Ever have a day when you wake up, get dressed, drive into work, and sit at your desk asking yourself why the hell you even bothered to get out of bed? That’s exactly how I felt when I woke up today. I’m not sure why, and there really is no reason for it, as far as my conscious mind can recognize, but it got me thinking about the possible explanations for how I’m feeling.
So, let’s discuss my job. I like it. I have the freedom to do what needs to be done. I get along with my coworkers. I don’t’ work for a micro-manager, so all of my tasks are self-directed. The types of tasks I perform each week are varied, and sometimes outright challenging, yet I have this nagging sensation of unfulfillment. It’s baffling.
I mean, this is what I’ve worked for over the past 28 years. I have 4 college degrees, years of business experience, project management training, Lean Six Sigma training, information technology knowledge, and solid management and leadership skills. In my current position, my contributions are valued, and I’m regularly consulted by upper management on important business decisions, but I have this pit in my stomach that causes me to sit at my desk feeling agitated and anxious.
What’s my deal then?
For one thing, the thought of spending the next 20 years, sitting at this desk, doing the same or similar things until retirement brings about this crushing sense of suffocation. I question if this really is what I want to be doing. I question if this is really what I want to do in the future. More importantly, I question if what I do makes any bit of difference whatsoever.
Let’s be honest, I’m certainly not irreplaceable. I don’t kid myself on that topic. The company I work for could find my replacement, however challenging or simple that might be. There are plenty of people out there with skill sets like mine. And really, my job isn’t all that complicated once you’re familiar with the software applications, the database, and the company culture.
So, what’s my problem then?
When I really delve deep, I think my job lacks meaning for me. It’s become nothing more than a source of income to pay the bills, and at times, a source of great frustration. After getting my last master’s degree, I had grand plans to become an online college professor, but if I’m honest with myself, I don’t want that at all. At least not at this juncture of my life. Hours of grading papers, video lectures, dealing with college students who just do the bare minimum – frankly, that sounds awful to me.
What I do know is I want to feel a sense of great excitement about my work. I want to be inspired. I want to be motivated. I want to contribute to the world around me. I just don’t know in what form I want to do that in. I guess I have some serious reflection to do.