January 16, 2008

We Are Replaceable

Posted in Careers, Life, On the Job tagged , , , at 10:53 am by Katelyn

“Remember, you are replaceable.” That’s what my mother told me last week. And no, she wasn’t talking about me as a daughter, she was talking about me as an employee. Talk about a reality check; but how true that statement is!

I am going through what feels like a huge life change. I was offered a new position that would be great for my career (I hope!), but when discussing it with my family I kept feeling guilty at the thought of leaving my current employer after only 7 months. I felt I would be letting them down after they took a chance on me, not to mention that we get along very well in most instances. I also know that they are very pleased with the work I produce. That is when my mother interrupted and said, “every employee is replaceable.”

We sometimes get these ideas in our head that an organization or department is going to fall apart when we leave. But the truth is, someone did our job before us and someone else will do it after we leave. Sure, we produce great work and do it with a smile, and we will be missed once we’re gone, but there is a lot of other talent out there waiting for an opportunity like the one I’ve received. I’d like to think that by leaving I may be giving someone else their chance to learn and to shine.

This doesn’t make the leaving and the change any easier for me, but a little dose of reality every now and then (even from your mother) does help to put things into perspective. Life, and work, will go on without you and it always pays to put yourself first in your career.

November 30, 2007

Question my Sanity

Posted in Careers tagged , , , at 2:50 pm by Katelyn

One of the many things I looked forward to and then enjoyed over the holiday weekend was the opportunity to have a long conversation with my boyfriend’s father.  I value his insight and advice because he does not sugar-coat anything for me.  He listens to how my life and my job are going and then he bluntly tells me what he thinks I should do, and I appreciate that!  This past weekend was no exception.

I explained to him some of my frustrations with work and expressed my fear that I am heading into a rut because I have accepted the monotony of my job and my evenings after the job.  He said, “You are in a rut; I can tell.  You need to kick it in gear and do something about it.”  Then he proceeded with a phrase he said he still goes by:

“You’re not doing something right if your family/friends aren’t questioning your sanity.” 

I laughed at first and dismissed the phrase as we moved on to discussing ways I could make changes in my life, but here I am a week later still mulling over that phrase.  Maybe he’s got something here. 

If you’re not doing something out of the ordinary, something your friends might consider crazy, you’re most likely doing something very normal and something that’s expected of you.  Where is the challenge and personal growth in that?  I have to say I was inspired to pick a date and make some serious changes with the normalcy in my life.

What would I have to do for my friends & family to question my sanity?  I could think of several interesting and crazy things to try…

I could quit my job with great benefits to be a temp. where I could try lots of different jobs to find a better fit for me.

I could audition for professional singing or dancing gigs.

I could go back to school for a master’s in music, just because I love it.

I could attend cosmetology school, because I love styling hair and I’m great with people.  And maybe one day open my own salon.

I could become a Pilate’s or yoga instructor.

I could turn my love of knitting into a business.

I could try a year of teaching.  (everyone in my family already has)

There are tons of things I could think of doing with my life/career where people would definitely question my sanity.  Would they be worth it?  Who knows?  Would I always wonder if I didn’t try any of them?  Definitely!

What crazy things would you do?  List as many as you can think of.  It’s cathartic.  I promise.