That is my current mantra. I just want to be a round peg in a round hole for a while. In my meditation practice I have been reminding myself to just let it go…just let go of the disappointment and frustration, and just be. In my relaxed mind after letting go, I realized I was fighting to make things work, that just don’t fit. How did I get here? After enjoying the year of getting married in 2010, I started to get an itch to go back into management. I am not sure what it is about being on the East Coast, but I must have some deep conditioning that in order to reflect success, I must climb a corporate ladder and get as high as I can to prove my occupational worth. What a screwed up view of success! It has been three years of climbing from a Technical Program Manager to VP of Operations and Project Management; mission accomplished,why am I not fulfilled? What will satisfy me? For all that I put into the management roles I have had the last three years, I have been successful in my accomplishments at each job I had, and my ability to grow, but I have proven this to myself before, and back then, I had the same exact feeling I do now. There is something more out there for me to be doing with my time.
When I resigned from my job in 2004 from Advent Software, and moved to Colorado, I had the same internal dilemma, I wanted more and I wanted to feel fulfilled by my work. While in Colorado, I became an independent consultant. I was able to work hard, and play hard. I was lucky enough to partner with some brilliant people that supported me in my career, as I did for them. Even though I am a natural at leading and managing others, doesn’t mean being a direct manager is the only way to do it.
Each time I go through a transition like this, I do some exercises to figure out what I really want. This helps me get clarity on whether or not my current situation can be tweaked to fit the new mold, or if it is best for me to just move on. Make a list of all the attributes of your work life you believe will build the ideal peg in the round whole. Here are mine:
Obviously the peg can be a lot longer or short and sweet, but it does outline the foundation of what I will look for in the work I do going forward. Once you have done this exercise, put the list up someone you can review it every day. Then analyze your current work life, does it meet these needs? If it doesn’t, can you change your current work life to mold into this? If you are unable to create change within your current work life, are you able to change it all up all together? Don’t rush the process, sometimes you need to sit with it for a few days to figure out your next move.
I had a successful life as an independent consulting life, and that is what I have decided to do again, only now I have more experience under my belt. I have resigned from my VP position that I recently climbed into and have already landed my first contract and I start on Monday. When you remove barriers or forcing things to work that just don’t work, you also end up blocking the opportunities that might be a better fit.
My current contract is only 3 days a week, which will allow me to take on more coaching clients and focus on getting additional certifications to better my skills. I am relieved by letting go of what does not work for me, and excited about what is next.
If you are interested in doing an exercise like this to get the ball rolling on finding a better work life situation for yourself, I am here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I offer complimentary 35 minute coaching consultations to understand your goals, and see how I can help you achieve them.
Have a great independence day!
Being the round peg in the round hole is a definite reflection of my independence!