Work and World

This morning I feel clear, with some anger on the horizon. I need to chat with the mortgagor of my house – never pleasant. I thought the economy would have picked up more in January, but not in my experience. Good gigs find me as a general rule, but this time around I’m not attracting the attention I once did.

There are so many channels of job information. Many of them I find are duplicates. Feeling overwhelmed by information is part of my day.

I have to admit the last few assignments were not very fulfilling – uncooperative (even predatory) people, paying for my expertise, then rejecting it. And I’m a builder not a maintainer. I like creating systems. I like organizing data into useful information. But maintaining the system? Not my bag.

I’ve thought about going back to school. I was overruled about law school. (I plead my case, but being 55 when admitted to the bar and another $100,000 or more in debt are compelling reasons not to go.) An MBA? No. Good friends have encouraged me to sit down and admit I’m an artist, then start behaving like one. So I’ve pulled together all my writing, my art, everything – weeding as I go – and have found the muses speak through me. My friends are right. Crap.

My friend Craig is a VP and told me I’d make a great VP someday. (But then Craig is an engineer by training and usually works 12 hour days.) My creative side has never won over a paying job. The artistic/inner-directed part of me gets submerged at work, which causes problems at home. Multitasking is impossible when there is no place at work for creativity.

Looking for a new approach to work, a career change is hard is this environment. I have to – something has to give. I want to be proud of my work. Often I can’t do the right thing, or necessary thing, since it’s not “in-scope”. The last time I served the user I pissed some people off. But I had to – the project demanded it.

I see what my Facebook friend Scott Abel is doing, out on the cutting edge of technical communication and wonder “How did he get there?” but more importantly “How can I find and work on that cutting edge as well?” I’ve never met Scott, but I have a feeling he doesn’t suffer fools.

Those people I made mad? I told them No. Repeatedly. I will serve the user even if it make me the bad guy.


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