I have a theory that if you can personally relate to a Stevie Nicks song, you are in a Bad, Bad Place. I mean, really: it’s like Stevie sat down one day and said “Gee, I think I’ll chronicle all the different ways life can tear open your soul and rip you to shreds.” I really think that when you start thinking to yourself “Man, she speaks the truth” it’s way past time for a massage, a happy hour, and a vacation.
(Note: this rule also works for Adam Duritz.)
Anyway, this popped into my mind this weekend while I was watching the season finale of Mad Men, right at the part when Don Draper had a nice little hissy fit:
I am sick of being batted around like a ping pong ball. Who the hell is in charge here? A bunch of accountants trying turn a dollar into a dollar ten? I want to WORK.
And you know, I’m a little concerned about feeling at one with Don Draper, but it’s like, GOD, YES.
I’ve been struggling a little bit at work lately; my company was acquired by a bigger company in May, and subsequently my job and responsibilities have changed drastically. It’s taken about six months for the dust to settle, I’m still feeling a bit tossed and turned and am trying to figure out how to right my career again.
I feel like I’ve been taking a six month nap, waiting to figure out how we all fit – from the top leadership down – into our new company and new roles and I just really seriously miss having a concrete goal and pushing towards that, understanding how what I do matters to the overall purpose. I show up every day, I feel like I provide value, but it’s very one-off and very reactive, and I’m so, so tired.
When caught in moments like this – where I feel lost and devoid of purpose – I try to read things written by people smarter than me (it’s a large sample size, btw) looking for inspiration and perspective. I read these two today that I really liked:
- “Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network.” (Quote here)
- “Answer e-mails from junior people before more senior ones. Junior people have further to go and tend to remember who slighted them.” (Ibid)
I like these quotes, and they’re nice reminders of professional qualities I’d like to have. A good thing to remember when getting caught in the day to day stresses.