Playing The Game When My Heart Isn’t In It

I wrote a few months ago about how my relatively new job took a turn for the worst, after getting both a new boss and a new project. Both suck a ridiculous amount. I mean suck like a Hoover vacuum. New boss is a classic micromanager who is a great project manager but has zero ability to lead and develop a team. New project was bad bad bad bad bad – so bad that there was no fixing, it really needed to be burned to the ground and started all the way over. But of course that wasn’t going to happen.

In the beginning I was pissed off and angry and I hated going to work. Everyday was a struggle and I began to doubt myself and my abilities. I wanted to just say fuck it and jump ship…but it was the holidays and no one was biting. And slowly, over time, things started to get a bit better. Everyone on my team hates my boss and higher-ups have begun to catch wind of it, so now he’s attempting to treat some of us better. ¬†Notice I said some though – there’s some folks he hates and some folks he loves. I seem to be in the middle, which I suppose is ok. The project that has been a hot mess since Day 1, well it’s not quite as shitty as it was before. It’s still incredibly frustrating though because they keep repeating the same mistakes as last year.

While my project and working relationship with my manager have gotten better, I know I don’t want to stay in this role another year. The great thing about my company is that they encourage employees to move around to different areas, and in some areas it’s frowned upon if you stay in your role too long. I’m trying to maximize my connections to move into a role that’s a better fit for me and with what I want to do long-term. My manager may be an obstacle to that, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

This morning my division had an all-hands meeting, where they present financials, company initiatives, and awards. My manager, my teammates and I were all recognized for our efforts working on this difficult project for months. I must admit, it felt good to FINALLY be recognized for all the hard work we’d put in on this difficult project. My team was handling things that really shouldn’t have been on our plates, but our team had the technical ability to do things others couldn’t. The recognition was cool, but while I sat in the meeting, I had a thought – I’m still wasting my talent in this job. I’m wasting my talent staying in a corporate role and working for someone else’s bottom line.¬†

I’ve mentally checked out of the corporate game. My heart hasn’t been in it for a long time. I’ve become jaded and cynically when it comes to corporate life for myself. I see people who work really hard, to give up their free time, their time with their family and friends, to do work stuff. And those same people don’t get rewarded for that hard work, especially at my company. This place rewards the popular people and that’s it. If you work hard and keep your head down, you’ll never get anywhere; but those who spend more time talking to people than producing get promotions. At least at my previous companies, work product was what got you promoted. Every day I people who produce nothing but are great at talking and making friends get ahead. There’s no incentive to do well, other than one’s own standards and work ethic.

I see the life I want and I see others living it. I have so much passion for what I truly want to do. I have a desire to help people get to where they want to be professionally. I have the knowledge and experience to make it happen. What I don’t have is a crystal ball to tell me that I will be successful at it. Instead I have a big dose of fear that I will fall flat on my face. A corporate job is a comfy safety net – I know that I can come to work, put in my time, and get these bills paid every 2 weeks. But I also have all the other things that come with the corporate life – a rigid schedule, a lack of time to myself, and the knowledge that at any time they can get rid of me, even if I’m producing. Seeing my company lay off high performers let’s me know that I will never be completely safe if I’m at the mercy of a corporation.

I have the plan. I have the vision. I just need more confidence to make my dream a reality.

Send me some good vibes and a bunch of “you can do it!” energy…..I’m ready to start going after this thing…

  • Beth Shereyf

    Of course you can do it! Like you said there are others living the life you want so you know it’s possible to have. Find out what steps you can take to get the ball rolling. If you have to work your corporate job while getting what you want started then do that, but it can totally be done. Good luck!

  • Marcus A. Cylar

    I’ve known for a whole that you’re ready to do the full-on entrepreneur thing. You have all the acumen and all the ability you need to do it. Start developing your exit strategy and make moves!

  • Wei-Fan Lo

    You can do it! I believe in you! It’s scary to jump from having a pay check and security over to a career that has so many unknowns. When John started his business, it was scary for me because there is that huge unknown! Will he make enough to support us? Will he fail? What happens if he fails, can he go back to his old job? These were just a few of the questions and concerns running through my head. Sometimes you just have to trust your instinct that corporate is not for you. I’m not a religious person but you have to have faith that it will all work out. It’s scary. It’s hard work being on your own, but the pay off is worth it. I believe you can do it! – WL