Why work does matter (even on your death bed) 

I work in an industry where a lot of people are there for the money. The size of the pay check (not what they do to obtain it) is the critical driver.

Complete a spreadsheet? No problem. Take minutes? You got it. Do the coffee run? I’m on it….. Just don’t forget I’m out the door at 5pm on the dot.

When these same people say ‘Work isn’t important to me, other things are’, I always ask what other things?

They say ‘being with family, my health and hobbies’, and variations of those things. I completely agree – my family,  my parents, our health and experiencing new and fun things are pretty much my priority, but what I don’t understand is that how people can say that ‘work doesn’t matter, when it literally feeds all of those things that they say are important to them.

How can you disassociate the thing that enables you to do the things that you love from the things that you love? How can people be ambivalent to the thing that essentially gives them exactly what they want in life? 

I feel there is a differentiation between not caring about your current job and work in general.

You have to care about work – if you don’t, what you’re saying is you don’t care about an income, paying the mortgage, keeping yourself and your family dry, warm and fed.

Not caring about your current job, I believe, means more ‘what I do here is crap/futile, but I do understand that I need to do something, somewhere to ensure I keep my family dry, warm etc….’

I really want to say this to people in my industry who say work means nothing – it’s not this company or industry you are ambivalent to, its your specific job. If they suddenly tripled your pay and got someone in to do your spreadsheets for you – that would change your outlook I am sure. All can be changed – and you should if you don’t care right now – but please don’t say you don’t care about work.

I am sure your husband/wife/kids care about eating dinner, having a hot bath and the occasional day out.

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We came. We saw. We conquered?

Can a dad ever say they have achieved? 

With demands and requirements constantly changing and increasing, being an over-achieving dad seems like an unassailable goal. In your 20’s, your situation was less dynamic, more transparent, more controllable – may be it was the lack of a wife, rather than lack of kids.

In your 30’s you get it – you see the game you need to play with your career, with life and dare I say it, with women. But then, you become a dad, and although it’s cliché to hear – your priories definitely do change. 

For many, it’s not about not being able to put the face time in at the office and do the long hours – it’s more around can you be bothered? 

A combination of being a dad, husband and a more seasoned professional with a niche or specialism means opportunities come to you – but only if you’re putting your head above the parapet. Many of us become ‘ambitious coasters’ – kind of working to something and sort-of-on-sabbatical-while-at-work (until things get a bit less chaotic at home). 
The issue then becomes – does that career inflection point ever come? And when (if?) it does, are you at a point in your career, and in your life, where it’s just too late – and where you want to push it? 

Had to end with a Salt N’ Pepa quote. 

Thoughts welcome. 

The art of working without sleep

Is it anything like Sun Tzu? It feels like it.

I’ve just got off the ‘night shift’ and am bloody knackered. How do people concentrate at work with only a few hours of (broken) sleep? And why do kids not sleep when you need them to? (Is this one even worth attempting an answer)

We need to take care of the caffeine intake so any more than 2-3 coffees is a no-no (especially at London prices). Berocca? Avoiding meetings all together? (I have actually done this once. Using various excuses and my lack of sleep migraine was rendering me useless and five minutes behind any conversation).

Falling asleep on the train journey into work is the worst as you just wake up red-eyed and groggy, feeling worse than you did before. Trying to get 15 mins in a meeting room is just too fraught with the ‘will someone walk in and see me sprawled across some chairs and think I’m having a breakdown’ question.

Staying hydrated and watching the carbs is all good but how do you really engage your brain and still bring your A-game to work – even if its for a smaller duration than a ‘normal’ day?

Then there is the journey back home, the inevitable falling asleep into the Evening Standard sports section and then the chaos that is two kids tired and not wanting to go to sleep.

Answers on a post card..

 

Thats all I wanted, something sacred, something special

I’ve been a dad for nearly four years now and the key thing I’ve learnt is there are too many damn ‘key’ things to learn.

When do I shout at them? When do I let things go? Is he being an a*se or just a toddler? Is he big enough now for a forward-facing car seat? What excuse can I use this week to nip out of the office early as both boys are kicking off at home and the wife needs help for dinner? Should he be swimming without floats by now? Why are other dads taking their three year olds to four different classes every weekend – that can’t be good for them, can it?

I’ve tried to read all the ‘bringing up babies/toddlers/boys’ books cover to cover but just end up falling asleep on the train and wanting to start that business biography paperback that arrived from Amazon this morning.

With this blog, I hope I can share some stories, experiences and research (note – I did not say ‘advice’) that can help others out there, whilst creating a dialogue with like-minded chaps that only want the best for their kids, but sometimes just have to let them sit in a restaurant with apple juice stains on their t-shirt because we’re just too tired to change them for the third time before 3pm, and chaos that sometimes have to let the quality of work in the office drop, and the strength of their friendships diminish, in order to put their first priority first – hitting the gym hard.

Oh – I forgot my wife is reading this – I meant being a father and a husband. Of course that is the priority darling….and no I didn’t manage to get to the gym at lunchtime xxx

Anyway – lets see where this goes….

 

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