I guess I spoke too soon last week when I said I had emerged out the other side of career crisis. This week has been, well, pretty dreadful. I’ve been wallowing in my own self-doubt in a most unbecoming manner, and despite all the lovely people I have met this week and things I have done, I can’t help but feel it was a bit of a disaster.
Last week I set myself one simple task — come up with a 6 month plan, nothing fancy, nothing too ambitious, just a few small things I want to have done by November. I did a bunch of other things this week, but that wasn’t one of them. And therein lies my big mistake.
I can’t shake the feeling that I am wandering completely aimlessly through this “career break”, and while that’s kind of part of the whole self-exploration thing, it’s also pretty unnerving. I can tell myself that there are no goals in life, that there is nowhere that I’m “meant” to be, nothing in particular I actually need to do. But even if the point of life is to connect with the people around you, and have as good a time as possible while not making things worse, it turns out that that process is a whole lot easier if you have some kind of goal in mind.
And there I go again with the ultimate conflict I seemingly can’t avoid. How to have goals while also being content? How to move forward but also be happy with where you are? How to go with the flow but also get where you want to be?
I haven’t figured this out yet; I feel like I’m still knee-deep in the swamp and I can’t tell whether my violent thrashing around is shaking myself free or sucking me deeper down into the murky pool. All I know is, I can’t stay still, I’m too far into it now.
Here’s the summary of the good parts of my week, the rest will have to wait!
For those in the UK, have a fantastic long weekend.
This week I have been mostly… meeting lots of people (and dogs), catching up with friends visiting from Australia, being on the internet way too much…! [Part of that though was coming up with an awesome recipe to auto-generate a list of links for my weekly reads using IFTTT. Love it.]
This week I have been mostly reading…
“Tech CEO Dodges Felony Charge Despite Horrifying Abuse Video”. The worrying thing is I don’t think customers really care.
Thanks to my mother-in-law for this one! See what happens when two monkeys were paid unequally for equal work.
The Origins of Office Speak – The Atlantic. Lawyers have their own set of meaningless phrases. All time least favourite: “fresh pair of eyes”. By the time of night that this is being said to you, your eyes invariably feel anything but fresh.
I’m always a bit skeptical of companies’ attempts to define and create a “culture” or “values”, it works sometimes but mostly that tends to be organic not forced. This post made a lot of sense to me: “A Critique of “Don’t Fuck Up The Culture” via @berkun.
Not just rhetoric, some real things men can do to beat sexism and promote women. “What Can Men Do?” by @shanley. [Although I note the article in the Times today that maybe men aren’t sexist, maybe they’re just shy about equality. You keep telling yourselves that, boys.]
“What I Learned Building Medium (So Far)” by @ev (co-founder of Twitter). I love what he says here about the importance of having a deadline — I definitely saw the value of that when I was writing the first draft of the novel in January, and am feeling the lack of a deadline now — and also about the struggles of boiling down years of ideas down into a single product or idea.
Implications for corporate structure of the rise of the freelance economy: “Wait, Is The Corporation Actually Over”. I wonder if the rise of remote working will also be a catalyst to this?
This is my own post on Kitchen+Craft about The From Scratch Revolution.