By: Revanche

I’m blase, but my Careers Round-up isn’t!

August 6, 2008

I know things have been pretty boring over here.

I haven’t had any real news, other than Con of course, no significant changes or progress have been made on the life or financial front. I assure you, though, that there’s a ton of brainstorming and troubleshooting going on. Like the swan, the surface has been serene, but I’m definitely paddling like hell underwater!

In the meantime, I loved Ry’s post on deliberately making a career choice that doesn’t intuitively seem like the right move for a freshly graduated soul at first. His decision sounds very appealing, and the reasoning derived from reading The Four Hour Work Week, Brip Brap’s posts, and Keith Hammond’s post Balance is Bunk are compelling reading:

The quest for balance between work and life, as we’ve come to think of it, isn’t just a losing proposition; it’s a hurtful, destructive one.

But the balance movement is fatally flawed. For those of us trying desperately to keep up with everything that needs doing, it poses two mythical ideals. If we work hard enough at it, one goes, we can have everything. Or if we cut back, we can have just enough to be truly content. The first obliges us to accomplish too much, often at too high a price; the second doesn’t let us accomplish enough. Either way, balance is a relic, a fleeting phenomenon of a closed, industrial economy that doesn’t apply in a global, knowledge-based world.

There’s a better way to think about all this, one that requires us to embrace imbalance. Instead of trying to balance all of our commitments and passions at any one time, let’s acknowledge that anything important, and anything done well, demands our full investment. At some times, it may be a demanding child or an unhappy spouse, and the office will suffer. At others, it may be winning the McWhorter account, and child and spouse will have to fend for themselves. Only over time can we really balance a portfolio of diverse experiences.

This might go against much of my life theory: that I can do everything I want and do it excellently, but it does jive with how I try to schedule my commitments. If I fairly assess what I can manage, my juggling act is more smooth and less angst-ridden. There’s no doubt that it’s more of a juggling act than a balancing act, either, because in most cases, I can only be present for one commitment at a time.

Congratulations to Sense to Dollars! She’s made the move to New Zealand (*swoon*). She’s been weathering the storms, literally, for a couple weeks and even landed a new job already. And check out her negotiations! I’m taking notes. Someday I’d love to make such a bold move and take on a whole new country and whole new life, how awesome would that be?

SingleMa’s guide to building a Fabulous Professional Wardrobe is reminding me of my previous musings about when and how to supplement a sparsely populated professional wardrobe. I’m completely impressed by the shots of her closet, though, because I’m still in Spartan Mode where I want to clear out everything that’s not absolutely necessary. I’m feeling very Minimalist! On the other hand, it’s probably time I broke out of that comfort zone where I don’t accessorize, ever. ’tis a valuable skill to have. But Lordy, does that woman have handbags or WHAT?? 😀

I like CalGirl’s solution for not having deadlines: set them for yourself!
Every so often it irks me when colleagues lack the initiative to set their own deadlines on projects. Maybe it’s just because I’m Type A, but I LOVE setting deadlines and working out how they mesh with multiple other projects and obligations. Huh, then again, perhaps my love for it is exactly why my colleagues don’t bother …. I’m going to do it anyway and I’ve got the whole picture clearly in my mind so it’s really easy for me.

2 Responses to “I’m blase, but my Careers Round-up isn’t!”

  1. Sense says:

    thanks for the congrats!! It’s been hard at times, and i still don’t have anyone that i’d call a ‘friend’ here, but I like NZ alot so far.

  2. Revanche says:

    sense: Of course! If I hadn’t said it before, I really admire the guts it took to pick up and go like that. Friends will come, I’m sure, just give it time.

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