The Old Career

I had a dream last night about the old career. The one where I worked way more hours than I should have and loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute. Except for the last year of that old career when I reported to the new vice president. He and I never did see eye to eye on too much. It was a happy, happy day when I was informed that my position was being eliminated and I could leave before I did something I’d regret.

Do I miss the old career? Not a bit. Last night’s dream confirmed that once again.

The very thought of going back into the corporate world, with all of its politics and petty games, just turns my stomach. And having just recovered from a bout of the stomach flu, you can be sure  that I have recent knowledge of what stomach turning feels like.

At one point in that old career, I was on a fast track, being groomed for an eventual promotion to vice president. It was a heady feeling, let me tell you. Suddenly, I was thrust into secret meetings and included in confidential conference calls. I was sent on training courses, flown to various cities across the country, given responsibility for critical areas of the company. I was being pulled in dozens of different directions, each demanding my immediate attention. My opinion mattered. People listened to what I had to say. And they acted on it.

For someone who likes to be in charge of things, this was pretty awesome. For a while.

After four years of this fast-tracking business, I finally applied the brakes. I sat down with my husband and we had a long talk about where this was going, what it would cost us as a couple and a family, and we made a prayerful decision. The next day, I went in to talk to my boss and to the president of the company, who happened to be there that day. I told them honestly that as much as I appreciated the opportunity they were giving me, I could not continue on the career path they had me following. I can still see the look of shock on their faces. People didn’t usually say no to these men.

After a few attempts to encourage me to change my mind, they accepted my decision. I requested a voluntary demotion and within a few weeks I was happily ensconced in a new office, managing a small department of wonderful people.

There are probably some readers out there shaking their heads. Why in the world would someone pass up an opportunity like that?

Priorities, my friends.

No job is more important than your family. No job is worth your emotional and mental well-being. No job should be what defines you as a person. No job should ever be your entire life.

So, here I am. The old career is gone. My family is intact. I am in a very good place emotionally and mentally. I have new friends who never knew me as a corporate dragon. And I think my heavenly Father is pleased.

That’s all that matters.

7 Comments

Filed under Acceptance, Family, Life, Writing

7 responses to “The Old Career

  1. Thanks for filling in some of the details, Wendy. I knew about most of what you describe, but not all of it.
    Boy, do I know what you mean about everything you write, especially working for that new VP, who I didn’t see eye-to-eye with either.
    And I’m sure a number of people thought I was off my rocker when I left my final position at the currency centre. But I had to do what was right for me. I’ve gone through some tough stuff since I left–trying to figure out what the next years of my life are about, what voice I have outside of the corporate world, what I’m really here on earth to do–but I don’t regret my decision to leave, not for a minute.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Anonymous

    Amen to that!!

  3. I completely respect and agree with your decision to leave. I hope everything is going great for you! 😀

  4. I can so relate to the corporate world you describe. It’s a very competitive place that I am still part of. I made the decision many years ago that family outweighs the company. Although I am still in the jungle, my family always comes first. Good on you for breaking free.

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