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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I'm Baaack!

 Louis Litt, Suits

It has been a tumultuous 9 months. Work got too chaotic and took over my life. I was on-call 24/7, and even if I was being left alone (which wasn't often), I would be thinking about work. It's amazing the hours you can work and how much you can get done when it's necessary. I think I was on a constant adrenalin high for those months, and it wasn't sustainable. I would wake up at night thinking about transactions I was working on, and it was as if there was so much information to process that some of the processing was done in my sleep.

Although in one sense, I was thriving – doing mountains of challenging work, excelling at it, feeling proud of my work and the level of responsibility I had, it was exhausting and unhealthy. A twelve hour day in the office was a relatively short one, and I was regularly doing sixteen hour days. I was usually juggling several pressing
demands at any given moment, so all of those hours would be intense, stressful and intellectually draining. It wasn't like I had time for breaks or lunch, and there wasn't much of a social element because we were just too busy.

I was changing mentally too. I could see the change in my outlook and behaviour, which was probably mainly out of necessity. I was becoming more impatient, aggressive, dominant, selfish, unforgiving. These things helped me to excel in the office environment, but I was also becoming a not very nice person outside of the office (and to colleagues, although everyone treated each other like this). Feeling angry, frustrated, stressed and highly strung is also not good for physical health I'm sure.

To give an example: if someone wasted my time by doing a substandard job or not following instructions, I had little patience and was unforgiving. General office social norms and what is acceptable when communicating with others went out the window (as they had with everyone else in the office). This was certainly a symptom of having so little time and so many demands on it, and ironically it was smiled upon.

I left on a high, still managing the quantity and quality of work. In some ways it would have been better had I left after having a mini breakdown or getting really sick or something.

Now that I've left, I have started noticing the things I missed out on. I was so consumed by work that I wasn't part of what was going on with my family or friends. People close to me tell stories about things that happened to them during that period and I have no idea about any of it.

Deep down I knew it wasn't sustainable, and I watched the others around me who had been there longer slowly deteriorating. I was exhausted, I wanted a holiday… but now that I'm back in a more "normal" job, I feel like normal work can't satisfy me. I miss the adrenalin rush, and I miss being important and making a valuable contribution. I miss having so much responsibility which motivated me, and now I seem to lack any motivation.

I am also terrified that I have made the wrong decision accepting this new role. It's a new area of work which I'm not sure I like (and I loved corporate law), and I am feeling so unmotivated that I don't know what to do.

I have decided to come back to blogging to share my thoughts, and it gives me a reason/opportunity to sort through them myself. What has everyone else been up to? I have more news to follow ;-)

3 comments:

  1. Aww hugs! It will sort itself out, I'm sure! Don't stress! xx

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  2. I really understand being torn about thriving in the adrenaline of work and wanting a "normal" life. I love my job, and tend to spend all my energies there. I try to have things ready before they are even asked, to keep everything under control and delegate as less as possible. But then I get home and I fall asleep on the couch. It's like I find less and less time to talk with husband, and I am not happy about it. Sometimes I dream of being a stay-at-home mom. I guess there's no solution.
    Hope you keep writing more often...

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