Saturday, April 04, 2009
A Crack in the Comfort Zone
As I sit here, listening to Leonard Cohen's "Ten New Songs", I watch the fierce wind toss around the American flag and bird feeder on my porch. I see snow flurries struggling to exist and ponder all the changes in my new life.
As previously mentioned, I am no longer gainfully employed. After nearly nine years, I'm out on my own again. Can't say it was a big surprise. After all, this is the same entity that has been paying for my Wall Street Journal subscription - a sober publication that delivers dark business news to my doorstep every morning. Lay-offs are happening state-wide, country-wide, worldwide ... it was only a matter of time.
I'm happy to report that the break-up was amicable. My former employer gave me every perk an exiting employee can have, plus a little more. While there, I learned to maneuver the murky waterways of Corporate America - a valuable skill. Sure, there were occasional asshole idiots along the way but, as is my policy in business and life, I ignored them.
Instead, I aligned myself with the nerdy ones - the freakishly smart folks who had interesting lives beyond the office door - the ones who made me laugh and taught me things. These co-workers, media types and clients are my people and I am very, VERY good at finding them no matter where life takes me. Ask anyone. (Above photo was taken 2004-ish in my posh San Francisco office, also known as "The Media Maven Haven.")
Mostly, I realized that every skill I needed to do my job well came from these sources: waitressing, dating, travel and excessive news consumption. Okay, maybe I got some insight in college but it was mostly the real-life stuff that proved useful. I learned that no matter how high up on the executive scale a person may be, there's always room for insecurity. Furthermore, the higher you climb up that ladder, the more you have to work and the fun markedly decreases. Oh yeah, the politics get stickier up there too. Hence, my lack of ambition to attain true Big Wig-edness.
Ironically, I've never been busier since they cut me loose. Between doing contract work on a solar project and preparing for a trip to San Francisco, I'm also gearing up to cover the Kentucky Derby for my other gig at BlogHer. After that, I've got another personal trip to SoCal, which will include CCW XI. Come June, I'll finally have time to look for a job and I've got a list of targets in mind; they'll never know what hit 'em.
This also means I'll have more time to regularly update my other blog, Curious Hobo.
(Top photo: I took this Easter weekend last year inside one of the coke ovens in Redstone, CO.)