After my last job, I didn't feel like working anymore. I had resigned in a fit -- which I later attributed to my hormones acting out of control. When I reluctantly agreed to go to an interview set up by my headhunter, I fell ill and called it off last minute. At the subsequent interview, I didn't say anything good about this company's products. It seemed that I really didn't want to work at all.
Deja vu three and a half years later - only this time I did not resign in a fit. In fact, it wasn't up to me or my boss at all. I had plenty of notice and plenty of time to make my exit. My hormones were in full control. And yet, I have the same nagging feeling - of not wanting to work elsewhere, at least, not so soon.
Instead, I want to reflect and reminisce.
In the world of work, it's about being liked, being accepted, and belonging. The validation process is a self-enforcing loop. The more people like you, the more they will get others to like you. And the more that like you, the better you'll fit in.
My reluctance to leave has nothing to do with the money or the work. It has everything to do with leaving a comfortable working environment. Internally I sit with colleagues who don't work with me. But we do basically the same kind of work, that of getting information and publishing it. Externally I work with people who choose to work with me. I don't pay them. They don't pay me. There is no command or control in such relationships. We simply respect each other's expertise and work towards a common goal - that of getting something published.
There is more socialisation than I've ever experienced in my working life. I look forward to interesting conversations with interesting people in interesting places. I sense the passion of the entrepreneurs who left their previous cozy corporate jobs to embrace the grand uncertainties of their ideas. I see the conviction and commitment when they tell me about their business philosophies. They give me all the time in the world, time which they can't pay with an advertisement, but time they willingly spend to educate me.
Oh, yes, after I leave, there will be plenty of time to reflect. Like most things, you remember only the good things. I will probably forget that writing each article was like doing my PhD all over again. I will forget that writing the first paragraph was like pulling teeth. I will forget the solitary confinement I forced upon myself to complete the piece. I will forget the pressure I exerted on myself to make sure each piece was better than the previous.
In the end, who cares? Should I stop caring? I wish I could.
27 June 2002 Thursday
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