The Early Weeks of Mr Mom

Source: flickr.com via @cacajouclas

So, despite four interviews in ten days and innumerable applications for roles I could do in my sleep, the phone has remained silent and there are no officious emails, human generated or otherwise. My wife has gone back to work and I’m now officially in charge of all things kiddie. While this isn’t anything I haven’t desired, it is somewhat mundane despite the wondrous joys of child raising. There is that shadow behind me where I do wonder when I’ll ever work again at this tender age. At least I am less down about not working and the simplicities of housework and feeding isn’t so bad. I do wish for something more intellectually challenging. A freelance career maybe? That would be nice. Working away at night, getting paid and taking care of children in the morning. I’d like that.



Source: flickr.com via @jess_and_her_camera


The first weekend after knowing and I’m relaxed. There is that monumental task (not really) of trying to find a new job but with the small largesse from a decade’s worth of service, the pressure isn’t so onerous right now. Times will change, I’m sure.

While all I really want to do is relax for a few months, I do feel that I have to make a show of looking for work. I did field a few calls from recruiters last week and since my online resume is quite sparse, I do need to work on that to at least receive the right offers. And trying to start that task is difficult. I can’t even recall when I changed job titles or even what I might have achieved in those roles. Really, I do need to document major work achievements a lot better.

So, I’m trying to remember stuff and my fear is really about coming across a little useless. I never really tried to work to achieve per se. I enjoyed the intellectual curiosity of work and not the seeming world-changing desires that reviews and a few peers seem to be fuelled by. It’s an interesting reflection and with a few senior people going to review my material (to provide constructive criticism, of course), there is equal parts procrastination, anxiety and fear pulling at me.

Only three weeks to go from tomorrow…


A Decision Made for Me

Source: flickr.com via @iz.mendoza

So it happened. On Monday, I was called into a room by my new (old) boss. There waiting for us was the dreaded HR lady. This could only have meant a single thing and I really couldn’t suppress my joy (gilt, of course by that pang about having to find a job). She started, “First, some bad news.” It was probably a line she’d used a number of times and me, I’m thinking, you are an utterly useless person who makes no real contribution to the company. I think I grinned, smugly, with my eyes.

As she continued on with her spiel (something about them not being able to find an equivalent job meaning that my role was redundant) I just tried to focus on putting on my cat face. I had thought days before about how I would react if I would be dragged into a room and the script read before me. I figured the best way would be to put on my cat face – unemotional, yet curious and in control. Through it all, I was just thinking, how much money?

I didn’t care what she said because I was out and really, I wanted to manage my emotions. The decision to leave had been made for me and the trip through the roiling emotions would be something I’d have to deal with. During the moment, I was happy and glad this happened.

So now, I’m starting from zero. Such joy!


Changing times

Just when I was getting comfortable on the new role, my manager has a quiet chat with me. During a recent overseas trip back home, he had put an offer on a house. This was quickly accepted by the seller and his plans to return to his native land are now accelerated.

So, my short stint with him is all I get. It’s such a pity – I have enormous respect for him and working with him was a big factor in my move. Such is corporate life.


The Vicious Cycle: Being Bitter At Work Doesn’t Make Things Better

The Vicious Cycle

My current job has no real description. The work is mostly to do with numbers: how they can be made a better shade of black and how they can be re-engineered into a pretty graph or poignant table in a presentation. I know I’m good at this. My problem is that I’ve been doing it for a few years and I really don’t know where it’s going to take me. I’ve been cast into a familiar groove (“the numbers guy”) by the powers that be and it is making me bitter.

I guess it all started when I was able to convince my superiors that I needed a job with more adventure; looking at uncharted areas and pioneer a new view for the company. I guess I could talk about these dreams better than I could practically make them come to life.

So now, I’m stuck. I’ve been doing more or less the same work for three years (the last 12 months have been utter torture). I have learnt nothing new; my bosses don’t understand what I could potentially do (bad communication on my part) and they don’t know what they could give me to do — other than the numbers. So, still stuck.

The trap is that some skills are hard to find and when unearthed will be plumbed for all they’re worth. This is when the stone grows mossy. You get angry about the lack of progression and the monotony of it all, but the superiors don’t care. The job’s getting done. You’ve added nothing to your skills so it’s difficult to take those advancing steps. The blackness creeps in, you get despondent, work less hard and you settle into your rut.

I’ve had this cloud over me for too long. Sick of it all, I decided to take charge. I want a rewarding career and am sick of being a corporate nobody. By chance, I came across this . It has made a world of difference to my attitude. In the end, planning my escape begins with this positive frame of mind: I am responsible for my happiness at work.