Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finding my path

Maybe I am the only one who gets like this. Then again, I don't think I am alone.

I sit at work, on my lunch break, staring into the blank pages of my pocket notebook, wishing for something more. I get so caught up in setting goals for myself and when I look back and assess the goals, I am looking at only 25% of these goal achieved in the time frame I set for myself.

Did I give myself enough time to get accomplished all the things I am accomplished? Were my goals realistic? As I go through them I don't think I am giving myself the time I need for each goal.

Like most people I never thought that I would have taken 2 steps back in my career from 1 year ago. My goal this year was to grow into a larger role, but there were some things holding me back. I have talked to a few people at length about not being able to get beyond that glass ceiling. All of a sudden, in this world, being a middle aged white man is a disadvantage when it comes to moving up the management ranks. That being said, I haven't moved up, because I was holding myself back. Not my manager. Not my wife. Not my dog. Not my social media habit. It was me. It was MY lack of focus that brought me down. It was the constant pressure I put on myself to perform at such a high level, I forgot about the basics of the job that took me there. It was my choice not to go to a 4 year school. It was my choice not to continue on the career path I was on. All of these things have played into the reasons that I am not at the level in my career that I want to be.

So what do people do when they realized the biggest goal they had for themselves has had an epic flaw? Sulk? Yeah, I will for a moment. I mean this IS my blog after all. Most people just sit around and become jaded. Many people in my profession do it, and I have gone back and re-read all my thoughts on this matter. I am slowly becoming a jaded retail worker. It is not hard to do, but it is hard to get out of the funk.

I went over to myspace the other day and pulled up my old blogs from close to 5 years ago. Oh my how I have grown and oh how I have not grown at all. I read the blogs about my first days on my current role 3 years ago, and I was happy to have a job after being unemployed longer than I would have liked. Where did it go? Where did my optimistic view of my job go?

I read my blogs about how people who have worked for my company over 3 years develop a sense of entitlement and they lack the ability to adapt. I saw my current self in the words from years ago. I have become what I didn't want to become. It's easy to remember your thoughts form years past if you write them down.

Having read this, I decided to go back to the drawing board. I ripped my goals out of my pocket notebook and shredded them. I am realigning my goals. I am revamping my personal plan of growth.

One of the major reasons I am stuck is my lack of 4 year degree. I can speak the language of business, I get the concepts, but I haven't the proof that I know what I am talking about. There isn't enough experience in the world that makes up for having a 4 year degree. I know. I have been there. It doesn't matter what I have done in my career, I still haven't finished college. So I am going to fix that. I enrolled to start my undergraduate degree in Business Administration last Friday.

So I hope to start classes in the Winter. My employer has a great program where they pay a considerable amount of my tuition. This leaves me with a bill of $0.00 at the end of the day. Why not take advantage of it?

I am started in the right direction.

My second goal is to get my manuscript, I have been working on, published, and then get paid for it. This goal is my short term goal. It is so close I can taste it.

I am hoping to be able to start researching and put together a presentation to the publishers soon, but editing is the toughest part of the process.

With the end of this post, I noticed I have more pages filled in my pocket notebook that I had ripped out. Maybe I am onto something.

It's time to stop worrying about the past, and focus on making the future I want happen. Sure there will be many road blocks, and wrong turns, but my co-pilot is there with me.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Behind every good man, is a great woman.


Vodka Logic said...

First of all you are NOT middle aged. Having a baby would put anyone into a introspective mood such as this...and that is a great thing.

You have so much going for you, good to realize it and get on with it..good luck with school.

Just Jules said...

ahhhh men and babies, what it does to them. Kicks in the "need to provide" gene. A good thing indeed, but also dangerous. Remember your family needs you emotionally and financially. Hubby took 7 years of our families time to get his master's (on and off) it meant a pay raise but we paid more during that time then I can ever think it was worth.

Keeping goals is important but keeping them real to your situation is vital.

That said - I know you can pull off anything you set your mind to, and doing things while the kids are wee ones is easier then when they are bigger.

ashley said...

Bravo & well said!

I work full time as well as attend college full time. Welcome to the world of having no life!

I'm not going to fill your head with fairytales.. It's going to be tough. You're going to want to quit. You're going to cry tears of exhaustion. You'll probably go bald due to stress. But that's OK! Because at the end of the day you're going to feel a sense of personal accomplishment you've never felt before. Just remember that you can do this; it's not impossible.

I'll be anxiously awaiting your blog posts describing your triumphs and tribulations! Good luck.

Loredana said...

Good for you! Glad you're taking the bull by the horns, as they say, and taking advantage of all your opportunities to be able to maybe sit back one day and go 'ahhh look at what I've got, how far I've come'.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Those are great goals. Good luck with moving forward on them.

MARTIN said...

yea, I'm with "VL" up there. you are NOT middle aged, and having a baby with throw a wrench into the works of anything, but now that you have had a baby use it to your advantage. i read your blog about your grandfather and the situation when you were young. going back to school will give your kids more than what you had as a child, and that is a goal in of itself. I'm 21 and went through my own "fork in the road", but believe me when i say that YOU ARE NOT STUCK OR OFF YOU PATH OF GOALS!!! the fact that you have looked backwards and realigned you goals means that you are NOT GOING BACKWARDS, which is never a good thing.

LiLu said...

We all need a good sulk every now and then. It's a process. :-)

Anonymous said...

You are to young for your midlife crises dude. Chill, chill.

Will Burke said...

I've often found myself in this state around this time of year, I think it may be the back-to-school, time-to-buckle-down thing hard-wired into our systems. Didn't you go to school for audio broadcasting? Sound a lot like Podcasting to me. And a book? You seem to be well on your way to having a literary following here as well!
Cheers! Will

~K said...

Dude have you seen that post where I have a baby on my shoulder and I have a table full of Chemistry books? It can be done. It will be hard. However it will be so worth it. EVEN if you do not end up doing something along the lines of your degree it WILL boost your career and you will feel a sense of your are DOING something and not just letting life pass you by. Learning is a life long process and I plan going back for my Masters or Teaching credential. go fer it!