And I often ask him, “Are you looking for the mother lode?”
“No, no, my child. This is not my desire.”
And then he said, “I’m digging for fire!”
– Pixies, “Dig for Fire”
As the current year dawned, I took my cue from Yo La Tengo. In my contemplative state about ’10, I happen to be listening to The Pixies.
My glass half full view of a very interesting, challenging 2009 led me to a change in place of employment. Going through that process has made me come to a couple of key realizations, or, if you like, resolutions.
First, work and life must always and forever remain in balance. My most important role remains that of Dad/Husband. That sustained realization has made my career much more enjoyable, my time at work much more focused, my mind much more agile and creative overall (not just at work) – and my time at home, and thus my life in general, much more fulfilling.
I was struck by something Rishad Tobaccowala, forward-thinking problem solver in the marketing sphere, said in his keynote interview at ad:tech in Chicago back in September, right at a time when my employment situation was starting to reach a boil: “Employee politics are going to be less and less important in a transparent world.” I completely agreed with his sentiment, yet I wasn’t seeing it to be true in my day-to-day.
This led to to another realization: If all you have to learn at your current place of employment is how to successfully navigate politics, regardless of how skilled you may be in doing what you think is your actual job, don’t delay in making a choice. Run for an elected office. Or learn to enjoy “playing the game” at your job and realize “the game” will become if not all, then most, of your job.
Or, as Black Francis so eloquently puts it, go someplace where you can dig for fire – use the passion for what you do, what you truly enjoy doing, and be surrounded by others who are equally passionate, as well as honest and forthright, about the possibilities. Life’s too short to be caught up in everyone else’s perpetual search for the mother lode.
A special note here – I realize that I was truly blessed in the current times in which we live to find a more rewarding career opportunity. To that end, continued cultivation of a deep, sustaining network of friends and colleagues will, as always, remain on my list this year. And I have to assume the prayers didn’t hurt either…
A healthy, happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours!