Today one of my clients asked me to come onsite to handle a few projects coming down the pipeway, so I did.
It’s been awhile since I was in a corporate environment and I don’t consider this a typical one. No, it’s not a startup. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. But the few times I’ve been there, everyone seems genuinely congenial and content.
Well, after spending the day there, I remembered why I left and could not bear to return to a regular 9 to 5. In fact, if I ever had a doubt about pursuing the consultant path, this reassured me that I had in fact made the correct decision.
This team of talented, incredibly bright people looked so beleaguered by day’s end I felt terrible for them—because the pain was so familiar.
You get meetinged to death! Team members had back to back to back meetings. I don’t know how they get anything done. Maybe when they travel it’s possible. And then they are always under the gun and jumping through hoops to please the C-suite. This used to be my life. But looking at it from an outsider’s perspective is eye-opening.
It’s an endless, stress-inducing battle. And it’s literally sucking the souls out of these peoples’ lives.
Look, say what you want about Millennials, but honestly, they refuse to work this way—and honestly good for them. You know why? They’ve watched us give up our joy and our lives for these jobs. And they refuse to do it. And to be honest, it’s not a bad way to go.
Life is about passion and joy and balance, all of which seems to go right out the window when it comes to conventional workplaces.
Europeans manage to take 6 to 8 consecutive weeks off and the world manages to still turn. But we can’t even take a Friday off let alone two weeks back to back (even though the employee handbook “encourages” it), without incurring a panic attack.
This absolutely has to change. We cannot sustain this way of work. Your body will not allow it.
I am so glad that I’ve thrown off the notion that work has to be synonymous with struggle and agony and chronic stress.
It’s a choice. And as I always say: Make good choices, people. Make good choices.