if I ever managed to find the next ladder, and if it fits, I’ll remind myself of these past year before even contemplating on another move.

By the time this is posted, the ‘exit’ would have been put in motion, then it will be two more months before the great leap. After that, you’ll either find me holding on to another ladder, or still laying on the floor trying to turn the pile of wood on the floor into a ladder of my own.

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