I need a new job. I hate to complain, there are so many great things about my job. It really is a great job, and it is exactly what I have been working for since I got out of the Army.
So why am I feeling so discontent? I am not exactly sure, but I will try to explore why in the next thousand words or so and maybe come to a conclusion.
First, I suppose that I should explore the good things about my job. I will do this in order to remind myself why I continue to show up day after day despite the huge wad of anxiety I feel each day. I have a huge amount of autonomy to decide how to spend my time each day. Micro-management is unheard of, at least in my position. In fact, I think that the management forgets that I am here sometimes. (Oops, that would be jumping ahead to the bad things about this job. Hold that thought!) This allows me to come and go as I please, without much questioning about what I am doing and how long. The salary is above and beyond what someone of my credentials and experience should expect to earn. This provides a great living for my family that I am grateful for each and every day. There are some people that I work with that I really like, and some that I even look up to as role models.
So why all of the discontent and anxiety when I come to work each day? What is it about this job that has me dreaming of trout farms and novel writing?
Some of the “pros” of this job are very double-sided and also serve as “cons” as well. For one, the salary. Having become accustomed to a certain level of income, the idea of having to cut back is frightening to say the least. This contributes to a feeling of being trapped in my current position and is probably the biggest reason I loath this job. How insane is it that I hate my job because they pay me too much? The lack of direction is another double-sided benefit. This very lack of direction often leaves me wondering if I am succeeding or failing, since there is absolutely no input one way or another. Of course I hear about it if someone is frustrated with their computer. But is there anything I should be working on proactively that I am not aware of? Am I being completely successful if nobody is complaining about their e-mail access? As long as the FBI has not shown up to confiscate hard drives am I being diligent enough about enforcing information security? I suppose that my personality requires a great deal of external motivation to feel secure in my job. I don’t think I will ever again complain about a micro-managing boss, since I now know what it feels like to have a non-managing boss. That is not to say that he is a bad manager, just that he feels that he has no need to dictate anything to me, has much more pressing things to worry about and so completely leaves me alone. The freedom is great. The lack of input is terrifying.
There are other cons that are somewhat personal, and that I can only elaborate on in very general terms. Due to the complete lack of oversight, it seems that I am doing a great job. However I am very acutely aware of the things I do wrong on a daily basis, and I am even more acutely aware of the possible consequences of these mistakes. The fact that they remain undiscovered serves only to amplify them in my mind, rather than comforting me that I am perhaps blowing them out of proportion. I suppose that this could be my internal persecution complex at work, but it could very well be a valid fear that one day all of these mistakes will be revealed and the day of reckoning will finally arrive.
Am I just not cut out for a job with this level of responsibility? Does my personality just not respond well to the stresses of self-management? I worry that I am developing some very unhealthy neurosis, and then realize that this worry in itself could be a very unhealthy neurosis. Then I wonder if I am being a hypochondriac by diagnosing myself with unhealthy neuroses which of course is also an unhealthy neurosis.
I am killing myself with the unending worry. It is making me horribly miserable and bringing me to question the very decision to become an information technology professional. Am I even cut out for this kind of work? Is anyone ever “cut out” for a certain kind of work?
Or am I just running away from something uncomfortable or difficult? Should I just buckle down and force myself to keep my nose to the grindstone? Or is this a genuine sign that the profession I have chosen is not for me and that I must change or continue to suffer?
I am not sure, and I am not yet at one thousand words. However I am done whining for today. More on this topic later, I am sure.
© 2007 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved